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Center for Contemplative Studies


Contact Center for Contemplative Studies  

Center for Contemplative Studies

Contact Info:
Donald McCown
Associate Professor

Christine Moriconi
Associate Professor

700 S. Church St.
West Chester, PA 19383
(across from Anderson Hall)

Phone: 610-436-2200

The Center for Contemplative Studies will be closed to daily programming for the Summer. However, we will be offering a Mindfulness Meditation course and yoga on a weekly basis for part of the Summer.


Stress Buster Day
  • Stress Buster Day
  • Center for Contemplative Studies
  • 700 S. Church St. Room 101
  • Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 | 10:30am - 4:00pm

Come join us for a day full of FREE stress busters, giveaways, and THERAPY DOGS! Relax before finals with mindful meditation, arts and crafts, traditional yoga, or trap yoga!

Outdoor Activities: Soca Music: Rep Your Flag Day!, Mindful Art All Day, Muddy Puddles "The Dog Therapy" 12:00-2:00pm, Mindful Pong 1:00-2:00pm, Trap Yoga 2:00-3:00pm

Indoor Activities: Meditation 10:30-11:30am and 1:00-2:00pm, Yoga 12:00-1:00pm, Aikido Principles 3:00-3:30pm

View the 'Stress Buster Day' flyer

A Mindfulness Toolkit For Educators

Mindful Toolkit

Presented by: the WCU Center for Contemplative Studies

  • Four Workshop Dates Available
  • 9:00am to 3:00pm - Lunch Included
  • December 2 • January 20 • February 3 • April 21
    • Establish or refresh your personal mindfulness practice
    • Review the theory and science of mindfulness in schools
    • Learn to lead mindfulness practices with students

This six-hour workshop will get you started in working with students with mindfulness—one-on-one in counseling situations or in the classroom. The key to effective teaching of mindfulness is to know the subject well, so your own practice is of paramount importance. We’ll get you started with direct instruction, plus support for your home practice through handouts and recordings.

Mindfulness in schools has its own fast-growing scientific and pedagogical literature. We’ll take a look at the highlights, and go deep into what really counts in building relationships and community. There is a specific skill set for leading mindfulness practices in front of a class, or with an individual. We’ll spend lots of time learning practices and teaching them back, so you’ll feel ready to go!

Four dates will let you find a time that works for you—to bring the benefits of mindfulness practice to yourself—and the students you work with!

View the 'A Mindfulness Toolkit For Educators' flyer
Register for A Mindfulness Toolkit For Educators
Second Saturday Seminar Series Presents Michael Gawrysiak, PhD, 'Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness-based Interventions for the Treatment of Addictions'
  • Second Saturday Seminar Series Presents Michael Gawrysiak, PhD, "Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness-based Interventions for the Treatment of Addictions
  • April 14th, 10:00-12:00pm at the Center for Contemplative Studies

Despite decades of research and the availability of behavioral and pharmacological interventions to address drug and alcohol use disorders, addiction is still characterized as a chronic, relapsing condition. An estimated 60-80% of individuals relapse within 12 months following addiction treatment. Emerging research suggests that mindfulness-based interventions reduce relapse vulnerability by enhancing one’s ability to more adaptively cope with drug-craving and challenging emotions. This seminar will discuss mindfulness, its incorporation into traditional relapse prevention interventions, and the research supporting the use of such interventions. This seminar will also discuss real-world applications of mindfulness-based techniques to assist those struggling with addiction.

Dr. Gawrsiak is Assistant Professor of Psychology at West Chester University and Instructor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in 2014 where he worked within the Centers for Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. His research focuses on understanding brain and behavioral features of addiction and post traumatic stress. Currently, he is studying brain and behavioral changes associated with the intervention, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. Dr. Gawrysiak is extensively trained in mindfulness-based interventions and is experienced leading mindfulness groups for various medical and mental health disorders.

