Applied Minor

Contemplative Studies Applied Minor

Contemplative inquiry asks not just what we think, but what thinking itself is: how we come to think, as biological, aesthetic and social beings. It is concerned with conditions and strategies for thinking differently, combining rigorous introspection with rigorous critical investigation of the world as we know it, for the sake of the world we seek.

In learning about and practicing contemplative inquiry, you can:

  • Improve your ability to observe and shape your own learning (metacognition).
  • Grow in your respect for self and others.
  • Entertain worldviews other than your own.
  • Increase your curiosity about the world.

In addition, recent studies have shown that meditation and mindfulness practices can alter brain structure, improve attention and focus, enhance athletic and artistic performance, decrease anxiety and depression, and strengthen self-regulation and resiliency.


To complete this applied minor, you must complete the following two AWPE courses, plus four additional courses, choosing at least one from each of the lists below. 

Course Code
Credit Hours
Sub-Total Credit Hours

Courses from visual and performing arts:

NOTE: Ideally, students will first complete the Intro to Mindfulness AWPE course before completing any of the courses listed below. Skills gained from the mindfulness course will be applied to your artistic activity via a guided journaling activity. If you have not taken the mindfulness class but would like to complete one of these courses for your applied minor, please contact the faculty members involved in the minor. 

Course Code
Credit Hours
Sub-Total Credit Hours

Co-curricular activity

You will also complete one of the following co-curricular activities:

  • Mindfulness retreat (either three, five OR ten days)
  • Student-faculty research in neuroscience
  • Tibetan Studies off-campus program
  • El Camino May Term
  • Presentation of research at the International Conference on Contemplative Studies

Culminating experience

You will complete one of the following:

  • Paper presentation
  • Artistic project
  • Creative writing project