The Santa Barbara Institute will offer courses for the general public on the themes of motivational, attentional, cognitive, and emotional balance. Some will be specifically designed as C.E.U. courses for educators and healthcare professionals. Each will integrate practical and theoretical instruction drawn from the cognitive sciences and the contemplative traditions of the world. Residential workshops and retreats on these same themes, ranging in duration from 3 to 10 days, will also be held.
A variety of courses on the nature of consciousness explored from interdisciplinary, cross-cultural perspectives will also be offered. The Institute also invites guest lecturers from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, mental health, philosophy, and spirituality to give public lectures and to lead workshops on various aspects of consciousness studies.
The Institute plans to acquire a facility for an ongoing, one-year contemplative training program involving four 3-month residential courses devoted to the cultivation of mental balance and the exploration of the nature and potentials of consciousness. This one-year training will provide students with basic contemplative skills for the cultivation of genuine well-being for the rest of their lives. Introductory course graduates who wish to proceed to the level of professional contemplative training will eventually be provided with a four-year graduate course in the four aspects of mental balance and the first-person investigation of consciousness.
Individuals who have developed such skills to a high degree will be an invaluable resource for psychologists, neuroscientists, and other cognitive scientists who wish to combine quantitative, third-person with qualitative, first-person study of the mind. High-level collaboration among scientists and expertly trained contemplatives may open up unprecedented opportunities for fathoming the nature and full potentials of consciousness.
The Institute will eventually develop a graduate program in the interdisciplinary study of consciousness in affiliation with one or more universities. This program will be offered as a series of onsite and online courses drawn from the fields of philosophy, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, cognitive neuroscience, and the world’s contemplative traditions.