Coming in October...
Join the Dalai Lama and the most innovative thought leaders in neuroscience, psychology, clinical science, the humanities, philosophy, and education as they present their groundbreaking research.
Dates and Prices
Call for Papers closes: February 20, 2014
Early Bird Registration begins: March 17, 2014
Standard Registration begins: May 15, 2014
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and a spiritual leader revered worldwide. He was born on July 6, 1935, in a small village called Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, he was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are manifestations of the Buddha of Compassion, who choose to reincarnate for the purpose of serving human beings. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989, he is universally respected as a spokesman for the compassionate and peaceful resolution of human conflict.
He has traveled extensively, speaking on subjects including universal responsibility, love, compassion, and kindness. Less well known is his intense personal interest in the sciences; he has said that if he were not a monk, he would have liked to be an engineer. As a youth in Lhasa it was he who was called on to fix broken machinery in the Potola Palace, be it a clock or a car. He has a vigorous interest in learning the newest developments in science, and brings to bear both a voice for the humanistic implications of the findings, and a high degree of intuitive methodological sophistication.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is the founder and chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is also director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior. He was educated at New York University and Harvard University, where he received his bachelor's degree and PhD, respectively, in psychology. Over the course of his research career, he has focused on the relationship between brain and emotion. He is currently the William James professor and Vilas research professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. He is co-author or editor of 13 books, including Visions of Compassion: Western Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human Nature and The Handbook of Affective Science. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of The Emotional Life of Your Brain, which was published by Penguin in 2012. He has published more than 300 chapters and journal articles, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including the Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on the board of directors for the Mind & Life Institute since 1992. In 2006, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine; that same year, he received the first Mani Bhaumik Award from UCLA for advances in the understanding of the brain and the conscious mind in healing. In 2011, he received the Paul D. MacLean Award for outstanding neuroscience research in psychosomatic medicine. He serves on the scientific advisory board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, and as chair of the psychology section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Huffington Post Media Group
Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of thirteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely read, linked to, and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In 2013, she was named to the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. In 2006, and again in 2011, she was named to the Time 100, Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on several boards, including EL PAIS, PRISA, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Her 14th book, The Success Myth: The Third Metric Beyond Money and Power, will be published by Crown in March 2014.
University of Miami
Amishi Jha is associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami, and director of contemplative neuroscience for the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative, prior to which she was an assistant professor at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD from the University of California-Davis in 1998, and received her post-doctoral training in the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University in functional neuroimaging. She has received several awards for teaching and innovation in science, including selection as a Poptech Science and Public Leadership Fellow in 2010. She studies the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, and resilience. With grants from the Department of Defense, and several private foundations, she has been systematically investigating the potential applications of mindfulness training in education, corporations, and the military. Her work has been featured in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Emotion, and Brain Research, and she serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Frontiers in Neuroscience, and Frontiers in Psychology.
The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Tania Singer, PhD, has been the director of the department of social neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig since 2010. After receiving her PhD in psychology in 2000 at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, she became a post-doctoral fellow at the same institution (and later, at the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience), as well as at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. In 2006, she went to the University of Zurich to accept a position as assistant professor (and later, as inaugural chair) of social neuroscience and neuroeconomics, and as codirector of the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research. Her research focuses on the foundations of human social behavior and the neuronal, developmental, and hormonal mechanisms underlying social cognition and emotions (e. g, empathy, compassion, and fairness). Moreover, she investigates the psychological and neuroscientific effects of compassion and meditation training, and other mental training techniques. Her research has been published in many renowned journals (e.g. Science, Nature), and is the principal investigator of the ReSource project, a one-year longitudinal mental training study. She holds a cooperative research position with Dennis Snower from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy on the topic of caring economics, which is funded by the Institute of New Economic Thinking. She is a board member of the Mind & Life Institute in Hadley, Massachusetts, and an advisory board member of Mind and Life Europe.
