My teaching philosophy is grounded in the power and possibilities of contemplative pedagogy to help students practically engage with the material they study. Through integrating mindfulness and meditation exercises into both my course content and pedagogical strategies, I try to address the whole student, and to posit education as a life-long process of discovery and self-growth. It is my belief that self-awareness and creativity serve to reinforce Thoreau’s insistence that to be a philosopher concerns solving “some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.”
As an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University, I have designed and taught a number of courses that integrate themes of contemplative studies and social justice, including courses on Buddhism and Poetry, Environmental Justice, and Native American Literature. In my courses, I frame the ways in which literature can generate empathy and intimate awareness of how conscious creativity can respond to forces of destruction. In addition to teaching courses with subject matter that confronts these issues, I have also developed several courses that engage directly in contemplative practice and work to provide undergraduates with tools of engagement and empowerment.
In Stony Brook's School of Professional Development, I teach a Workshop entitled, "Mindfulness for Educators," which introduces mindfulness to teachers as a subject of critical and experiential inquiry. To learn more about this workshop, please click on the following link: Mindfulness for Educators.