March 24, 2012 — Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
Everyday, fresh insights from all fields of science shed new light on the processes of human experience — the how of feeling, thinking, and believing — and invite us to redefine who we are as human beings.
Join us on March 24, 2012, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Together we will explore new territories of understanding around human processes such as how we perceive and ‘make sense’ of the world, how we make decisions and how we relate to others and ourselves.
Pioneers on the frontier of human understanding will guide our exploration, including best-selling author and neuroscientist David Eagleman, psychologist and leader in the study of emotions Paul Ekman, artist and neuroscientist Beau Lotto, scientist and mindfulness meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, and international prize-winning poet Jane Hirshfield.
We are for anyone who is fascinated by how and why we experience our lives the way we do. Our aim is to bring transparency to human nature, with a healthy dose of openness to discovery and wonder. Chances are, you will come away with a sense of awe and an exciting new orientation towards your own experience of life and of the world around you.
Visit www.beinghuman2012.org for the full list of guests and to register for Being Human 2012, hosted March 24, 2012, from 9:00-5:30pm, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
Brown University Contemplative Studies Initiative is a multi dimensional program that includes undergraduate Arts and Sciences courses and concentrations, an active series of lectures and retreats, a research laboratory, a residence for students, and a program in the Alpert Medical School. We have graduated nine independent CS concentrators over the past few years, have trained several dozen contemplative scientists and physicians, and conducted innovative research on the effects of regular mindfulness practices on university and middle school students. We are working to establish a Center for Contemplative Studies that will train the next generation of contemplative scholars, educators, artists, and scientists. www.brown.edu/Faculty/Contemplative_Studies_Initiative/
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Relapse Prophylaxis is Unipolar Affective Illness:
These studies compare the degree of prevention provided to patients who continue to take antidepressant medication or receive mindfulness based cognitive therapy for the prevention of relapse in major depressive disorder. Outcomes are determined by following patients for 18 months and investigating the links between practice/adherence and wellness.
Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Prefrontal Cortical Changes Following Sad Mood Provocation:
This research investigates the neural correlates of emotion regulation in recovered depressed patients who are novices to mindfulness and those who have a personal mindfulness practice. We are especially interested in examining whether minfulness practices lead to greater neural balance between narrative based processing regions, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and a more lateralized somatosensory network that features processing of interoceptive information.
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, CCARE, is striving to create a multidisciplinary, collaborative community of leading thinkers from neuroscience, psychology, health care, philosophy and contemplative study around the science of compassion. From etiological approaches that examine the evolutionary origins of compassion to investigations of how peripheral autonomic signals factor into compassion to neuroscience studies of the brain mechanisms that support the ‘warm glow’ feelings that reinforce altruistic behavior, CCARE is working to gain a deep understanding of compassion and its associated human behaviors in all its richness. CCARE is also engaged with contemplative traditions that afford a rich mental taxonomy and, more importantly, clearly delineated mental techniques aimed at cultivating and enhancing compassionate qualities of the human mind and heart, in order to create firmly secular tools for enabling people to rediscover their innate potential for, enhance their own experience of, and strengthen their resolve to act in accordance with, compassion. Finally, CCARE is committed to disseminating research findings and compassion building tools on an international scale using a number of media forums including public lectures, conferences and digital and social media platforms.
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society works to integrate contemplative awareness and contemporary life in order to help create a more just, compassionate, reflective, and sustainable society. The Academic Program of the Center supports the contemplative dimension of teaching, learning and knowing in higher education with fellowships, retreats for educators and summer curriculum development sessions. The Center supports a network of leading academics through the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, a professional membership association committed to the recovery and development of contemplation in the academy and a resource for anyone interested in the growing contemplative education movement.