President Emerita - Wellesley College
Diana Chapman Walsh currently serves on the governing boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Mind & Life Institute, and on national advisory boards. She was a director of the State Street Corporation (1999-2007) and a trustee of Amherst College (1998-2010). Her term as president of Wellesley College (1993-2007) was marked by educational innovation, including a revision of the curriculum and expanded programs in global education, the humanities, internships and service learning, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and religious and spiritual life. President Walsh evolved a distinctive style of reflective leadership rooted in a network of resilient partnerships and anchored in the belief that trustworthy leadership starts from within.
University of Vienna
Anton Zeilinger, PhD, is an Austrian quantum physicist. He is currently professor of physics at the University of Vienna, and previously taught physics at the University of Innsbruck. He is the director of the Vienna branch of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and director of the International Academy Traunkirchen. Called a pioneer in the new field of quantum information, he is renowned for his realization of quantum teleportation with photons and for his first experimental implementation of multiparticle quantum entanglement.
Bryn Mawr College
Linda-Susan Beard, who received her PhD from Cornell, negotiates between and among the worlds of African-American, South African, and post-colonial literatures. She teaches courses on post-apartheid literature and literary and historical reimaginings of transatlantic slavery (such as Toni Morrison and the art of narrative conjure), as well as introductory courses in English and African literatures that examine the dynamics of canon formation. She is editing the first comprehensive volume of the letters of Bessie Head, about whom she has written essays and given conference papers for 25 years. She is also involved in the new area of contemplative intelligence, having been in the first group of contemplative fellows chosen by the ACLS and funded by the Cummings and Fetzer Foundations. King's College recently awarded her an honorary doctorate for her work in integrating contemplative and intellectual ways of knowing. She served for five years as faculty coordinator of the Mellon scholars program and chair of the Africana studies program.
University of Washington - Seattle
Sarah Bowen is an acting assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research and clinical work has focused primarily on the integration of meditation practice and mindfulness-based approaches for addictive behaviors into traditional Western cognitive therapy. The primary focus of her personal, clinical, and research practices is the exploration of processes underlying behavior change, and adaptation of treatments and practices to reach a wide and diverse patient and client population. In addition to authoring numerous journal articles and book chapters in this area, she is the lead author of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician's Guide. She has been practicing in the Theravada tradition for more than 10 years, and has facilitated mindfulness-based relapse prevention groups in private practice, veterans' medical centers, county treatment agencies, and prisons. She offers professional trainings to researchers and clinicians in the United States and internationally, and has a particular interest in adapting and disseminating mindfulness-based treatment for dual-diagnosis and underserved populations.
Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and medical director of the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic, is a board-certified psychiatrist who has been investigating the neural underpinnings of mindfulness training and its clinical efficacy for disorders such as addictions. He received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University, and his MD and PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, where his thesis work focused on molecular mechanisms of stress hormone regulation of the immune system. After training in mindfulness meditation during medical and graduate school, he shifted his focus from animal models of stress to the elucidation of neurobiological mechanisms underlying the interface between stress, mindfulness, and the addictive process. A pioneer in assessing the efficacy of mindfulness training for addictions, he performed some of the first clinical trials for alcohol and cocaine dependence, followed by the first randomized clinical trial for nicotine dependence, in which he showed that mindfulness training was twice as effective as the "gold standard" treatment for smoking cessation. His laboratory has also delineated key psychological mechanisms of how mindfulness training helps individuals change their relationship to craving. His lab is currently working to delineate key brain activation patterns during meditation, and to link these to physiological and behavioral measures using methods such as real-time fMRI neurofeedback and experience sampling. His research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, and has been featured internationally in media outlets such as TEDx, Forbes magazine, NPR, and the BBC.
