CCE: Voices from our Community

Contemplative Science Symposium 2019: Education Panel

At our Contemplative Science Symposium in 2019, experts discussed the role of education in today's society and its development towards integration of more contemplative elements. The panel was led by Andreas Roepstorff and included the following speakers: Katherine Weare, Mary-Helen Immordino-Yang, Jamila Tressel and Dan Siegel.

We thank our partner Auditorium Netzwerk for providing free access to this video.

Mindfulness in Schools Conference (June 20, 2020)

This talk was held by Katherine Weare (Principal Investigator of the Community of Contemplative Education) at the Mindfulness in Schools Conference on June 20, 2020.

Katherine Weare, United Kingdom

Katherine Weare, Principal Investigator of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) at Mind & Life Europe talks about the richness of education that goes beyond conventional ways of schooling and is closely linked to what matters to contemplatives, e.g. questions of human values, compassion and kindness or the ability to make sense of the world.

I've been very struck with working across the fields of education and mindfulness about how both fields don't always understand the sheer depth and complexity of one another. - Katherine Weare, United Kingdom

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Paloma Sainz, Spain

In this video, Paloma Sainz, current member of the Community of Contemplative Edcuation (CCE), talks about her personal experience in the area of mindfulness and how she travelled the world to learn more about its application in schools.

And then the big connection we have between all human beings. We are so, so similar. (...) We all want to be in a safe place, loved, and that's why I'm doing what I'm doing now. - Paloma Sainz, Spain

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Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir, Iceland

Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir from Iceland talks about her work related to research on a holistic approach in education which needs to include contemplative elements. Being a member of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE), she feels a connection based on the joint passion for the topic of wellbeing in education.

I believe there is no education without educating the mind and the heart, educating the whole child. (...) We don't know what skills future occupations will need, but we know that the world needds good people with good social and emotional skills. - Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir, Iceland

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Hans Burghardt, Spain

Hans Burghardt teaches mainly Buddhist philosophy and is involved in bringing SEE learning into Spain. He talks about how the potential to be compassionate and become ethical human beings is not explicitly included in education today - and how Contemplative Education can offer the tools, the knowledge and the space to let students find out who they are.

(...) for me it's pretty clear that Contemplative Education is education par excellence. It is great to have education to train ourself, develop our technical skills, scientific skills, but somehow I have the feeling that we have focus on what we are. We are human beings, we are social beings. - Hans Burghardt, Spain

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Salla-Maarit Volanen, Finland

Salla-Maarit Volanen from Finland is a leader and researcher for healthy learning and explores the effects of mindfulness practices in the school context. Moreover, she also teaches mindfulness to teachers, educators and students across the whole educational sector from primary schools to administration.

(...) To me, education should start from strengthening and establishing our attention which is the building block of all learning, including also so-called future meta-skills such as curiosity, collaboration, resilience and self-regulation skills. - Salla-Maarit Volanen, Finland

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Pilar Aguilera, Spain

Pilar Aguilera talks about her own experience of applying contemplative studies in the field of education. Not only students, but also teachers can gain great value like increased focus, more enthusiasm and less stress.

Mindfulness and contemplative education is a key aspect in schools today. From my experience (...) I have seen that when teachers practice mindfulness, they feel calmer and more grounded, they are more innovative and enthusiastic about teaching. - Pilar Aguilera, Spain

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Kami Dvorakova, Czech Republic

Kami Dvorakova talks about her work related to projects in mindfulnes and mental health in education. The main reason she chose to work in mindfulness-based education is her interest in progress.

We need to wake up to the reality that the traditional educational system does not serve the whole child. Math and history are not enough. - Kami Dvorakova, Czech Republic

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Orlaith O'Sullivan, Ireland

In her work, Orlaith O'Sullivan supports people to practise mindfulness and cultivate happiness, especially in the context of education. Her aim is to create happier communites.

So we learn how to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of everyone else in our life. (...) When we create a space where everyone can participate just as they are, at their level, then it's true inclusion. - Orlaith O'Sullivan, Ireland

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Vera Kaltwasser, Germany

Vera Kaltwasser from Germany is a qualified MBSR teacher and has been working in teacher training for a long time. Together with colleagues, she's started to interweave mindfulness into teacher training.

It is very important that teachers - before they convey the attitude of mindfulness to their students - that they themselves really embody mindfulness, so that they can become a role model by being really present.- Vera Kaltwasser, Germany

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Helle Jensen, Germany

How can Contemplative Education (CE) can support us during challenging times? Helle Jensen talks about the program she's involved in as well as about particular issues during the pandemic.