The Center for Engaged Compassion is an applied research center of Claremont Lincoln University (www.claremontlincoln.org), a groundbreaking interreligious consortium that teaches spiritual leaders of all traditions how to harness the power of religion to heal the world. From within this unique context, the Center cultivates lives and communities of active compassion grounded in contemplative practice. Offering concrete, learnable processes, practices, and perspectives, the Center teaches individuals, organizations, and even governments how to act in genuine compassion to change the world for good. The Center’s educational programs, healing & reconciliation projects, and research & development initiatives integrate the contemplative practices of the world’s spiritual traditions with the most advanced contemporary understandings of human arts and sciences. At the Center we do not simply theorize about what may be possible, we teach people how to make it possible – through the practice of engaged compassion.
TheCenter for Integrative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health was founded in 2009. It promotes comprehensive care emphasizing wellness and healing of the whole person, with special emphasis on empowering patients and families, and attention to mental and spiritual health. The Center facilitates a collaboration of clinical, educational, community outreach, and research activities focusing on wellness and healing, including acupuncture, the arts, music and the environment, communication and counseling skills, dietary supplements and herbal medicine, Therapeutic and Healing Touch, massage therapy, mind-body, nutrition, stress management, tai chi and qi gong, and yoga. It has over 100 members including senior faculty, staff, and administrators throughout the institution. Post-doctoral fellows who are members currently pursue research in mindfulness meditation (Zeidan) and yoga (Sohl), and the Director, Dr. Kemper, is pursuing innovative investigations on the interpersonal effects of meditation on autonomic and central nervous system activity. It has over 100 members including senior faculty, staff, and administrators throughout the institution. Post-doctoral fellows who are members currently pursue research in mindfulness meditation (Zeidan) and yoga (Sohl), and the Director, Dr. Kemper, is pursuing innovative investigations on the interpersonal effects of meditation on autonomic and central nervous system activity.
Creating a world through research and outreach in which healthy qualities of mind flourish.
Located within the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) is a research center dedicated to rigorously studying how healthy qualities of mind can positively impact the well-being of individuals and their communities. CIHM Founder Richard J. Davidson, a pioneer in affective neuroscience, and his team of scientists are at the forefront of this emerging hybrid discipline, contemplative neuroscience. The Center investigates whether and how contemplative traditions can physically change our brains and also help us live healthier, happier lives. The Center conducts both basic and translational research and works to translate its findings and the techniques developed from them into accessible tools, practices and information for people, families and communities throughout the world.
Our core research areas include:
• attention and visual cognition
• audio-visual integration
• language and neurolinguistics
• cognitive and neurocognitive development
• disorders of mind and brain
• short-term and long-term memory
Some of our current research applications include:
• effects of meditation on the mind and brain
• interplay between music and memory
• how children with autism and Fragile X process information
• development of morality in children
• neurobiology of sign languages
• visual memory in infancy and adulthood
• effects of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease on the brain
The tools we use include:
• functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
• EEG and event related potentials (ERPs)
• transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
• eye tracking
• behavioral testing
Inspiring generations of scientists, clinicians, and educators, for thirty-two years the Center has taken a leadership role in pioneering the integration of mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness-based practices into mainstream medicine through clinical care, rigorous research, academic medical and professional education, and into the larger society through leading edge “crossover” initiatives and outreach to schools and corporations, public institutions and governmental agencies. The work of the Center has been featured in the PBS Bill Moyer’s documentary, Healing and the Mind (viewed by 40 million people), on NBC Dateline, ABC’s Evening News, the Oprah Winfrey Show, in numerous magazine, newspaper, online articles, and in Widening the Circle: Mindfulness in the World, a film produced by the Center in celebration of its first 30 years. Each year the Center hosts an international scientific conference on mindfulness, Investigating and Integrating Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and the Larger Society. This year’s 9th annual meeting included 500 clinicians and researchers from 21 countries and 6 continents engaged in understanding the science of mindfulness and its translation into treatments aimed at enhancing health across the life span.
