The Contemplative Traditions working group (CT) was the first Innovation Farm project, convened in December 2013. Over the last several years, CT has grown into a multi-pronged collective with over 100 faculty, students and staff from diverse fields participating in its various initiatives, which include: the Buddhist Studies Minor (launched in the fall of 2015), the Buddhist Studies Lecture Series, the Contemplative Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community and the Mindful Ambassadors.
In 2016, the working group added a Senior Fellow – Emeritus Professor of Psychology Alfred W. Kaszniak. Dr. Kaszniak has participated in CT activities since its inception and became involved with the group due to his long-standing interest in contemplative practice and studies. Dr. Kaszniak created the group’s Contemplative Traditions and Social Justice invited speaker series, and the first speaker featured Zen teacher, professor and author David Loy giving a lecture (“Why Buddhism and the Modern World Need Each Other”) on Nov. 18 and a workshop (“Buddhism and the Ecological Challenge”) on Nov. 20.
“Because of the Confluencenter’s support of the CT, the UA has been able to launch several initiatives that stimulate and support contemplative pedagogy, the academic study of contemplative traditions, and research concerning the development and consequences of contemplative practice and studies within higher education,” said Dr. Kaszniak. (Read this short Q&A with Dr. Kaszniak.)