In Spring 2004, UBC hosted the historic visit of three Nobel Peace Laureates: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibet, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. The trio received honorary degrees from UBC and joined Aboriginal educator Jo-ann Archibald and American Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in a roundtable discussion on the importance of balancing educating the mind with educating the heart.

The Heart and Mind group, who has taken part in two seminars and a wellness circle since we formed, is meant to carry on the momentum generated by the visit of the Dalai Lama and colleagues. We discuss holistic teaching and learning, wellness, the value and practicalities of balance in our work and our life, and related topics. Seminars and special events take place throughout the year. Related events of interest, brought to our attention by Heart and Mind group members, are sent to everyone by email. To see past emails, visit the CoPs blog. If you would like to join this community, please email Judy Chan or the CTLT Community of Practice Developer.


Dalai Lama's Visit to UBC, 2004


In April 2004, UBC hosted a gathering of five distinguished and culturally diverse speakers for a roundtable discussion on Balancing Educating the Mind with Educating the Heart. The roundtable was held at UBC’s Chan Centre and included three Nobel Peace Laureates. This event was organized by the Institute of Asian Research and initiated by the Dalai Lama. His Holiness felt that it was important to bring the message of educating the heart to UBC, as there are currently conflicts in many parts of the world and in many communities that lead to violent ends. These ends are achieved using human knowledge and intelligence. What is missing – and is the cause of so much suffering – is the quality of good-heartedness, a sense of our own humanity, and the humanity of others. Therefore, it is important to educate the heart as well as the mind. The five speakers (in alphabetical order) were:

“We have many…elders who are working to ensure that we have curricula…in schools that teach us about heart education – that teach us about those good values of respect, of having compassion, to cooperate, to help one another…and [they]…benefit…all learners, not only First Nations Learners.”

“Education alone sometimes creates more problems…Human intelligence and knowledge without the proper balance of a good-heart, a warm heart, sometimes brings more unhappiness in our fellow human beings...other sentient beings, and the planet itself…We need a special effort in educational institutions…to cultivate and…sustain good human values, good human qualities.”

“In the literature that I know, there is a line of verse that says that the leg of a man of reason is made of wood, and a leg of wood can take you only so far. There are so many problems that we cannot grasp with the power of our reason. We have to give them our heart…Intellect without a heart is nothing more than an addition to the problems of humanity.”

“Current consensus mind leads us to ever-greater crises. We must do the miraculous work of altering millions of people’s awareness. We must go deeper into regions where we cannot use the effort of muscles, or of logic. Regions where only awareness can shift awareness.”

“Your humanity is bound up in the humanity of the other. When you dehumanize that other, whether you like it or not, you dehumanize yourself.”

Past Events

Co-sponsored by MOST, the Sustainability Office, and the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth (TAG). In the hectic pace of contemporary life, we can become so absorbed with thinking and doing that we often lose touch with the simple act of being. Through mindfulness practice and engaged listening, heart-mind community circles support us to be fully present with ourselves and others, and to discover the power of heartfelt, authentic communication. These circles were inspired by the Dalai Lama’s 2004 roundtable on Balancing Educating the Mind with Educating the Heart, held at UBC. They are a means of bringing heart-mind communication into the academic environment and offer useful tools in meeting the challenges of daily life and working in a large institution. Feedback from participants shows that the circles help to alleviate stress, improve mood, support positive changes in relationships with others, and contribute to greater clarity about issues/problems in their lives.

Nagata, Mathematics and UBC Zen Society June 2006, TAG Institute

Meditation, either alone or in a group context, can be an effective way to reduce stress and develop greater calm and equanimity in daily life. Beyond this, it can also be a spiritual path. This seminar will introduce you to both of these approaches. Our discussion will include practical suggestions about how, when, and where to ’sit’, as well as information about meditation books, local meditation groups, and retreats. You will have the opportunity to experience both sitting and walking meditation. The seminar will conclude with a question and answer session. Wear loose, informal clothing.

Eshu Martin, Victoria Zen Centre June 2006, TAG Institute

Heart practice is the way in which each of us connects with the deepest source of purpose, inspiration, and meaning in our lives. While Heart practice includes the teachings of all religious traditions, it is not limited to them. Such activities as communing with nature, exercise, or simply taking the time to breathe and reflect on our day-to-day activities can be considered forms of Heart practice. In this seminar, participants will consider their own Heart practice, how it can be supported both individually and systematically, and how we can bring our Heart practice into all aspects of our life and work.

Maraiba Christu, Heart-Mind Community Circles June 2006, TAG Institute

Inspired by the Dalai Lama’s roundtable in April 2004 on Balancing Educating the Mind with Educating the Heart, the circle at TAG has supported members of the UBC teaching community to explore ways of putting this idea into practice. The concept of heart-mind is used in Buddhism to point to the need for the integration of heart and mind in cultivating wisdom. We will explore how this translates into our role as educators, and members of a community, particularly in a large and often impersonal institution such as UBC. Maraiba will discuss the basic principles of the circle and how they can contribute to traditional educational models. She will share concerns expressed and discoveries made by participants exploring teaching and learning for the heart and mind. The seminar will include an experiential component, through a 10 minute relaxation/meditation exercise and a circle adapted for the group.

