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Contemplative Studies

An emerging and innovative field of study

Contemplative Studies, inspired by Buddhism and other contemplative traditions, is an interdisciplinary field of research and education dedicated to exploring contemplative experience, practices, and their transformative effects on individuals and communities. While still in the process of definition, this emerging field exhibits rapid growth and immense potential for both research and practical applications in society.


The methodological approach of Contemplative Studies integrates:

  • Third-person research, characteristic of the humanities and sciences, providing a comprehensive understanding of the cultural, historical, philosophical, psychological and neuroscientific foundations of contemplative experience;
  • First-person phenomenological inquiry, involving the introspective techniques and methods employed in contemplative traditions to explore consciousness, its contents, and its states through self-observation; and the
  • Second-person approach, emphasizing the dialogic and intersubjective dimension that facilitates the description, sharing and investigation of contemplative experience through interpersonal interaction.


These are two-fold:

In terms of pure research, Contemplative Studies seeks a deeper understanding of the processes and effects related with contemplative experience and practices. Moreover, it seeks to contribute to scientific and philosophical research around consciousness – its nature, its degrees and states, as well as its relationships with the brain and body – and other fundamental aspects of human experience, such as states and levels of happiness and suffering, forms of identity, and so forth.

In terms of the practical applications of contemplative practices, Contemplative Studies seeks to contribute to different sectors in modern society, such as psychology, psychotherapy, healthcare, education, corporate environments, sport and personal growth.

Activities of the Research Center

To promote the development of this field of study and research, the Research Center is committed first and foremost to contributing to a clearer definition of Contemplative Studies as well as working toward its recognition in Italy and Europe, such that it will be recognized as: 1) a new direction for research, 2) a field of education, and 3) a set of professional fields and areas of social engagement.

In particular, in terms of academic research and training, the Research Center collaborates with universities in designing curricula and academic pathways (advanced training courses, summer schools, master’s degrees, as well as other degree courses) as well as creating and facilitating various platforms that promote collaboration among scholars and the dissemination of research in relevant fields.


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Giangiorgio Pasqualotto parla del Master in “Contemplative Studies”

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