WSP 356 — Buddhism: An Experiential and Practical Introduction
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): May 5
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 28
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Instructor(s): Leah Weiss
10:00 am—4:00 pm
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
What is Buddhism? This course will provide an intellectual and experiential introduction to the philosophies, practices, and histories of two of the predominant forms of Buddhism in the West: Theravada and Tibetan. We will explore selections from sources such as the Pali Canon, the Heart Sutra, and Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. This immersive experience will include lecture, discussion, an overview of various styles of meditation, and reflective writing exercises. The instructor will share the framework from her newest book, Bhavana: Life Lessons from the Cave Boys of Thailand, as an overlay for the exploration. The elements of Bhavana are drawn from Buddhist psychology and include clarity, focus, embodiment, compassion, and wisdom. Each of these will be unpacked in terms of their traditional philosophies, associated meditation practices, and opportunities to build these skills “off of the cushion.” Current psychological research, including the physiological markers and neuroscience of each of these skills will be integrated in executive summaries and interactive class discussion as well. Participants need have no experience with meditation, Buddhist studies, or psychology but should come with curiosity and an open mind.
Leah Weiss, Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of BusinessLeah Weiss is a contemplative scholar and writer specializing in the application of meditation in secular contexts. She is a co-founder of the Foundation for Active Compassion, which provides meditation practices of compassion and wisdom to people involved in social service and social change work. She also leads Compassion Education and Scholarship at HopeLab, an Omidyar Group research and development nonprofit focused on resilience. She received a PhD from Boston College.
Textbooks for this course:
(Recommended) Leah Weiss, How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind (ISBN 9780062565068)