The Forum for Contemplative Practices, housed in the Department of Counselor Education and Family Therapy at Central Connecticut State University, is open to students, faculty, and staff interested in theory, research, and involvement in various contemplative practices, including mindfulness-based meditation exercises and student self-care and mindfulness retreats.
To integrate contemplative practices into our personal and professional lives in order to foster health, wellness, and wholeness. By developing a deeper connection to self and others, we strive for a more just, peaceful, sustainable, and compassionate world.
To explore healing and empowering benefits of contemplative practices such as personal awareness, empathic connections, and unconditional acceptance and compassion of self and others.
To introduce and integrate the emerging theory and research of contemplative practices into teaching and the practice of counseling and psychotherapy.
Activities and Events
A seminal definition of mindfulness is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p. 145). Mindfulness allows individuals to carefully pay attention with thoughtful regard to what is happening in their present experience. While of benefit, mindfulness is not about relaxing or creating an alternative mind state but is the disciplined process of exploring how the mind works and developing the ability to receive our experiences in an open, compassionate, and nonjudgmental way (Germer, 2013). Mindfulness meditation skills are taught by instructing clients to nonjudgmentally observe arising feelings, thoughts, and physiological sensations while not becoming entrenched in the content.
Mindfulness includes both formal and informal practices. Formal meditation involves training the mind to sustain attention as the practitioner observes and learns how the mind operates. This type of meditation is typically associated with sitting in a fixed posture for an extended period of time while focusing on the breath, a mantra, or sounds in the environment as they develop and fade. As the mind wanders and gets caught up in its content, the meditator gently notices and then returns awareness to the object of meditation. In contrast, informal mindfulness practice involves directing attention in everyday life to any event, emotion, sensation, or action while simply being aware and noting the present moment experience. Examples include labeling feelings, noticing sounds, or being aware of physical sensations and smells while walking, eating, or washing dishes.
The cultivation of mindfulness strategies through “moment-to-moment awareness” (Kabat-Zinn, 1990, p.11) consequently allows people to recognize that painful conditions are fleeting, which can lead to a greater sense of control over their lives and ultimately lessen, if not alleviate, suffering.
Germer, C. K. (2013). Mindfulness: What is it? What does it matter? In C. Germer, R. Siegel, & P. Fulton (Eds.), Mindfulness and psychotherapy (pp. 3-35). (2nd ed.). The Guilford Press.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living. Delacorte Press.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 144-156
Moment-to-Moment (M2M) Meditation Group
Moment-to-Moment (M2M) was started in the 1990’s by Professor Emeritus, Dr. Judith Rosenberg and Dr. Jim Malley. Over the years M2M met in a variety of locations on campus, including its most recent space within CCSU’s Center for Africana Studies. In mid-spring 2019, however, our in-person practice had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, we returned to campus effective Fall 2021 and have resumed weekly meditation sessions in a dedicated space within the Department of Counselor Education and Family Therapy.
In the spirit of expanding M2M activities, we are offering online recorded guided meditations. Please enjoy these exercises provided by a cooperative effort of faculty and staff affiliated with CCSU’s Forum for Contemplative Practices, Counseling and Student Development Center, and Campus Recreation. Simply click on the blue button on the left side of the webpage to access the recorded guided meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation and Contemplative Practices Resources
Copper Beech Institute:
303 Tunxis Road
West Hartford, CT 06107
- Odiyana Buddhist Center:
36 Main St.
East Hartford, CT 06118
- White Lotus Haven Zen of Connecticut:
50 Depot St. (Historic Axe Factory Building)
Collinsville, CT 06019
- Sophia Meditation Center:
455 Boston Post Road, Suite 6B
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
- Mindfulness, Meditation, and Self-Care Information:
- Guided Meditation Exercises: