Learn about Buddhism in the Modern World with this Free Course

Coursera is the premier online continuing education university that works with people from all over the world, helping them to expand their minds. Courses are taught from World Renowned experts from the world’s best universities.

Coming up in June is another Buddhism course offered by the University of Virginia.

Buddhist Meditation & the Modern World introduces students to the history of Buddhist contemplative traditions in India and Tibet (meditation, yoga, mindfulness, visualization, etc.), innovations in scientific research on understanding such contemplative practices, recent adaptations of such practices in multiple professional and personal areas, and the practices themselves through brief secular contemplative exercises.

The course will be co-taught by David Germano and Kurtis Schaeffer, and will be include extensive contributions from scientists, people involved with integrating in practice, and Tibetan Buddhist teachers.

As a student, you will learn how to explore Buddhist meditation practices in their cultural contexts, investigate scientific research on meditation’s dynamics, survey contemporary secular applications (healthcare, K-12 education, entrepreneurship, creativity, etc.), and learn meditation firsthand through exercises drawn from contemporary secular applications. This course utilizes five rubrics that blend the study of tradition and modernity, humanities and sciences, theory and practice.

Tradition: learn the original practices, their origins, their institutional contexts, and their deep relationships to philosophy, community, and ways of life.

Research: learn the scientific exploration of these practices and the neurological, biological, and psychological mechanisms of their effects, as well as research into their impact in specific contexts.

Innovation: learn about how based upon such research, people are innovating to create new secular practices adapted from these traditions.

Engagement: learn about how people are deploying and engaging with such new adaptations in an astonishingly varied array of fields and areas

Practice: learn secular contemplative practices, both cognitive and physical, in a Contemplative Lab.

You can sign up for the course here on Coursera.

photo credit: Thai Palaces 13, CC (license)