An Interview with Penny Pilgram George

Penny Pilgram GeorgePenny Pilgram George, PhD, is president of the George Family Foundation in Minneapolis and a leader in the national movement to transform medicine and healthcare through the principles and practices of integrative medicine.

Om Ex Machina

Marieke van VugtHow does the game change if we get a computer to meditate? Cognitive scientist Marieke van Vugt wants to find out. “I often joke that I’m going to build a meditating computer,” she laughs, “but that is [really] the best description of what I’m doing.”

True Dialogue

Dalai Lama Mind and LifeLast year, the Dalai Lama asked Mind and Life if we would join him at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for a conversation on happiness, free enterprise, and human flourishing. AEI, a conservative think tank, is perhaps not the first, second, or even hundredth place many people in our community might expect to find Mind and Life. But, in fact, that is precisely why we accepted…

Longing After Loss

Brooke-headshotFalling in love can enliven us. Feeling seen and held can ground us; it can put us at ease. Love can also grant us a sense of safety and security. Falling out of love, on the other hand, can unravel us. Losing love can trigger a cycle of craving and attachment that not only exacerbates our suffering but also can last a long time.

The Anxiety of Happiness

sharon-salzbergHis life is a pursuit of a pursuit forever. / It is the future that creates his present. / All is an interminable chain of longing.
–Robert Frost.
I’ve long thought that in this section of his poem, “Escapist–Never,” Robert Frost captures a lot of what contemplative traditions describe as craving, a source of great suffering.

The Pharmacy of Desire

wendy-farleyAn American success story: A college graduate gets a good job and marries. The couple drives a beautiful car, a consolation for their terrible commute. Work pays well but requires callous decisions. Expensive vacations and a lovely home recompense for the sacrifice not only of time, but also of ideals. Contentment, however, remains elusive; an underlying anger burns. The additional cocktail flames the anger into vindicating rage. Marriage lapses into emptiness; children become strangers; affairs end unpleasantly…

New Varela Awardees Announced!

SRIblogEach year, Mind and Life strives to support young scholars by funding cutting edge research in contemplative science. Our Varela Research Awards are based on neuroscientist, philosopher, and Mind and Life cofounder Francisco J. Varela’s belief that contemplative training offers modern science novel methods for investigating human experience. In his vision, contemplative training not only provides a […]

The Bright Knight of the Soul

Detail from artwork byAs I reflect on the last 18 months and look forward to the next year and more, the medieval romance Parzival keeps reasserting itself. Its archetypal elements seem apt metaphors for the essential work of Mind and Life.

The Craving Cycle

Artwork by Greg DunnImages by Greg Dunn  About 25 years after quitting drugs, I decided to write a book about the experience of addiction and the brain processes underlying it. Around my desk I stacked 20 volumes of personal notes from my mid- to late 20s. They told, in relentless detail, of my growing attachment to opiates, periods […]

Dawn and the Dialogue

dharamsala-xxvii-blogMind and Life’s President Arthur Zajonc’s latest dispatch as the 27th Dialogue begins. It is before dawn on the morning of the 27th dialogue with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, 26 years after Francisco Varela, Adam Engle, His Holiness, and a handful of scientists began to speak about the mind and the nature of […]