Michael R. Sheehy is a meditation researcher and scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. He studies how meditation works in bodies and minds, cultures and ecologies, and intersubjectively. His work gives attention to how the generative, dynamic, and ever-evolving processes of contemplative practices are relevant to advancing discourses in the humanities, cultural psychology, and the cognitive sciences. 

Michael is the Director of Research at the Contemplative Sciences Center and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia where he holds appointments with the Department of Religious Studies and UVA Tibet Center. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Contemplative Studies, founding director of the CIRCL: Contemplative Innovation + Research Collaborative Lab, 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.

Michael studied extensively in Buddhist Asia, including three years training in a Buddhist monastery in the nomadic Golok region of far eastern Tibet and more than twelve years conducting fieldwork to preserve rare manuscripts with monastic communities across the Tibetan plateau. As a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Divinity School, then at the Mind & Life Institute – where he directed Mind & Life Dialogues XXXII in Botswana and XXXIII in India – he co-curated Buddhism and science dialogues. He is a lifelong honorary Mind & Life Research Fellow and co-chair of the Contemplative Studies unit at the American Academy of Religion. He serves as an investigator on interdisciplinary research projects and consultant on contemplative design for scientific studies. His research on Tibetan lucid dreaming practices was recently featured in National Geographic

He is the author of more than two dozen articles, coeditor of The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet, and his forthcoming book is on the history and philosophy of the little-known Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. His current book project weaves practices of attention, imagination, and embodiment from historical Tibetan meditation manuals with contemporary discourses on mind, body, culture, and ecology.