Michael R. Sheehy is a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism and Contemplative Studies. His research focuses on the generative, dynamic, and ever-evolving processes of contemplative practices detailed in historical Tibetan meditation manuals. His writing, translation, and research give attention to contemplative practices and philosophical thought in Tibet, and more broadly, to the relevance of meditation research 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 cultural domain 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 as the director of programs at the Mind & Life Institute – where he directed Mind & Life Dialogues XXXII in Botswana and XXXIII in India – his focus has been the intercultural dialogue between Buddhism and science. Over the past few years, he has collaborated on interdisciplinary dialogues that interface Buddhism with science and consulted on scientific research projects.
Michael is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the Director of Scholarship at the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia. He is the cofounder and Executive Editor of the Journal of Contemplative Studies, and Series Editor for the Contemplative Studies as well as 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 Jonang order of Tibetan Buddhism. He is currently writing a book about Tibetan contemplative practices.