John D. Dunne

Credentials: Department Chair; Distinguished Professor of Contemplative Humanities


(608) 262-3352

1230 Van Hise Hall

Office Hours: Monday, 1-2pm, or by appointment



Sanskrit, Tibetan

Areas of Expertise:

Buddhist Philosophy and Contemplative Practice, Religious Studies, Cognitive Science, Contemplative Research


Ph.D, Harvard University (1999)

Research Interests:

John Dunne’s work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science. His publications range from technical works on Buddhist epistemology to broader works on the nature of Buddhist contemplative practices such as Mindfulness. He speaks in both academic and public contexts, and he occasionally teaches for Buddhist communities, most notably the Upaya Zen Center
in Santa Fe. In addition to serving as a faculty member for the Center for Healthy Minds, he is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, where he has previously served on the Board of Directors. Dr. Dunne also serves an academic advisor for the Ranjung Yeshe Institute

Recent and Selected Publications:

In Press Dunne, J. “Pac-Man to the Rescue? Conceptuality and Nonconceptuality in the Dharmakīrtian Theory of Pseudo-Perception.” Philosophy East & West. [P] [Publication scheduled July, 2020]
2020 Wilson-Mendenhall, C., J. Dunne & P. Condon. “Achieving Deep Integration Across Disciplines: A Process Lens on Investigating Human Flourishing.” In Self, Motivation, and Virtue: New Findings from Philosophy and Psychology. Edited by N. Snow & D.  Narvaez. Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory. London: Routledge: 109-126. [P]  [Publication pre-released in September, 2019]. [P]
2019 Dunne, J, E. Thompson & J. Schooler. “Mindful Meta-Awareness: Sustained and Non-Propositional.” Current Opinion in Psychology 28: 307-311. [P]
2019 Dunne, J. “Innate Human Connectivity and Śāntideva’s Cultivation of Compassion.” In Readings of Śāntideva’s Guide to Bodhisattva Practice. Edited by J. Gold and D. Duckworth. New York, NY: Columbia University Press: 235-252. [P]
2019 Rosenkranz, M., J. Dunne & R.J. Davidson. “The Next Generation of Mindfulness-Based Intervention Research: What have we learned and where are we headed?” Current Opinion in Psychology 28: 179-183. [P]
2019 Wielgosz, J., S.B. Goldberg, T.R. Kral, J. Dunne & R.J. Davidson. “Mindfulness Meditation and Psychopathology.” Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 15: 2.1-2.32. [P]
2018 Condon, P., J. Dunne & C. Wilson-Mendenhall. “Wisdom and Compassion: A New Perspective on the Science of Relationships.” Journal of Moral Education 48/1: 98-108. [P]
2018 Dunne, J. “Reflexivity in Buddhist Epistemology: Implications for Cooperative Cognition.” In Dualities, Dialectics, and Paradoxes in Organizational Life. Edited by W. Smith et al. Perspectives on Process Organization Studies. New York, NY: Oxford University Press: 82-105. [P]
2018 Fucci, E., O. Abdoun, A. Caclin, A. Francis, J. Dunne, M. Ricard, R.J. Davidson, & A. Lutz. “Differential Effects of Non-Dual and Focused Attention Meditations on the Formation of Automatic Perceptual Habits in Expert Practitioners.” Neuropsychologia 119: 92-100. [P]
2016 Dunne, J. “Comments on Waking, Dreaming, Being by Evan Thompson.” Philosophy East & West
2015 Lutz, A., A. Jha, J. Dunne, & C. Saron. “Investigating the Phenomenological Matrix of Mindfulness-related Practices from a Neurocognitive Perspective.” With A. Lutz, C. Saron & A. Jha. American Psychologist 70/7: 632–58. [P]
2015 Harrington, A. & J. Dunne. “When Mindfulness is Therapy: Ethical Qualms, Historical Perspectives.” With Anne Harrington. American Psychologist 70/7: 621–31. [P]
2015 Dunne, J. “Buddhist Styles of Mindfulness: A Heuristic Approach.” In Handbook of Mindfulness and Self-Regulation. Edited by B. Ostafin, M. Robinson & B Meier. New York: Springer Publishing: 249-270. [P]
2015 Dunne, J. “What is Inner Science?” In In Vimalakīrti’s House: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert A. F. Thurman on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. Edited by C. Wedemeyer, J. Dunne & T. Yarnall. New York: The American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University: 319-344. [P]
2011 Dunne, J. “Toward an Understanding of Non-Dual Mindfulness.” Contemporary Buddhism 12/1: 71-88. [P]
2011 Dunne, J. “Key Features of Dharmakīrti’s Apoha Theory.” In Apoha: Buddhist Nominalism and Human Cognition, edited by M. Siderits, T. Tillemans & A. Chakrabarti. New York: Columbia University Press: 84-108. [P]
2008 Lutz, A., H. Slagter, J. Dunne & R. Davidson. “Attention Regulation and Monitoring in Meditation.” Trends in Cognitive Science 12/4: 163-169. [P]
2007 Lutz, A., J. Dunne & R. Davidson. “Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness: An Introduction.” In Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness. Edited by E. Thompson, M. Moscovitch & P.D. Zelazo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 497-550. [P]
2006 Dunne, J. “Realizing the Unreal: Dharmakīrti’s Theory of Yogic Perception.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 34/6: 497–519. [P]


Books and Edited Volumes:

2018. With Daniel Goleman. Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence: The Dalai Lama in Conversation with Leading Thinkers on Climate Change. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

2015. With Christian Wedemeyer and Tom Yarnall. In Vimalakīrti’s House: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert A. F. Thurman on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. New York: The American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University.

2004. Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, T.J.F. Tillemans, Series Editor. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 086171184X.

Selected Courses:

In Fall 2019, Prof. Dunne will again be teaching a course on the Science and Art of Human Flourishing.

In addition to developing curricular material on flourishing and well-being, Prof. Dunne regularly teaches courses on Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness, and contemplative practice. he also teaches advanced courses in Sanskrit and Tibetan language.

For more information, please visit my website