Profile image of Leesa Davis

Dr Leesa Davis



Lecturer In Philosophy


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

+61 3 522 72596

Research interests

Nonduality in Buddhist and Hindu Thought

Mindfulness and Buddhist Philosophy

Zen Buddhism in the West

Philosophy as practice

My research explores practitioner engagement with religious traditions and the changes and challenges in worldviews that this engagement can bring about. I am interested in the “how” of spiritual practices, their philosophical underpinnings and the cross-cultural implications of contemporary Westerners engaging with eastern religious practices. As such, I work with both philosophical and social science methodologies and, although primarily philosophical, my research is inter-disciplinary in scope touching on history, psychology and religious studies. My research interests and areas of specialization are Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, philosophy of religion, cross-cultural philosophy, and phenomenology of religion.


Vice President Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies (AABS)

Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP)

Australasian Philosophy of Religion Association (APRH)

Australasian Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy (ASACP)

International Association of Buddhist Studies

Teaching interests

Buddhist Philosophy

Hindu Philosophy

Philosophy of Religion

Cross-cultural Philosophy

World Religions in Practice

Units taught

ASR100 World Religions

ASR205 Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhism

ASP227 Philosophies of Religion

ASP263 Buddhist Studies in India (Study Tour)

Knowledge areas

Buddhist Philosophy (especially Zen)

Hindu Philosophy (especially Advaita Vedanta)

Philosophy of Religion

Cross-cultural Philosophy

Philosophy as a Way of Life


International Conferences organized at Deakin:

2018: Australiasian Association of Buddhist Studies

2017: Australiasian Association of Asian and Comparative Philosophy

Inter-disciplinary Workshops organized at Deakin:

2014: East/West Dialogues

2016: Buddhism and Interdisciplinary Intersections

2016: Buddhism(s): Traditions, Philosophies, Practices

2018: Buddhism and Philosophy: A workshop with Professor Jay Garfield

2019 (Forthcoming): Mindfulness: Therapy, Philosophy and Buddhist Practice

Research groups

Philosophy and the History of Ideas (PHI) Research Network


2011: Pro Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

2016: Faculty of Arts and Education Award for Excellence in Teaching


Filter by


Buddhist philosophy in Australian universities

John Powers, Leesa Davis

(2019), Vol. 18, pp. 3-8, APA newsletters, Newark, Del., C1

journal article

Women living Buddhism in the West: spiritual practice and daily life

L Davis

(2017), pp. 185-201, Women and Asian religions, Santa Barbara, Calif., B1

book chapter

Enacting the violent imaginary : reflections on the dynamics of nonviolence and violence in Buddhism

L Davis

(2016), Vol. 55, pp. 15-30, Sophia, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Contemplation as philosophical practice : "reason in the sphere of understanding"

L Davis

(2016), pp. 39-51, Poetica, Tokyo, Japan, C1

journal article

Mindfulness, non-attachment and other Buddhist virtues

L Davis

(2013), pp. 306-317, The handbook of virtue ethics, Durham, England, B1

book chapter

Soto Zen in Australia : tradition, challenges and innovations

L Davis

(2011), pp. 36-48, Buddhism in Australia : traditions in change, Oxon, U. K., B1

book chapter

Advaita Vedãnta and Zen Buddhism : deconstructive modes of spiritual inquiry

L Davis

(2010), London, England, A1


The view from the cushion : zen challenges to duality in the contemporary practice situation

L Davis

(2009), Vol. 10, pp. 260-272, Contemporary Buddhism, London, England, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


Associate Supervisor

Deborah Kathleen Humphreys

Thesis entitled: Bushfire Safety: Examining The Space Between Theory and Practice

Master of Arts, School of Humanities and Social Sciences