. . . at the New School, baby!
It’s a two-hour psych class I have every Thursday night, involving a brief meditation or mindfulness exercise, didactic presentation, and some discussion. With only 25 people, we have ample opportunity for lively exchange, though I still feel like I’m re-learning how to be involved in group academia.
The last few weeks we’ve had reading assignments that take me right back to my days as a debater. Reading such dense field-specific language, it’s interesting to see how my first intellectual instinct is to break every argument apart, piece by piece, identifying holes – and contemplating how to fix them. My analytical mind’s been hungry!
Of course, I have so little technical experience in psych academia, a lot of it’s just learning what the protocol for experimental research might be. Once I do that, I may not feel so uneasy with control group definition or consistency in lifestyle variables for these correlative studies. Not that I require “being sold” on mindfulness meditation. I know it works (at least for me!) … but to see the process of how it’s become so scientifically accepted and finally a part of the mainstream is fascinating.
The class is really something special, a sweet combination of Buddhist techniques and psychology scholarship. It took a lot of hoop jumping to get in (especially as a non-degree student), but I’m so grateful I did.
Having a great teacher is also a blessing. Jonathan Kaplan keeps the material accessible and engaging, sometimes funny, sometimes profound – you can tell he’s passionate about the subject. And that’s such an inspiration as a student.
If you’re interested in how to live mindfully in a city, check out his book, too. It’s an absolute joy.
For more . . .
- Brown Contemplative Studies
- Columbia’s Institute for Buddhist Studies
- Greater Good Science of a Meaningful Life
- Harvard Medical School Cognitive, Affective, and Contemplative Neurosciences Lab
- Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
- Oxford Mindfulness Centre
- Shambala SF
- UCLA Mindfulness Research Center
- Various Mindfulness Research Centers
- Vipassana Meditation