Grey Matters

brain_gearsThe mysteries of the human brain are hidden in an almost unfathomable array of synaptic connections, cellular activity, neurotransmitters, gene expression patterns, and electrical oscillations. Even deeper than these lay the questions of how such an extraordinarily complex electrochemical system connects to our moment-to-moment experience as human beings: our perceptions, our thoughts, our emotions—what cognitive […]

From Emory to Berlin

The past week has been packed with remarkable moments. We started with Emory University where 8,000 people filled the stadium to hear His Holiness speak about secular ethics and education, which in the last year has become a central part of Mind and Life’s work. The webcast is available so I need not try to […]

Bridging the Divide

Tomorrow afternoon I will do my best to guide the dialogue between His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and four scholars and scientists on the theme of secular ethics and education. We will begin with the research and views of Frans de Waals, professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta. The title of de […]

Seven Weeks with Our Global Community

Today I leave for Atlanta and the beginning of a daunting but amazing journey that will take me to Europe and many places in Asia on behalf of Mind and Life. I do so with others as we seek to connect with Mind and Life’s increasingly global community. I hope to chronicle my various experiences […]

Mind and Life Announces Its 27th Dialogue With the Dalai Lama

MLIELogoThis year’s event focuses on craving, desire, and addiction. PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release From October 28–November 1, 2013, the Mind & Life Institute will hold its 27th Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. This year’s program, which will be held at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, India, will take up the subjects of craving, […]

Meditation: It’s Not What You Think

brain weightsDo you have family, friends, colleagues who say they just can’t meditate? Mind and Life’s resident neuroscientist Wendy Hasenkamp explores the popular misconceptions surrounding meditation, and the reasons to keep trying.   When I explain to someone that I’m involved in research on meditation, it’s not uncommon for me to hear, “Oh, meditation—I tried that. […]

Your Brain on Meditation

brewer2A new technology allows researchers to see the contemplative brain in real time—and uncover insights on everything from contentment to effort to distraction. We’ve all read or heard about scientific studies linking meditation to brain activity. These can be helpful in many ways. Maybe they help give us a little boost of motivation when we […]

European Symposium for Contemplative Studies

MLIELogoWe are delighted to announce that our website for the first Mind and Life Europe Symposium for Contemplative Studies, which will take place from 10 – 13 October 2013 in Berlin, is now online. Participants can register for the Symposium from today onward by visiting www.europeansymposium.org

Contemplative practice treatments for post-traumatic stress

stephenleeTwo weeks ago, U.S. Army veteran Stephen Lee described in a Huffington Post interview how his participation in a meditation study helped him work with the anger and anxiety he was suffering as a result of post-traumatic stress. Lee is featured in Free the Mind, a new documentary about the brain, neuroscience, and meditation.   […]

Arming Introspection: Does meditation make a more ethical soldier or a more dangerous one?

soldiermeditatingWhen Buddhist-based contemplative practices burgeoned in popularity in the United States and Europe during the 1950s and 60s, its central tenets were often disregarded in university department as New Age frivolity. Departments of Religion and Philosopy made some allowances for their study, but the same open-mindedness rarely occurred in “respectable” laboratories of Psychology, Cognitive Science, […]