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Mission

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Title

Mission
The mission of the Contemplative Sciences Center (CSC) is combining contemplation, connection, and research to enhance flourishing. We pursue this mission through a variety of programs and initiatives in academic classrooms, residential life, research, scholarship, and social innovation.  
 
We think of flourishing as a process of realizing well-being by achieving deep states of health and actualization of potential in all aspects of life—physical, social, emotional, cognitive, academic, and professional. To flourish also means actively contributing to the well-being and flourishing of other people, other communities, and the natural world and requires authentic connection and engagement with others within our community and beyond. 
 
CSC undertakes and publishes research related to well-being, flourishing, and contemplation in K-12 and higher education including the Compassionate Schools Project and the  Journal of Contemplative Studies.
 
Contemplation is a key facilitator of flourishing. We define contemplation as practices and orientations that transform and enhance persons, communities, and worlds; and or set conditions so those aspects emerge. These include sophisticated mind-body practices for well-being, insight, and compassion, as well as deeply reflective, immersive modes of learning. 

Jack Korngold, CSC intern, received mentorship from Journal of Contemplative Studies editors and conducted research of the publication interview series, "What is Contemplation." Based on this research and his own experiences, this is how he defines contemplation. 
Contemplation is a profound practice that goes beyond mere thinking or meditation. It involves engaging with the world deeply, using our entire being—mind, body, and spirit—to gain insights and transform ourselves. Thomas Merton likened it to seeing with our whole being rather than just our minds. It is about attentive observation, understanding, and self-awareness, fostering a connection to our surroundings and a deeper understanding of reality. Muhammad Faruque, a professor of Islam, described it as a cognitive and spiritual activity that unites the mind, body, and spirit in personal transformation. Contemplative practices, encompassing meditation and self-reflection, cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation for life's nuances, fostering a sense of interconnectedness with the world around us. This interconnectedness also extends to our communities, linking individuals through shared experiences of contemplation and a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives and emotions. In today's context, contemplative studies explore these practices across various disciplines, emphasizing their universal human aspects and their role in enhancing our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.