Can meditation be made suitable for secular people?
Curious about meditation? Wondering whether it’s worth trying? Curious about what science says about this ancient practice and whether there really is any benefit to practicing it?
This 1 1/2 hour course taught by Rick Heller of the Humanist Mindfulness group will walk you through the history of the practice, what science tells us happens when we meditate and how this practice works as an essential natural and humanistic life skill.
Length: 1 1/2 hours
Format: Instructor facilitated self study
Access information: Course access granted at the beginning of each week.
Meditation is an important life skill. We humans do our best thinking when our minds are relaxed. Learning how to relax the mind helps us focus better and achieve better results.
Unfortunately, some people believe that meditation sends out “vibes” to the universe that can reduce violence and bring peace. We do not endorse this view. Meditation changes the brain, and we can bring positive change to the world when we use our brains!
At this point, there is little doubt that mindfulness can have beneficial effects, including helping people reduce stress and cultivate positive emotions. However, when presented by religious organizations, meditation often comes “packaged” with other beliefs that are not all that credible. It is the aim of this course to filter out anything dubious and only present practices that are consistent with mainstream academic science and to provide the participant with the information they need to decide whether humanist or secular meditation is right for them.
- History of meditation
- Recent research
- What happens when you meditate
- Pros and cons of meditation
- Types of meditation
- Is meditation consistent with a natural or secular worldview?
Who should take this course?
- Anyone who is curious about meditation is considering trying it.
- People who meditate who want to learn more about the practice
- Life Coaches (ICF)
Continuing Education Credit:
If you would like to self certify this course for continuing education self study credit, you can request a letter of participation inside the course. The course takes 1 hr 45 minutes to complete.
“I really enjoyed the meditation class. Some I was familiar with, some was new. I learned to do the breath focus meditation about 25 years ago. And the muscle relaxation about the same time. I was never introduced to a deity based practice. I am a long arm quilter, so I sit on a drafting stool 6 or 7 hours a day 5 days a week at work. It is very focused work. All hand guided, no computer. So a sitting meditation is not on my list. Nor is a walking meditation, I use a cane to get around. But now I have some ideas for meditation. So, thanks again!” – Ramona
“After I finished the course videos, I enjoyed and was moved by doing the first loving meditations Rick Heller guided. Now that I have this information about meditation, and have rather penetrated the mystique of it all, I think I might benefit from meditation. Glad I to have this non-supernatural guide.” – Monica O’Reilly
This 1 1/2 hour online program: includes video lessons, and a handout listing relevant scientific papers, books, and web sites. You can study at your own pace but still have access to the instructor to ask questions, interact with your fellow students and more.
To participate in this course you will need Internet access and the ability to view youtube style videos. The course will work on home computers and tablets such as the iPad.
About the Instructor:
Rick Heller facilitates the Humanist Mindfulness Group, which is sponsored by the Humanist Community at Harvard University. His writing has appeared in Buddhadharma, Free Inquiry, UUWorld, Tikkun, the Boston Globe, and Lowell Sun. He is the creator of Seeing the Roses, which presents videos showing how mindfulness can help us deal with behaviors that drive climate change.
Money Back Guarantee:
If for any reason you are unhappy with the course you may request your money back within 15 days