Andrew Olendzki, Professor and Director of the Mindfulness Studies program, is a scholar of early Buddhist thought and practice with a special interest in Buddhist psychology and its relevance to the modern world. Working with both Sanskrit and Pali materials, he explores how the contemplative arts of India and Asia can be understood scientifically, and how the contemporary interest in mindfulness and deeper health can be best informed by the wisdom of ancient traditions.
Prior to joining Lesley he worked for almost thirty years in Barre, MA, first as the original executive director of the Insight Meditation Society and then as executive director and senior scholar at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, where his focus was always upon the integration of academic study with the practice of meditation. During this time he also held recurring adjunct faculty positions at many New England colleges, including Amherst, Brandeis, Harvard, Smith, and Lesley, and was on the faculty at Wesleyan University and Hampshire College. Andrew was also a senior scholar at the Mind and Life Institute, contributing to their Mapping the Mind project, and has been a long-time board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.
Having recently joined the Lesley faculty, he is enthusiastic about helping the Mindfulness Studies program, the first of its kind in the country, to mature and prosper.