Interdisciplinary Feedback on the Centering for Wisdom Assessment

Tonia Bock (Professor of Psychology, University of St. Thomas) and I were recently fortunate to be able to present the initial results of our validation study of the Centering for Wisdom Assessment tool at the fifth annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, entitled “Character, Wisdom, and Virtue,” held at Oriel College, University of Oxford, UK.  Here are some of highlights and take-aways from our experience:

  • The CWA does seem to have broad appeal to an interdisciplinary audience.
    • There were scholars from the humanities and the sciences, and practitioners in psychology, social work, and education, all of whom are interested in tools to help cultivate practical wisdom.
    • A highlight for me was speaking with Monika Ardelt, one of the leading researchers on assessing wisdom, (who I learned also practices vipassana meditation) and noting her interest in the uniqueness of the CWA as a tool that links contemplative practices to wisdom cultivation.
  • We need a working definition of “contemplation” and “contemplative practices.”
    • Some of the confusion around the theoretical construct that under girds the CWA derives from the fact that different people from distinctive disciplines understand the terms mindfulness, meditation, and contemplation differently.  Providing a unifying working definition would help to dispel some of the confusion, and could be helpful to scholars and practitioners from diverse traditions and backgrounds.
  • I now understand Harry Potter better than I did before visiting Oxford (see the dining room at Oriel College below):

oriel-college-dining-hall-2

  • We received affirmation that fruitful next steps will be:
    • to develop a pre-post study, in which we administer the CWA to persons who have no experience in contemplative practices, have them learn and practice a new form of contemplation, and then test them after the intervention.
    • to compare the CWA results of different population groups – E.G., compare results from a sampling of the general population to experts who have long-term experience in different forms of contemplation.
  • I was able to commune and have a pint with two of my literary heroes: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tokien, who used to gather with their fellow Inklings at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford.

eagle-child

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One Comment on “Interdisciplinary Feedback on the Centering for Wisdom Assessment

  1. Pingback: Contemplating Contemplation: An Invitation to Dialogue | Thomas J. Bushlack, Ph.D.

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