Project Buddhism, Psychology & Mental Health

History
Since sponsoring our first courses “Socially Engaged Buddhism” and “Buddhist Psychology: Theories and Applications” at New College, University of Toronto, in 2003, the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada (BEFC) had made annual donations for these two and many additional courses to New College every year for ten years up to 2013, essentially funding the majority of the New College courses in this program for this ten-year period. Our donations had enabled the creation of the minor program “Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health” (BPMH) in 2007. The Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (CHIBS) had also sponsored additional four half courses for a two year period, 2012 and 2013.

A BIG thank-you and our heart-felt gratitude to all the donors and supporters of BEFC and to CHIBS for being part of this exciting project!

Present
This program has thrived and student enrolment increases every year. In 2014, New College has financed the program from their own funding sources. In 2015, our Foundation will be funding for two additional years a half course titled “Cultivating Consciousness”, a popular course that would otherwise not be offered.

Future
BEFC is looking into the possibility of endowing four lectureships to facilitate the interdisciplinary study of Buddhism and western psychology for the advancement of mental health:

Abhidhamma and Yogacara Buddhist Psychology
The philosophies of the Buddha and Nagarjuna
Zen (aka Chan) and Vipassana Meditation
Socially Engaged Buddhism

The first three fields of study offer the opportunities for students to examine the workings of the human mind both intellectually and experientially so that they may understand how to free themselves from mental suffering. The fourth explores how the Buddhist teachings  can be applied to contemporary  society.

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