When discussing Buddhism, why is it that westerners often project a romanticized and idealized image of Buddhism unfounded in Asian history? For instance, why do we imagine Tibet as a place of mysticism, simplicity and inner peace, while remaining completely ignorant about Tibetan history, geography, political systems, foreign relations and/or social customs? In addition, what do Buddhist mindfulness meditation and western psychotherapy have in common? What can neuroscientists tell us about the influence of Buddhist meditation on the human brain? While drawing on various recent studies on Buddhist modernity, Orientalism, western psychology, neuroscience and globalization, the course will explore the three related areas of emerging fields in modern Buddhism.