The Foundations of Mindfulness

Ven. Bhikkhu Anālayo with Judson Brewer, Bonnie Duran, Diego Hangartner, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sara Lazar, Nikki Mirghafori, & Nirbhay N. Singh

Produced in Partnership with the Insight Meditation Society

Wisdom was honored to work with the Insight Meditation Society to produce this course. The course is informed by their years of experience producing world-class meditation retreats and helping form the development of Buddhism in America.

Learn from an Authentic Teacher

Ven. Bhikkhu Anālayo is uniquely qualified to guide you through the study and practice of mindfulness. A renowned scholar and respected monastic, Ven. Anālayo illuminates the dharma with profound, timeless teachings.

Discover the most profound meaning and applications of mindfulness.

Dear Fellow Meditator—

Mindfulness is a buzzword and a trend—but it’s much more than that. It’s an ancient practice that has been proven to radically transform your mind, and in doing so, how you experience reality. When we see reality clearly and understand what causes our suffering and what lessens it, we can discover a radical happiness that we may never have experienced before, or even known was possible.

Mindfulness is the foundation of true happiness—and this course provides the foundations of mindfulness.

Click the enroll button to sign up now, or keep reading for more information!

Tuition: $397 USD


Self-study course: you can take this course at your own pace. Materials remain accessible to enrolled students so you can return to them again and again!

Wisdom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Your tuition supports the creation of more courses like this one. Thank you!
For more about our terms, please see the Wisdom Academy FAQ.

This program presents the best of Ven. Anālayo’s brilliant teaching, offering wonderful, thorough training in mindfulness for new and experienced students, as well as teachers-in-training.

For people who want to feel better, reduce stress, and discover true joy, this course helps students develop a profound new understanding of the mind and reality itself.

The course provides an introduction to dimensions of mindfulness in its early Buddhist setting. The course will introduce students to various modalities of its employment, situated within a historical sketch of the development of constructs of mindfulness in later Buddhist traditions and its contemporary secular employment.

Why take this course

A foundation for retreat

This course has been carefully crafted to benefit anyone who desires a deeper understanding of mindfulness. The Insight Meditation Society—one of the most well-regarded meditation centers in the world—has identified a need for more mindfulness education for those who are thinking of going on a meditation retreat, so they arrive prepared and can get the most out of their retreat experience.

Essential training for aspiring teachers

We also know that with the growing popularity of mindfulness, self-compassion, and meditation, more people want to pursue teacher training, and want to make sure they have an authentic education in mindfulness as part of that training.

Train in mindfulness with a truly renowned teacher

This course provides both spiritual depth and intellectual rigor. Ven. Anālayo brings to his teaching the extraordinary combination of being both a professor and a monastic, and the program is augmented by its impressive roster of guest teachers, who contribute to the academic and scientific perspectives that inform the course.

This is going to be a remarkable experience. By enriching your practice with this 360-degree exploration of mindfulness, we think you’ll find a new level of confidence and faith in your practice’s ability to impact your life, and the lives of those around you, for the better.

Important Course Information & FAQs

  • How much does the course cost? Course tuition is $397.
  • Is the course self-paced? You can take the course at your own pace and you’ll have access after it officially ends. However, we do recommend completing each lesson in time to join the weekly forum discussion.
  • What’s the time commitment? We recommend setting aside 3–4 hours a week to complete each lesson.
  • Will I lose access? Course materials will be available on an ongoing basis for enrolled students.

Note: As an act of Dhammadāna, Ven. Anālayo has waived royalty payments for this course. 



Lesson 1: Mindful Eating with Judson Brewer


Lesson 2: Ethics of Mindfulness with Bonnie Duran


Lesson 3: Mindfulness and Compassion with Diego Hangartner


Lesson 4: Embodied Mindfulness


Lesson 5: Mindfulness and Focused Attention


Lesson 6: Mindfulness and Wisdom


Lesson 7: Bare Awareness with Sara Lazar


Lesson 8: Mindfulness and Health with Jon Kabat-Zinn


Lesson 9: Mindfulness of Death with Nikki Mirghafori


Lesson 10: Mindfulness in the Buddha’s Quest for Awakening


Lesson 11: Mindfulness in Later Buddhist Traditions


Lesson 12: Contemporary Mindfulness with Nirbhay Singh

 What You’ll Learn

By joining this course, you’ll learn:

          • How the practice of mindfulness can be directly applied to eating and have a profoundly positive effect on your physical health
          • Why mindfulness practice is not complete without the component of ethics
          • The neurobiology of compassion, and why compassion and empathy are crucially different practices
          • How to discover deep joy through the practice of concentration
          • How to bring mindfulness into your relationship with your body
          • How to cultivate the awakening factors
          • The role that understanding impermanence plays in developing insight
          • How your brain constructs your experience, including the neurobiology and psychology of pain and fear
          • Mindfulness in relation to illness, aging, and death
          • The Buddha’s quest for awakening from the perspective of mindfulness
          • A historical perspective of the trajectory that influenced the development of mindfulness in later traditions
          • How mindfulness has been moving into western secular areas of health, psychology, and various related areas
          • and much more.

