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Certificate Program

Certificate in Contemplative Leadership

“A leader rooted in his/her soul through presence becomes creatively responsive to existing challenges rather than reactive, works with more wisdom and perspective, without attachment and identification, and so can wield his/her power in ways that are constructive and which contribute to the betterment of all.” ~Thomas Yeomans, PhD.

The Zen Buddhist master Nan Huai Chin says that at the core of the Confucian theory of leadership formation is idea that “if you want to be a leader, you have to be a real human being.  You must recognize the true meaning of life before you can become a great leader.  You must understand yourself first.”  What is implied is that leadership formation takes time - and not simply the passing of time, but an on-going contemplative engagement with oneself in order to form, reform and transform the human heart.

The Cardoner Institute Certificate program in Contemplative Leadership affords one such an opportunity.  Through active participation in the four Cardoner seminars, leaders from various backgounds are provided a framework to better understand themselves, the meaning and purpose that enlivens their work, and the systemic dynamics within which they live out our callings.  

The Cardoner seminars focus on four essential dimensions of contemplative leadership:

  • Presence

    • Through the use of reflective exercises and various perspectives from the field of human development, the Cardoner Institute promotes a contemplative orientation aimed at encouraging greater self-awareness, interior freedom and opportunities for participants to embody the qualities they wish to represent in the world.

  • Purpose

    • Drawing inspiration from the work of Roberto Assagioli, Viktor Frankl and Michael Meade, the Cardoner Institute seminars foster opportunities for participants to identify their gifts, talents and authentic purposes in order imbue their life and work with greater integrity, vitality and joy.

  • Power

    • Here, power refers to the various dimensions of will - which play a central role in the leaders ability to choose what aligns with their values, the perseverance to follow through on their calling, as well as the wisdom and self-mastery to use the power given to them skillfully and compassionately.

  • Systems

    • All contemplative practice and leadership takes place within the context of community.  Through understanding the dynamics of human systems and systemic pressures, the Cardoner Institute aims to equip leaders and contemplative practitioners alike with the skills to reclaim their power and truth within dysfunctional systems, as well as the presence and love to create Life-affirming systems within their existing communities.