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Contemplative Studies & Practice

While WVU does not offer a Contemplative Studies program, this guide will connect you to resources that support awareness and introspection. Find resources related to Pedagogy, Philosophy, Religion/Faith, Mindfulness, Science, and Health/Well-being.

What is contemplation?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a simple definition of contemplation is "the act of thinking deeply about something" or "the act of looking carefully at something". Contemplation may be expressed as reflection or introspection. 

Contemplative studies are those academic disciplines founded on inquiry, often emphasizing experiential learning. Often interdisciplinary and still evolving, examples can be found in Art, Education, Philosophy, Psychology, and Religious Studies.

Finally, contemplative practices are any techniques that allow an individual or group to fully and deeply connect with an experience, idea, or place with the purpose of creating a space for contemplation. Though not intended as a comprehensive representation, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society's Tree of Contemplative Practices (below) does an excellent job of highlighting various forms of practice.

The Heart of Contemplative Practice