Willoughby Britton, PhD, holds a bachelor of arts in neuroscience and a doctorate in clinical psychology. She is currently assistant professor in the departments of psychiatry and public health at Brown Medical School, and research director of the Brown University Contemplative Studies Initiative. She received sleep/EEG training at Harvard Medical School, and was a research fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH) and Andrew Weil's program in integrative medicine. She spent several years in Asia studying meditative techniques and received her mindfulness instructor certification training at the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School. With the aim of investigating the link between contemplative practices, brain function, sleep, attention, and affective disturbances, she has conducted federally funded Randomized Control Trials on the neurophysiological effects of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in depression, and education-based mindfulness training in middle school and university students in comparison to music and dance. She is also investigating the question: Which contemplative practices are best (or worst) suited for which populations? She is conducting a NIH-funded mindfulness "dismantling" study comparing the effects of shamatha and vipassana practices on attention, cortical arousal, and affective disturbances. In collaboration with Jack Kornfield and several other teachers, she is conducting research on the adverse effects and difficult stages of the contemplative path, which she presented to the Dalai Lama at the Mind and Life XXIV Dialogues.
University of Colorado - Boulder
Sona Dimidjian, PhD received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Washington in 2005. She joined the faculty in the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006. Her research addresses the treatment and prevention of depression, with a particular focus on the mental health of women during pregnancy and postpartum. She is a leading expert in cognitive and behavioral approaches to treating and preventing depression, and in the clinical application of contemplative practices, such as meditation and yoga. Current projects in her lab are focused on the development of preventive interventions with at-risk pregnant women; the dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapy; and, in collaboration with Tor Wager, on the neuroscience of compassion and interventions designed to increase compassionate behavior.
Mind & Life Institute
Brooke Dodson-Lavelle is the senior program officer for the Mind & Life Institute's new compassion and secular ethics initiative. She is also completing her PhD in the graduate division of religion at Emory University. Her work focuses on the confluence of Buddhist contemplative theory and cognitive science, as well as the cultural contexts that shape the transmission, reception, and "secularization" of Buddhist contemplative practices. She is currently completing her dissertation, "Cultivating Compassion and Mindfulness: The Rhetoric of Secular Buddhist-based Practices in America." She was a lead instructor for several studies examining the efficacy of cognitively based compassion training (CBCT) at Emory, and has helped to develop and adapt CBCT for school children as well as adolescents in Atlanta's foster care system. In 2010, she helped developed the CBCT Teacher Training Program, and now serves as associate training director. In addition, she has also served as program coordinator for the Emory-Tibet Partnership, and from 2009 to 2011 she co-led the Emory Tibetan Mind/Body Sciences Summer Study Abroad program in Dharamsala, India. Prior to attending Emory, she earned her bachelor of arts degree in religion and psychology at Barnard College, and her master's degree in religion at Columbia University. While at Columbia, she also worked as a research coordinator for the Columbia integrative medicine program, where she developed and taught mindfulness-based meditation programs for a variety of clinical populations.
Greg Dunn, PhD, is a neuroscientist, artist, musician, and meditator. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, and during his tenure as a graduate student began to paint neurons in the style of Asian sumi-e. He is now a full-time artist in Philadelphia, where he works to incorporate his knowledge of chemistry, physics, and biology into his artistic process by bringing the microscopic world into the realm of fine art through designs in gold leaf. Together with a collaborating physics lab at Penn, he is working to develop complex reflective and light manipulation techniques to further enhance his work and blur the boundaries between art and science. An avid meditator, he also approaches his art from the perspective of a spiritual scientist, training his mind through yoga and meditation in order to further hone his aesthetic and compositional sensibilities. He lectures on the connections between art, science, and meditation, believing that a synthesis of these three approaches enhances his work.
