Michael R. Sheehy is a meditation researcher and scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. His research focuses on the generative, dynamic, and ever-evolving processes of contemplative practices detailed in historical Tibetan meditation manuals, and more broadly – to the relevance of meditation research to discourses in the humanities, cultural psychology, and the cognitive sciences. 

Michael studied extensively in Buddhist Asia, including three years studying in a Buddhist monastery in the nomadic Golok region of far eastern Tibet, and for more than twelve years, he worked with monastic communities on-the-ground to digitally preserve rare manuscripts across the Tibetan plateau. As a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Divinity School, and then at the Mind & Life Institute – where he directed Mind & Life Dialogues XXXII in Botswana and XXXIII in India – he facilitated Buddhism and science dialogues. He is an investigator on several collaborative research projects on meditation, actively consults and designs contemplative interventions for scientific studies, and was recently featured in National Geographic for his research on lucid dreaming practices

Michael is a Research Assistant Professor and the Director of Research at the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia where he is affiliated faculty in the Department of Religious Studies and UVA Tibet Center. He is the cofounder and Executive Editor of the Journal of Contemplative Studies, and Series Editor for both the Varieties of Contemplative Experience and Traditions and Transformations in Tibetan Buddhism book series at the University of Virginia Press. He is coeditor of The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet, and his forthcoming book is an intellectual history of the little-known Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. His current book project is an interdisciplinary study of Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practices of attention, imagination, and embodiment.

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