Author Topic: Free on-line course: Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World  (Read 1387 times)

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Free on-line course: Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World

From the University of Virginia, USA
provided by Coursera - an organisation that publishes a lot of courses, in several languages.

The course Buddhist Meditation and 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.

See:
https://www.coursera.org/course/meditation

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Free on-line course: Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 04:45:11 PM »
I checked out the bio sketches of both professors teaching the course. It is not clear if they have practical experience though. I am not sure of the value of the course if that is the case.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Free on-line course: Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 01:09:28 PM »
Hello Middleway,
For some, in my imagination, such a course would be like sitting in meditation and hearing someone explain to a general public what one is doing. As if the meditator would sit in a museum hall. Very disquieting.
I like to know what the cultural context is of meditation, at the moment. I have the impression, that meditation is one of the means through which Buddhist philosophy can be taught. I suspect, that passing on the knowledge and the culture was an important part of meditation in Asia - I do not know.
I have the impression, that mindfulness, like it is taught at Insight Meditation Society, is more a part of Western culture than of Asiatic Buddhism. I have the impression, that the same goes for the vipassana meditation that they use as their basis.
The school of Mahassi Sayadaw, in which my teachers were trained, was quite radical, seen from the context of Burmese Buddhism of that time. This school can be seen as breaking with a tradition, though it claims to pick up on old scriptures that were forgotten.

Anyway, I hope that this course will help me understand the cultural context of what I am doing.
Just like I use Western psychology to understand the experiences I can go through on the cushion.
I find it fascinating, that I feel a need to understand a foreign culture. I see that as logical and as an inner need. So for myself, I am not so concerned that the knowledge of books and the internet will lead me away from the honesty and power of inner experience.

Thank you for your comment and for your warning. It helps to get things clear.

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Free on-line course: Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 01:59:23 AM »
Hello Q,

Good reasons to take the course. Good luck with the course. Please let us know how it goes.

Kindly,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

 

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