In this online course, we present a series of lectures by experts in the field of meditation research suggesting potentially fruitful areas for expanding the science of meditation. 

Designed for new and existing meditation researchers, and anyone interested in the science of meditation, course shares theories and hypotheses, measures and protocols, and suggestions for new or understudied lines of inquiry.

This self-study course consists of 14 chapters and six interviews (for a total of 10 hours of video), each including a supplemental reading list for the topic, and an optional quiz. A certificate of completion is available for those who complete the quizzes with passing marks.


This course is a component of the Future of Meditation Research project. Led by the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), a task force of meditation researchers and teachers developed recommendations for expanding the current meditation research field to include important yet often neglected topics, including experiences of oneness and interconnectedness; samadhis and siddhis; shakti and kundalini energies; karma, past-life recall and reincarnation experiences; visions, synchronicities, precognition, extra-sensory perception; experiences of God, deities, and other non-physical entities.

Some researchers view some of the topics reviewed in this course as not being amenable to scientific investigation, or inherently "unscientific." We disagree. While some of these domains are unconventional and potentially controversial, they are common, important to people, and can be subjected to rigorous scientific investigation. 

These arenas represent largely uncharted scientific terrain and provide excellent opportunities for both new and experienced researchers. In this course, over 20 leading scientists in the field of meditation research provide suggestions for future directions, and further reading and resources for deeper exploration.

Course Developers

Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., is the President of the Institute of Noetic  Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at  California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. She has developed mindfulness-based interventions for addictions, and for pregnancy and postpartum well-being, and has studied meditation and other transformational practices extensively. Read Dr. Vieten's Bio.

Arnaud Delorme, Ph.D., is a CNRS principal investigator in Toulouse, France, faculty at the University of California, San Diego, and a Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He is coauthor EEG Lab, the most used EEG analysis software in the world. He is a long-term Zen meditator, and has taught in India on the neural correlates of conscious experience in a Master's degree program for the Birla Institute of Technology. Read Dr. Delorme's Bio.

Course Content


  1. An Introduction to The Future of Meditation Research: Cassandra Vieten
  2. Electrocortical Activity in Meditation: Arnaud Delorme
  3. An Exploration of Sensory Processing in Meditation: Rael Cahn
  4. Exploring Human Capacities: Cassandra Vieten and Michael Murphy
  5. Ego Death and Experiences Along the Contemplative Path: Jan Chozen Bays and Katherine MacLean
  6. Qualitative Outcomes in Meditation Research: Helané Wahbeh
  7. Meditation as a Path: Promises and Tribulations: Paul Mills
  8. Presence, Awareness, and Vulnerability: Michael Sapiro
  9. Assessing Higher Stages of Human Development: Fred Travis
  10. Exploring the "Socialness" of Meditation: Mica Estrada
  11. Nonduality: What it is and Why it Should Be Researched: Zoran Josipovic
  12. Meditation and Subtle Energy: Shamini jain
  13. Exploring the Foundations of Meditation Research and Altered States: Charles Tart
  14. Exceptional Human Capacities and Advanced Meditation: Dean Radin


  1. Embarking on Meditation Research: Practical Considerations: Cassandra Vieten and David Vago
  2. Expanding the Empirical View: Considerations for Broadening Meditation Research: Cassandra Vieten and Roger Walsh
  3. Mindfulness Meditation and Pain : Cassandra Vieten and Fadel Zeidan
  4. Investigating with Intention: Mindfulness in Meditation Research: Cassandra Vieten and Shauna Shapiro
  5. Diverse Meditation: The Underrepresented Elements: Cassandra Vieten and Willoughby Britton
  6. Discussing Future Directions for Meditation Research with a Pioneering Figure in the Field: Advice for Young Researchers: Cassandra Vieten and Al Kaszniak

14 chapters and six interviews (for a total of 10 hours of video), each including a supplemental reading list for the topic, and an optional quiz. Tuition: $59.