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Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World

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Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World explores the immense variety of meditation practices past and present. We present their histories, their philosophical underpinnings, their transformations in the modern global world, and we give you a chance to reflect upon meditation practices through secular contemplations designed just for this course. We use a traditional, if overly simplistic, way of grouping Buddhist philosophical systems and ritual-contemplative practices into “three vehicles”, three programs of theory and practice supporting the personal journey from suffering to enlightenment. This scheme became normative in India and Tibet: (i) the Lesser Vehicle (Hīnayāna), (ii) the Great Vehicle (Mahāyāna), and (iii) the Adamantine Vehicle (Vajrayāna), also referred to as “esoteric Buddhism” or “Buddhist tantra”. To this, we will add a fourth Vehicle which is explicit in many Tibetan materials, though no standard term ever emerged that was accepted by all sectarian traditions - we will thus term it as the “Natural Vehicle” or “Post Tantra”. We follow an indigenous Tibetan tradition in terms of characterizing each with a specific orientational paradigm - repression, refinement, transformation, and natural freedom. These twelve meditative traditions constitute the framework for the course’s discussion of the main streams of Tibetan Buddhist meditation. The five modules of the present course, dedicated to "Lesser Vehicle" practices and perspectives, treat the first five of these twelve types. Each module in turn has four components: (i) the specific Buddhist meditation in its traditional presentation and practice; (ii) modern scientific research into its efficacy and dynamics, or on practices, principles, and processes related to this type of meditation in our analysis; (iii) the fact, problems, and opportunities of modern secular adaptations in a variety of educational, professional, and personal settings; and (iv) secular practices for experimentation, which are either direct adaptations or new practices designed to give an experiential sense of some of the principles underlying the Buddhist meditative practice.

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Rating 3.6 based on 213 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 4-9 hours/week
Starts May 21 (301 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Virginia via Coursera
Instructors Prof. David Francis Germano, Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags History Arts And Humanities Philosophy

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What people are saying

looking forward

Hope they launch part 2 and 3 of this course soon, looking forward to it.

Sorry for my English.So many people looking forward to take this course and was very cold, robotic... full of theoretical and repetitive texts.

Well done to the team who put it together and I am looking forwards to part 2, 3 and 4. it was a great experience that i get this course.regards for every one.

Looking forward to section two.

This is a course I will be coming back to again and again to refresh my own understanding, and I am truly looking forward to further modules when they are released.

Looking forward to the next courses.

I am really looking forward to the next course!

I have learnt a great deal from every aspect of this course, and am greatly looking forward to future courses, as you have promised!.

I am looking forward to seing you again for the 'Greater Vehicle'.

great material and very interesting and wonderful research material I was looking forward to starting this course, but so far, checking through the delivery of the first 4 weeks, I can't see spending time voluntarily following this.

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tibetan buddhist meditation

Largo pero fascinante If you want to get in *depth with the philosophy and history of Tibetan Buddhist meditation, this is the course for you!

Excellent guided meditations and a very well organized and well presented overview of the Lesser Vehicle of Tibetan Buddhist Meditation.

This is a very worthy attempt to integrate the history, philosophical underpinnings and modern transformations of Tibetan Buddhist meditation.Clifford Saron’s Week 2 lectures on neuroscience and neuroplasticity were fascinating and intriguing introductions to the topic - very engaging.The negative.

----------- From the blog ----------------------------------I recently took the FREE Coursera course, "Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World".

( From the course catalog: " Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World explores the immense variety of meditation practices past and present.

The few text headers which appeared then disappeared in only a very few seconds and sometimes did not relate directly to what he was saying at that time.Dr Germano's content: the amended title was Tibetan Buddhist Meditation.

Beware !The course has introduced me to a new world and I will definitely pursue my new-born interest in Tibetan Buddhist Meditation.

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clifford saron

Special thank you to Dr. David Germano for super organised and put together lectures, and Dr. Clifford Saron, just listening to the later speak is a great deal of meditation - so special and highly connecting.