University of California - San Francisco
Elissa Epel, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the department of psychiatry; director of the Aging, Metabolism & Emotions lab; director of the Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment (COAST); and assistant director of the Center for Health & Community. She received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Stanford University, and a PhD in clinical and health psychology from Yale University. Her research investigates the intricacies of the mind-body connection, both in states of suffering and after wellness interventions. In particular, she has been studying psychological, social, and behavioral processes related to chronic psychological stress that accelerate biological aging, and how meditation or mindfulness-based interventions might slow cellular aging. She also studies the interconnections between emotional life, eating, and metabolism. With her collaborators, she is conducting clinical trials to examine how mindful-eating programs affect weight loss and pregnancy/health outcomes. She is currently studying (with Cliff Saron, Will Kabat-Zinn, and Teresa LaMendola Kabat-Zinn) how specialized mindfulness training targeting parenting stress affects aging biology as well as child well-being, especially for children with autism. New methods include how mobile technology can promote changes in daily experience. She is involved in National Institute of Aging initiatives on the measurement and role of stress in aging, and on the reversibility of early-life adversity. Her research on stress and aging is covered in depth in the book Stress Less by Thea Singer. Her research publications are available online at www.chc.ucsf.edu/ame_lab/publications.html
Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. He spent nearly nine years in Asia studying various traditions, which he incorporates into the ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. His background includes studying Sufism in Iran, following Zen and vipassana Buddhism, and practicing bhakti and traditional hatha yoga in India. In 1974, he also began an in-depth study of iyengar yoga, which eventually led him to ashtanga vinyasa yoga. He is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, as well as Sanskrit. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints without losing the depth and integrity of each has helped him to develop a unique, metaphorical teaching style. He teaches public classes at the Yoga Workshop and spends a good part of each year traveling as a guest instructor, teaching at studios throughout the world. As the founder of the Yoga Workshop, he sets the standard for the classes at the studio. He also offers teacher-intensive courses and special classes and gives studio talks on Indian philosophy on a regular basis. He is the author of the book The Mirror of Yoga (Shambhala Publications). For more information, visit www.yogaworkshop.com.
Daniel Goleman, PhD, is a psychologist and science writer who is best known for his worldwide best-seller, Emotional Intelligence, which has been published in 40 languages. He taught at Harvard University before becoming an editor and journalist covering the brain and behavioral science for the New York Times. He is a cofounder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Intelligence at the University of Illinois; codirector of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University; and board member of the Mind & Life Institute. He received his PhD in psychology from Harvard University. For two years, he traveled in India studying Buddhist and other spiritual systems of psychology—the first year as a Harvard traveling fellow, the second as a research fellow of the Social Science Research Council. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received many awards for his writing. He is the author of numerous books, including The Meditative Mind, Destructive Emotions, Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence, and most recently, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence.
Upaya Zen Center
Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is founder, abbot, and head teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her PhD in medical anthropology in 1973 while teaching at the University of Miami Medical School. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in visual anthropology, was an honorary research fellow in medical ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a distinguished visiting scholar at the Library of Congress. From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers about the psychosocial, ethical, and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is director of the Project on Being with Dying, and founder and director of the Upaya Prison Project, which has developed programs on meditation for prisoners. She studied with Zen teacher Seung Sahn, received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman. A founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on applied Buddhism. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and Being with Dying: Compassionate End-of-Life Care (Professional Training Guide). She is a Lindisfarne fellow and codirector of the Lindisfarne Association, and a Mind & Life Institute board member.
Sufi Order International
Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, PhD, is a scholar and teacher of Sufism in the tradition of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. He received a bachelor of arts degree in Persian literature from the London School of Oriental and African Studies, and his master's degree and PhD in religion from Duke University. He received his spiritual training from his father, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, whom he succeeded in 2004 as worldwide president of the Sufi Order International (www.sufiorder.org). In the same year, he founded Suluk Academy (www.sulukacademy.org), a school of contemplative studies with branches in the United States and Europe. Four years later, he founded Seven Pillars House of Wisdom (www.sevenpillarshouse.org) as a forum for interfaith and interdisciplinary collaboration. He is the editor of A Pearl in Wine: Essays in the Life, Music and Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan (2001) and Caravan of Souls: An Introduction to the Sufi Path of Hazrat Inayat Khan (forthcoming), and author of Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity, and the Mystical Quest (2012). He is a fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, advisor to the Contemplative Alliance, and a recipient of the U Thant Peace Award. With Shaikh al-Mashaik Mahmood Khan, he jointly leads the Knighthood of Purity of the Hazrati Order (www.knighthoodofpurity.org). He lives with his wife and two children in rural upstate New York. More information on Pir Zia's work can be found at www.pirzia.org.
