Geshe Dorji Damdul
Geshe Dorji Damdul was born in 1968 and did his schooling at TCV School, Dharamsala from 1973 – 1988 with main interest in Physics and Mathematics. After high school he joined the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, in 1988 for formal studies in Buddhist logic, philosophy and epistemology. In 1994, he joined Drepung Loseling Monastic Univerity. He finished his Geshe Lharampa Degree (equivalent to Ph.D.) in 2002 from the same Monastery after 15 years of study in Buddhist philosophy. He joined Gyudmed Tantric College for a year’s study in Tantra. In 2003, the Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama sent him to Cambridge University, England, for English studies. He was a visiting fellow in Girton College, Cambridge University. For two years (2004 -05), he served as the philosophy lecturer for Emory University Study Abroad program held in Dharamsala, India. He was appointed as the official translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama in 2005. In 2008, he was appointed as a visiting fellow in Delhi University to give lectures in three of the University’s departments – Philosophy, Psychology, and Buddhist Studies. Presently, while assigned with the same task of translating for H.H. the Dalai Lama inside and abroad India, he is serving as the Deputy Director of Tibet House, Cultural Center of H.H. the Dalai Lama, New Delhi. He gives lectures and leads philosophy and meditation retreats in Tibet House, Delhi University, Tibetan Youth Hostel and so forth. He also travels widely in India and abroad,including such locations as Mumbai, Bangalore, the USA and so forth to teach Buddhist philosophy and practice.
Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.
Richard J. Davidson is Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and the Director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience and the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He was educated at New York University and Harvard University, where he received his B.A. and Ph.D., respectively, in psychology. Over the course of his research career he has focused on the relationship between brain and emotion. He is currently the William James Professor and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. He is co-author or editor of thirteen books, including Visions of Compassion: Western Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human Nature, and The Handbook of Affective Science.
Professor Davidson has also written more than 250 chapters and journal articles. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including the Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Mental Health. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in May, 2006, and in November, 2006, he received the first Mani Bhaumik Award from UCLA for advances in the understanding of the brain and the conscious mind in healing. He is currently the Chair Elect of the Psychology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1992, as a follow-up from previous Mind and Life meetings, he was a member of a scientific team doing neuroscientific investigations of exceptional mental abilities in advanced Tibetan monks.
Adele Diamond, Ph.D.
Adele Diamond is the Canada Research Chair and Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Psychiatry Department at University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her work integrates developmental, cognitive, neuroscience, and molecular genetic approaches to examine fundamental questions about the development of the cognitive control abilities (“executive functions”) that rely on a region of a brain known as “prefrontal cortex.” Indeed, she is one of the pioneers who founded the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Research studies in Adele’s lab examine the modulation of these cognitive control abilities by biology (genes and neurochemistry), their modulation by the environment (including detrimental factors such as poverty and facilitative ones such as school programs), how they become derailed in disorders (as in ADHD or autism), effective interventions and treatments for preventing or ameliorating such disorders, and educational implications. Her research changed medical guidelines worldwide for the treatment of PKU (phenylketonuria) and for the inattentive type of ADHD without hyperactivity, improving thousands of children’s lives. Her recent work, including a paper in the journal, Science, is affecting early education practices around the world. Adele received her BA from Swarthmore College Phi Beta Kappa (in Sociology-Anthropology & Psychology), her PhD from Harvard (in Developmental Psychology), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale Medical School with Patricia Goldman-Rakic (in Neuroanatomy). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Named one of the “2000 Outstanding Women of the 20th Century,” her work has been featured on the PBS series, Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, the NPR Series, Speaking of Faith, in shows on CBC and CTV, and in articles in the NY Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Vancouver Sun, and the Globe and Mail. Her research has been continuously funded since she was a graduate student and she has held the same NIH R01 grant since her first semester as a faculty member.
Sona Dimidjian, Ph.D.
Dr. Sona Dimidjian is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research addresses the treatment and prevention of depression, including a particular focus on the mental health of women during pregnancy and postpartum. She is a leading expert in cognitive and behavioral approaches to treating and preventing depression and has a longstanding interest in the clinical application of mindfulness and contemplative practices. Currently, she is conducting research on the use of meditative practices, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and lovingkindness practice, with pregnant and postpartum women at high risk of depressive relapse.
