Contemplative Education

VCU Courses by School/Department

Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care (IPEC)

IPEC 525. Mindfulness Practices for Health Care Professionals: Clinical Applications. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 16 hours (lecture/seminar). 1 credit. Open to health care professional students in good standing (e.g. students in the schools of Dentistry, Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Allied Health Professions or Social Work or in the programs of dental hygiene or clinical psychology). This course will allow a qualified health care professional student the opportunity to participate in a variety of mindfulness practices and learn their applications to clinical practice.

Nursing

NURS 540. Spirituality in Health Care. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the graduate program in nursing. Explores the phenomenon of spirituality in health and illness across cultures and life spans from a framework of humility and respect for multiple world views. Integrates theory and research as well as individual and communal ways of knowing to provide spiritually sensitive care that nurtures wholeness and promotes healing

NURS 658. Complementary Healing Modalities. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the graduate program in nursing. Critically examines complementary health strategies from a variety of perspectives including social, historical, cultural, political and economic contexts. Analyzes philosophical, theoretical and research literature associated with the use of complementary healing modalities. Explores frameworks for advanced nursing practice that incorporate tenets of healing modalities. Students will have the opportunity to select and examine a complementary health strategy for in-depth study and potential application.

NURS 659. Integrative Mental Health Nursing: Synthesis. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: NURS 503, NURS 508, NURS 509, NURS 655, NURS 656. Focuses on theory and practice of integrative mental health nursing and addresses acute and chronic conditions from a population-specific perspective. Integrates and synthesizes psychosocial and holistic theories, research and knowledge for advanced primary mental health practice with an urban and underserved community focus. Uses principles of leadership to guide mental health promotion, illness prevention and primary mental health care activities.

Philosophy

PHIL 322. Tibetan Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A basic introduction to the history, development and mythology of the Buddhism of Tibet focusing on the Indian heritage and shared basis of all Buddhist practices, a clear identification of the three vehicles found in Buddhism, and a careful consideration of the path of the Bodhisattva, the hero of Great Vehicle Buddhism. Crosslisted as: RELS 322.

PHIL 342. Buddhist Reasoning and Debate. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: RELS/INTL 311. A basic introduction to perception, logic and epistemology in Buddhist thought. The course is designed to convey basic reasoning skills including formation of arguments, checking arguments for validity, and developing techniques and strategies for rational discourse. Crosslisted as: RELS 342.

PHIL 408. Indian Tradition. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: At least six credits in philosophy or religious studies courses. A systematic analysis of the major theories of Indian religious and philosophical thought: Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Charvaka, Jainism, Buddhism, the six systems of Hinduism and contemporary development. Crosslisted as: RELS 408.

PHIL 412. Zen Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV 200 or HONR 200. A study of Zen Buddhism, including backgrounds in Indian philosophy and practice, development in China and Korea, and present-day Zen theory and practice in Japan and in Western countries. Crosslisted as: RELS 412/INTL 412.

PHIL 440. Mysticism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV 200 or HONR 200. A critical analysis of the varieties of mysticism in world religions. Arguments for and against mysticism will be emphasized. Mysticism will be related to art, psychology, science, philosophy, theology and magic. Crosslisted as: RELS 440.

Psychology

PSYC 491-902. Positive Psychology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Happiness and human flourishing has been a central human concern for centuries. Poets, philosophers, and other thinkers blazed a trail that contemporary behavioral scientists have followed in investigating the nature of happiness and the factors that help to support and maintain it. The science of happiness is rapidly evolving, and in this course we read, evaluate, and test out for ourselves the findings of contemporary research on happiness conducted by a growing tribe of scientists with interests in positive psychology. The course incorporates didactic instruction, class discussion, and experiential exercises to foster stress resilience, happiness, and psychological flourishing.

