You may download at no cost A Powerful Silence: The Role of Meditation and Other Contemplative Practices In American Life and Work (pdf) here at the Web site of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. It's an interesting book; take a look at the Table of Contents below to see if you might like to read it.
I found two parts of the book particularly worthwhile. Beginning on page 90, I learned of many lawyer meditation activities that took place in the decade leading up to 2004, the date of this book. I already knew of some but others were new to me. Of course, the number of lawyer meditation and contemplation enterprises of all sorts have grown since 2004, especially recently.
The section "The Challenge of Teaching Contemplative Practices in Secular Settings" was thought-provoking. An excerpt:
At one end of the scale, contemplative practice is seen primarily as a practical technique that can aid in stress reduction, relaxation, and improved mental functions, such as concentration. On the other end of the scale, contemplative practice is viewed as a powerful tool to support individual and social transformation. In the middle, pragmatic goals such as stress management may be the starting point, but there is room to explore deeper questions that may arise in the course of learning a contemplative practice.
Where people fall on this scale is generally a good indicator of how comfortable they are in talking about the spiritual or religious traditions from which these practices originate and providing an moral and ethical framework for them.
Amongst those of us who use contemplative practices in programs we teach, that scale is often discussed.
If you decide to download and read the book, I hope you find parts that appeal to you as I did. Consider donating to the Center while you are at their site. Now here is the TOC . . .
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 2
I. Introduction 8
II. Project Background 11
B. Contemplative Net Project Description 13
III. The Big Picture: Contemplative Practices in the United States 21
IV. What is Contemplative Practice? A Contemporary Definition 33
V. A Closer Look: The Influence of Meditation on Individuals, Workplaces, and Society 42
B. Meditation Goes to Work: Meditation and Other Contemplative Practices in the Workplace 50
2. Applying Meditation and Other Practices to Professions 55
b. Medicine and Healthcare 67
c. Education and Youth Work 76
d. Law and Government 89
e. Prison Work 96
VI. The Challenge of Teaching Contemplative Practices in Secular Settings 114
VII. Conclusion 123