In recent years, mindfulness practices have had a significant impact on various areas of human wellbeing like stress reduction, resilience building, and enhancement of emotional and social skills. The origins of these practices are mostly rooted in the contemplative traditions of Buddhism. Our project aims to investigate these mutual transfer processes between traditions and cultures. This involves drawing not only on textual sources from ancient traditions, but also on subjective, transformative accounts of practitioners' experiences.
Bridging Academia and Living Traditions
The Khyentse Centre for Contemplative Traditions is dedicated to the study of the rich contemplative traditions of India, Tibet, China, Japan and other countries, seeking in particular to shed new light on the dynamic interface between scholarship and practice. The exploration of these traditions is not limited to textual sources, but also concerns dimensions of subjective experience. We therefore also seek to explore and understand the practical aspects of contemplative traditions.
Mindfulness practices have had a remarkable impact in recent years on developing resilience, reducing stress, as well as building emotional and social skills and other components of human flourishing. This movement has been largely driven by a changing psychology and a refocused corporate culture. We are seeing remarkable developments such as the integration of compassion into corporate cultures.
A closer look at the content quickly reveals its Buddhist origins. In this context, processes of secularization of mindfulness have facilitated its integration into health systems. However, it seems that this process of extracting ideas and techniques from their spiritual roots has been largely limited to a few practices from Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism. The question that now arises is whether all potentially transformative ideas and techniques have already been brought to light, or whether there are still untapped sources waiting to enrich these now widely accepted secular approaches and to provide scholars with a more comprehensive understanding of contemplative traditions.
This project embarks on an exciting journey through the textual sources and subjective experience of practitioners to find answers to this question. The focus is on exploring previously unexplored areas of contemplative practices and providing new perspectives on the centuries-old quest for personal transformation.
Building bridges: We aim to establish connection and collaboration between the academic world and contemplative traditions, both ancient and recent.
Exploring living traditions: Our platform provides researchers with an opportunity to explore how living traditions rely on both ancient and contemporary textual transmissions.
Understanding transformative aspects: We study the outcomes of contemplative traditions, focusing on the transformative aspects that contribute to human growth, such as mindfulness and compassion.
Unveiling healing processes: Through the lens of Buddhist psychology, we shed light on the healing processes that emerge from contemplative practices.
Research Focus Areas
Mindfulness: We delve into the practice of mindfulness and its impact on individual well-being and positive societal development.
Compassion: Understanding the cultivation of compassion and its role in fostering empathy, kindness, and social engagement.
Textual and Oral Transmissions: Exploring the interplay between ancient scriptures and living oral traditions, uncovering the nuances of processes of transmission.
Contemplative Practices: Investigating various contemplative practices and their effects on mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Healing and Well-being: Examining the therapeutic potential of contemplative practices.
Academic Exchange: The Centre aims to serve as a vibrant platform that engages scholars, students and the wider community in exploring the rich contemplative traditions of India, Tibet, China and beyond.
Conferences and Workshops: Organizing academic conferences and workshops to promote dialogue and share knowledge across disciplines.
Publications: Publishing research papers, books, and journals to disseminate findings and promote further exploration of contemplative traditions.
We invite scholars, students, practitioners, and anyone interested in contemplative traditions to join our community. Together, we can deepen our understanding of these traditions, explore their transformative potential, and contribute to the well-being of individuals and society. Visit our website, follow us on social media, and become a part of the Khyentse Center for Contemplative Traditions.
Thank you for your attention!