The contemplative studies take the human experience as a material object of research and formally emphasize the need to complement the scientific contemporary approach that privilege third-person research, with the traditional contemplative practices and doctrines that approach experience from a first-person perspective. The ultimate purpose is to develop new strategies to achieve individual and collective well-being, without neglecting the implications of the practices in the medium and long term.
In general, it is possible to distinguish four areas of research and implementation:
• Contemplative studies study the set of traditional and contemporary practices and doctrines, which point towards the improvement of the attentional capacity of individuals. The demands, to which we are exposed in our techno-capitalist societies, increase the fragmentation and dispersion of the subjective experience, multiplying the factors that end on chronic pathological conditions. In this respect, contemplative studies offer many valuable conceptual and empirically verified tools, that allow the individual to diminish and even to overcome the widespread experience of alienation that characterizes modern life.
• Contemplative studies attend to the set of traditional and contemporary doctrines and practices that may guide the individuals in their journey to self-discovery. These effective tools, allow them to adopt a close relationship with their body and their environment, and towards the set of mental events (memories, anticipations, conceptual ideation, emotions, dreams, etc.) that constitute the circle of the immediate experience.
The vision that inspires our modern practices have accustomed us to an association with the components of our individuality and to the understanding of our sociability, as one that is instrumental and atomistic. The contemplative studies try to recover the significance or meaning of our direct experience.
• Contemplative studies suggest that it is possible to model our sensitivity. Besides promoting direct cognitive experience, these doctrines and practices promote a transformation of our attitudes in order to achieve greater empathy, impartiality, love, compassion and joy, to face the diversity of experiences of other individuals. Thus, collaborating with the revision and deconstruction of self-center and egotistic attitudes.
These studies promote a re-aiming of our long-life training, explicitly establishing the cultivation of altruism as the final purpose of education.
Contemplative studies, thereby address the need to deal with societal malaise as self-isolation and alienation that are the dark side of the positive achievements brought by contemporary science and technology.
• Finally, the contemplative studies offer an alternative approach into the dominant reductionist view of nature in general, and of human nature in particular. They allow us to inquire into the materialistic paradigm of classical physics and the biological sciences under the light of the significance of experience. This perspective can let us redirect our dominant spirit to a new one that heads for a sustainable overtime altruistic wellbeing, in favor of the unborn.