ASR205 - Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhism

Unit details


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Leesa Davis
Cohort rule:






Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

Campus 1 x 1 hour Class; 1 x 1 hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online:

Online 1 x 1 hour class per week (recordings provided) 1 x 1 hour seminar per week


Buddhism is a complex, multi-dimensional religious tradition that is far more diverse in philosophies, doctrines and practices than is generally realized. Buddhism is perhaps also unique amongst World Religions in that many of its core ideas, practices, and spiritual understandings have been taken out of their traditional religious contexts and adapted, appropriated, and employed in secular and non-religious contexts.

This unit introduces students to the rich tapestry of traditions, doctrines, and practices that are found throughout the Buddhist world: both in their traditional and modern expressions. In the traditional contexts, we look at the “how” of Buddhist practice by exploring diverse meditation practices and their accompanying philosophical underpinnings. In modern expressions, we look at how adaptations and appropriations of ancient Buddhist practices such as “mindfulness” have fed into contemporary adaptations of “engaged Buddhism” and “eco-dharma” and how these ideas are impacting on modern worldviews and ideas of “well-being”. We also consider other contemporary expressions of Buddhism such as secular Buddhism, agnostic Buddhism, and atheistic Buddhism.

Students will have the optional opportunity to experiment with Buddhist meditation practices such as insight meditation and Zen meditative techniques.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Understand and appreciate the variety of interpretative traditions and practices across the Buddhist world

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Demonstrate knowledge of the different histories and philosophies of Buddhist traditions

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication


Critically analyse philosophies and practices of Buddhism in both traditional and modern settings

GLO4: Critical thinking


Apply theory to compare and contrast different Buddhist philosophies and practices in the East and the West

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO6: Self-management

GLO8: Global citizenship


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Short Essay 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Information not yet available
Assessment 2 - Online exercise 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Information not yet available
Assessment 3 - Major Essay 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Information not yet available

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ASR205
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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