School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales, UK
The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University is the UK’s leading organization for the delivery of training programs for professionals wanting to integrate and apply mindfulness-based approaches (MBAs) in their work. The CMRP was formally established in 2001 following the first mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) research trial at Bangor University. The CMRP offers mindfulness-based programs to the general public, Continuing Professional Development trainings and a full postgraduate Master’s program in MBAs. While the efforts of the CMRP have so far mainly focused on training and research in the clinical context, the centre has been expanding the scope of its activities towards broad well-being related applications of mindfulness, for example, in education, in the work place, in the context of parenting and illness prevention across lifespan. CMRP has recently started to integrate methods of cognitive neuroscience into some of its research activities.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the world’s leading organization advancing research, school practice, and public policy that nurtures children’s essential social and emotional competencies. These, in turn, foster academic achievement, a sense of belonging, positive behavior, and the development of the skills and qualities children need to succeed in the 21st century. CASEL’s premise is that social and emotional learning (SEL) is the missing piece in most school reform/school improvement efforts, and is essential to optimal learning. In order to accomplish its mission to establish social and emotional learning as an essential part of pre-K-12 education, CASEL promotes rigorous, evidence-based approaches that enhance children’s positive social and emotional development in all aspects of their education—in-school, after-school, and in school-family partnerships. To learn more, please visit www.casel.org
Contemplative Outreach is a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel. The common desire for Divine transformation, primarily expressed through a commitment to a daily Centering Prayer practice, unites our international, interdenominational community.
Today, Contemplative Outreach annually serves over 40,000 people; supports over 120 active contemplative chapters in 39 countries; supports over 800 prayer groups; teaches over 15,000 people the practice of Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices through locally-hosted workshops; and provides training and resources to local chapters and volunteers. We also publish and distribute the wisdom teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating and other resources that support the contemplative life.
The Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies is comprised of interdisciplinary scholars and scientists committed to the exploration of contemplative practices and traditions through lively dialogue across the sciences and humanities for the advancement of research, clinical practice, and education. Senior and junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, PhD trainees, and undergraduate students from various disciplines – including religion, neuroscience, psychology, health sciences, anthropology, and sociology – come together to conduct basic and translational research on the effects of mindfulness and compassion based training on the brain and health and to pursue contemplative pedagogy in higher education and in the community.
We envision and work to build a future in which contemplative ideas and methods are increasingly mainstream, and are applied at scale to create the conditions for positive, systemic social and environmental change. A positive state of mind is a critical condition for a positive future, because it profoundly affects future behavior. Contemplation will be increasingly recognized and practiced as a key pathway to positive states of mind and behavior, helping to cultivate caring, insight and courage in individuals, to forge new ways of thinking, new learning and leadership networks among key leaders and groups, and to shift collective values, worldviews and practices in society.
The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.
Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, we have been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. And we have been without peer in our award-winning efforts to translate and disseminate this science to the public.
The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (IMP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and training of mental health professionals interested in the integration of mindfulness meditation and psychotherapy, for the purpose of enhancing the therapy relationship, the quality of clinical interventions, and the well-being of the therapist.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a nonprofit research, education, and membership organization. Founded in 1973 by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the mission of IONS is to broaden our knowledge of the nature and potentials of mind and consciousness and to apply that knowledge to enhancing human well-being and the quality of life on the planet. “Noetic” comes from the Greek word nous, which means “intuitive mind” or “inner knowing.” The Institute’s primary program areas are consciousness and healing, the science of interconnectedness, and worldview transformation. The work of IONS includes basic science and applied research; scientific presentations at regional and international workshops and conferences; maintaining a rich archive of online content in the field of consciousness studies; publication of a monthly online journal, eNewsletter and a semi-annual bulletin; educational programs featuring scientists, change agents, and global thought leaders; a publishing imprint, Noetic Books, co-published with New Harbinger Publications; hosting of residential seminars and workshops at our on-campus retreat facility; and supporting a global network of members and self-organizing community groups.
Mindful magazine is published by the Foundation for a Mindful Society. Every two months, Mindful will bring you and thousands of other readers the latest news and most inspiring stories about how taking time for what matters can change our lives, our work, our relationships, and our society—for the better.
Right now at our website Mindful.org you’ll find daily practice instruction, the latest scientific news, and stories about the great work of the mindfulness community. (While you’re there, be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter for exclusive updates and to subscribe to Mindful magazine.)
