MLE Initiatives: Education

What is the Community of Contemplative Education?

The Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) was initiated by Mind & Life Europe in 2018 with the goal of creating a sustainable and vibrant community of the leading pioneers and experts to enhance collective learning and implementation around contemplative education in Europe to cultivate human flourishing through education. There is a great deal of excellent work on contemplative and mindfulness based approaches happening out there across Europe, in schools, universities, and the community, supported by change makers and even politicians in some countries, but it is at present scattered and incoherent without enough interchange and mutual learning. So this community aims to bring together and support this vital work.

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Consultation Report: Developing the CCE in Europe

During 2018, more than 130 experts and change makers completed our survey or were interviewed to explore the landscape of Contemplative Education (CE) across Europe.

We created a fascinating report, click on it below, to get the Community going. It covers the following themes:

- What is CE? Why do we use the term ‘contemplative’, what does it mean?
- Why do we need CE more than ever right now?
How can it help transform education to respond to
  current challenges and our social and environmental ‘crises’?
- What elements are at the heart of CE
(e.g. mindfulness, contemplative pedagogy, meditation,
  compassion, kindness, empathy, the body/embodiment, and their underpinnings in psychology and
- What does CE add to areas in education that link strongly to it
(e.g social and emotional learning,   
  wellbeing, mental health difficulties, ethics and values).
- How does CE relate to education more generally
(e.g. through holistic/whole school-university
  approaches, whole person approaches, teacher education, links with the community)
- How might CE help efforts towards educational transformation and critical social and
  environmental change?
- What is happening in CE across Europe?
What is happening in the countries and regions that make up
  Europe? What factors may be helping and hindering its development? Where is leadership and innovation
  coming from? What programmes and approaches are being used?
- Why do we need the Community of Contemplative Education?
What might be its role? What might it
  do to help build CE across Europe? (e.g. advocacy for CE, inspiring and raising awareness, policy change).
- How can we best build the CCE across Europe?
e.g. start with a focus on adults, find a flexible
  language that fits and works, build partnerships and community, promote many kinds of relevant and
  rigorous science and evidence, balance wisdom traditions with a secular approach).

The CCE Team

Katherine Weare is Professor at University of Exeter where she directs the MSc in Mindfulness and the
Principal Investigator for the MLE Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) Initiative.

Katherine is known internationally for her work on well-being, social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education. She has published widely, reviewed the evidence base, advised the UK government, EU and WHO, and developed practical strategies in these fields across most European countries. Her recent best selling book, co-written with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Happy Teachers Change The World’ is being translated into 10 languages. Katherine is a Mind & Life Europe Association member.

Cornelius Pietzner - Managing Director

Cornelius Pietzner has served Mind and Life Europe on the Board of Directors for many years and formerly also as Co Director. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of Alterra Impact Finance GmbH, an impact investment firm in Switzerland. He is President of the Alterra Foundation, a Swiss charitable foundation that supports transformation initiatives related to a human-centered economy. He was Chief Financial Officer on the Executive Board at the Goetheanum, General Anthroposophical Society, Switzerland with affiliates in 90 countries. He has had leading roles in social impact enterprises, financial management, philanthropy and investments. Cornelius Pietzner serves as Trustee/Advisory Board on a number of organisations and foundations in the USA and Europe. He received his degree in Political Science from Williams College, Mass. and was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

Ute Brandes - Executive Assistant

Ute Brandes’ focus lies on organizational and management endeavors. Her approach is pragmatic and solution-oriented with a keen eye for detail and a good sense of humor. At the base of her profession lies the vocational training as an office clerk, followed by a vocational diploma in economics. Through her work for international companies and not-for-profit organizations in Germany and the Netherlands, she has broad experience in event management, reaching from large scale exhibitions to conferences and retreats. Due to her deep interest in alternative approaches and her desire to help people, she is a trained Ayurveda massage therapist. Having experienced contemplative practices for about 15 years, Buddhist teachings and its philosophy resonate strongest with her. That’s why she is truly committed to continue deepening this contemplative aspect of life on a personal level and integrating it into her professional life.

Nina Bürklin - Communications Manager

Dr. Nina Bürklin devotes her time to creating sustainable products and solutions that spark passion and excitement at other people. Consumer responsibility and sustainability were not only the focus of her Ph.D. at the Institute for Marketing at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. With degrees in business administration (LMU Munich) and fashion design (Esmod), she furthermore has broad experience in communications and marketing for different companies and not-for-profit organizations. The topics of social entrepreneurship and stakeholder management, amongst others, constitute her involvement academic research in teaching. Moreover, substantial trainings in Social Innovation and Logotherapy & Existential Analysis let her drive the practical implementation of societal responsibility and open up spaces for purpose-driven interactions.