PSYC 688. The Self and Identity. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PSYC 630 and 680 or permission of instructor. Our sense of self provides meaning and coherence to our lives; it is the lens through which we interpret the world. This seminar will take a research-based approach, and almost all readings will be psychology journal articles. Class will focus on key topics in recent self research (e.g., self-regulation, self-esteem, the self and relationships, different cultural conceptions of self) as well as debate controversial issues in the literature (e.g., the cultural universality of self-enhancement, whether positive illusions are healthy). Students may choose some of the topics covered in the latter part of the semester. Evaluation will be based primarily on class discussion, student-led debates and discussions, and a research proposal and presentation at the end of the semester.

Religious Studies

RELS 101. Introduction to Religious Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course examines the phenomenon of religion and religious experience. Through a phenomenological approach definitions and descriptions of the major features of the religious experience and of religious establishments, including concepts of the sacred, the numinous, religious language, texts, symbols, rituals and myths are reviewed. In addition, the social, political and spiritual dimensions of religion in human culture will be investigated.

RELS 108. Human Spirituality. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the manifestations of one or more of the themes of religious studies in a diverse group of religious communities. The themes may include such wide-ranging topics as the sacred and profane, the epistemology of faith and knowledge, creation stories, human identity, the nature of the divine, the possibility of liberation or salvation, mythology, ritual, ethics, religion and art, religion and law, and religion and politics.

RELS 282. Introduction to Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduces Buddhism from its origins in India and addresses its major schools of thought, practice, ritual and philosophy, in Asia and beyond, particularly the United States.

RELS 311. Religions of the World. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An investigation of the historical, cultural and theological foundations and development of major world religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto. Crosslisted as: INTL 311.

RELS 317. Islam. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the emergence of Islam in Arabia in the seventh century and its subsequent developments, including a look at the Qur’an (the holy book), the Prophetic traditions, the concept of God, and mysticism (sufism) and law (shari’ah) and an overview of ritual practices, fundamental beliefs, theological principles and current issues in Islam and international relationship. Crosslisted as: INTL 317.

RELS 320. Taoism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of one of the most fundamental and influential philosophies of life in Chinese culture, focusing on the theory and practice of the basic principles of Taoism as formulated by the legendary Lao Tzu and further developed by Chuang Tzu.

RELS 322. Tibetan Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A basic introduction to the history, development and mythology of the Buddhism of Tibet focusing on the Indian heritage and shared basis of all Buddhist practices, a clear identification of the three vehicles found in Buddhism, and a careful consideration of the path of the Bodhisattva, the hero of Great Vehicle Buddhism. Crosslisted as: PHIL 322.

RELS 342. Buddhist Reasoning and Debate. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: RELS/INTL 311. A basic introduction to perception, logic and epistemology in Buddhist thought. The course is designed to convey basic reasoning skills including formation of arguments, checking arguments for validity, and developing techniques and strategies for rational discourse. Crosslisted as: PHIL 342.

RELS 350. World Classics of Spirituality. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A critical reading of selected works from among the spiritual classics of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism and other religious traditions. Crosslisted as: INTL 360.

RELS 368. Asian Religions and Asian Medicine. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RELS/INTL 311. An introductory survey of three medical systems indigenous to Asia, including study of how these medical systems are linked in theory and practice to religions and spiritual systems. These three are Indian Ayurveda in light of Hinduism, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in light of Daoism, and Tibetan medicine in light of Tibetan Buddhism.

RELS 408. Indian Tradition. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: at least six credits from philosophy or religious studies courses. A systematic analysis of the major theories of Indian religious and philosophical thought: Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Charvaka, Jainism, Buddhism, the six systems of Hinduism and contemporary developments. Crosslisted as: PHIL 408.

RELS 412. Zen Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV 200 or HONR 200. A study of Zen Buddhism, including backgrounds in Indian philosophy and practice, development in China and Korea, and present-day Zen theory and practice in Japan and in Western countries. Crosslisted as: PHIL 412/INTL 412.