Register for the Second Saturday Seminar Series

2nd Annual PASSHE Mindfulness Conference

Mindful Conference

This conference will be an opportunity for PASSHE member schools to come together and guide each other in the implementation of mindfulness across the state system. The theme this year is diversity which we will expand on in different presentations and break out groups. We will explore the intersectionality of mindfulness and contemplative practices and issues of inclusion and diversity. This conference is a great opportunity for professional development and networking with mindfulness leaders across the state.

Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: Jeffrey P. Bishop, MD, PhD 'Neuroscience, Virtue, and Vice'
  • Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: Jeffrey P. Bishop, MD, PhD "Neuroscience, Virtue, and Vice"
  • April 19th 2018 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm in Brandywine Hall, Room 033, 709 S. New Street

This talk will explore some of the recent literature in the neuroscience of morality. It will show that often the claims made by neuroscientific research into morality are political in origin. This political dimension sometimes shapes the kinds of claims made about the neuroscience of prosocial and antisocial behavior, and opens the possibility of the neuroscientific control of behavior.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Bishop is a social and moral philosopher, teaching medical ethics and philosophy at Saint Louis University. He is also a physician. Prof. Bishop holds the Tenet Endowed Chair in Health Care Ethics and is the Director of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics.

Register for "Neuroscience, Virtue, and Vice"
Balance and Being: Foundations of Mindfulness
  • Afternoon Mindfulness Meditation: Reggie Smith - "Balance and Being: Foundations of Mindfulness"
  • Three-session series from 1:00-1:30 Mondays for three weeks

All are welcome! No experience necessary!

Opening Day

Join the Center for Contemplative Studies on our 2nd Annual Opening Day! We will have a variety of mindful activities including Yoga, Meditation, Aikido Principles--and our NEW MINDFUL ART practice! Classes are ALWAYS free and we are also providing some opening day giveaways and treats. Welcome home!

Saturday Seminar at the CCS
  • Saturday Seminar at the CCS: Poetry and the Contemplative Life: A Morning of Mindful Listening
  • February 10th 10am-12pm at the CCS

Lyric poetry is the language of the ancient contemplative traditions and contemporary practitioners. Join us as we explore poems that have touched hearts and minds over the centuries and just right now. We'll use mindfulness practice to tune in and find out how we each respond in body and mind to classic lyrics and the latest experiments. We'll listen, engage in dialogue, and—if inspiration arises, reply in our own styles. Rest assured that you'll encounter poems from across the mystical traditions of the world, as well as surprises from the deep well of poetry in English today.

Dr. Don McCown is Associate Professor of Health and Co-Director of the Center for Contemplative Studies at West Chester University. Over the past two decades, he has taught mindfulness-based interventions at Thomas Jefferson University, Won Institute of Graduate Studies, and in the post-graduate program in Family Therapy at Council for Relationships. He is author of "The Ethical Space of the Mindfulness-Based Interventions," primary author of Teaching Mindfulness: A practical guide for clinicians and educators" and "New World Mindfulness: From the Founding Fathers, Emerson, and Thoreau to Your Personal Practice," and primary editor of "Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook.""

Register for Poetry and the Contemplative Life: A Morning of Mindful Listening
Stress Buster Day
  • Stress Buster Day
  • Center for contemplative Studies
  • 700 S. Church St.
  • Monday December 11th, 2017

Yoga: 8:00-9:00am
Tai Chi: 9:00-10:00am
Meditation: 10:00-1:30am
Mindful Art: 10:30-11:00am
Yoga: 11:00-12:00pm
Aikido Principles: 12:00-1:00pm
Meditation: 1:00-1:30pm
Mindful Art: 1:30-2:00pm
Yoga: 2:00-3:00pm
Meditation: 3:00-3:30pm
Mindful Art: 3:30-4:00pm

View the 'Stress Buster Day' flyer
  • Mindful Teachers at the CCS
  • Thursday 11/16 4-5pm

(formerly Teacher Tuesdays) Led by Lisa Lucas by teachers and for teachers. This is your space to sit, stretch, be…

  • Saturday Seminar at the CCS: TBA
  • Saturday 11/11 10am-12pm
Open Mic Night at the CCS
  • Open Mic Night at the CCS
  • Friday 11/3 4-6pm

The CCS will host a free open mic night at the Center from 4-6pm with FREE PIZZA and live entertainment.