University of Virginia
Patricia (Tish) Jennings, MEd, PhD, is an associate professor in education at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. She is an internationally recognized leader in the field of social and emotional learning with a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom and student learning. She received her doctorate in human development from the University of California, Davis, and completed postdoctoral training at the health psychology program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). As research assistant professor at the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University, Jennings led the faculty team that developed Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE for Teachers), a mindfulness-based program for teachers designed to reduce stress and promote improvements in classroom climate and student academic and behavioral outcomes. With two grants from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), she has research demonstrating that the CARE improves teachers' general well-being, health, emotion regulation, efficacy, and mindfulness. A study currently underway is examining CARE's effects on classroom climate and student academics and behavior. In addition to her background in research, Jennings has more than 22 years of classroom teaching experience. After receiving a master's degree in education, she founded and directed an experimental school, where she developed and field-tested curriculum for children from infancy through fifth grade, applying a variety of contemplative approaches that come from alternative educational methodologies such as Montessori and Waldorf in her work.
Thupten Jinpa, PhD, was trained as a monk at the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University in South India, where he received the Geshe Lharam degree. In addition, he holds a bachelor of arts honors degree in philosophy, and a PhD in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. He taught at Ganden monastery and worked as a research fellow in Eastern religions at Girton College, Cambridge University. He has been the principal English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1985, and has translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama, including the New York Times best-sellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness, as well as Beyond Religion, Universe in a Single Atom, and Transforming the Mind. His own publications include, in addition to numerous works in Tibetan, Essential Mind Training; Wisdom of the Kadam Masters; Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy: Tsongkhapa's Quest for the Middle View, as well as translations of major Tibetan works featured in The Library of Tibetan Classics series. He is the main author of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), an eight-week formal program developed at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. He is an adjunct professor at the faculty of religious studies at McGill University, Montreal; the founder and president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, Montreal, and the general series editor of its Library of Tibetan Classics series. He has been a core member of the Mind & Life Institute from its inception, and chairman of its board since January of 2012. He lives in Montreal, and is married with two daughters.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD is a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (1995), and founder (in 1979) and former director of its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic. He is the author of many books, which have been published in more than 35 languages.
Kabat-Zinn received his PhD in molecular biology from MIT in 1971 in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Salvador Luria. His research career focused on mind/body interactions for healing and on the clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training for people with chronic pain and stress-related disorders. His work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into mainstream institutions, such as medicine, psychology, health care, neuroscience, schools, corporations, prisons, and professional sports.
Kabat-Zinn has received numerous awards over the span of his career. He is a founding fellow of the Fetzer Institute, and a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He received the Art, Science, and Soul of Healing Award from the Institute for Health and Healing at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco (1998); the second Annual Trailblazer Award for "pioneering work in the field of integrative medicine" from the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California (2001); the Distinguished Friend Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2005); an Inaugural Pioneer in Integrative Medicine Award from the Bravewell Philanthropic Collaborative for Integrative Medicine (2007); the 2008 Mind and Brain Prize from the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Torino, Italy; and a Pioneer in Western Socially Engaged Buddhism Award (2010) from the Zen Peacemakers Association.
He is the founding convener of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), and a member of the board of the Mind & Life Institute.
He and his wife, Myla Kabat-Zinn, are engaged in supporting initiatives to further mindfulness in K-12 education and to promote mindful parenting.
University of Arizona
Al Kaszniak, PhD, received his doctorate in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Illinois in 1976, and completed an internship in clinical neuropsychology at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. He is currently director of clinical neuropsychology, director of the Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium Education Core, and a professor in the departments of psychology, neurology, and psychiatry at the University of Arizona (UA). He formerly served as head of the psychology department, and as director of the UA Center for Consciousness Studies. He also served for several years as chief academic officer for the Mind & Life Institute. His research has been published in more than 150 journal articles, chapters, and books, and has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and several private foundations. His work has focused on the neuropsychology of Alzheimer's disease and other age-related neurological disorders, consciousness, memory self-monitoring, emotion, and the psychophysiology of long-term and short-term meditation. He has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, and has been an advisor to the NIH and other governmental agencies. He is a past-president of the Section on Clinical Geropsychology and a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. In addition to his academic and administrative roles, he is a lineage holder and teacher in the Soto tradition of Zen Buddhism.
