Founded in 2011, the Center for Contemplative Studies has as its mission to create a culture for students, faculty, and the community to understand, apply and create a contemplative approach to life and learning. The vision is to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing within the West Chester University community. The Center will implement this mission by providing experiences and synthesis of contemplative practices; for individuals, educators, researchers and community service.
Not sure what contemplative studies is? Well, if you've heard of Yoga, mindfulness meditation, or T'ai Chi Ch'uan, you've already heard about contemplative practices.
The Center for Contemplative Studies has three main branches:
The Center also offers a monthly seminar series for continuing professional education of clinicians and educators, as well as day-long mindfulness retreats for the University and community each semester. You'll find these events listed in our calendar below. Also, please visit our Facebook page and YouTube Channel for events and resources:
Distinguished Speaker Series- Nov. 3
Harvard University's Dr. Anne Harrington will be the inaugural speaker in our Science, Spirit and Health Distinguished Speaker Series on Nov. 3. Her talk, "When Medicine Engages Spirituality: Why we want that and why we worry," will discuss 15 years of efforts by medical professionals to study the value of such spiritual practices as meditation and prayer for physical health, and the complex and sometimes uneasy conversations these efforts have triggered.
Harrington is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and director of undergraduate studies at Harvard's department of the history of science. She is the author of Medicine, Mind and the Double Brain, Reenchanted Science, and The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine, and is completing her next, The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry: What Really Happened.
"More and more the medical and mental health professions are moving to a bio-psycho-social-spiritual understanding of people, with the spiritual as the least understood and discussed. Yet, it may ultimately be the most important in healing and wholeness," said Center for Contemplative Studies co-director Dr. Don McCown. "Over the next three years, our speaker series is designed to help us consider this growing area of health care from historical, scientific, cultural, and philosophical perspectives, to help us all be more "spiritually literate," so to speak."
The event will be hosted in Phillips Autograph Library in Phillips Memorial Building on Nov. 3 from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are free and you can register here.
Mental Health First Aid- Nov. 8
Students will be participating in an all-day Mental Health First Aid at the center. The center will be closed that day.
Saturday Seminar- Nov. 19
This event will help build up community with discussions and events centered around mindfulness. A community meditation will be included. 9 a.m. - noon.
Student Pre-Finals Retreat- Dec. 8
As final exams come up, take some time out to de-stress with fun and mindful activities before hitting the books. More details to come. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.