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Meditation, Creativity, and Consciousness: Charting Future Terrain Within Higher Education


by Ed Sarath — 2006

This article explores the role of contemplative practices within an emerging interdisciplinary area that I refer to as "creativity and consciousness studies." Within this new area, consciousness is studied from an "integral" perspective that brings together insights from a range of wisdom traditions and modern science. Meditation is presented as an essential first-person modality for investigating consciousness, and formal and nonformal approaches to meditation are delineated to establish important guidelines for the introduction of meditation into an academic setting. The role of "first-person" experience helps to develop new notions of rigor and interdisciplinary learning that can lead to an expanded educational experience, which can help to develop qualities such as mental clarity, inner calm, insight, compassion, and creativity. The article closes with reflections on the importance of expanding our approach to education in light of the demanding challenges and creative opportunities in today's world.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 9, 2006, p. 1816-1841
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12683, Date Accessed: 10/31/2014 10:15:39 AM

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About the Author
  • Ed Sarath
    University of Michigan
    E-mail Author
    ED SARATH is professor of music and chair of the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Studies at the University of Michigan. He is also director of Michigan’s newly established Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies. His theoretical and pedagogical work is published in Innovative Higher Education, Religion and Education, Journal of Music Theory, New Directions in Higher Education, and the Handbook for Research in Music Education. He is also active internationally as a performer, composer, and recording artist. His most recent recording is New Beginnings, featuring the London Jazz Orchestra performing his compositions.
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