The Certificate in Mindfulness Studies introduces students to the core principles, theories and practices associated with mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices.
What You Will Learn
Throughout the certificate students discover the histories of mindfulness, from ancient traditions to current neuroscientific research. Current applications of mindfulness are examined in psychotherapy, medical, educational and corporate settings. The certificate also explores various ethics and attitudes associated with living an awake and mindful life.
The certificate provides students with an opportunity to learn and practice various mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), which may be utilized both personally and professionally. Classes offer periods for core mindful practices including: breath awareness meditations, body scans, walking meditations, mindful eating and mindful movement.
Classroom time dedicated to group discussion and inquiry will allow students to deepen their understanding. Students are encouraged to practice outside the classroom setting and will generate a practice journal outlining their direct experiences. A reflective essay will be written to highlight and summarize the students' learning in each of the four courses. Group presentations and research on community resources will bring the practice off the cushion and into everyday life.
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Compulsory Courses - 4 Required
Foundations of Mindfulness
In this course, students become familiar with the foundational concepts, theories and principles associated with mindfulness studies in order to deepen their understanding in preparation for the following three courses within the certificate. The history of mindfulness as a universal practice of cultivating awareness will be explored from ancient wisdom traditions up to and including the story of the Buddha and the spread of Buddhism. Core Buddhist teachings and practices associated with mindfulness will be shared.
Mindfulness in the West
In this course, students will gain an understanding of how and why mindfulness has become a familiar concept in Western societies today. To begin, students will trace the history of mindfulness in the West, from the early European intellectual connection to the development of present-day applications, which serve diverse populations from children to veterans to corporate leaders. Students will develop a framework to understand the progression of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) from mental health care and medical settings to educational and business settings. The impacts, benefits and efficacy of these practices will be analyzed and discussed in class.
Science of Mindfulness
In this course, students investigate current research in various sectors of the mindfulness community including: psychotherapy, medicine and education. Students will delve into foundational neuroscience that is applicable to the field of mindfulness. They will also investigate the impacts and benefits of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on the mind/body focusing on self-regulation and stress-management.
Ethics of Mindfulness
In this course, students will develop an understanding of the ethics and attitudes cultivated when practicing mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Students will discover the ways a mindful practice helps individuals generate empathy and compassion for oneself and for others, which in turn has the potential to contribute to a more mindful society. This course will also provide students with an opportunity to critique some ethical tensions associated with contemporary applications of mindfulness in various sectors of society.