Teaching As Meditative Inquiry: A Dialogical Exploration


  • Ashwani Kumar Mount Saint Vincent University Halifax, Canada
  • Adrian Downey University of New Brunswick


holistic education, meditative inquiry, teacher education, creativity, dialogue, freedom


This is a conversational paper that explores an unconventional pedagogical approach—teaching as meditative inquiry—as developed by Ashwani Kumar. This pedagogical contribution is explored and expounded upon through a related research methodology called dialogical meditative inquiry (DMI). DMI emphasizes listening holistically, learning from silence, as well as having an open and vulnerable attitude to allow for a deeper engagement with self and other participants where inner thoughts and feelings may be expressed in meditative awareness. Through this dialogic approach, the authors explore the concept of meditative inquiry and the ideas of Jiddu Krishnamurti, as well as how these have informed Kumar’s professional practice as a teacher educator and scholar. Emergent themes from this dialogue include: 1) how Kumar’s concept of meditative inquiry began and developed; 2) the connection between holistic thinking and meditative inquiry; 3) differences in how “holistic” is conceptualized from Western and Eastern perspectives; 4) teacher education candidates’ perceptions of holistic education; and 5) examination of resistance toward self-inquiry and the instrumentalization of meditative approaches.

Author Biographies

Ashwani Kumar, Mount Saint Vincent University Halifax, Canada

Associate Professor of Education

Adrian Downey, University of New Brunswick

Ph.D. Student Faculty of Education University of New Brunswick




How to Cite

Kumar, A., & Downey, A. (2018). Teaching As Meditative Inquiry: A Dialogical Exploration. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 16(2), 52–75. Retrieved from https://jcacs.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jcacs/article/view/40339