Dr Clifford Saron took difficult scientific data and made it understanable.

Dr. Clifford Saron was my favorite part of the course by far; his methods of articulating his teachings, for me, were the easiest to understand and the most engaging/interesting to follow.

His interviews were well-conducted and his remarks always to the point.Interesting - and again complex material from Clifford Saron who managed to caputre the attention of my rather non-scientific brain.

Dr. Clifford Saron's lectures were interesting.

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anyone interested

Would take this course again and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism.

I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the subject.

I highly recommend this course and the University of Virginia to anyone interested in developing knowledge of Buddhist meditation practices.

A wealth of information - a true resource for anyone interested in the subject matter.

Very good a bit too academic by times but otherwise a goldmine for anyone interested in the science and context of buddhist meditation I waited a long time for this class to start but now that it is here I find it impossible summon enough will to pay attention to the lectures.

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guided meditations

The layout of the course was particularly good; with a theme each week and a set of lectures exploring the practice in question from a cultural and spiritual viewpoint, a set touching on the scientific aspect of the practice, a set outlining the history of the practice, and a series of guided meditations.

Labs provide an additional resource with guided meditations and explanations.

#2 - Guided Meditations by Dr. Anne Klein and Anam Thubten.

If the quality of guided meditations (GM) in following classes are even half the quality of this course's GM's, then that's all the reason I need to continue the future classes, too.

Similarly, many of the non-Buddhist guided meditations that I viewed in this course felt like a physical education or "How To" class.

I was at first pretty overwhelmed my the sheer volume of lectures on here but when you get into the swing of it it becomes apparent quite early on that the large amount of academic conceptualizations are not the most necessary to become totally au fait with & that these are in fact followed up by a spectrum of other articles which are more philosophical, contextual and relatively up beat, as well as some experiential guided meditations etc.What's become more apparent though is the fantastic faculty behind this & the incredible work being done by them as well as other colleagues in the field.

The guided meditations were wonderful, but the introductory lectures for Weeks 1-5 were redundant and boring.

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highly recommend

In particular I would highly recommend the Meditation Labs, the Science of Meditation videos and the short presentations from the Tibetan Buddhist monks .

Highly recommended!

lesser vehicle

It is also an excellent presentation of lesser vehicle practices.

(Note: In the class overview, it is noted that the term "Lesser Vehicle" is "perjorative" but they use it anyway.

It's not as if there aren't plenty of academics and practitioners who are active in this field.-it's confusing to describe Tibetan Lesser Vehicle practices but then illustrate them with Pali text sources, modern Mindfulness practice, and modern Brahma Vihara practice all of which have emerged from the modern Theravadin tradition.

Excellent course on the Lesser Vehicle.

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at times

As others have mentioned, the main lecture presentation was very scholarly I found the science to be rather lacking in content and the presenter rather condescending at times.

Audio was difficult to hear at times Uninspiring and boring.

Nevertheless, even this had me wowed at times.

They were so bad that, at times, what was written was exactly the contrary to what was being said.

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rather than

It was astonishing to experience such self-promoting hacks rather than knowledgeable practitioners of the art of meditation.

There are very long locally-hosted readings (so they're hard to print and you can't add them to an offline reader app), and the Reading section for each lesson seems to be a bibliography (rather than actual reading assignments), because there are no links and some refer to "Selections" without giving page numbers or, in at least one case, a multi-volume book.

To be fair, the content is golden, although the papers seems to be geared to the academic community, rather than the student community.

I would recommend putting the transcripts of the lectures together in a more easily readable format, then use the videos by Dr. Germano to highlight the issues presented rather than just reading.

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modern world

This course was originally titled Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World, this changed a few hours before opening to Tibetan Buddhism and the Modern World.

There wasn't anything that related to the "Modern World" which I consider my world.


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Rating 3.6 based on 213 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 4-9 hours/week
Starts May 21 (301 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Virginia via Coursera
Instructors Prof. David Francis Germano, Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags History Arts And Humanities Philosophy

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