David Mills Chase

My work has involved a great deal of time at the intersections where decisions about educational programs are made – I’ve delved into how curricula support the learning it is designed to deliver – and how people, money, and time should be allocated to sustain the enterprise. I have discovered that understanding, defining, and evaluating teaching and learning must connect to its community: the people engaged in an educational process in meaningful and authentic ways.

Seven years ago, I started my personal journey with contempla- tive practice at the Esalen Institute. That first workshop, which in part explored neuroplasticity and the benefit of mindful meditation, was impressive and led me to develop my own practice.

I have since attended several workshops and retreats and have become familiar with the academic literature on the benefits of contemplative practice. I have enjoyed personal growth and a deep connection I didn’t know was possible with communities engaged in these practices. This is why I am drawn to the Garrison Institute Fellowship program – I wish to explore the intersection of contemplative practice, creativity, and educational design.

I believe that connecting ideas and experiences from my academic work with the creative work of others and contemplative practice has the potential to generate positive and transformative structures for action. I want to open new spaces in conversations about how accessing mindful and aesthetic dimensions in the learning and teaching process can have powerful impact.