SCIENCE for MONKS

creating science learning communities with tibetan buddhist monastics since 2001

Collaborations with Neuroscience Resources

Cell/Biology Picture for Resource Page

Over the past 20 years, several prominent scientists have conducted pioneering research in collaboration with Buddhist scholars and contemplative practitioners. Overall, this work investigates the relationships between various forms of meditation (attention focus, loving-kindness, compassion) relate to western psychological constructs like cognition, emotion, health and well-being. This course will begin with an overview of systems-level functional neuroanatomy (how mental processes relate to activity in specific brain regions, networks and systems – 2 sessions), then move into a review of methods for measuring biological correlates of mental (2 sessions), then engage the group in a critical discussion around the questions, study approaches and methods, results and interpretations of the data that has emerged from these collaborative investigations (9 sessions). Work from The Center For Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts (MBSR, John Kabat-Zinn), The Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin (Richard Davidson & Mattieau Ricard), the Shamatha project at UC Davis (Cliff Saron & Alan Wallace), The Emory Mind-Body Program (Charles Raison & Lobsang Negi) and Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (Dr. James Doty & Thupten Jinpa) will be presented in a chronological structure. Ideas for novel approaches to scientific inquiry into the effects of Buddhist contemplative practices on psychological phenomena will be sought from the course participants.

Teaching Slides (Power Point)


Gaelle Desbourdes (2013)

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. The Self
  3. 3. How Do We Know?

David M. Fresco (2014)

  1. Clinical/Medical Research Designs

Katherine Shephard (2014)

  1. Science of Psychology

Marieke van Vugt (2014)

  1. 1. Introduction to Cognitive Modeling
  2. 2. Modeling Meditation ?!

Marcel Bonn-Miller (2014)

  1. 1. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: What is it?
  2. 2. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Cognitive Processing Therapy
  3. 3. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Prolonged Exposure & Acceptance-Based Treatments

Emiliana Simon-Thomas (2014)

  1. 1. Contemplative Neuroscience I
  2. 2. Contemplative Neuroscience II
  3. 3. Consciousness & The Self


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