CSC staff profile: Dr Cullan Joyce
Meet Dr Cullan Joyce, lecturer at Catholic Theological College and Insight Fellow at the Contemplative Studies Centre.
Contemplative practices are embedded in deep histories and cultures. These complexities challenge the Centre to appreciate the whole of a tradition but also help different elements to be accessible for the public. Along with his research into contemplative traditions, Cullan has spent much time living and practising with different contemplative communities across Australia and East Asia. These diverse experiences help him work across several elements of the Centre's activities. He works with meditation teachers to create meditation sessions for the public, with communities to support their practice and encourage collaboration with the Centre. He also liaises with researchers to collaborate on research projects. The work is challenging, but very fulfilling!
Being involved with the Centre from its early stages has been incredibly exciting and rewarding. Working with Nicholas and the other academic and professional staff has also provided Cullan with a strong sense of community and is deeply collaborative. Until recently, meditation had been considered an obscure interest of a small number of dedicated communities of practice; now, many thousands of people have glimpsed something of the depth and challenges of contemplative practices. Providing opportunities for diverse people to connect to themselves and one another is the foundation of the Centre's work and one of the things Cullan enjoys the most about being part of it.
Our world is facing unprecedented challenges. To sustain our planet for future generations, we need to draw on every source of wisdom that we have, from First Nations, from the sciences, religion, economics, history, and every facet of human achievement. Though Cullan often feels like he does not do enough, he believes the Centre's work in understanding the wisdom of contemplative practice traditions provides a vital contribution: the Centre can help our communities find the deep wells of strength and creativity needed to face these changes.
When Cullan is not with the Centre, he enjoys meeting different people and communities. He has worked with Extinction Rebellion (XR) for a long time. Throughout his life, he has enjoyed collaborating with artists. He has also learned a lot from First Nations perspectives and enjoys walking on Country. Cullan has a meditation practice, too, which he struggles to maintain, but it is a foundation of his life. He has lived in an Interfaith Ashram since 2018: the community meditates and eats together, and these bonds supported him through COVID. He is enormously grateful to this community for all their love, wisdom, and support.