Centre for Contemplative Practices
We envision cultural heritage that promotes the exploration of meaning, purpose and values and seeks to serve our common human future. Heritage that enables and enhances personal introspection and contemplation leads to the realisation of our inextricable connection to each other, opening the heart and mind to true community, deeper insight, sustainable living, and a more just society.
Though powerful and vitally important, the conventional methods of scientific research, pedagogy, and critical scholarship need to be broadened. The experiential methods developed within the contemplative traditions offer a rich set of tools for exploring the mind, the heart, and the world. When they are combined with conventional practices, an enriched research methodology becomes available for deepening and enlarging perspectives, leading to lasting solutions to the problems we confront. None of these methods require an ideology or creed and each is available equally to all.
We envision cultural heritage as an opportunity to cultivate a deep personal and social awareness in order to stimulate inquiry into what is most meaningful to us as interconnected human beings. We seek to recast the traditional foundations for heritage studies and practices into a truly integrative, transformative, and communal enterprise that is wholly open and inclusive of all backgrounds and that cultivates each person in the fullest possible way.
Zscheiplitz Centre for Contemplative Practices transforms our cultural heritage by supporting and encouraging the use of contemplative/introspective practices and perspectives to create active learning and research environments that look deeply into experience and meaning for all in service of a more just and compassionate society.
Tree of Contemplative Practices
The roots symbolise the two intentions that are the foundation of all contemplative practices. The roots of the tree encompass and transcend differences in the religious traditions from which many of the practices originated, and allow room for the inclusion of new practices that are being created in secular contexts.
The branches represent different groupings of practices. For example, Stillness Practices focus on quieting the mind and body in order to develop calmness and focus. Generative Practices may come in many different forms but share the common intent of generating thoughts and feelings, such as thoughts of devotion and compassion, rather than calming and quieting the mind. (Please note that such classifications are not definitive, and many practices could be included in more than one category.)
Activities not included on the tree (including those which may seem mundane, such as gardening or eating) may be understood to be contemplative practices when done with the intent of cultivating awareness and wisdom.