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Cardinal Courses
Courses for credit

Contemplative Competence for Sustainability of Public and Planetary Health and Well-being

Quarter-long course
Contemplative Competence for Sustainability of Public and Planetary Health and Well-being
This course is a Cardinal Course certified by the Haas Center. Through a contemplative approach, this course cultivates students' capacity to take skillful action to address climate change. Effective engagement with the daunting complexity inherent in the climate crisis requires calm contemplative competence. The science of mindfulness, resilience, emotional intelligence, and compassion are explored in terms of their roles in supporting pro-environmental behaviors, policies, and programs for personal, public, and planetary health and well-being. Emerging research at the intersection of contemplation and climate science calls for individual insight and transformation to strengthen/restore/heal the human-earth relationship. Contemplative research indicates that the extension of mindful compassion beyond oneself can improve health at the public and planetary level, in addition to the individual level. Contemplative practices effective for promoting mental health in relation to eco-despair and eco-anxiety are addressed (including but not limited to nature-based centering, resilience-building mindfulness and loving kindness meditations, forest bathing, qigong, reflections on human-earth interconnectedness, and gratitude journaling.) Contemplative practices can prevent the burnout, avoidance, and disturbance of daily functioning that can arise from eco-anxiety. Moreover, research indicates contemplative practices can sustain altruistic behaviors that enhance mutual flourishing of people and the planet. Through study of contemplative neuroscience and behavioral science, students will develop/deepen their abilities for awareness, self-modulation, equanimity, self-transcendence, and compassion in caring for Earth. These skills will be discussed and applied to public health and climate change for effective behavioral action in a final class project. Modes of inquiry and class activities include contemplative, scientific, indigenous, artistic, verbal, visual, kinesthetic, sensory, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, and relational. Through diverse learning experiences, students will develop the empathy, discernment, and wisdom necessary for initiating and implementing solutions to the climate crisis. Course material equips students with knowledge from national and international leaders in the emerging field of contemplation, public health, and sustainability.





January 7, 2024 | 11:00 PM
* This Application Deadline has passed

Open To

Graduate Students

Cardinal Service Notation
Students who complete three Cardinal Courses are eligible for the Cardinal Service transcript notation. Learn more

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