Monasteries of the Future

Master of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania
Advisor: Robert Thurman, Ph.D.

Abstract

For millennia, monasteries have been at the forefront of training virtues such as compassion, transcendence, service, gratitude, forgiveness, and grit, as well as foundational psychological capacities such as self-regulation, sustained, voluntary attention, emotional intelligence, and meta-cognitive awareness. Monasteries of the Future are modern institutions, both secular and religious, designed to provide the requisite financial, social, intellectual, and instructional support necessary to train a new generation of contemplative adepts. Forming a network of centers which collaborate and compete, Monasteries of the Future will establish and uphold the highest standards in the contemplative field. By partnering with modern science, most notably positive psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, Monasteries of the Future will drive innovation in the field of contemplative science, and in so doing, promote human flourishing and ameliorate suffering. The rationale for Monasteries of the Future is built on the science of deliberate practice, emerging research on meditation and neuroplasticity, and ancient contemplative claims. On the front lines of revealing what inner skills are trainable, how to train them, and how trainable they are, Monasteries of the Future will help to answer these pressing and complex questions, that in a world of seven billion people, have become questions of survival.  

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