The Master’s Degree in Contemplative Studies is the first course entirely devoted to the meditation section, and it aims to rethink lifestyles and practices in a sustainable and conscious way, by documenting and promoting the benefits of contemplative routines in the different sectors of society (education, healthcare, work and occupational development). Over 200 hours of guided practice will lead students through six different meditation-training paths, with traditional and modern approaches. Notions of psychology and neurosciences offer a modern insight on meditation, while philosophy, sociology and history of religions deepen its practice in Hindu-Buddhist, Christian, Hellenistic and Islamic traditions.
Students acquire the tools to conduct and transmit meditation practices in individual and group contexts and develops the critical thinking required to tackle the cultural and ethical challenges linked to the diffusion of meditation in the contemporary world.

The Master’s Degree in Contemplative Studies offers multidisciplinary competencies, deepens stress reduction, emotional balance and life and soft skill development programs, and provides the tools to introduce contemplative practices in educational contexts.
The Master includes several teaching techniques, both in-person and remote, such as lessons, meditation training, retreats and interactive education based on sharing and debates.

The Master’s Degree in Contemplative Studies is addressed to doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists, nurses and other care professions, and it offers competencies that can be applied in therapeutic contexts, and also to teachers and trainers of any level.
The course trains professionals in the meditation, mindfulness and contemplative practice field, and is ideal also for those who want to adopt these approaches within their own profession, with particular reference to the care and education field, albeit it can be also of interest for scholars, researchers, practitioners and other figures dedicated to the study, application and diffusion of classic and modern contemplative approaches.
The competencies developed are those required to train meditation, mindfulness and similar teachers.

The Master’s Degree in Contemplative Studies provides training on:

AREA 1. TRADITIONAL APPROACHES TO CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES 

Intercultural paths between philosophy and mysticism

  • Intercultural approach to the contemplative experience
  • Nature of the link between philosophical reflection and mystical experience in different cultural contexts
  • Some of its interpretations: Christian mysticism, Kashmir Tantrism, crossover between contemporary East and West

Mysticism between Hellenism, Christianity and Middle East

  • Contemplative experience in ancient times and in the Middle Ages
  • Some of its interpretations: ancient Greece and India; Greek philosophy and late-antique Christianity; Neoplatonism; ancient Eastern churches; Medieval Christianity 

Contemplative practice and mystical experience in Sufism

  • Placement of Sufism in Arabic-Islamic tradition
  • Sufi practice, past and present

 Mystical-ascetic traditions in Hinduism

  • Nodes of the contemplative debate in India, from the beginnings to Advaita Vedanta

 Theravada Buddhism and vipassana meditation

  • Philosophy in the Pali Canon
  • Theoretical-practical approach to mindfulness meditation
  • Vipassana meditation – TRAINING

 Indian Mahayana Buddhism

  • Historical-philosophical developments
  • Theoretical, ethical and contemplative cores

Forms of meditation in Tibetan Buddhism

  • Meditation purposes and methods
  • Analytical meditation – TRAINING
  • Concentration meditation – TRAINING

Zen and its practices

  • Central concepts in the Zen theory and practice
  • Dogen philosophy
  • Meditation on koans – TRAINING
  • Sit-down zazen meditation – TRAINING

AREA 2. CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES

Contemplative studies: an overview

  • A new field of knowledge, an epistemological framework for studying contemplative practices
  • Debate between students to assimilate and integrate the training path

Contributions of psychology to contemplative studies

  • Contributions of psychology to the topic of contemplative practices
  • Theories, researches and critical issues in the psychological study of the spiritual and self-perceptive experience in a relational and intercultural prospective

Neuroscientific prospective on the contemplative experience

  • Implications and neural/somatic correlations of the contemplative experience
  • Neuroscientific approaches to the religious experience

Sociological contributions

  • New movements between religion and spirituality

AREA 3. APPLICATION OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES

Mindfulness, stress reduction and emotional regulation

  • A social-cognitive approach to mindfulness and its benefits
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – TRAINING
  • Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) – TRAINING

Meditation approaches to develop compassion

  • Compassion, empathy and altruism: a comparison between Western psychology and Buddhism
  • Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) – TRAINING

Applications in the educational field

  • A theoretical-experiential approach to contemplative educational methods

Resources to conduct meditation practices in group contexts

  • Trauma-sensitive approaches
  • Resources to conduct group meditation practices

Our partnership with the Unione Buddhista Italiana provides qualified meditation trainers: masters and experts with broad experience in contemplative traditions. It also allows us to use monastery spaces and meditation centres for retreats. In the final project work phase, it provides the ideal context for insights and advanced training in the different Buddhist centres in Italy.

Reference epistemological framework for the contributions coming from the different disciplines, the emerging contemplative studies sector stands out for its multidisciplinary nature and peculiar methodologies, which integrate first-, second- and third-person approaches. Apart from including some of the leading field experts in this field as faculty members, the Master hosts an international conference, which is part of the seminar activities accessible to students. This way, students are brought to the heart of the research and debates that characterize the contemplative studies, in a dialogue with the global protagonists of these fields.

The Master in Contemplative Studies explained in a minute

Information

Mind and psycho-physical well-being
29/09/2024
70%
18
50
€ 1.922,50
€ 1.046,50
Find the admission titles in the selection notice 22/23

FAQ

In the final phase of the training course, students are required to complete a project work, aimed at deepening their knowledge, meditation expertise and conduction abilities in one of the meditation approaches covered during the two-year period, through advanced training activities that can be carried out in partnership with many relevant facilities.

Forms of facilitation include 10 scholarships worth Euro 2,058 each (gross). The general criteria for their awarding are: resume (70 points), dissertation (20 points) and other publications (10 points).

After passing the final oral exam, apart from the Level 1 Master’s Diploma in Contemplative Studies. Traditional to contemporary meditation practices”, certifications related to the different meditation trainings completed successfully by each students during the two-year period will be issued: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), plus traditional courses in the main forms of Buddhist meditation (theravāda, Tibetan and Zen). At the end of the two-year period, after the project work, an advanced training certificate based on the specific meditation approach chosen by the student will also be issued.

The majority of training is done in-person, during the weekend (approx. one each month, on Saturday and Sunday), in the classrooms of the University of Padua. There will be three three-day meditation retreats (from Friday to Sunday) at some of the most important Buddhist monasteries and meditation centres in Italy. Part of the hours of guided meditation will be done remotely, in evening sessions during the week, aimed at promoting the continuity of the practice, and accompanying participants in the assimilation of the contemplative experience. During the two-year period, there will be regular meetings to share and debate on the topics covered during training, to promote content integration and comparison between students.
Remote activities will be done on the Zoom platform, while downloadable educational materials and other distance learning functions entail the use of the Moodle platform. All lesson activities (even those in person) will be recorded and will remain available for the entire two-year period.

Forms of facilitation include 10 scholarships worth Euro 2,058 each (gross). The general criteria for their awarding are: resume (70 points), dissertation (20 points) and other publications (10 points).