Contemplative Practice East & West
(Religion 117)

Required Texts

All but one of these books are available at the bookstore; one will be distributed in class. (Caution: Keep in mind that the bookstore starts returning textbooks sometime during midterm.  Failing to obtain the texts before this time will not be accepted as an excuse for not being able to do the assigned reading.)

In the "Schedule of Topics & Readings," I use the abbreviations given here [BOLD CAPITALS in brackets] to refer to them. Excerpts of other texts will be available on reserve (marked “R*” in "Schedule").


Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works, trans. by Colm Luibheid [PDCW]
(Paulist Press: 0-8091-2838-1)

Teresa of Avila:The Interior Castle, trans. by Kavanaugh & Rodriguez
(Paulist Press: 0-8091-2254-5) [TAIC]

Upanishads, trans. by Patrick Olivelle [UP]
(Oxford University Press: 0-19-283576-9)

Thanissaro Bikku, The Wings of Awakening [WTA]
(distributed in class, free of charge)


Each student should also chose ONE of the following
(see "Schedule" for the first two weeks):

Thomas Keating, Open Heart, Open Mind (Continuum: 0-826-40696-3)

Swami Durgananda, The Heart of Meditation (SYDA Foundation: ISBN n/a)

Henapola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English (Wisdom Publications: 0-86171-064-9)

Any other assigned readings, listed by author and title and marked with an (*R*) in the "Schedule of Topics and Readings" will be available on reserve, both on in hard copy (behind the circulation desk) and on-line at e-reserves (no printing available).

NOTE: several films will also be excerpted in class throughout the term. Please see me if you are interested in seeing one or more of them in their entirety, and I will direct you to the appropriate source.

Overview & Objectives

Attendance Policy

Required Texts (TOP)

Schedule of Topics & Readings

Writing Exercises & Reading Notes

Notes on Written Work