The Contemplative Studies Initiative is a group of Brown faculty and students with diverse academic specializations who are united around a common interest in the study and application of contemplative states of mind. Our teaching and research follow both James and Dewey in insisting that a complete education should include first-hand experience in the cultivation of attentional focus, a common tool in the world’s great contemplative traditions. Doing this at the same time one is studying the writings of contemplatives gives significant additional insight into them. A further important benefit to students from this pedagogy is that recent research has shown that developing attentional stability is a keystone for developing self awareness and emotional intelligence. All three thus make significant contributions to human flourishing and to the development of other regarding mental qualities such as empathy and compassion.