Embodied Presence: Contemplative Teacher Education

  • Richard C. BrownEmail author
  • Genét Simone
  • Lee Worley
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)


Teachers are taught how to facilitate knowledge and skills in their classrooms, but rarely are they given somatic experiences and tools for “reading” those landscapes. By developing awareness of their own somatic presence, teachers are better able to know more fully the presence of their students and colleagues in order to respond to all the impulses involved. Thus, rather than reacting on an often unconscious somatic level, teachers can engage with a synchronized body and mind—what we call “embodied presence.” In this chapter, we describe and define “embodied presence,” a uniquely potent approach to teacher professional development created by faculty in Naropa University’s Contemplative Education Program in Boulder, Colorado. We describe how it directly relates to the practices of mindful awareness and teaching, and offer examples from students’ writings and faculty observations. We also included sample exercises to aid readers with understanding the intentions, methods, and results of this approach.


Presence Embodied Teachers Teacher education Dispositions Transformation Pedagogy Mindfulness 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naropa UniversityBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Woodring College of Education, Western Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA

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