Catherine Kerr, PhD, received a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, where she received a career development award from the National Institutes of Health to investigate attention, somatosensory cortical dynamics, and mindfulness. In 2011, she joined the department of family medicine and the contemplative studies initiative (for which she is director of translational neuroscience) at Brown University. Her work has been published in The Journal of Neuroscience, BMJ, Brain Research Bulletin, and other journals, and has been covered in the New York Times, Technology Review, and Forbes.
Yin Mei is a category-defying director/choreographer/performance artist known for creating dance theatre works that fearlessly bridge geographic, technological, artistic, and cultural divides to conjure a unique brand of theatrical magic. Having forged a dance style employing Chinese energy direction and spatial principles as a means of creating contemporary dance theatre, she has established herself as a choreographer and performance/visual artist uniquely positioned to explore themes of artistic and spiritual significance arising at the intersection between Asian traditional performance and Western contemporary dance. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in choreography in 2005, was a choreography fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2004, and was twice nominated for a Cal-Arts Alpert Award in choreography. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2011-2012, she researched and developed pedagogy for teaching the creative process from the perspective of early Chinese aesthetics at Hong Kong Baptist University and choreographed The Seven Sages of Bamboo Grove for the Hong Kong Dance Company in collaboration with director Jay Schieb (2012). Her current research project at the Shanghai Theater Academy, entitled New Tai Chi for Life, is building a system of dance training through tai chi's concept and practice. A longtime practitioner and teacher of tai chi and chi gong and a student of the I Ching, her research into a new Chinese contemplative practice system was recognized with a Contemplative Mind in Society fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and is now a faculty of the Contemplative Pedagogy with the Contemplative Mind in Society. She grew up in China and was a principal dancer with the Hong Kong Dance Company before coming to New York. She is now a professor of dance at the drama theatre and dance department of the City University of New York, Queens College, and artistic director of YINMEIDANCE. www.yinmeidance.org
Ecole Normale Superieure - Paris
Claire Petitmengin, PhD, completed her doctorate under the supervision of Francisco Varela at the École Polytechnique in Paris, on the subject of the lived experience that accompanies the emergence of an intuition. She has also studied Buddhist philosophy, and has 10 years of experience in information system design. She is presently professor at the Institut Mines-Télécom, and a member of the Archives Husserl (École Normale Supérieure) in Paris. Her research focuses on the usually unrecognized dynamics of lived experience and "first-person" methods enabling us to become aware of this experience and describe it. She studies the epistemological conditions of these methods, notably the validity of their results, as well as their educational, therapeutic, artistic, and technological applications. Her research also addresses the process of mutual enrichment of "first-person" and "third-person" analyses in the context of neurophenomenological projects. She has written numerous scientific articles and two books: L'expérience intuitive, and Le chemin du milieu: Introduction à la vacuité dans la pensée bouddhiste indienne. She also edited Ten Years of Viewing from Within: The Legacy of Francisco Varela, which commemorates the tenth anniversary of the publication of The View from Within, wherein Francisco Varela designed the foundations of a research program on lived experience.
The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values - MIT
The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is the founding director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Born into a Hindu Brahmin family in Vaishali, India, he chose his own path at the age of 10, entering a Buddhist monastery in Rajgir. His unique upbringing combined a modern secular education with traditional Buddhist training and ordination by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude as an integral honors scholar and completed his graduate studies in comparative philosophy of religion at Harvard University in 2003. Living in the United States as a visiting scholar at Harvard and MIT, he was struck by the absence of ethics in our education. When the global financial crisis of 2008 brought new focus to that absence, he began programs to spark a conversation about ethics among MIT students. From that start, The Center was born. Since then, it has grown quickly into a collaborative think tank with global reach, engaging MIT faculty and leaders in science, engineering, business, and governance. He is the founding president of the Prajnopaya Foundation, a worldwide humanitarian organization developing innovative health, education, and social welfare programs. He serves on the board of several academic, humanitarian, and religious organizations, and teaches Buddhist philosophy and practice through the Prajnopaya Institute.