We work at the ability to create, maintain and, when necessary, restore healthy and mutually beneficial relationships. - Helle Jensen, Germany

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Oren Ergas, Israel

Oren Ergas is involved in research and teaching of contemplative practices in higher education in general and specifically in teacher education. He talks about what might mindfulness practice can contribute to teaching in the classroom.

What makes me work in this field? It all begins with my personal journey into these practices that has begun over twenty years ago, struggling to figure out life. (...) - Oren Ergas, Israel

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Rony Berger, Israel

Rony Berger, from the Compassion and Mindfulness Center at Tel Aviv University, talks about the development of a social-emotional and contemplative practices program to be implemented in schools around Israel.

We know that contemplative practices are very useful on an individual basis - I know it from my own personal experience as well as from my colleagues. - Rony Berger, Israel

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Hai Nguyen Phuoc, Vietnam

Hai Nguyen Phuoc from Vietnam talks about the Happy Schools Project centered around mindfulness where students and teachers learn how to care for themselves and care for others.

We want to create a place where students can contribute to a sustainable society. - Hai Nguyen Phuoc, Vietnam

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Presence and Empathy in Public Schools. A Film about Relational Competence

This film on the "Relational Competence Project" was produced at the Teacher Education in Aarhus. The video is in Danish with English subtitles.



Current events of the CCE

EVENT TYPETOPIC (click on the title to learn more)EXPERT / HOSTDATE
PresentationThe Community of Contemplative Education (CCE)

Prof. Katherine Weare

Principal Investigator CCE, MInd & Life Europe

September 15, 2018


Presentation (online)

Teacher training for mindfulness and empathy in education

Dr. Arist von Hehn presented the AVE Institute Teacher Education Programme in Germany, which has been going now for a few years and to my mind has a very distinctive whole school approach from which we all might learn. It focuses on training teachers to help lead their schools in integrating mindfulness and empathy into classroom processes, and on outreach to parents and the school administration, to not only improve wellbeing and learning but in ways that may help shift the very culture of the school. 

Dr. Arist von Hehn

AVE Institut gGmbH

April 20, 2020:

12:30 CEST

Presentation (online)

Empathie macht Schule

“Empathie macht Schule” is a model project at three primary schools in Berlin, Germany, which has several unusual and innovative features that will be of interest to those developing mindfulness based approaches in schools within the context of social and emotional learning and a whole school approach. This presentation will outline the theoretical base for the programme - that children learn better when adults succeed in building a sincere relationship with them, and for that adults need relationship competencies, empathy and mindfulness and the willingness to reflect on difficult situations. We will explore how the project teaches teachers to use mindfulness practice and dialogue to enhance the empathy, compassion and presence in the school/classroom in an attempt to create a sound environment for wellbeing, learning and development, including in challenging situations. We will outline how we are evaluating the project using an innovative mixed method research design approach.

Helle Jensen & Corina Aguilar-Raab


June 25, 2020:

15:00 CEST

Presentation (online)

SEE Learning

SEE learning (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning) is a ground breaking SEL programme for 5 -18 year olds, which contains a unique combination of evidence based components on social and emotional learning,mindfulness/attention training, the cultivation of compassion for self and others, resiliency skills based on trauma-informed care, systems thinking, and ethical discernment. It contains age-specific curricula for early and late elementary, middle school and a high school curriculum is under development. SEE Learning is the culmination of over two decades of academic cross-cultural collaboration between Emory University and the Dalai Lama, who has long called for an education of heart and mind. If you would like more information and download of the free SEE Learning materials please visit the website:

Mikkel Kristiansen, Hans Burghardt & Tyralynn Frazier


September 17, 2020


15:00 CEST


Please note: these presentations are directed towards current active members of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE). If you wish to participate in one of the upcoming presentations, please send an e-mail to office(at)


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Katherine Weare, United Kingdom (part 1 + part 2)

Prof. Katherine Weare's presentations (part 1 + 2) at the inaugural CCE meeting September 2018. To view the full presentations please click on it.

AVE Institut, Germany


This presentation was done as part of Mind & Life Europe's Community of Contemplative Education (CCE). It was held by Arist von Hehn of the AVE Institut für Achtsamkeit Verbundenheit Engagement about their Teacher Training Modules. To view the full presentation please click on it.

'Empathie macht Schule' - Whole school approach, Germany

This presentation was done as part of Mind & Life Europe's Community of Contemplative Education (CCE). It was held by Helle Jensen & Corina Aguilar-Raab on the whole school approach project 'Empathie macht Schule'. To view the full presentation please click on it.

Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning (SEEL)

This presentation was done as part of Mind & Life Europe's Community of Contemplative Education (CCE). It was held by Mikkel Kristiansen, Hans Burghardt and Tyralynn Frazier on September 17, 2020. To view the full presentations and the video of this call, please click on it.