Raj Gill, Director, Prosperity Circles Coaching International;
Brenda Sawada (Assistant Facilitator), Manager, SEEDS, Sustainability Office May 2006, TAG Institute

When we speak with others, are we sure they hear what we are really saying? Most of us agree that the sender of the message must take responsibility for clear communication. This gives us a choice. We can choose the words, the medium, often even the timing of our communication.

This introductory session, based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg and the book “Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life”, provides an opportunity to learn a language and process that helps build a quality of connection in which people can hear each other. By taking full responsibility for our communication we can relieve others of the burden of interpretation and eliminate frustration and exhaustion. Join us to:

  1. Explore how to connect with each person on a team in any situation
  2. Deepen your understanding about how to interact with others in ways that allow everyone to be equally valued
  3. Learn how to inspire yourself to handle difficult conversations
  4. Identify ways in which to hear and say “No" while maintaining a quality relationship
  5. Give and receive acknowledgment and appreciation that build confidence and self esteem

Monica Monroy, Consultant May 2006, TAG Institute

In this interactive session, we explored the role of emotional intelligence in teaching and learning.

Emotional Education has as its aim the specialized training of professionals in the field of education as well as in other fields such as medicine, psychology, and law. It seeks to equip individuals who work in situations of stress or conflict with skills for confronting and managing them efficiently and effectively. At the same time, a principal objective is to keep professionals emotionally and psychologically balanced so that they might have greater chances of finding fulfilment in their professional as well as their private lives.


Books Recommended by Our Members:

By The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

Riverhead Books New York 1998

UBC Library:

St. Paul’s Hospital Library

SPIRIT ART of 1992 (Call Number)

By The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

Riverhead Books New York 2003

Not available at UBC Libraries

By Thich Nhat Hanh (Edited by Arnold Kotler)

Bantam Books New York 1992

UBC Library:

St. Paul’s Hospital Library

SPIRIT PEACE 1992 (Call Number)

By Azar Nafisi

Random House Inc. New York 2003

UBC Library:

Koerner Library

PE64.N34 A3 2003

By The Dalai Lama and Victor Chan

Riverhead Books New York 2004

Not available at UBC Libraries


Rhem, J. 2012. Contemplative Pedagogy: Part 1. The National Teaching and Learning Forum. 21:3, 1-6.

Rhem, J. 2012. Contemplative Pedagogy: Part 2. The National Teaching and Learning Forum. 21:4, 1-5.

Rosales, J.; Badenhorst, C.; Fewer, J.; and Parewick, K. 2012. Contemplative Approaches to Teaching and Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland: Reflections from a Faculty Learning Community on Contemplative Education. Antistasis. 2:1, 39-42.

Rosales, J. 2012. Cultivating Minds and Hearts. University Affairs. 35:7, 18-24.

Zimmerman, Jack. The Way of Council. Ojai: Bramble Books, 1996.

“…outlines a method for teaching basic communication skills that is equally applicable to communities, schools, business environments, therapeutic groups, or families. Council is a practice of open, heartfelt expression and attentive, empathic listening. The trust it builds facilitates moving from a hierarchical structure to a partnership model where initiative, responsibility, and leadership are shared (, September, 2005).”

Editors: Barling, Julian; Kelloway, E Kevin; Frone, Michael. Handbook of Work Stress. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2004.

“ ‘The book focuses on work stressors that have been studied for decades, like organizational-role stressors, work schedules, as well as stressors that have received less empirical and public scrutiny, such as industrial-relations stress, organizational politics,’ explains Dr. Kelloway. The Handbook of Work Stress also covers issues related to gender, cultural or national origin, older and younger workers, and employment status, and asks how these characteristics might affect the experience of workplace stress. Additionally, the book also accents the adverse consequences of diverse work stressors and addresses questions possible health consequences of work stressors (, September, 2005).”

Lindahl, Kay. Practicing the Sacred Art of Listening. Woodstock: Skylight Paths, 2004.

“This is a companion volume to Lindahl’s first book, The Sacred Art of Listening, which provided 40 short, distinct entry points into the realm of real listening. Here, she organizes her thinking around broader themes such as ‘contemplative,’ ‘reflective,’ and ‘heart’ listening; three modes that she says can help us to listen deeply to the divine, ourselves and one another. (, September, 2005)”

Useful websites for information on meditation and contemplative practices.

Excerpts from and reviews of books by Kay Kendahl, founder of The Listening Centre.

The Thomas Merton Society of Canada promotes “a greater knowledge of the life and writings of Thomas Merton, and…provide[s] insight into his spiritual journey and our own." The website provides information about Merton’s life and work and events organized locally by the society.

Describes meditation practice.

Writings by Joanie Wolfe on blending body, mind, and spirit.

Do you know any good resources for the teaching and learning for the heart and mind group? We welcome suggestions and contributions. Please contact Judy Chan.