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Buddhism, Environment and Sustainability

Subject Overview

Through 10 weeks of fully online learning, the subject will explore definitions of mindfulness from both western and Buddhist perspectives. Empirical research on the study of mindfulness will be reviewed as well as specific approaches to applying mindfulness for self-care and the care of those seeking help in a health context. Students will explore the theory, principles, and practice of mindfulness, including its health, wellbeing, resilience, and neuroplasticity benefits, and its application to conditions of stress, physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing. Students will investigate a specific area of mindfulness application in detail.

A transformative subject designed for postgraduate, caring and healing professionals, with some basic Buddhist understanding, who are interested in personal development and self-care in the context of mindful nature connection. Unique in its contemplative pedagogical and reflective approach, the concepts and skills may also be applied by other serving professionals.

Topics of study and reflection include Buddhist approaches to environmental philosophy, environmental psychology and environmental ethics, beginner’s mind, mindfulness, transitions, impermanence (birth/death), embodied presence and resilience.

The subject draws on several Buddhist traditions and is a multidisciplinary and integrative approach to human suffering building on a model of serving heart, serving mind, serving practice and serving community by expanding understanding of awareness, acceptance, compassion, mindfulness, meditation, impermanence, flux and flexibility. After completing this subject, students will have new insights regarding their own nature connection and wellbeing.
 

Learning Outcomes

 

  • Synthesise concepts of Buddhist eco-ethics and eco-philosophy, ecologism, value, and suffering
  • Analyse and explain “nature connection”, “the self” and impermanence
  • Apply intercultural proficiency in healing environments
  • Explain their own relationship with the environment (culture, place, religion, community)
  • Appreciate the application of Nature-Based Therapeutics, advocacy, and hearing the voices of those suffering
  • Analyse and explain the connection between mindfulness and morality
  • Transform understanding of the concept of connection, embodiment, and the power of silence
  • Apply a personal approach of embodied presence based upon awareness, compassion, mindfulness, and resilience

 

SUBJECT STRUCTURE:

 

Environment:

  • Buddhist approaches to environmental philosophy
  • ecophilosophy
  • environmental psychology
  • environmental ethics
  • ecologism
  • healing environments
  • Intercultural proficiency

Self and nature connection:

  • Beginner’s Mind
  • Mindfulness
  • Transitions
  • Impermanence
  • Connection
  • Embodied Presence
  • Resilience

Mindfulness:

  • Value and suffering
  • Middle way and dependent origin
  • Mindfulness and morality
  • The power of silence
  • Awareness, compassion, mindfulness and resilience
  • Reflection and contemplation

 

Subject Structure

 
This subject runs for five weeks, with the following structure:

Week 1: Pre-reading of prescribed texts
Week 2: Digital Intensive Classroom (5 days x 8 hrs/day)
Weeks 3 – 5: Submission of assessments online

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ABOUT NAN TIEN INSTITUTE

Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering studies in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing, within an environment that incorporates contemplative education.

NTI offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism, and Mental Health as well as customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.