University of Virginia - Virginia State University - Radford University - George Mason - UMBC - Contemplative Sciences Center
Virginia Tech - Invent the Future
 Contemplative Practices for the 21st Century University  - March 10-12, 2016 - The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center - Blacksburg, Virginia
Notices & News

Instructions for authors are on the Submissions Page.

Download a Final Program

Various conference documents available on the Schedule page as downloads

Papers presented at the 2016 Conference are now available at:


Given the rapidly changing, complex contemporary global society in which we live, it is imperative that higher education provides students with the skills and knowledge to effectively navigate the 21st century. The ability to see things clearly, to think in creative and critical ways for scholarship and research, to demonstrate skills with emotional and interpersonal intelligence, to show leadership, and to engage in service have never before been so important. Contemplative practices, with their holistic orientation, are especially suited to this challenge of fully preparing students for their future.

This conference will explore ways in which the university community can work collaboratively to provide a more holistic, learner-centered educational experience in all its facets. Specifically, the conference will address the use of contemplative practices in student life, advising, teaching/learning and research, student health and wellness, and within the administration to create a more holistic, learner-centered community. We invite students, faculty, staff, administrators, and professionals interested in the educational process to join us as we explore questions such as:

  1. What experiences have we as individuals had with implementing contemplative mind body practices in the university?
  2. How can we use our experiences with contemplative mind body practices to promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing in the greater university community and forge a more learner-centered culture on our campuses?
  3. How can a more learner-centered culture based on contemplative mind body practices provide a foundation for a safer, wiser, more compassionate university community and greater society?

Only through a combined effort will we create the educational environment that can position our students to live engaged, quality lives in our increasingly complex global society of the 21st century with all of its unique challenges and opportunities. Please consider joining us at this conference for an interactive exploration into how contemplative practices can play a role in creating such an environment for a truly holistic student educational experience.

See About the Conference for a more detailed description. Also see the Schedule page.

Who Should Attend

The theme of the conference is the development of contemplative practices in the university. As such it is directed to all members of the higher education community - students, faculty, staff, and administrators including those individuals already using contemplative practices and those individuals seeking to learn about these practices. The conference is also open to all individuals seeking to develop contemplative practices in their own communities. We believe that all members of the community can both benefit from, and contribute to this conversation about the future of the university without regard for direct involvement in post-secondary education.

This conference is the third of a series of regional conferences designed to lay the foundation for growing supportive networks of practitioners using contemplative practices in education, research, business, and community programs through synergistic interactions, particularly within the mid-Atlantic region. The previous conferences are:

Contemplative Learning and Research in Higher Education
Charlottesville, VA,
May 29, 2015

Contemplative Practices for Technological Society
Blacksburg, VA
April 11-13, 2013

Download a conference flyer: CPTCUFlyer.pdf

Keynote Speakers

Marvin G. Belzer, Ph.D
Associate Director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC)
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Mo Edjlali
Co-Founder Founder of Mindful Leader Inc., producers of the Mindful Leadership Summit
Virginia Tech alumnus (ECE, '98)

Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN
Dean of the School of Nursing
Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing
Associate Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Virginia Health Systems
University of Virginia

David Sable, PhD
Department of Religious Studies
Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Conference Information

Location: The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center

Registration includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments on Friday and morning refreshments on Saturday as well as any workshop materials.

See Registration Page for fees and to register for the conference.

Special Event
The conference registration fee includes a Reception at the Center for the Arts.

Call for Papers

We invite contributions on contemplative practices within a university setting in the following areas (but not limited to)

Educational pedagogy in higher education
Research in science, technology, arts and humanities
Art, installations, and technology demonstrations with focus on contemplative practice
Leadership and business, particularly within university administrations
Health and wellness
The environment and sustainability
Student residential communities
Student life

Paper submission has closed.


Visit the Sponsors page for information on conference sponsorship.

Preconference Workshops

Preconference workshops do not require registration for the full conference.

The Art of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Prof Alan Forrest, Radford University
Prof Angela Cardenos, Radford University

The Inn at Virginia Tech
March 10, 2016, 2:00-5:00 pm

The Art of the Brush
Chinese Calligraphy as a Contemplative and Healing Practice

Marlow Brooks, Naropa University, Boulder, CO

The Perspectives Gallery, Squires Student Center, Virginia Tech
March 10, 2016; 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Related Events

Contemplative Practices for Higher Education
Radford’s University’s Selu Center
October 31, 2015, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Contemplative Practices
Registration closes October 27

Mindfulness: Foundation for Teaching and Learning
9th Annual Conference
March 4-6, 2016
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education
Naropa University, Boulder, CO
March 18-20, 2016

Mindful Life Conference
April 28 - May 1, 2016
Washington, DC Area

Creating a Mindful Campus 2016:
Resilience: Self, Campus and Community, Planet

May 23 - 24, 2016
UNC Asheville

Contact: Prof Douglas K Lindner -


Continuing and Professional Education @ Virginia Tech