A Message from Catherine Koverola, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend the International
Symposium for Contemplative Studies here in Boston. I was joined by
1,700 fellow attendees -- a number of whom were Lesley affiliates – in
learning from leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of
contemplative practice and neuroscience. There were hundreds of
workshops, lectures, and sessions to choose from, as well as incredible
keynotes from mindful thought leaders such as Diana Chapman Walsh,
Arianna Huffington, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Presenters from a
dynamic variety of backgrounds came together to explore the ways in
which contemplative theory and practice can impact diverse communities
across the globe.
Along with being an eager attendee, I
was also a presenter. GSASS faculty Susan Gere, Laurie Cozad, Nancy
Waring, and I facilitated a panel discussion entitled “The Tears of a
Scholar: Bringing Mindfulness into Higher Education,” focused on the
history, development, and launching of Lesley’s M.A. in Mindfulness
Studies. I was honored to be in the company of my colleagues as we
spoke about the ways in which we aim to integrate the heart of ancient
practices for awareness and transformation with scholarly rigor and
critical inquiry. Despite the ever-shifting economic climate, I truly
believe it is an exciting time for higher education.
of climates, we find ourselves transitioning from autumn to the quiet
of winter. Though many find these months especially long and often
arduous, I’m looking forward to the opportunity for reflection and
contemplation this “hibernation” period offers. Over the next few
months I plan to delve deeper into the idea of compassion. How can we
speak the truth with compassion, when the truth can be difficult? How do we truly bear witness to the other, and ourselves?
always, I will draw inspiration from you, our alums. GSASS alums
practice compassion every day through the work you do. As artists,
practitioners, educators, and leaders, you bear witness to the world
around you, and strive to improve it through creativity, critical
thinking, and community enrichment. The Mindfulness degree may be new,
but self-reflection, compassion, and mindful intention have been the
foundation of the GSASS experience from the very beginning.
Warm wishes to you and yours this holiday season. As always, do keep in touch.
Catherine KoverolaDean, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences
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