About

Established in 2021 through a philanthropic grant, the Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies (M3CS) is a unique university centre that brings together experts in philosophy, neuroscience, medicine, education as well as interfaith and secular dialogue. The Centre builds upon Monash University’s internationally recognised expertise and leadership through three key domains:

  • Research – M3CS is a vibrant hub for a new generation of research academics, fostering new global collaborations and enabling multidisciplinary humanities, psychology, medicine and neuroscience research at the forefront of consciousness science and contemplative studies. It applies philosophical and scientific rigour to provide profound, new answers about the very essence of consciousness and contemplation, demonstrating their role in our lives, for wellbeing, and for future generations.
  • Education – Student wellbeing is a core ambition of Monash University, therefore incorporating contemplative practices into on-campus courses, online education, executive education and professional development programs for a broad range of faculties and for sectors outside Monash is crucial to our success. Philosophical wisdom, contemplative practices, and consciousness science are an integral part of the Monash experience, making it relevant and accessible to the wider community and new generations of mindful leaders.
  • Community Engagement – Through outreach, cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue between varied wisdom traditions, M3CS fosters social cohesion and encourages the broader community to engage with contemplative practices. Leading researchers in social cohesion, and faith and humanist traditions will invite dialogue, including workshops and webinars, international visiting scholars, conferences and guided practice sessions. M3CS partners with organisations to deliver professional development courses.
M3CS Annual Report, 2021-2022

Read about M3CS' extraordinary year in the inaugural Annual Report below. Offering viewers two versions: The M3CS Official Annual Report and The M3CS Abridged Annual Report:

Mission and Vision

Through research, education and community engagement, M3CS will help us wake up to ourselves, each other and the planet. The Centre’s mission is to make contemplative practices central to our evolving understanding of consciousness, and to human existence and flourishing. Wellbeing and contemplative practices are valuable but are not mere ends in themselves, and it is part of our mission to investigate how contemplative practices may help change our conscious connection with each other and our environment, and thereby help us gain a different perspective on the problems the world confronts, and find better and wiser solutions.

M3CS focuses its interdisciplinary academic lens on our common humanity while positively impacting student and community wellbeing through the development of taught, practice-based units underpinned by research into both contemplation and consciousness itself. We seek to offer contemplative programs to a broad range of private, public and educational organisations in the wider community. We aim to listen to and engage with contemplative communities.

We take a broad perspective on contemplative practices, and focus on contemplation as a state of consciousness, engaging the whole body and manifested in many different types of activity. We approach this theoretically, through philosophy and conceptual analysis, as well as empirically, through practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. We believe that contemplation is fundamentally connected to both our consciousness and to our actions, and can help make the world a better place.

Funding

M3CS is funded through a generous $12M philanthropic grant from Martin and Loreto Hosking, through the Three Springs Foundation. The Centre actively seeks to increase its donations, partnerships and collaborations. Please write to the Centre or to the Centre Director to hear more about how you or your organisation can collaborate with M3CS.

The Centre was formally recognised as an organisational unit within Monash University in May 2021. It began establishing its presence and initiating its activities throughout the second half of 2021. The Centre will be fully operational by early 2022 and will have an official launch in March 2022.

Governance

M3CS is a university centre within Monash University. It is governed by a directorship (Professors Hohwy, Hassed and Margolis) that answers to an Excutive Board (established by the Dean of Arts) with reporting responsibility for the Vice-Chancellor.

In addition to the formal governance and compliance with Monash University's policies, the Centre receives advice from an eminent Advisory Committee.

Through M3CS, Monash University is signed on to the Charter for Compassion.

First Nations policy

Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies aspires to promote Monash University's First Nations policy. The Centre will collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and people and communities in Indigenous-led research and education relating to consciousness and contemplative studies.

Web

The M3CS webpage houses information about our research, education and community engagement, and offers free resources on contemplative practices for the wider community.

Location

M3CS is located in a large purpose-built space on Monash University's Clayton campus, on the 4th floor of 29 Ancora Imparo Way. The Centre also has dedicated meeting and activity spaces in Monash's heritage listed Religious Centre and we use the David Li Sound Gallery for some of our activities.