Harold D. Roth is professor of religious studies and director of the contemplative studies initiative at Brown University. He is a specialist in classical Chinese religious thought, Daoism, the comparative study of mysticism, and a pioneer of the academic field of contemplative studies, in which he created the first university concentration program. He has published six books and more 50 scholarly articles on the history and religious thought of the Daoist tradition, the textual history and textual criticism of classical Chinese works, and contemplative studies. He has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.
Insight Meditation Society (IMS)
Sharon Salzberg has been a student of meditation since 1971, and has been leading meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. She teaches both intensive awareness practice (vipassana or insight meditation) and the profound cultivation of lovingkindness and compassion (the Brahma Viharas). Sharon's latest book is the New York Times best-seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, published by Workman Publishing (2011). She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books, including The Kindness Handbook (2008), The Force of Kindness (2005), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995), and A Heart as Wide as the World (1997). Cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, she has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work. "Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom, and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright," she says. For more information, visit www.SharonSalzberg.com.
University of Massachusetts
Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, MA, is a professor of medicine; director of the internationally acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic; and executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As a faculty member in the department of medicine, division of preventive and behavioral medicine, he has worked with thousands of medical patients and has educated and helped mentor generations of practitioners and researchers of mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), engaging in more than 30,000 clinical hours of MBSR. In 2001, he founded Oasis Institute, a comprehensive professional education and training program leading to teacher certification in MBSR. In 2003, he founded (and is now chair of) an annual scientific conference on mindfulness entitled Investigating and Integrating Mindfulness into Medicine, Health Care and the Society. In 2011, he established the annual John and Tussi Kluge Translational Research Symposium on Mindfulness. He teaches and presents internationally, and is the author of Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine.
University of British Columbia
Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, PhD, is a professor in the faculty of education at the University of British Columbia. She is an award-winning teacher and has been internationally recognized for her collaborative work that translates research into practice. In 2009, the Confederation of University Faculty Association awarded her with its highest distinguished academic award: the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award. In 2006, she chaired a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and leading educators, researchers, and policy makers on the themes of cultivating compassion and educating the heart. In 2009, she was on a panel of leaders in education and child development in a dialogue with the Dalai Lama at the Orpheum Theatre at the Vancouver Peace Summit. Most recently, she co-authored a study examining the effectiveness of a social and emotional learning program for teachers aimed at reducing their stress and burnout. She is also conducting interdisciplinary research in collaboration with neuroscientists and psychobiologists, examining the relation of executive functions and biological processes to children's social and emotional development. She serves on national and international advisory boards for several organizations, including the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Research Advisory Group and the Mind & Life Institute's initiative on ethics, education, and human development. She is an advisor to the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in Vancouver, and she is currently the chair of the Social and Emotional Learning Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association.
University of Toronto-Scarborough
Zindel Segal, PhD, is distinguished professor of psychology in mood disorders at the University of Toronto-Scarborough, and a senior scientist in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He has pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation for promoting wellness in the area of mood disorders. The recipient of several awards, including the Douglas Utting Research Prize and the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario's Hope Award, he has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the past 15 years. His program of research has helped to characterize psychological markers of relapse vulnerability in affective disorder, especially the link between affective and self-devaluation components of dysphoria. This work has, in turn, provided an empirical rationale for offering training in mindfulness meditation to recurrently depressed patients in recovery. The author of more than 10 books and 130 scientific publications, including The Mindful Way Through Depression—A Patient Guide for Achieving Mood Balance in Everyday Life, he continues to advocate for the relevance of mindfulness-based clinical care in psychiatry and mental health.
University of British Columbia
Edward Slingerland is a professor of Asian studies and the Canada Research Chair in Chinese thought and embodied cognition at the University of British Columbia, where he also holds adjunct appointments in philosophy and psychology. His research specialties and teaching interests include "warring states"; Chinese thought; religious studies (comparative religion, cognitive science, and evolution of religion); cognitive linguistics (blending and conceptual metaphor theory); ethics (virtue ethics and moral psychology); and the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences.
