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The Neurobiology of Compassion and Compassion Practice
Dates: Nov 21, 2019 - Nov 24, 2019
Days: Thu - Sun (3 Nights)

Instructor(s): Diego Hangartner, Bhikkhu Analayo

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For millennia, Buddhist traditions have considered compassion an integral component in support of awakening. Contemporary scientific research offers modern practitioners new insight into how compassion emerges in the mind and the brain and how it affects our nervous system, physiology and the body. In this course we will investigate some of the findings of recent research and explore their relevance and importance for our practice by a close comparison with various teachings from the Pali canon and Tibetan sources (eg. Shantideva). By sitting with these traditional inspirations, we will directly correlate our personal meditation practice with the insights gained from modern scientific exploration. This program will be taught primarily by Diego Hangartner. Bhikkhu Analayo will be offering guided meditations on Friday and Saturday mornings. In addition, he will be available for a question and answer period on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Learning Intentions:

To become familiar with compassion practices from traditional Buddhist sources; understand the importance of combining traditional compassion training methods with modern approaches to compassion (such as self-compassion); and how to differentiate compassion and empathy.

Experience Level:

Some meditation and retreat experience suggested

Lottery closes July 15, 2019


Link to Lottery course details
  • Diego Hangartner has dedicated over thirty years to external scientific research and internal meditative exploration of the mind and consciousness. Diego was COO of Mind and Life Institute in the US and co-founder and director of Mind and Life Institute in Europe until 2015. Today, he continues his research and teaching with the Max Planck Institute, ETH (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and Zurich University. Diego also founded the “Institute of Mental Balance and Universal Ethics” (IMBUE), an interdisciplinary initiative, to develop and provide tools and programs that foster mental balance.

  • Bhikkhu Anālayo is a scholar-monk and the author of numerous books on meditation and early Buddhism, such as Satipatthāna: The Direct Path to RealizationPerspectives on Satipatthāna, and Satipatthāna Meditation: A Practice Guide. He is a Faculty Member at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, having retired from being a professor at the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg. His main area of academic research is early Buddhism, with a special interest in the topics of meditation and women in Buddhism. At the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies he regularly teaches residential study & practice courses, participates in online programs and undertakes research into meditation-related themes.  For a full list of Bhikkhu Anālayo’s publications, please click here.