Andrew Dreitcer, Ph.D.
Andrew Dreitcer is Associate Professor of Spirituality, Director of Spiritual Formation, and Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont School of Theology, as well as Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Wabash College, M.Div. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union (with UC Berkeley). He was the co-founding director of a seminary program in spiritual direction, and served 15 years as a Presbyterian pastor. Studies with Henri Nouwen and a year spent at the ecumenical monastic community of Taizé significantly shaped his own spiritual life. Among his publications is the co-authored Beyond the Ordinary: Spirituality for Church Leaders. Andy’s current interests lie in the exploration of contemplative practices across religious traditions, the relationship between Christian spiritual practices and neuroscientific understandings, (http://neurospirituality.blogspot.com/), and the ways in which contemplative practices (especially those in the Christian tradition) form lives of “engaged compassion” (http://centerforengagedcompassion.wordpress.com). He has recently co-led workshops on contemplative practice, compassion, healing, and reconciliation for pastors, tribal chiefs, and government officials in Zimbabwe, for church leaders in the United States, and for U.S. Congress members and congressional staffers on Capitol Hill. Hill (www.triptykos.com ). The father of two daughters, he lives with his wife in the San Francisco Bay Area, and keeps trying to learn the play Blues harmonica.
Georges Dreyfus, Ph.D.
Georges Dreyfus (Ph.D., University of Virginia) spent fifteen years in Buddhist monasteries before receiving in 1985 the title of Geshe, the highest degree conferred by Tibetan monastic universities. He then entered the University of Virginia where he received an M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Religions program. He is currently Professor of Religion of the Department of Religion at Williams College.
He has published 5 books, including Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti and his Tibetan Interpreters (1997) and The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: the Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk (2002), and many articles on various aspects of Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan culture. He has been chair of the Religion department at Williams College and chair of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions group of the American Academy of Religion. He is the recipient of various awards such as a National Endowment for the Humanities.
John Dunne, Ph.D.
John Dunne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University, where he co-founded the Collaborative for Contemplative Studies and directs the Encyclopedia of Contemplative Practices. His work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science. His publications include a monograph on Dharmak?rti, and scientific studies of Buddhist contemplative practice with colleagues from the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the Mind and Life Institute. He was educated at the United States Air Force Academy, Amherst College and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. from the Committee on the Study of Religion in 1999. Before joining Emory’s faculty in 2005, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously conducted research at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and the Central University for Higher Tibetan Studies (Sarnath, India).
His published work includes Foundations of Dharmakirti’s Philosophy (2004), in which he examines the most prominent Buddhist theories of perception, language, inference and justification. His current research includes an inquiry into the notion of “mindfulness” both in classical Buddhist and contemporary contexts, and he is also engaged in a study of Candrakirti’s Prasannapad?, a major Buddhist philosophical work on the metaphysics of “Emptiness.” Within Buddhist Studies, his most recent publications include essays on Madhyamaka philosophy, Buddhist philosophy of language, non-dual mindfulness, and “yogic” perception. In Cognitive Science, his work includes a co-authored review article on “Attention Regulation and Monitoring Meditation” (Trends in Cognitive Science). His collaborative research is conducted with colleagues in the Collaborative for Contemplative Studies at Emory University and through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. His work at the interface of Buddhism and science is often facilitated through the activities of the Mind and Life Institute, where he has served on the Board of Directors and is currently on the Program and Research Council. He has acted as an oral translator for Tibetan scholars, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and he is currently a consultant or co-Investigator on various scientific studies of contemplative practices.
Jacquelynne Eccles, Ph.D.
Jacquelynne Eccles, Ph.D. is a renowned researcher in gender and achievement at the University of Michigan and is the developer of the Expectancy-Value Model. Dr. Eccles is the Wilbert McKeachie Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Women’s Studies and Education, and a research scientist at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She has served as chair of the Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Directorate at the NSF and the MacArthur Foundation on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood. She is past president of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) and was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Successful Adolescent Development.