And don’t miss the video from “Creating a Mindful Society,” the groundbreaking conference cosponsored by the Center for Mindfulness, the Foundation for a Mindful Society, and Omega Institute. It’s free at live.soundstrue.com.
The Foundation for a Mindful Society, in collaboration with the Hemera Foundation, promotes the practice and development of mindfulness, awareness, and compassion in all aspects of modern life. Our mission is to support and extend the work of many individuals and groups contributing to the development of a mindful society.
UCLA Semel Institute’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) is a university-based center dedicated to education in, and research about, mindfulness to promote wellness and a compassionate society.
- Online Mindfulness classes
- Mindfulness classes, workshop, and events in Los Angeles
- Free downloadable mindfulness meditations
- Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation program
- Resources for research in mindfulness
- Teen mindfulness retreat July 31- August 5, 2011
The Mind & Life Institute, organizer and co-sponsor of the International Symposia, promotes and supports rigorous, multi-disciplinary investigation of the mind, leading to the development and dissemination of practices that cultivate the mental qualities of attention, emotional balance, kindness, compassion, confidence and happiness. The approach to investigation encouraged by the Mind & Life Institute is rooted in an integrated way of knowing that combines the first and second person direct experience of contemplative practice and scholarship with a modern scientific third person inquiry. The Mind & Life Institute’s commitment to multi-disciplinary investigation includes research in the traditional mind sciences, social sciences, contemplative scholarship and practice, philosophy and humanities. This commitment reflects the belief that only through integrated investigation can we achieve an accurate understanding of how the mind works, the benefits of mental fitness, and the best practices for achieving mental and emotional fitness.
Mind Science Foundation
The Mind Science Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation established by visionary philanthropist Thomas Baker Slick in 1958 to study the unexplored potential of the human mind. Our annual memberships support scientific research and educational programs focused on enhancing our understanding of human consciousness in order to improve the condition of humankind. Learn more at www.mindscience.org.
Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. To learn more, visit http:///www.naropa.edu
• To do high-quality science
• To answer questions that matter to humanity, and
• To have fun and feel good about doing it.
Our science to date tells us that genuine positive emotions may in fact be the single most important active ingredient in this recipe for flourishing. When this is lacking or in poor supply – people get stuck. They lose their freedom of choice. They become stagnant and painfully predictable. But when this ingredient is in ample supply – people take off. They become generative, creative, resilient, ripe with possibility and beautifully unpredictable.
Our research team is working to show how it is that being moved by positive emotions can move you forward, and not only lift you to your higher ground, but also create a world that is worth giving to our children. www.unc.edu/peplab/home.html
Center faculty members conduct a diverse range of projects. These include basic longitudinal studies of risk and protective factors, randomized clinical trails, quasi-experimental studies, and program evaluations. As such, studies face a host of common methodological problems, including: (1) the modeling of longitudinal data, (2) effective and efficient strategies for handling missing data, (3) the use of multi-level models for understanding the role of communities, schools, and families, (4) studying prevention outcomes in light of developmental transitions in problem behaviors, and (5) utilizing person-oriented models of analysis.
Emotion Regulation and the Cultivation of Compassion in Long-Term Meditators:
These studies investigate emotion response, emotion regulation, empathy, and compassion in long-term meditation practitioners (primarily Zen and Vipassana).
Attention and Emotion Effects of Brief Meditation Training:
This research investigates attention, emotion, and physiological changes following brief (typically 8-weeks) meditation training. Current studies focus on the evaluation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training for spouse caregivers of persons with neurological disease, and on the effects of meditation training on performance and emotional experience in complex multitasking work environments.
We recognize that the growing interest in mindfulness practices is resulting in university administrators, faculty, staff, and students seeking to learn more about mindfulness and find ways of bringing it into their daily lives, professionally and personally. Together we are creating a clearinghouse for the collection, dissemination, and discussion of information on what is taking place in the area of mindfulness, and a forum for the discussion of how we might work together to broaden the reach and effectiveness of information, research, and trainings in mindfulness within the University.