The Imagination and Imaginal Worlds in Buddhism


Berkeley, CA



June 14 - June 26, 2020 Length: 2 Weeks


Summer Program

Summer Program Type

Summer Program Audience


Karin Meyers



  • Our world is facing unprecedented ecological and social challenges. In Buddhism, as in other religions, imaginal worlds—worlds deliberately accessed through the imagination—are primary sources for personal healing, inspiration, and insight, as well as for social, cultural, and political transformation. This Institute invites scholars to reflect on the critical roles our imaginations play in creating (and potentially) transforming our world by examining how these worlds are deployed in Buddhist literature, ritual, meditation, and art; Buddhist philosophical theories on the creative dynamic between mind, action, and world; and contemporary theories on the imagination (from philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, and religious studies).

Project Director(s)

Karin Meyers, William Stone Waldron

Lecturers and Visiting Faculty

Fran Cho, Jeffrey Durham, Rupert Gethin, Leah Kalmanson, Matthew Kapstein, David McMahan, Laurie Patton, Alyson Prude, Elliot Wolfson

Grantee Institution

Mangalam Centers