Earn a Master's degree that will help you integrate the practice of mindfulness into your professional practice and personal life.
The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Mindfulness Studies will provide you with a strong foundation in the history, theory, and practice of mindfulness so that you may integrate mindfulness into your professional practice and personal life.Mindfulness in the workplaceThe Master of Arts program is especially suitable for health and wellness professionals, social workers, and counselors who wish to develop their own practice of mindfulness and share these practices with clients and colleagues. Low-residency formatThis 36-credit, two-year program is offered in a low-residency format, in which students start each year with an 8-day residency on Lesley’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During the residency you’ll take classes, meet with faculty members, conduct research, and network with peers. Between residencies you’ll continue your studies in your home community and communicate regularly with faculty and peers via email, phone, and online tools.
View the program of study for the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Mindfulness Studies
Mindfulness: Theory and Practice3 creditsIn this course students examine the theory of mindfulness and engage deeply in the practice. Mindfulness draws on the innate wisdom of our minds and bodies to develop calm, concentration, and insight, and to foster personal growth. We will engage in several forms of mindfulness practice, and discuss related writings, including recent studies reporting new findings about the potential benefits of mindfulness practice to improve health and to promote equanimity and overall well-being, including enhancement of brain function. Students will focus on the application of these transformative practices in their own daily, academic, and/or professional lives. Mindful Communications: Theory and Practice of Insight Dialogue3 creditsThis Mindfulness Studies course is designed to examine and critique the theory, practice, and potential of Insight Dialogue, or interpersonal mindfulness, and its roots in the Buddhist concept of “right speech.” Implications of Insight Dialogue for enhancing communication, including in difficult conversations, will be examined. Insight Dialogue will be contextualized within examination of prominent philosophies of dialogue and dialogic practices intended to promote communication across race, class, gender, and ideology. Mindful Leadership and Social Engagement3 creditsThis course provides students with an opportunity to explore how Buddhist ideas underlying mindfulness can be extended into the realm of leadership and engagement with the contemporary world. Students will gain a nuanced understanding of principles of mindful leadership through close readings of translations of classical Buddhist teachings and current mindfulness texts. Students will investigate the meaning of these teaching in direct experience and apply them to social, cultural, historical, organizational, and political case studies.Foundations of Contemplative Practice: The Buddhist Traditions3 creditsThis course operates as a philosophical, historical and cross-cultural survey of the Buddhist traditions as they are found in South Asia and East Asia. Particular attention will be paid to the development of the Buddhist ascetic tradition, philosophical issues such as the "no self' doctrine, the historical role of women, and the migration of Buddhism to the west and the differences/similarities between these schools and their Asian counterparts.
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Associate Professor, Director of the Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry
M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies
M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Mindfulness Studies SpecializationM.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Mindfulness Studies SpecializationM.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Peace and Conflict Transformation
Advanced Professional Certificate in Mindfulness StudiesAdvanced Professional Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies
Mindfulness at Lesley
Interdisciplinary Studies Faculty
Interdisciplinary Studies: Lesley in Guyana
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How best, in the academy, to reconcile the demands of head and heart? Such was the question explored by Dr. Diana Chapman Walsh in her far-reaching talk Tuesday evening at Lesley on the convergence of mindfulness and leadership. Read More.
View presentations, the keynote address, and a plenary discussion from the 2013 Mindfulness in Education Conference: Foundation for Teaching and Learning.
Harvard Medical School published an article last year on their Harvard Health Blog about the benefits of mindfulness meditation for the brain. Titled "Mindfulness meditation improves connections in the brain," the post cites a May 2011 study which suggests that the practice of mindfulness meditation serves to increase brain connectivity, among other emotional, mental, and physical benefits.