Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buddhist Mindfulness and Care

when 1 July 2023 - 15 July 2023
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1050

The increasing interest in Buddhist spiritual caregiving and mindfulness is partly due to a disproportionate increase in mental distress and wellbeing and the promise and potential of Buddhist approaches to these topics.

The current popularity of mindfulness is at a peak and quite encouraging; however, there is often a lack of authentic input from the ancient Buddhist wisdom traditions. This lack has become an obstacle to deepened, embodied experiences, and has made mindfulness techniques often mechanistic and diminished their true value and effectivity.

The Buddhism team at the VU aims to cater for the need and the demand for rooted mindfulness by enabling students to explore the holistic and authentic Buddhist tradition that base mindfulness in its natural home.

This course will introduce Buddhist mindfulness in theory and practice with special focus on Spiritual Care.

For this purpose, the course is structured along the lines of the Mitta Sutta (SN5 Magga) in the Pali Canon which discusses seven qualities of a noble/good friend:

1. Giving what's difficult to give

2. Doing what's difficult to do

3. Bearing up what’s difficult to bear

4. Keeping others' secrets

5. Revealing one’s own secrets

6. Doesn't abandon one in misfortune

7. Doesn't despise one in misfortune

These seven characteristics of a good friend are matched with real-life and work requirements such as assessing spiritual needs of a person, assessing religious needs of a care-receiver, practicing ethically, confidentiality, communication skills, team working and maintaining one's own practice respectively.

Course leader

Dr. Sunil Kariyakarawana

Target group

This course is for anyone who is interested in Buddhist Spiritual Care and mindfulness either for their own benefit, acquiring or deepening new knowledge and insights or whoever wishes to apply, share and practice mindfulness and spiritual care from a Buddhist perspective in order to help others. The course is open everyone including to those who are simply curious; those who are interested as health and care practitioners; to students, professionals, and academics; and also to practising Buddhists nationally and internationally.

Course aim

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

- Have knowledge and understanding* of Buddhist mindfulness and the principles and applications of Buddhist Spiritual Care
- Have experience* with meditation
- Have experience* with reflective practice
* Level dependent descriptors:

High school: foundational

BA (level 1): foundational and emergingly evaluative

BA (advanced): intermediate and evaluative

MA: advanced and critical analytical

PhD: thorough, critical analytical and innovative synthetic

Credits info

3 EC
60 contact hours

Fee info

EUR 1050: Tuition fees two-week course

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €700
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €950
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €1050
Professionals €1250

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.