Welcome to Mindfulness!

Welcome to this new online course exploring mindfulness. We'll follow the founding teachers of Bodhi College to a clearer understanding and practice of mindfulness through discussion and reflection.

Welcome to Mindfulness: Its Origins, Purpose, and Transformative Power!

It's easy to lose sight of what mindfulness actually is amid all the hype and noise. This course offers clarity about what mindfulness is from four renowned teachers, each with their own viewpoints and expertise to share. Perhaps most importantly, Mindfulness offers a solid footing for those looking to begin meditating or deepen an existing practice.

We begin by looking at mindfulness in its historical and religious context as part of the Buddha's four noble truths. We'll examine mindfulness—and how to be mindful—in light of Buddhist contemplative teachings. At each stage, you'll be expected to think critically and test these practices in your own experience. We will draw connections between the traditional conception of mindfulness to contemporary psychology and explore its benefits and therapeutic applications. We will also consider the place of mindfulness in secular society. Finally, we'll explore the ethical realities of mindfulness in a world that seems more complex than ever. Can mindfulness help us make moral decisions? Can it help us to lead a good life? How will it inform art, economics, and culture?

Dive Deeper into Mindfulness

This is an essential program for anyone with an interest in mindfulness, its Buddhist roots, and its role in the contemporary world. Meditators, practitioners, and therapists will benefit from the deeper practical, psychological, ethical, and contemplative understanding of mindfulness available here. 

Beginners will find an authoritative starting place in this course, while those with an established meditation practice will find many points of deep and subtle inquiry to work with.

Let's start by asking "what is mindfulness?" We'll explore a range of definitions and images that encapsulate this important quality*.


Course Structure

The course is divided into six units but you are invited to study at your own pace. Each lesson will offer roughly one hour of material to work with, including video teachings, prompts for reflection, optional quizzes, and a communal discussion board. There will also be suggested take-home practices for you to explore in daily life.

Unit 1 | Mindfulness and the Four Noble Truths

Stephen, Christina, Akincano, and John explore the role of mindfulness in the Buddha's awakening, which entails the recognition, performance and mastery of four ennobling tasks.

Unit 2 | Establishing Mindfulness (Satipatthana)

Our teachers take us through the Satipatthana teachings as presented in the foundational texts of the Pali Canon in order to clarify, refine, and enrich the practice of mindfulness.

Unit 3 | Mindfulness as a Contemplative Training

How does mindfulness function in the training of a Buddhist practitioner? What role does it play in the cultivation of our minds? What purpose does it fulfill? How, in practice, do we integrate it into our lives?

Unit 4 | The Psychology of Mindfulness

What is the psychological framework in which mindfulness is understood and practiced? Drawing on both traditional Buddhist psychology and contemporary psychotherapies, we will consider how mindfulness supports human flourishing and wellbeing.

Unit 5 | Secular Mindfulness

Does secular mindfulness differ from the mindfulness taught in traditional Buddhism? How do we integrate this 2,500-year-old practice into our busy modern lives? How do we ensure mindfulness stays vital and relevant?

Unit 6 | Ethics and Mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness have been noticed by those whose motives we might call into question. How do we cultivate an ethical life that supports our practice? Is it even possible to separate mindfulness from a commitment to an ethical life?