Mindful UNCW


Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment with an attitude of curiosity, non-judgment, non-reactivity, and compassion. The pause that accompanies observing and naming one’s inner experiences (i.e., thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations) can disrupt automaticity of thought and behavioral habits, positioning us to make more conscious, deliberate choices in how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world around us. Mindfulness is both a way of relating to our internal experiences and a skill to be cultivated.

A substantial body of literature reviews the benefits of mindfulness relevant to higher education. Studies report improved cognitive and academic performance with the enhancement of attentional and processing skills, improved mental and psychological well-being, decreased stress, anxiety, and depression, greater emotional regulation and more positive mood states (Shapiro, Brown, Astin, 2008).

Mindfulness also supports the trend in higher education to focus on the development of the whole person, as the practice can support an increase in creativity, effective interpersonal skills, empathy, and self-compassion. Further, mindfulness-based pedagogy supports instructors’ capacity to both practice and teach mindfulness effectively; benefits influence the classroom climate and set the stage for the aforementioned changes to occur.

Shapiro, S., Brown, K. W., & Astin, J. A. (2008). Toward the Integration of Meditation into Higher Education: A Review of Research. Retrieved March 12, 2020 from http://www.contemplativemind.org/files/MedandHigherEd.pdf

Student Opportunities to Learn

There are many opportunities to learn about mindfulness practice as a student:

These courses incorporate mindfulness into their instruction:

  • Contemplative Cornerstone Learning Community
  • Asian Religions (PAR 232)
  • Buddhism (PAR 371)
  • Mindfulness and practice classes in Social Work (SWK 425, SWK 500)
  • The Art of Mindful Living (HON 120)
  • Happiness Advantage (HON 120)
  • Happiness Emphasis (HON 121)

Faculty Opportunities to Learn

We will be offering workshops for interested faculty and staff: one focused on pedagogy and one focused on a special topic relevant to both faculty and staff (such as mindful advising, mindful leadership, and mindfulness in the workplace).

Contemplative Conversations

Interested in learning more about mindfulness from multiple perspectives? Join faculty and staff for Mindful UNCW’s Contemplative Conversations to explore the work of engaging authors who connect mindfulness to topics such as pedagogy, communication, diversity, and social justice. Contemplative practice is characterized by awareness and connection, and we hope to live out this practice through deep listening and dialogue.
Click on the links below to access the books via Randall Library!

Resources at UNCW