Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts is offering a Master of Arts in Mindfulness Studies degree. It’s a two-year program that costs $33,300. Books by Jon Kabat-Zinn, considered the forefather of mindfulness, are required reading. Students study the effects of meditation on health, education and business. A week-long silent retreat is also required.
Edith Lesley Wolfard began the Lesley School in 1909. Her first students were studying to become kindergarten teachers. They gathered in the living room of the Lesley Wolfard family home in Cambridge. At that time, the kindergarten movement was an emerging idea and preparing women for careers outside of the home was a radical notion. Lesley Wolfard’s guiding principles are still upheld today: “to be different; to consider the individual of basic importance; to inculcate the ideal of gracious living; and to foster the traditions of American democracy.”