Mindfulness Studies program founder Nancy Waring encourages students to get to know their own minds. A longtime mindfulness meditator and mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher, Waring is among a growing number of educators focused on contemplative studies. Besides mentoring SDMD students in contemplative subject areas, she designed and teaches the interdisciplinary graduate course, "Mindfulness and Professional Practice." Waring has a particular interest in the effects of meditation on the brain, and studies of neuroscience of meditation.
A life-long learner like many of her students, Waring has wide-ranging scholarly interests, including mind-body matters, the psychology of wellness and illness, integrative and allopathic medicine (particularly brain science and the history of medicine), Buddhism, social justice, women in conflict with the law, literary studies, and creative non-fiction.
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In 1994, Waring helped found a home in Cambridge for formerly homeless women with HIV/AIDS, where she facilitates a weekly support group. She has received several awards recognizing her HIV/AIDS work, including the Cambridge Peace Commission's Peace and Justice Award.