Topography: The Brain Scan – Verse by B. A. St. Andrews

B.A. St. Andrews After you’ve become a human drum to let high frequency thrumming create magnetic pictures of your brain, you examine the evidence, cut by lateral cut, frame by polarized frame: full frontal nudity at its most arousing. Shot one: your skull is like Saturn its outer ring luminous, the next dark, oceanic, shifting: you can nearly […]

Perspectives on MLI’s International Symposium for Contemplative Studies: Tania Singer

Tania SingerWe asked MLI Fellow Tania Singer what she believes the next frontiers in the field of contemplative neuroscience will be. This was her response.

Network News: Summer 2014

nn-summer14Paivi Ahonen is continuing her research related to Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness initiative and finalizing an article on the topic entitled, "Bhutanese Teachers’ Perceptions about Gross National Happiness in Education for Sustainable Development."  Nava Levit Binnun reports that, for the fifth time, a daylong symposium inspired by Mind and Life took place in Israel on […]

Perspectives on MLI’s International Symposium for Contemplative Studies: Al Kaszniak

Al KaszniakWe asked MLI Fellow Al Kaszniak what, in his opinion, has been the most significant or meaningful breakthrough in contemplative science over the past 30 years. This was his response.

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…