Cortland is interested in exploring the interface between the body, mind and brain, and especially in the question of how various forms of meditation may help us cultivate positive qualities like mindfulness, compassion and resilience.
His current work focuses on studying the psychological and neural mechanisms of different families of meditation practice. He is also the creator of the Healthy Minds program, a well-being training program that integrates insights from scientific research with a comprehensive path of contemplative training.
Cortland has an eclectic background and has spent years studying and practicing meditation in Asia, including eight years living in Tibetan refugee settlements in India and Nepal. He has published numerous collections of translations of classic works on meditation and Buddhist philosophy from the Tibetan tradition. In addition to his work with the Center, Cortland is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Tergar International, a global network of meditation groups and centers.
Dahl, C. J., Wilson-Mendenhall, C. H., & Davidson, R. J. (in press). The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.2014859117
Goldberg, S. B., Imhoff-Smith, T., Bolt, D. M., Wilson-Mendenhall, C. D., Dahl, C. J., Davidson, R. J., & Rosenkranz, M. A. (2020). Testing the Efficacy of a Multicomponent, Self-Guided, Smartphone-Based Meditation App: Three-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Mental Health, 7(11), 23825. doi:10.2196/23825
Dahl, C. J. & Davidson, R. J. (2019). Mindfulness and the contemplative life: Pathways to connection, insight, and purpose. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 60-4. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.11.007
Dahl, C. J., Lutz, A., & Davidson, R. J. (2016). Cognitive processes are central in compassion meditation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(3), 161-162. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2015.12.005
Dahl, C. J., Lutz, A., & Davidson, R. J. (2015). Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: Cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19(9), 515–23. PMCID: PMC4595910.
Davidson, R. J., Dahl, C. J. (2016). varieties of contemplative practice. JAMA Psychiatry. ePub ahead of print. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3469
Davidson, R. J., & Dahl, C. J. (2017). Outstanding challenges in scientific research on mindfulness and meditatio. Perspectives on Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617718358
Goldberg, S.B., Wielgosz, J., Dahl, C., Schuyler, B., MacCoon, D.S., Rosenkranz, M., Lutz, A., Sebranek, C.A., & Davidson, R. J. (2015). Does the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire measure what we think it does? Construct validity evidence from an active controlled randomized clinical trial. Psychological Assessment, 28(8), 1009-1014.http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/
Steps to the Great Perfection: The Mind-Training Tradition of the Dzogchen Masters. (Author and translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2016.
Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sutras: Maitreya's Mahayanasutralamkara with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham. (Volume editor and co-translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2014
The Lalitavistara Sutra. (Co-translator). 84000, 2013.
Distinguishing Phenomena from their Intrinsic Nature: Maitreya's Dharmadharmata Vibhanga with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham. (Volume editor and co-translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2013.
Vajra Wisdom. (Volume editor and co-translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2012.
Ornament of Reason: The Great Commentary To Nagarjuna's Root Of The Middle Way. (Volume editor).Snow Lion Publications, 2011.
Luminous Essence: A Guide to the Guhyagarbha Tantra. (Volume editor and co-translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2009.
Entrance to the Great Perfection: A Guide to the Dzogchen Preliminaries. (Author and translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2009.
Great Perfection: Separation and Breakthrough. (Author and translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2008.
Great Perfection: Outer and Inner Preliminaries. (Author and translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2007.
Middle Beyond Extremes: Maitreya's Madhyantavibhanga with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham. (Volume editor and co-translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2007.
Deity, Mantra and Wisdom: Development Stage Meditation in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra. (Volume editor and co-translator). Snow Lion Publications, 2007.
Ph.D., Mind, Brain and Contemplative Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison
M.A., Buddhist Studies, Naropa University
B.S., Psychology, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Center researchers and collaborators are building new approaches to understand the links between traditional contemplative perspectives and scientific theory to better study the scientific effects of meditation training on the brain, body, mind and behavior.
Center researchers are developing a program to teach scientifically-informed practices and principles that facilitate well-being.