This course introduces students to important historical, philosophical, and religious aspects of Buddhist ritual and meditation. Through a theoretical as well as an experiential approach, the rituals and meditations of Buddhist cultures as contained in both original literature and oral traditions are studied. For students to assimilate knowledge of the oral traditions central to Buddhism, active participation in the practical application of meditation and/or rituals is emphasized. Students study texts associated with meditation, and critically investigate their meaning through assignments, class work and discussions. In addition, they gain familiarity with the experience of meditation by taking part in regular guided meditation sessions in which they experience the different types of cultivation practices. Although the students do not experience all the types of meditation practices studied, they have the opportunity to experience basic practices belonging to each model.