This course will explore the practice of meditation, with special attention being paid to its effects on cognition, affectivity, neurobiology, etc., and what these changes ultimately tell us about the mind. We will investigate meditation from the standpoints of first-hand practice, classical Asian and East Asian religio-philosophical texts, phenomenology, and via relevant contemporary empirical research in the brain sciences. Topics will include: focused awareness vs. open presence vs. affective meditational approaches; the cognitive, emotional, moral, and existential effects of meditative experience; contemplative education; the use of meditation in prison, and the metaphysical issues associate with questions of consciousness. Each seminar meeting will begin with a 20-30 min. meditation practice, for which a meditation pillow, or zafu, is required. Pre-requisite: one course in philosophy or consent of instructor.
2016-2017 Course Catalog / Courses / Meditation and the Mind