April 2, 2020

The Virtual Center for Contemplative Studies Is Open

WCU Contemplative Center“Contemplative practice is a way of being close, even as we practice social distancing,” says Don McCown, associate professor of health, director of the minor in contemplative studies, and director of the University’s Center for Contemplative Studies.

And so, in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Contemplative Studies is offering free daily practices, both live and recorded, via Zoom. McCown leads a 30-miniute meditation and dialogue Monday through Thursday at 9 a.m. There are sessions featuring yoga, mindful movement and dialogue as well as shared reading and discussion. While most of these and other daytime sessions have always been free and open to the public, now they’re available in real time to a wider audience.

The sessions are intended to help users stay in the present moment, to see the moment more clearly, and to stay connected with others, McCown notes. He suggests that watching and listening to these skilled presenters and participating in calming, mindful practices with others online could create a comforting community in these turbulent times. “Perhaps that’s just the skill we need to cultivate now to maintain our emotional balance and physical wellness, to stay focused and clear-minded in our academic pursuits, and to care for our ourselves and our community.”

Now may be the right time to try out a new practice to relax, bring awareness to the present moment, and support your mental and physical wellbeing. Explore the center’s schedule and an ever-growing assortment of recorded practices to use any time.

Specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has included a link to a list of regional, national, and global resources (with links) to keep abreast of the science of this global event and bring it into context.

McCown welcomes suggestions and feedback via email to ccs@wcupa.edu.

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