Sophomore Seminars

Heartfulness: Mindfulness, Compassion, and Responsibility

Please note: Effective 8/25, CSRE 47Q will be meeting in Autumn on Wednesdays from 1:30pm-4:30pm.

How does the "Mindfulness Revolution" declared by the cover of Time magazine in 2014 affect you as a person seeking a life of meaning, success, and fulfillment? We will learn how mindfulness, a practice of bringing attention and awareness to the present moment, has swept the nation from health care and education to Silicon Valley and Stanford. We will examine how mindfulness is supported by an increasingly robust science of its practice and effects on our biology, psychology, and social interactions. Our inquiry is based in integrating embodied practice, experiential learning, and creative expression into cutting-edge scholarship, including cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Our class activities and assignments include journaling, mindfulness practices, and expressive arts, including drama, music, and improvisation. We will take a field trip to experience how arts such as dancing and drumming can enhance learning about self and others. When you have completed this seminar, you will have greater understanding of the science of finding focus in a stressed out, multitasking culture. You will have learned ways of acting in groups emphasizing appreciative intelligence and connected knowing that will be invaluable multicultural, global skills. You will also be able to practice mindfulness as a way of enhancing well-being, interacting compassionately with others, and engaging in socially responsible actions as global citizens.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Stephen Murpy Shigematsu

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

"I love teaching this course because I deeply believe that it helps young people find focus in a stressed out, multitasking culture. I have taught similar courses at Harvard and Tokyo University and have seen it nurture multicultural, global skills by expanding our ways of knowing and ways of being. I am a psychologist who values the importance of developing the practice of mindfulness to enhance well-being, to be compassionate with others, and to engage responsibly as local and global citizens."