Dr. Eccles has been the associate editor of Child Development and is currently editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence. She is co-author/co-editor 15 books including Women and Sex-Roles, Managing to Succeed, and most recently, Understanding women’s choice of mathematics- and science-related careers, and Gender and occupational outcomes. She has received several major awards recognizing her scholarship including life-time career achievement awards from SRA, APS, Division 15 of APA, and the Society for Research on Human Development. She was elected to the National Academy of Education in 1998. Her research interests focus on the longitudinal study of the development and socialization of psychological influences on motivation, activity choice, and involvement.
Monique Ernst, M.D., Ph.D.
Monique Ernst is Head of Neurodevelopment of Reward Systems, Senior Staff Clinician in the Emotional Development and Affective Neuroscience (EDAN) of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program (MAP) of the Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She completed medical school at the Pitie Salpetriere University in Paris, France, and the Ph.D. program of Neurophysiology; Nervous System and Behavior of Paris VI. She did residencies in adult psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center and in Child Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital & New York Medical Center in New York. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Ernst’s research has focused on brain mechanisms involved in risk factors, pathogenesis, and treatment of pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders. Before joining NIMH in March 2001, her work was centered on children with autism, self-injurious behavior (Lesch-Nyhan Disease), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse problems. As part of the Emotional Development and Affective Neuroscience, she focuses her work on developmental neural changes across adolescence, and mechanisms underlying mood and anxiety disorders during this period. Specific targets of her research include genetic vulnerabilities for mood and anxiety disorders, early steroid dysfunction, and the mapping of developmental changes of reward systems in typically developing adolescents, adolescents at risk for a mood /anxiety disorder and adolescents suffering from these disorders.
Wendy Farley, Ph.D.
Wendy Farley, Professor of Religion and Ethics and Chair of Theological Studies, is a constructive theologian teaching at Emory University. Three books (Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion, Eros for the Other, and The Wounding and Healing of Desire) have focused primarily on human suffering interpreted through theology, continental philosophy, comparative and contemplative thought. Areas of scholarship include pre-modern theology, neo-platonism, phenomenology, and feminist theology and philosophy. In the last decade or so she has also studied Tibetan Buddhism, focusing in particular on contemplative practices and the comparison of these with Christian contemplative literatures and practices. She co-chaired the ad hoc group that evolved into the Emory-Tibet Partnership and is now co-chairing Emory’s Contemplative Studies initiative (graciously permitting John Dunne to do most of the actual work). She is currently working on a book responding to ethical and theological conflicts within contemporary Christianity and another which recovers the legacy of three medieval women contemplatives, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Julian of Norwich.
Brent Field, Ph.D.
Brent Field is a Research Scientist at Princeton University who is interested in the brain’s ability to regulate subjective experience. To address this, he has two complimentary research programs. First, he is studying how the prefrontal cortex, a brain region believed to provide “top-down” executive guidance to much of the rest of the brain, may influence the experience of emotion. Second, he is coordinating a collaborative effort aimed at understanding the effects of long-term meditation practice on attention and emotion. There is a point of confluence between these two research streams if one hypothesizes that long term practice of some meditation techniques alter how the prefrontal cortex influences attention and emotion.
Brent earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon in 2000. He did a brief post doc in Microsoft Research before serving as a Program Manager for several Microsoft properties (notably MSN Messenger). After observing that the extremely wealthy and technologically empowered people he met at Microsoft were not (noticeably) any happier than anyone else, he decided to return to academia to find out why.
Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, MPS
Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, MPS, is the President and CEO of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., a world-wide network of individuals and small groups committed to living the contemplative life in contemporary society. Gail is an international speaker and retreat director, and along with Fr. Thomas Keating, she is a founding member of Contemplative Outreach. Author of an article for the Sewanee Theological Review 43:3, Pentecost 2000 and the Merton Annual, Winter 2005 edition entitled the Spiritual Network of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., she also was published in Lantern Books’ The Divine Indwelling. Gail serves as a writer and contributing editor of the Contemplative Life Program, a series of study and practice books on contemplative life in community offered by Contemplative Outreach. She holds a Masters Degree in Creative Arts Therapy and Special Education. Gail is the mother of three adult children and devoted grandmother of Austin and Anthony.
