J-Term 2014: Meditation in Action- The Contemplative Sciences - ISSS 3033
J-Term at Northern Virginia Community College
The class number is: ISSS 3033 SIS#20762
Meeting times: 1/2/2014-1/11/2014
Nightly except Sundays 6-10 pm
Saturdays 1/4 and 1/11 8:30-5 pm
In the Academy, a new discipline called the contemplative sciences has emerged as a result of efforts to bring the benefits of meditation and non-western healing practices to bear on a variety of late 20th and early 21st century problems, from violence to preserving the environment. This has happened as a number of organizations have proliferated in the U.S. such as the Mind and Life Institute, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and the Garrison Institute. They were founded by western practitioners such as neuroscientist, Richard Davidson, scholar and practitioner of Buddhism in the West, Allan B. Wallace, and psychologist, Daniel Goleman, spiritual teachers and writers, Ram Dass, the Dalai Lama, and others, out of a desire to create linkages between their spiritual lives and their work in the wider world. These efforts both spearheaded and coincided with new discoveries in the past decade in the field of neuroscience of brain plasticity and how we can, as science writer, Sharon Begley, puts it “change our brains.” This course examines the movement’s history, goals, and impact. Students will be exposed online to talks and teachings by world-renowned spiritual leaders.