Student Testimonials

What an amazing way to have spent these past three months! . . . Bhikkhu Anālayo’s well-considered, even-handed, and balanced approach to these various aspects of mindfulness has been consistently staggering—each lesson has heightened my awareness to the breadth and wisdom of the Buddha’s teaching.
—Roger Ash Wheeler
I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Ven. Anālayo, the supporting teachers, and all my fellow students for the best twelve weeks of my life. ‘Life-changing twelve weeks’ is a pretty good description.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had a chance to participate in this course. Venerable Anālayo’s in-depth knowledge, excellent ability to explain, and willingness to share moved me and added more strength to my practice. Beautiful, informative lectures by all guest teachers helped a lot with clarification and understanding. I am grateful for the support and guidance of moderators; your help was a beautiful gift. Dear fellows, thanks a lot for your rich reflections, for your time, and generosity.
—Tetyana Solotska
  • “A heartfelt thanks to Ven. Anālayo and all the wonderful guest teachers, moderators, and participants for a truly fascinating and enriching experience. The material had me riveted in every single lecture. It is a testament to Venerable’s skill that the course was just as stimulating for someone who could be described as a ‘seasoned practitioner,’ as it seems to have been for relative newcomers to mindfulness and/or Early Buddhism. I gained many new perspectives on Early Buddhism and mindfulness in ways that injected new life and inspiration into my practice.” —Ven. Canda Bhikkhuni
  • “The Foundations of Mindfulness course was great! Since I come from a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction perspective, I learned a lot about Buddhism and where MBSR fits into the whole picture.” —Kathryn Groller
  • “I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to Venerable Anālayo, all of the teachers, and each of my fellow students’ thoughtful, engaged posts on the forum. I cherished participating in this course and look forward to integrating much of what I have learned into my ongoing practice.” —Adam G.
  • “Ven. Anālayo’s lectures and writings on early Buddhism resonated with me; I feel like I have come home. He has completely transformed my understanding of the purposes of mindfulness and the Buddhist path. He has also clarified my confusion about the different branches of Buddhism. The teaching assistants have been truly amazing. Their depth of knowledge and generosity with their time have helped my learning process exponentially. Likewise, I have found the members of the class sangha to be a great resource and very generous with their time. I have learned so much from you all.” —Ann Finneran
  • “Words cannot express my gratitude to the Ven. Anālayo for the teachings in this course. He has energized my practice and, through the teachings, has given me much of the tools I need to deepen it. I already experienced practical beneficial effects in some crises and stressful situations by recalling and implementing the teachings. I especially appreciate the balance between the scholarly information and the practical implications and applications of these teachings to everyday life.” —Anonymous
  • “This course profoundly impacted me. I found this class by accident, but it was meant to be. I learned so much from Ven. Anālayo’s excellent scholarship, from the guest lecturers and teaching assistants, and from my fellow students whose contributions to the discussions deepened my understanding. Thank you all so much. The benefits of mindfulness practice continue to manifest in different ways . . . I have experienced practical benefits in some recent stressful situations by remembering the teachings.” —Arlene M.
  • “Let me share a heartfelt bow of gratitude to all who have made this excellent learning experience possible. It was such a joy and honor to listen to Ven. Anālayo and guest speakers every week—I could hardly wait for the next lessons. Particularly, I am most grateful for the detailed analysis of Buddhist concepts as found in different traditions and time periods along with theories on how these changes might have evolved. Understanding is the key, ignorance the lock. I will certainly continue to unlock my mind and nurture understanding and inspiration by revisiting the videos, readings, and the many notes I have taken throughout this wonderfully enlightening course.” —Bhikkhu Viveka
  • “I thank you deeply, Venerable Anālayo, for your clarity, sincerity, profound knowledge, and communication skills. This series has expanded my understanding and perspective and lightened my heart. My gratitude also to all the contributors to this forum; your stories and questions helped me to see the deeper dimensions of the issues being discussed and touched my heart and mind. And thanks to the facilitators, who brought in new perspectives and wisdom.” —Chris B.

Transform Your Understanding of Mindfulness

After taking this course, your practice will be deeply enriched with a profound new understanding of mindfulness. This course lets you go beyond the buzzword and deep into the true meaning of the transformative practice of mindfulness.

Establish Foundational Understanding

Get an authentic foundation in mindfulness that will support both your personal practice, and if you’re training to become a teacher, your teaching practice.

Get Holistic Mindfulness Training

Gain skills that bring together mindfulness with ethics, societal change, psychology, health, and much more.

Be Part of Something Bigger

Join a community of dedicated practitioners who are looking to make mindfulness one of the guiding practices in their lives, and who have seen for themselves the enormous mindfulness can have on how we experience life.

Get Access to a Rich World of Teachings

Get access to 18+ hours of detailed teachings from Ven. Anālayo and the guest teachers, as well as readings hand-selected by Ven. Anālayo for students in the course.

Understand the Sources of Mindfulness

Deepen your understanding of key parts of the Pali Canon, the foundational teachings of the Buddhist tradition, including exactly how they apply to your psychology and your practice.

Learn About the Science of Mindfulness

In this course you’ll be taught about key studies in psychology and neuroscience that intersect with Buddhist concepts and teachings on mindfulness.

Meet Your Teacher

Venerable Bhikkhu Anālayo

Bhikkhu Anālayo is a scholar-monk and the author of numerous books on meditation and early Buddhism, such as Rebirth in Early Buddhism & Current Research, Satipatthāna: The Direct Path to Realization, Perspectives on Satipatthāna, Satipatthāna Meditation: A Practice Guide,and The Superiority Conceit in Buddhist Traditions (coming soon from Wisdom). His main area of academic research is early Buddhism, with a special interest in the topics of meditation and women in Buddhism.

Bhikkhu Anālayo was born in Germany in 1962 and ordained in Sri Lanka in 1995. In the year 2000 he completed a PhD thesis on the Satipaṭṭhāna-sutta at the University of Peradeniya (published by Windhorse in the UK). In the year 2007 he completed a Habilitation research at the University of Marburg, in which he compared the Majjhima-nikāya discourses with their Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan counterparts. Besides his academic activities, he regularly teaches meditation.



Buddha footprints photo source: Wikimedia.