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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kathleen D. Noble
BST 322
Bothell Campus

Exploration of Consciousness

Explores consciousness studies. Investigates the impact of thoughts and emotions on brain functioning, biological plasticity, and psychological development. Topics include mediation and neurosciences, animal consciousness, environmental awareness, and the convergence of science and spirituality. Prerequisite: BST 321. Offered: W.

Class description

The emerging field of consciousness studies challenges many deeply held ideas about physical reality and the nature of the mind. In this course we will continue the exploration begun in BST 221 and investigate new collaborations between scientists and contemplative scholars into the nature of mind and its effect on neuroplasticity and healing.

Student learning goals

1. Understand the structure of the brain and how different states of consciousness are currently being investigated by neuroscientists and contemplative scholars.

2. Describe the ways in which contemporary scientists and contemplative scholars are collaborating to investigate the ways in which the mind affects biological processes.

3. Appreciate the range of practices that constitute "meditation" and the ways in which these practices promote physiological and psychological healing.

4. Demonstrate the ability to read carefully and discuss cogently the ideas and experiments described in the texts.

5. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and write about your own ideas about consciousness at the conclusion of the course

6. Strengthen your Beginner's Mind.

General method of instruction

Seminar, mini-lecture, discussion.

Recommended preparation

BST 221. Curiosity and open-mindedness. Willingness to read deeply and study carefully the course material. Willingness to attend and participate in every class session.

Class assignments and grading


1. Wallace, B.A., and Hodel, B. (2008). Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science and Spirituality. Boston, MA: Shambhala.

2. Russel Targ and Jane Katra (1998). Miracles of Mind: Exploring Nonlocal Consciousness and Spiritual Healing. Novato, CA: New World Library.


1. Harrington, A. (2008). “Eastward Journeys.” In The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine (pp. 205-242).

2. Lipton, Bruce. (2005): The Biology of Belief. Santa Rosa, CA: Mountain of Love (Chapter 4: The New Physics, and Chapter 5: The Biology of Belief).

3.Krippner, S., and Achterberg, J. “Anomalous Healing Experiences.” In Cardena, E., Lynn, S.J., and Krippner, S. (2000). Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association. (pp. 353-395).


1. Meditation. 2. Monks in the Laboratory. 3. Doing Time, Doing Vipassana. 4. Alternative Therapiess: (#1) Hypotherapy, (#3) Meditation 5. Brain Fitness Program. 6. Living Matrix: New Science of Healing. 7. Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension.

Grading is based on performance on written assignments, final presentation, and class participation.

1.Written synopsis of each chapter (40%) [2 pages maximum, typed, double-spaced, 12 point font]: a. What are the chapter’s main points? b. Conclude with a final paragraph describing your “So Whats.”

2. Final Reflection Essay (30%) [5 pages, typed, double-spaced, 12 point font]: This essay will integrate your thoughts about the material we read, watched and discussed throughout the class. I want to know what you think and how your ideas about consciousness evolved over the course of the course.

3. Final essay presentation (10%): Students will present and discuss their final reflection essays during the last day of class. 4. Participation (20%): Students will be evaluated by themselves and by the instructor during class discussion based on their level of participation, preparation to raise questions based on the readings, respect shown for other participants, and use of notes and texts to support their questions and discussion contributions.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kathleen D. Noble
Date: 12/14/2011