Owen Flanagan, Ph.D.
Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Chair, Professor of Psychology-Experimental, and Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University. In 1999-2000, Dr. Flanagan held the Romanell Phi Beta Kappa Professorship awarded by the national Phi Beta Kappa office to an American philosopher for distinguished contributions to philosophy and to the public understanding of philosophy.
Dr. Flanagan works primarily on the mind-body problem, moral psychology, and the conflict between the scientific and the humanistic image of persons. He is the author of The Science of the Mind, MIT University Press, 1991; Varieties of Moral Personality, Harvard University Press, 1991; Consciousness Reconsidered, MIT University Press, 1992; Self-Expressions: Mind, Morals and the Meaning of Life, Oxford University Press, 1996, and Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind, Oxford University Press, 2000. He has also published numerous articles including several recent articles on the nature of the virtues; the moral emotions; Confucianism; and the scientific status of psychoanalysis.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., is Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory (a.k.a. PEPlab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley, she held faculty positions at Duke University and the University of Michigan. She is currently Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina within their Social Psychology Program and an elected Board Member of the Association of Psychological Science.
Fredrickson’s research centers on emotions and well-being. She is most known for her broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. This perspective holds that positive emotions are evolved adaptations that widen the scope of people’s attention and action repertoires in ways that, over time, build consequential resources for survival. She and her students test aspects of the broaden-and-build theory in laboratory and field experiments, using self-report, behavioral, and physiological measures. Fredrickson is especially interested in the contributions that various positive emotions may make toward people’s likelihood of attaining flourishing mental health. She has written over 70 journal articles and book chapters, is co-author of a leading introductory psychology textbook, and author of a forthcoming book describing the science of positive emotions for a lay audience (Crown Books, 2009). She has received numerous awards for her research and teaching, including the American Psychological Association’s Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology. You may learn more about Fredrickson’s research by visiting www.PositiveEmotions.org
Richard Freeman Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. He has spent nearly nine years in Asia studying various traditions which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard’s background includes studying Sufism in Iran, Zen and Vipassana Buddhist practice, Bhakti and traditional Hatha yoga in India. Starting in 1974 he also began an in-depth study of Iyengar yoga, which eventually led him to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Richard is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, as well as Sanskrit. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints, without losing the depth and integrity of each, has helped him develop a unique, metaphorical teaching style.
Richard teaches public classes at the Yoga Workshop as well as spending a good part of each year traveling as a guest instructor, teaching at studios throughout the world. As the founder of the Yoga Workshop, Richard sets the standard for the classes at the studio. As part of that he offers Teacher Intensive courses and special classes through the Yoga Workshop and also gives Studio Talks on Indian philosophy at the studio on a regular basis. He is the author of the book, “The Mirror of Yoga” (Shambhala Publications).
Born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1939, Gelek Rimpoche, a fully accomplished meditation master, is an incarnate lama of Drepung Monastic University. Carefully tutored by some of Tibet’s greatest living masters, he gained renown at a very young age for his powers of memory, intellectual judgement and penetrating insight.
In 1959, Gelek Rimpoche was among those forced into exile, fleeing the Communist Chinese who had occupied Tibet since 1951. While in India, Rimpoche as a member of a group of sixteen monks, was chosen to continue specific studies with the great masters who had escaped Tibet, including the Dalai Lama’s personal tutors.
At the age of twenty-five, Rimpoche gave up monastic life, allowing him to better serve the lay community of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. In the mid-70′s, Gelek Rimpoche was encouraged by Ling Rimpoche and Trijang Rimpoche (senior and junior tutors of the Dalai Lama, respectively) to begin teaching in English. Since that time he has gained a large following throughout the world. Coming to the U.S. in the mid-80′s, Rimpoche later moved to Ann Arbor, MI and in 1988 founded Jewel Heart, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture and Buddhism. Today, Jewel Heart has chapters throughout the U.S. and in Malaysia, Singapore and the Netherlands.
