The Science of Mindfulness (PSY 209)
Registration open now. Open to the public through Stanford Continuing Studies.
Mondays, 7:00 – 8:50 pm
10 weeks, September 24 – December 3 (No class on November 19)
2 unit(s), $365
For thousands of years, meditation has been practiced to calm the mind. But only in the last few decades has science investigated how meditation changes the mind. This course will explore through lecture and practice how meditation influences the mind at many levels, including thoughts, emotions, brain activity, and even the structure of the brain. We will look at the most important research on how meditation can improve focus, self-control, self-acceptance, empathy, happiness, and physical health. In particular, we will also learn the different meditation techniques used in each study, and investigate the effects of these techniques through direct experience. This course will give you the tools to establish a personal meditation practice as well as insights into why and how meditation works.
[This course is a major update to the last time this course was offered (2010), emphasizing the latest research, so some students may be interested in retaking the course.]
This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.
This course is part of a three-quarter sequence called “The Science of a Healthy Mind.” (Each course can be taken independently, but participants who take all three will benefit from the continuity in concepts and assignments.) Join us this quarter for “The Science of Mindfulness,” followed by “The Science of Willpower” (Winter) and “The Science of Compassion” (Spring). While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.