2013 Visiting Scholar Recipients

Paivi Ahonen
University of Oulu, Finland

Analyzed the strategies of the Kingdom of Bhutan in developing education policies along with the national development strategy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Worked to understand and support the global efforts to increase education for sustainable development.

Heather Buttle
Massey University, New Zealand

Fine-tuned a research proposal on Mindfulness, Morality, and Meta-Awareness, a project that aims to consider how mindfulness practice affects moral decision making and meta-awareness (e.g., being aware of our feelings and emotions).

Gilda Darlas
Lancaster University, England

Wrote up research that provides the details of a moral psychology for the gradual cultivation of compassion by examining in detail and reinterpreting the guidance offered in a core Therāvāda text, Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga. Elicited feedback on the Universal Education Program for Ethical Development (UNEED) program, a moral psychological program created with the specific goal of integrating the virtue of compassion in children’s character formation.

Nathan Fisher
Brown University

Developed drafts of two articles to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals: one on pilot data from The Varieties of Contemplative Experience project at Brown University, the second on data from a sociological study at Indiana University investigating the diffusion of contemplative practices into the workplace and corporate cultures.

Dana Jack
Western Washington University

Deepened the comparison of Western and Buddhist conceptions of self(lessness), and articulated assumptions underlying their psychological perspectives on self-sacrifice. Drew from Buddhist teachings and practices to articulate how a focus on selflessness may be transformed from promoting depression to fostering flourishing and social and relational change.

Chris Kaplan
Brown University

Developed a book project that examines the radical individual, communal, and global consequences of convergences between the recent (20th-century) worldwide spread of contemplative practices, the emergence onto the global stage of internationally coordinated grassroots democratic movements, and the burgeoning growth of the fields of contemplative science and studies.

Rajesh Kasturirangan
National Institute of Advanced Studies, India

Furthered work on eudaimonics, the interdisciplinary study of well-being, by using cognition —  especially embodied cognition — as a crucial bridge between the many levels at which well-being operates. Incorporated the latest research in affective neuroscience into a classical humanistic framework informed by contemplative inquiry, philosophy, and psychology.

Jennifer K. Lynne
University of New England, Australia

Further investigated neuroscientific research to be included in the development of The Engaged Identity theory and practice curriculum, which examines the roles of listening, patience, and respect as three precepts or “pre-coming together” capacities that enable an individual to cultivate greater equanimity in conflict situations.

Sara McClintock
Emory University

Researched and wrote on the topic of the ethics of reading in a Buddhist context. In particular, integrated theoretical tools from reader response theory and semiotics in order to investigate the mechanisms by which reading Buddhist narratives may provoke particular kinds of ethical transformations.

Andrew Olendzki
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

Contributed to the dialogue between Buddhist scholarship and the work of contemplative neuroscientists by extracting and translating from early Buddhist Pali texts those passages that give first-person descriptions of mental events — especially those that are transformative — with the intention of inviting neuroscientists to map out the third-person neural correlates that might be involved with each set of events.

Silke Rupprecht
Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany

Evaluated the impact of an MBSR intervention on the well-being and flourishing of teachers, as well as on their interaction with the students and instructional quality.

Juan Santoyo
Brown University

Expanded on theoretical and methodological questions posed in a project investigating the phenomenological correlates of specific activation in the posterior cingulate cortex by engaging in a methodological review of integrated “first-person” and “third-person” methods. Specifically, focused on how adopting the systematic approach found in grounded theory methodology, a validated method of qualitative inquiry, may address epistemological and methodological issues in current neurophenomenology, resulting in a clinically relevant method.

Marieke van Vugt
University of Groningen, Netherlands

Developed a computational model of meditation that can be simulated to make detailed predictions about the cognitive (and possibly emotional) effects of meditation practice, thereby allowing for more informed research into the effects of meditation on cognition.

John Whalen-Bridge
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Worked on a book entitled Dharma Bums Progress: Engaged Aesthetics in the Work of Buddhist American Writers, which explores the ways in which Buddhism — a mode of life that accommodates not only spiritual development but also artistic maturation and political activism — adapts over time in America.