Art of Attention

What is attention and do we have a choice in how we direct it? Do our thoughts, culture, beliefs and worldview influence our reality? How do I construct self, meaning, and purpose? Can our attitudes and how we direct our attention improve our well-being and create a better world? This course explores the mysteries and manifestations of attention through phenomenological research, discussions, and readings from interdisciplinary perspectives on self, science, culture, and philosophy. Students will engage in contemplative inquiry based in mindfulness practices that explore self-awareness, positivity, and inner knowing. An examination of worldviews and assumptions that create our sense of purpose and influence our actions within our community and the world will culminate in the student's articulation of an integrative synthesis.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
174: TR 9:30-10:45am
179: TR 11:00am-12:15pm
182: TR 12:30-1:45pm
Fall 2023

Elaine Gray

Elaine Gray

Dr. Gray considers herself an Interdisciplinarian who's academic interests range from contemplative pedagogy, consciousness studies, spiritual intelligence, and the wisdom arts. Her most recent research focuses on how students in higher education can cultivate a sense of purpose and well-being. She received her Ph.D. in Integral Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies and her masters in Liberal Studies from Rollins College. She is currently pursuing her EdD in Leadership and Higher Education. Dr. Gray received the 2010 Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in First Year Seminar. She is an affiliated faculty member with the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the First Year Seminar Program. She taught in the College of Education graduate program for Curriculum and Instruction and Leadership and Higher Education from 2006 - 2010. She is also the ePortfolio Director for the campus.

Dr. Gray began teaching student success courses at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida in 1995. Her extensive experience teaching first-year students created an opportunity for her to write a student success book which would blend her academic background in transformative adult learning theory and emotional intelligence. Pearson published her book entitled "Conscious Choices – A Model for Self-Directed Learning" in 2004. Her textbook focuses on self-awareness, critical thinking, and self-reflection as methods for becoming a successful life long learner. Her classroom teaching styles and pedagogies include journaling, discussion, self-assessment, mini-lectures, student presentations and active reading. Dr. Gray believes students' benefit from meaningful classroom dialogue and knowledge construction in collaborative groups. Her emphasis on integrating mindfulness, inner attention, and self-awareness are the foundations of her teaching philosophy.

Dr. Gray's life interests include playing guitar with the local Celtic group The Mountain Laurels, practicing Tai Chi, reading about esoteric knowledge, kayaking, biking, and enjoying her dogs Maggie, Kasey and Sheela.