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This article examines a recurring phenomenon in students’ experience of contemplation in contemplative and transformative education. This ground-of-being phenomenon, which has been reported by students in higher and adult education settings, is a formative aspect of the positive changes they reported. It is examined here to highlight the ways in which the depth of felt or precognitive meaning that can occur in contemplative education impacts these changes. The subtlety and range of contemplative experience is described through the ground-of-being experience as a means to support the call from contemplative and transformative education theorists for pedagogies that include the subjective and contemplative.

How we know is as important as what we know. However, contemporary pedagogy and curriculum generally exclude a fundamental way of knowing—the contemplative—from any viable role in education in favor of a rational and empirical approach. As a result, few mainstream teachers or curriculum planners have explicitly integrated the contemplative into the classroom. Yet, contemplative knowing has been described as fundamental to the quest for knowledge and wisdom and complementary to analytic processing. The present article offers educators a rationale for returning the contemplative to education by summarizing research on the impact of contemplation on learning and behavior. It then provides a range of specific approaches for teachers that can be easily integrated into existing curriculum from elementary to university levels. The result of such integration transforms learning and the learner while affecting the very practical concerns of mainstream education.
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A cardinal dimension of adult development and the learning most uniquely adult pertains to becoming aware that one is caught in one's own history and is reliving it. This leads to a process of perspective transforma tion involving a structural change in the way we see ourselves and our rela tionships. If the culture permits, we move toward perspectives which are more inclusive, discriminating and integrative of experience. We move away from uncritical, organic relationships toward contractual relation ships with others, institutions and society. Perspective transformation refor mulates the criteria for valuing and for taking action. Behavior change is often a function of such transformation. In this emerging transformation theory, adult education finds its own inherent goals and functions.

The aim of this article is to investigate how a contemplative orientation to teaching may facilitate wholeness for teachers and students through a portrait of Diana, a kindergarten teacher working in a contemplative elementary school. The portrait, one of three portraits from a larger study, illustrates three central features of contemplative teaching: compassion, integrity, and mindful awareness. These three central features develop internally within individual teachers and are animated and influenced externally through their role as teachers. The context of their teaching, relationships with students, parents, and colleagues, and pedagogical choices, in turn influence the three central features. The emphasis on wholeness, unity, and integration of a contemplative orientation to teaching moves us toward a view of teachers and students as beings with not only minds and heads but also hearts and bodies. Contemplative teaching offers educational communities a path toward transformational, holistic, and integrative learning and teaching.