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Contemplative Sciences Center

The Contemplative Sciences Center’s mission is to explore how higher education can better and more centrally facilitate the flourishing of students as whole individuals. We think of flourishing as a process of realizing well-being by achieving deep states of health and actualization of potential in all aspects of life—physical, social, emotional, cognitive, academic, and professional. This means actively contributing to the well-being and flourishing of other people, other communities, and the natural world. We pursue our mission at the University of Virginia and beyond through academic, co-, and extracurricular programming, transformative technologies, research, scholarship, and social innovations.

Generative Contemplation Symposium

The Generative Contemplation Symposium hosted by UVA’s Contemplative Sciences Center promises to catalyze transdisciplinary research collaborations to advance a collective understanding of the underlying dynamics of contemplative practices. It will bring together leading specialists for an exploration of these practices in light of contemporary philosophical inquiry and psychological research on effort and effortless, self-emergent experiences. Themes of effortlessness and self-emergence in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practices will be addressed in four overlapping domains: (I.) Cognitive Effort and Control Practices, (II.) Nondual Practices, (III.) Dream and Illusion Practices. (IV.) Self-Emergent Visionary Practices. Each domain will involve a creative mix of Buddhist Studies scholars, scientists, philosophers, and teacher-practitioners with distinct bodies of expertise – textual, experiential, and empirical.