The International Symposia for Contemplative Studies grew out of discussion among contemplative research center and laboratory directors, at a meeting convened by the Mind & Life Institute in the Summer of 2010. The Mind & Life Institute has coordinated the planning of this International Symposia, in collaboration with these center and laboratory cosponsors, and has assumed financial responsibility for its organization. The purpose of the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies is to bring together academics and other interested attendees for presentation, discussion, and collaborative networking in the fields of contemplative basic science, contemplative clinical science, contemplative philosophy and humanities, contemplative education, and those domains of contemplative practice that relate to and interact with these fields of research and scholarship. These distinct, though overlapping fields of contemplative study each focus on advancing our understanding of the human mind and how training the mind through the use of contemplative practices can lead to a reduction in suffering, enhanced health and cognitive/emotional functioning, greater happiness, and increased social harmony.
There has been growing consensus on the need for a regular and recurring venue in which researchers, scholars, and students in these emerging contemplative fields can come together to share new research and scholarship and network with established and potential collaborators. Such a venue is intended to be the most important vehicle for shaping and encouraging an interdisciplinary and cohesive field of contemplative studies in which basic and applied science, scholarship, and contemplative traditions collaboratively develop an integrated way of knowing in which first- and third-person perspectives are equally and synergistically included.
The 2012 International Symposia for Contemplative Studies will begin the evening of Thursday, April 26, 2012, and conclude in the early afternoon of April 29. The format of this meeting will include invited keynote addresses and master lectures, along with submitted and invited concurrent symposia, workshops, panels and paper presentation sessions, poster sessions, and contemplative practice opportunities. Evening activities will be designed to facilitate networking, ongoing collaborative relationships, and the establishment of new collaboration.