About Us

ACMHE is the academic association dedicated to contemplative teaching and learning.

Prof. Brad Grant (Architecture and Design, Howard University) speaks at the Summer Session on Contemplative Learning
Former CMind Chair Bradford Grant (Architecture, Howard University) at the Summer Session

The ACMHE Goals
By shining the light of a contemplative lens on the harm that has been done, we endeavor to be a force for healing and growth in and amongst individuals, communities, and institutions. We recognize that much of human education is informal and that the wisdom of our ancestors, grandmothers, and parents is invaluable and equal in importance to any formal education.

We recognize the lessons from the natural environment as well. We value the guidance of the sea, land, air, and all living creatures in our environment and consider ourselves to be in creative co-learning with all things around us.

We strive to stimulate inquiry into what is most meaningful to all as interconnected beings, part of an interdependent planetary and universal ecology. We seek to recast the traditional foundations for education into a truly integrative, transformative, and communal enterprise that is wholly open and inclusive of all backgrounds and which cultivates each person in the fullest possible way.

Though valuable to a point, conventional methods of scientific research, pedagogy, and scholarship need to be broadened, deepened, and divested of their oppressive legacies. The experiential methods developed within the contemplative traditions offer a rich set of tools for exploring the mind, body, spirit, heart, and relationship to the world.

Contemplative practices augment and transform conventional educational and scientific practices towards enriched research methodologies and pedagogic models which can lead to lasting solutions to global challenges. None of the ACMHE approaches require adherence to a single ideology or creed and the diverse array of contemplative practices we welcome and engage make contemplative development accessible to all.

Who We Are
As of September 2022, ACMHE is becoming an independent, member-led association.

Prior to this point, ACMHE was a program of CMind, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Following a Board decision in May 2022, after almost 30 years of operations, CMind closed its programs on Sept. 1, 2022 (learn more CMind’s sunset).

Over the past weeks, the CMind Board and the Board Transition Committee considered numerous excellent options for continuing ACMHE without CMind. Their selection process has concluded: Pending the necessary institutional approvals and the penultimate approval from the Office of the Attorney General in the State of Massachusetts, ACMHE will continue as an institutionally independent member-governed association. Going forward, the Friends of ACMHE Advisory Committee will provide organizational coordination for ACMHE.

All of the ACMHE and JOCI systems and logins which you are accustomed to using will remain in place for the time being. However, to facilitate this shift, we have temporarily paused membership enrollments and renewals (to be resumed once the transition is complete).

 

The ACMHE Mission
We believe that education is, in fact, an embodied experience. We strive to augment humans' capacity to experience emotional, spiritual, somatic, cognitive, and intellectual learning as we engage with one another and with the natural environment.

The ACMHE Vision
We recognize all beings as somatic learners and teachers in this embodied envisioning of education. We recognize that racism, especially anti-Black racism, has compromised every field of human endeavor and contributed to the degradation of the environment itself, to the peril of the planet and all of its inhabitants. Through the work of the Association of the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE), we work to raise awareness about and address the ways that each and every aspect of education, as well as every discipline and realm of work, is impacted by racism and other oppressive paradigms.

 

About CMind

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (CMind) was the original parent organization of ACMHE, and an independent and secular 501-c3 nonprofit organization based in western Massachusetts. Founded in 1997, CMind was a small organization, but also the hub of an international network of thousands of education professionals, change-seekers, and contemplative practitioners. CMind was founded with a bold mission: to integrate contemplative awareness in contemporary life to help create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society.

From 1997 through 2009, CMind developed programs designed for various professional audiences, including educators, lawyers, judges, activists, business people, journalists, philanthropists, youth and youth leaders, chaplains, and military caregivers. In each program area, participants explored how contemplative practices could help them care for themselves and their interpersonal relationships, as well as exploring questions of ethics and values related to their vocational roles and professional expectations.

Following the 2008 global financial crisis, CMind faced a crossroads and its programs were at great risk. To remain operational, the Board decided to focus efforts on the largest program area--higher education--and launched the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) as a professional academic membership association to help organize this growing field. These academic programs continued until 2022.

In May 2022, after almost 30 years of operations, CMind's Board voted to closed its programs on Sept. 1, 2022 (learn more CMind’s sunset). Over the past weeks, the CMind Board and the Board Transition Committee considered numerous excellent options for continuing ACMHE without CMind. Their selection process has concluded: Pending the necessary institutional approvals and the penultimate approval from the Office of the Attorney General in the State of Massachusetts, ACMHE will continue as an institutionally independent member-governed association. Going forward, the Friends of ACMHE Advisory Committee will provide organizational coordination for ACMHE.

All of the ACMHE and JOCI systems and logins which you are accustomed to using will remain in place for the time being. However, to facilitate this shift, we have temporarily paused membership enrollments and renewals (to be resumed once the transition is complete).

 

What are Contemplative Practices?

Contemplative practices are activities that engage introspection, reflection and self-awareness. Contemplative practices can help us build awareness and understanding about ourselves and our relationships in the world, access our courage and resilience, and take action for a humane and sustainable future.

Recent research has associated contemplative practices in education with:

  • increased ability to listen
  • improved classroom learning environments
  • improved ability to maintain healthy relationships, and
  • greater integration of the learned information.

Although these claims are important, at CMind we recognize that the greatest value of contemplative practices is immeasurable: in the personal and meaningful experiences that are unique to each of us.

What is Contemplative Pedagogy?

Contemplative pedagogy is a method of teaching that intentionally engages an awareness of, and reflection on, one's experiences, identities, thoughts, emotions, and values. This enables students to connect their learning to how they live their lives.

Contemplative pedagogies employ a diverse array of contemplative practices as means of reflection and introspection.  Because contemplative methods center students' own experiences in their learning, they can be adapted to any academic discipline or subject.

The Tree of Contemplative Practices
The Tree of Contemplative Practices