Saturday Seminar at the CCS
  • Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: Dr. Wayne Jonas at Philip's Autograph Library- "How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal"
  • Thursday 11/2 6-8pm

We now know that most of health – possibly up to 80% – comes from factors outside of what happens in the doctor’s office. In fact, healing comes mostly from inside ourselves, from our own inherent capacity to heal. But how do we awaken that capacity? The primary determinants of health involve factors in four dimensions – mind/spirit, social/emotional, behavior/lifestyle, and the physical environment. However, these are factors that too few clinicians learn to deliver. How can we integrate these dimensions into our health system to move beyond medical treatment to health creation?

In this talk, Dr. Jonas will describe a simple, systematic approach that helps patients tap into their inherent healing capacity. Through personal stories from 40 years as a family physician and drawing on the most rigorous scientific evidence available, Dr. Jonas will show that shifting the patient/doctor encounter to focus on the whole patient and their environment can quickly move us toward integrative health that enhances healing and reduces chronic disease. He will also incorporate case studies from some of the most pioneering health systems in America—including the U.S. military—that integrate health coaching, movement, and nutrition, as well as practices such as energy medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga into what they provide.


  • Mindful Teachers at the CCS
  • Thursday 10/19 4-5pm

(formerly Teacher Tuesdays) Led by Lisa Lucas by teachers and for teachers. This is your space to sit, stretch, be…

Saturday Seminar at the CCS
  • Saturday Seminar at the CCS: Niel Rosen "Physicians as Patients: Recapitulating Professional Responsibilities"
  • Saturday 10/14 10am-12pm

"My talk develops Edmund Pellegrino's account of medicine's ideals. Pellegrino begins with the clinical encounter: the meeting between a person who is ill and a person who professes to heal. I will unpack its moral structure by asking what Pellegrino means when he calls the encounter a healing relationship. My answer attends to the “passive” aspects of a physician's agency. Physicians are patients when they receive the person who is ill. This reception prefigures the responsibility of physicians. Thinking about physicians as patients also provides basic insights into their fiduciary obligations, to individual patients and to the public at large."

Take three minutes to hear Edmund Pellegrino's radical, moral perspective on the responsibility of all health care professionals to individual patients and the public. Inspiration for Niel Rosen's Second Saturday Seminar for the Center for Contemplative Studies.

Purchase Tickets

Looking Up: Fall Stars Evoke Wonder
  • Planetarium Event: "Looking UP"
  • Thursday 10/12 4-5pm

Fall stars evoke wonder. Star gazing the fall sky at the planetarium. This is an exploration, a universal reminder to come into this moment. View the Flyer

Register for the Planetarium Event

  • Wake up and Welcome: Open House at the Center for Contemplative Studies
  • Friday 9/22 2-5pm

Percussionist Sean Kennedy will introduce Deep Listening all around you. Great way to start the semester!!

  • Mindful Teachers at the CCS
  • Thursday 9/14 4-5pm

(formerly Teacher Tuesdays) Led by Lisa Lucas by teachers and for teachers. This is your space to sit, stretch, be…

Saturday Seminar at the CCS
  • Saturday Seminar at the CCS: Don McCown "Atmospherics: Reaching Another Level in Mindfulness-Based Teaching"
  • Saturday 9/9 10am-12pm

The atmosphere in the room is the key resource for growth in teaching. This talk explores the concept of atmosphere from a range of viewpoints, to better understand the kind of knowing that teachers develop from inside the community of the class. They become instruments that measure the unmeasurable—the emotional temperature, the unfolding of mindfulness, the level of intensity, the potential for transformation. Teachers who are tuned in know more than they can say—and can choose to act from that knowledge. Most important this experience of communion, of community, sends teachers and participants into the world beyond the classroom as potential catalysts for reshaping the small and large communities to which they belong. Perhaps good teaching really can change the world!

Purchase Tickets