His publications include Effortless Action: Wu-wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China (Oxford 2003), the Analects of Confucius (Hackett 2003), What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body & Culture (Cambridge 2008), and Creating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and Humanities (co-edited with Mark Collard, Oxford 2012), as well as more than 20 referred articles in top journals in a wide variety of fields. He is currently PI on a large Canadian government grant on "The Evolution of Religion and Morality" and director of the Cultural Evolution of Religion Research Consortium (CERC) and the Database of Religious History (DRH).
Slingerland's latest work, a trade book entitled Trying Not To Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity (Crown/Random House), integrates ancient Chinese and modern scientific understandings of spontaneity, and was published in March, 2014.
Photo credit: Martin Dee
Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 while earning a degree in psychology. It was not until the early 1980s, when she moved to Boulder and started studying yoga with Richard Freeman, that yoga became a central thread in her life. Before that, yoga had provided a means of relieving stress, and honing a sense of focus and well-being. In 1988, she traveled to India to study with K. Pattabhi Jois, and began to see the overlay of yoga with her interests in food, cooking, movement, anatomy, and art. She has authored three cookbooks, along with What Are You Hungry For? Women, Food and Spirituality, a book that explores yoga, meditation, and finding one's personal dharma as a means of finding lasting meaning and happiness. As the Yoga Workshop's director, she has attended all of Richard Freeman's teacher trainings. She brings to her teaching a deep respect for the healing and calming effects of yoga. Her classes are engaging and fun, and are focused on the flow of breath, steady movement, and the feeling of completeness that can be cultivated through a lasting practice. For more information, visit www.yogaworkshop.com.
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Evan Thompson, PhD, is professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto, and his bachelor of arts degree in Asian studies from Amherst College. He works in the fields of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, with a particular focus on Asian philosophy and contemporary Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with Western philosophy and science. His most recent book is Waking, Dreaming, Being: New Light on the Self and Consciousness from Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2014). He is also the author of Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2007), and co-author of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1991).
Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies
B. Alan Wallace, PhD, began his studies of Tibetan Buddhism, language, and culture in 1970 at the University of Gottingen in Germany, and then continued his studies over the next 14 years in India, Switzerland, and the United States. Ordained as a Buddhist monk by the Dalai Lama in 1975, he has taught Buddhist meditation and philosophy worldwide since 1976, and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including the Dalai Lama. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he returned his monastic vows and went on to earn his PhD in religious studies at Stanford University. He then taught for four years in the department of religious studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is now the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He is also chairman of the Thanyapura Mind Centre in Phuket, Thailand, where he leads meditation retreats. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than 40 books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and Buddhism. His most recent books include Dreaming Yourself Awake: Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga for Insight and Transformation; Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice; Stilling the Mind: Shamatha Teachings from Dudjom Lingpa's Vajra Essence; Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness; Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity; and Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness.
Mind and Life Institute
Arthur Zajonc, PhD, president of the Mind & Life Institute, was professor of physics at Amherst College from 1978-2012. He has been visiting professor and research scientist at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and the Universities of Rochester, and Hannover. He has been Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His research has included studies in electron-atom physics; party violation in atoms; quantum optics; the experimental foundations of quantum physics; and the relationship between science, the humanities, and the contemplative traditions. While directing the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, he fostered the use of contemplative practices in college and university classrooms. He continues to speak around the world on the importance of contemplative pedagogy.
University of Minnesota
Philip David Zelazo, PhD, (who holds an honorary bachelor of arts degree from McGill and a PhD with distinction from Yale) is currently the Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. From 1992-2007, he taught at the University of Toronto, where he held the Canada research chair in developmental neuroscience. Professor Zelazo's research has been honored by numerous awards, including a Boyd McCandless Young Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association (APA) and Canada's Top 40 Under 40 award. He is a fellow of several organizations, including the APA and the Mind & Life Institute; president of the Jean Piaget Society; and a member of numerous editorial boards (including Child Development and Emotion, Development and Psychopathology). He is editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology (2013), lead developer of the executive function measures for the NIH Toolbox, and the Cognitive Health Domain lead scientist for the National Children's Study.