A member of the last generation of lamas to be born and fully educated in Tibet, Gelek Rimpoche is particularly distinguished for his knowledge of English, his understanding of contemporary society, and his skill as a teacher of Buddhism in the West. He is now an American citizen.
Marcia Grabowecky, Ph.D.
Marcia Grabowecky is a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Brain, Behavior, and Cognition in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. Research in her laboratory focuses on visual perception and attention, especially on the modulatory influences of attention on basic visual processes. A newer line of work, with Satoru Suzuki, involves identifying relationships among components of visual attention, both to increase our basic understanding of attention and, eventually, to identify changes in attention due to pathology or as a result of training. Our investigations into training attention currently involve both Samatha meditation and biofeedback approaches.
Marcia Grabowecky was trained at the University of Calgary (BA in Psychology), the University of British Columbia (MA in Psychology), and UCBerkeley (Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology), and did postdoctoral training at the Center for Neuroscience at UC Davis. Her research, with collaborator Satoru Suzuki, is funded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. She was a participant at the first Mind and Life Summer Research Institute.
Jeremy R. Gray, Ph.D.
Jeremy R. Gray, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, where he directs the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab. He received his B.A. in psychobiology (from U.C. Santa Cruz) and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology (from Harvard University). He learned to use fMRI for human brain imaging as a post-doctoral fellow at Washington University in St Louis. Although trained as cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Gray’s work is highly interdisciplinary and relates to other areas in psychology, including self-control, higher cognition, and emotional intelligence. Before studying cognitive neuroscience, he practiced Zen meditation in the Soto tradition for two years at the San Francisco Zen Center.
His research has recently been concerned with individual differences in self-control. For studying self-control and other emotion-cognition interactions at multiple levels of analysis (including neural, genetic, and cognitive), he has received grant funding from both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Gray received the 2002 APA New Investigator Award in experimental psychology (for his Ph.D. dissertation work on emotion and cognitive control), and an NSF Career Award in 2007 (on research integrating affect, self-control, and intelligence). His lab’s web site is http://www.yale.edu/scan/
Mark Greenberg, Ph.D.
Mark Greenberg holds The Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. He is currently the Director of the Prevention Research Center. Since 1981, Dr. Greenberg has been examining the effectiveness of school-based curricula (The PATHS Curriculum) to improve the social, emotional, and cognitive competence of elementary-aged children. Since 1990, he has served as an Investigator in Fast Track, a comprehensive program that aims to prevent violence and delinquency in families. His research has focused on the role of individual, family, and community-level factors in prevention. Current studies include the evaluation of Communities That Care and The PROSPER Model. He received the Research Scientist Award from the Society for Prevention Research in 2002 and the Society for Child Development Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children Award in 2009. One of his current interests is how to help nurture awareness and compassion in our society.
Paul Grossman, Ph.D.
Paul Grossman is Director of the Psychophysiology Research Laboratory, Department of Psychosomatic and Internal Medicine, University of Basel Hospital, Basel, Switzerland, and the Freiburg Institute for Mindfulness Research, Freiburg, Germany. He studied philosophy and psychology, and received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Florida. Previously Director of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Harvard School of Public Health, he has held positions at the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the University of Freiburg, Germany. He is President-Elect and Executive Board Member of the International Society for the Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology.
His empirical research interests have aimed toward the expansion of autonomic, respiratory and cardiovascular physiology into psychological and behavioral domains. He has published many journal articles and chapters that examine how breathing and cardiovascular activity are modified, in health and disease, by emotion, mental activity and psychological state. For the past several years, Dr. Grossman has also investigated the benefits of mindfulness meditation for health-related disorders, and he is currently Principal Investigator of a large randomized controlled trial that evaluates the efficacy of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) among individuals suffering from fibromyalgia. He is additionally interested in issues regarding the transfer and translation of Buddhist psychological principles and concepts to Western psychological paradigms.
Dr. Grossman is a longtime student of insight meditation and completed the MBSR Internship at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in 1998. For the last six years he has taught a seminar on Buddhist psychology and mindfulness at the University of Freiburg Department of Psychology.