RELS 440. Mysticism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV 200 or HONR 200. A critical analysis of the varieties of mysticism in world religions. Arguments for and against mysticism will be emphasized. Mysticism will be related to art, psychology, science, philosophy, theology and magic. Crosslisted as: PHIL 440.

RELS 441. Islamic Mysticism: the Sufis. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INTL/RELS 312 or INTL/RELS 317; UNIV 200 or HONR 200. Introduces students to the major Sufi masters and their works. It covers ideological and practical development of Islamic mysticism as compared to the developments within Islam itself. Crosslisted as: INTL 441.

RELS 442. Seminar in Hinduism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of Hinduism, taking up the earliest origins of Hinduism, the Hindu creation myth, the various conceptions of the divine, the speculation regarding human nature, the stages of life, development of family and monastic codes, the great epics of Hinduism including the Bhagavad-Gita, the six schools of Hindu philosophy and modern Hinduism as it has developed in response to Western influences.

VCU Recreational Sports Contemplative Classes

26 Yoga w/ Alejandra

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: 26 Yoga Postures and 2 breathing exercises will raise your heart rate, and improve flexibility. Includes extension and compression of the major glands, balancing and spine strengthening. All levels welcome.

Mindful Yoga & Meditation w/ Lori

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: Rejuvenate body and mind through mindfully incorporating breath with movement and practicing meditation. Mindful Hatha Yoga, deep relaxation, and guided meditation can help reduce stress, increase concentration and boost energy. All levels are welcome.

Mindful Yoga w/ Alejandra

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: Tri Dosha Balancing Asanas: The series of postures are designed to balance your hormones. The objective is to relax fully into the postures. In such a state of relaxation, ‘prana’ or ‘life-force,’ can travel naturally. All levels welcome.

Partner Yoga

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: Bring a friend or connect with new ones during this playful, partner-assisted yoga sequence. This class will help with flexibility, strength, mindfulness, and is guaranteed to make you laugh. All levels are welcome.

Rasa Yoga w/ Hannah

Duration: 1 Hours 15 Minutes
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: Rasa Yoga awakens the richness of life through clear body alignment, skillful action, and the teachings of non-dual philosophy. This class will focus on breath-work, standing postures, inversions, back bends, twists, and forward-folds, subtle body and mind awareness. Yogis will learn to embody their full potential both on and off the mat. All levels are welcome.

Sunrise Yoga w/ Lori

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: This mindfulness-based hatha class influenced by the Integral tradition is a great way to start your day. It is a meditative practice that will increase flexibility, strength, and greater awareness of the mind/body connection. All levels are welcome.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga w/ Anja

Duration: 1 Hours 15 Minutes
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: A dynamic class designed to strengthen the body and focus the mind. Proper alignment and form is emphasized as one move flows into the other. Each class includes asanas (postures), breathwork, and final relaxation. All levels are welcome.

Vinyasa Yoga Level 2 w/ Stephanie

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: MCV Campus Aquatic & Recreation Center, Group Ex Studio
Description: Take your yoga practice to the next level with a different sequence every class! This is a dynamic class that focuses on improving strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and mindfulness. Prior yoga experience is recommended for the Level 2 class, however, proper anatomical alignment is emphasized and many modifications are offered for yogis of every ability.

YogaFlow w/ Carrie

Duration: 1 Hours
Where: Cary Street Gym, Group Ex Studio
Description: A dynamic designed to strengthen the body and focus the mind. Proper alignment and form is emphasized as one move flows into the other. Each class includes asanas (postures), breathwork, and final relaxation. All levels are welcome.

Richmond VA Community Contemplative Courses and Groups

Richmond is home to a variety of courses and classes in meditation, yoga, and other forms of contemplative training. The city also hosts a number of drop-in groups open to all.

For meditation opportunities, visit Richmond Meditates to learn more.

For yoga opportunities, visit Project Yoga Richmond to learn more or simply click yoga Richmond Va.