Inaugural Meeting in Rotterdam

In September 2018, the inaugural meeting of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) was held in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). More than forty experts from all across Europe gathered for this meeting.

See our CCE brochure about the aims of the meeting, the schedule, the participants of the CCE and their bios. For more background information please have a look at the presentation Developing the CCE. And have a glance below at the pictures taken during the meeting.


Current active members of our CCE community

Recent Publications

We are building our approach on sound evidence of many kinds, quantitative, qualitative and from the neuroscience, and on good quality current literature on the theory and practice of contemplative and mindfulness based education. We aim to add to these pages with the help of the community, this is our start.

Publications from members of our community

Research, evidence base, overviews

Dusana Dorjee (2017). Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life: Searching for the Essence of Mind. 1st Edition. Routledge.

Oren Ergas and Linor L. Hadar (2019). Mindfulness In and As Education: A Map of Developing Academic Discourse from 2002 to 2017.

Birgitte Nielsen et al. (2019). Social, emotional and intercultural competencies: a literature review with a particular focus on the school staff

Helle Jensen (2019). A research proposal for a programme to cultivate empathy, relational competence, and mindfulness, using a whole school approach  (unpublished proposal,

Katherine Weare (2018). The Evidence for Mindfulness in Schools for Children and Young People

Katherine Weare (2019). Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being - What can Schools do?

Katherine Weare, Elsevier (2019). Mindfulness and contemplative approaches in education



Katherine Weare & Felicia Huppert (2018). Bibliography on Mindfulness and CE in Education


Theory and practice

Pilar Aguilera (2019). El despertar de tu presencia. Editorial Kairos. (English: The awakening of your presence).

Jamie Bristow (2019). Time for a New Thinking About Mindfulness and Social Change. openDemocracy.

Jamie Bristow (2019). The Problem of Misrepresenting Mindfulness. Medium.

Guy Claxton (2017). The Learning Power Approach. Teaching Learners to Teach Themselves. SAGE Publishing.

Oren Ergas (2019). Education and Mindfulness Practice: Exploring a Dialog Between Two Traditions. Mindfulness, pp. 1-13.

Kevin Hawkins (2017). Mindful Teacher, Mindful School. Improving Wellbeing in Teaching and Learning. 1st Edition. SAGE Publishing.

Thich Nhat Hanh & Katherine Weare (2017). Happy Teachers Change the World. A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education. Parallax Press.

Jesper Juul & Hellen Jensen (2017). Relational Competence. Towards a new Culture of Education. Edition + Plus

Helle Jensen, Jesper Juul, Peter Høeg, Jes Bertelsen, and others (2016). Empathy – it´s what holds the world together. myMorawa von Morawa Lesezirkel GmbH

Helle Jensen (2014). Hellwach und ganz bei sich: Achtsamtkeit und Empathie in der Schule. 3rd print 2019

Paloma Sainz (2015). Mindfulness para niños. Zenith

Paloma Sainz (2018). Mindfulness en la empresa. Zenith

Menka Sanghavi (with Jamie Bristow and Katherine Weare; 2019). Fieldbook for Mindfulness Innovators.


Other recent publications

Darren L. Dunning, Kirsty Griffiths, Willem Kuyken, Catherine Crane, Lucy Foulkes, Jenna Parker, & Tim Dalgleish (2018). Research Review: The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Cognition and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents – A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (2019). Contemplative Education Bibliography

Philippa McKeering & Yoon-Suk Hwang (2018). A Systematic Review of Mindfulness-Based School Interventions with Early Adolescents

Conferences involving the CCE





September 9-12, 2019

Contemplative Pedagogy in Higher Education: Building Confidence and Community

CCE Member/s: Caroline Barratt

Forest Row, UK
October 8-11, 2019

8th International Conference on The Compassionate Mind

Social Context: From the Body to the Social World

CCE Member/s: Paul Gilbert

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
October 12-13, 2019

Educació per la Vida

Poc a Poc

CCE Member/s: Katherine Weare

Pollenca/Mallorca, Spain

October 25-27, 2019

Contemplative Science Symposium (CSS)

Mind & Life Europe

CCE Member/s: all

Fürstenfeldbruck (near Munich), Germany


November 8, 2019

Compassion in Schools for Educactors

University of Nottingham; University of Derby; Compassionate Mind Foundation

CCE Member/s: Katherine Weare

Derby, United Kingdom

November 9, 2019

All One Conference 19

CCE Member/s: Paloma Sainz

Zaragoza, Spain





We are grateful to the foundations that supported the launch of the CCE in 2018.

   - Triodos Foundation (The Netherlands)

   - Schöpflin Stiftung Foundation (Germany)

   - IONA Foundation (The Netherlands)

   - Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama (Switzerland)

   - Porticus Foundation (The Netherlands)

The Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) is dependent on the support of private donors and foundations interested in educational alternatives.

For more information please contact office(at)