This Mangalam Research Center course concluded in April 2021. It will be offered again in fall 2021.
Description: This course will explore the historical and theoretical transformation of mindfulness (sati, smṛti) from presentations in the Pāli Canon, Abhidharma, and Mahāyāna traditions (Tibetan and Zen) to modern Buddhist and secular practices and applications. The first three weeks of the course will consider the multiple ways mindfulness functions as a mental factor in classical Buddhist theories of mind, meditation, and the path. Next, we will trace the emergence of the modern mindfulness movement from its roots in colonial and postcolonial Asian Buddhisms to contemporary Buddhist understandings and secular applications in the West. This course should be of interest to any student of Buddhism or mindfulness interested in a deeper understanding of the historical and theoretical roots of mindfulness.
This course should be of interest to any student of Buddhism or mindfulness interested in a deeper understanding of the historical and theoretical roots of modern mindfulness.
Structure of the course: Each week students will receive a narrative summary of contemporary scholarship on the topic, recommended readings, and an annotated bibliography for further self-study. Classes will include ample time for discussion. Some weeks may include a supplemental video/audio lecture or additional optional sessions for answering questions. With the permission of participants, sessions will be recorded and made available to registered students.
Preparation: Prior familiarity with mindfulness practice (any variety) is recommended. If you are new to an academic historical perspective on Buddhism, you might read Rupert Gethin’s Foundations of Buddhism or a similar introductory text prior to the start of the course.
All inquiries about this course should be directed to me (Karin Meyers) at Mangalam Research Center: firstname.lastname@example.org