In October 1987, the first Mind & Life Dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama took place, exploring Buddhism and the Cognitive Sciences in Dharamsala, India.

With immense gratitude for everyone who has contributed to our legacy, in 2022 Mind & Life honored what has continued to blossom from this momentous occasion: 35 years of remarkable work together. 

Just as it was in our early days, understanding the human mind continues to be a guiding force at Mind & Life—and essential in meeting today’s challenges. For over three decades, we have hosted dozens of dialogues with leading thinkers, funded cutting-edge research and innovative ideas, nurtured a collaborative and interdisciplinary community, and inspired a global audience of hundreds of thousands.

Throughout 2022, we shared stories of Mind & Life’s enduring impact and offered opportunities to deeply engage with contemplative science insights. Here’s more about how we celebrated the occasion.

  • The Impact of Contemplative Science
    Mind & Life played a pivotal role in seeding the field of contemplative science, with our grants supporting hundreds of early-stage investigators in researching the applications of contemplative practice to real-world challenges. To illustrate this time-honored role, we shared stories of leading researchers—including Evan Thompson, Rhonda Magee, and Norm Farb, among others—and how their work is changing the world.
  • Highlights from the Archives
    Our archives hold 35 years of Dialogues between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and leading researchers and other thought leaders, as well as recordings from 18 Summer Research Institutes and 4 International Symposia. The topics explored are timeless and remain of significant value for anyone who wishes to better understand the human mind. We shared some of our favorite moments from the past, including key teachings from the Dalai Lama (like this one), from our extensive video archive. See more below.
  • Insights on Flourishing
    Through its pioneering role in bridging science and contemplative wisdom, Mind & Life has generated vital insights into the nature of the human mind with profound relevance to the challenges of our time. In fall 2022, we released Insights, a new multimedia website exploring key learnings inspired by Mind & Life’s work at the intersection of science and contemplative wisdom. At the time of its launch, the site featured 18 essays by leading researchers and contemplatives, including Jud Brewer, Dekila Chungyalpa, Roshi Joan Halifax, Rhonda Magee, Jenny Mascaro, Thupten Jinpa, and more. We’ll continue publishing essays and sharing insights from leaders in the field on this platform for years to come.
  • Meditations from Contemplative Teachers
    It’s up to all of us to do our part to heal today’s world. Inner change is the beginning of outer change. Mind & Life—and the field as a whole—has supported individual transformation and we’ll continue to do so. We recognize that these are deeply challenging times, and are pleased to have offered online guided meditations from contemplative teachers Gail Parker, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Sharon Salzberg throughout our anniversary year.

35 years is just the beginning! Mind & Life has entered a bold new chapter as we continue sharing valuable insights about the nature of the mind with a growing global audience eager to tackle the root causes of today’s crises. 

In the spirit of our profound interconnection, we offer deep gratitude to those who joined us on this anniversary journey, and we thank you for being an important part of our community. Subscribe here to stay up to date on our current resources and offerings.

Anniversary Content

Buddhism Meets Science

An essay by Board Chair Thupten Jinpa as he elaborates on our origins and the historic coming together of Buddhism and science.

Celebrating 35 Years: Weaving Origin Stories

Read reflections of our early years from five individuals who played pivotal roles in Mind & Life’s history.

Archival Clip
The Planet is our Home

From 2011, the Dalai Lama responds to Mind & Life Fellow Dekila Chungyalpa on ecosystem conservation.

Sharing MBSR with the Dalai Lama

From 2022, Mind & Life Founding Steward Jon Kabat-Zinn reflects on first sharing MBSR with the Dalai Lama.

Adam Engle on Building the Field

Mind & Life Co-founder Adam Engle shares lessons from the early days of Mind & Life.

Evan Thompson on the Podcast

Fellow Evan Thompson reflects on Francisco Varela’s role in catalyzing the field of contemplative science.

Archival Clip
Francisco Varela Explains our Name

Why “Mind & Life”? Watch as Mind & Life Co-founder Francisco Varela explains the origin of our name.

What is Self Hatred?

In this archived footage from our 1990 Dialogue in Dharamsala, India, Sharon Salzberg and others discuss with the Dalai Lama.

A Foundation of Grounding and Rest

A meditation from Mind & Life Fellow Sharon Salzberg, from our October 2020 Inspiring Minds episode.

Building Bridges: An Origin Story

Mind & Life Co-founder Adam Engle shares his reflections on the origins of Mind & Life.

Amishi Jha on the Impact of the Dialogues

Mind & Life Steering Council member Amishi Jha speaks about the Mind & Life Dialogues mapped a new terrain.

Matthieu Ricard on Courageous Compassion

Mind & Life Founding Steward Mattheiu Ricard gives a talk and meditation, from 2018 ISCR.

Archival Clip
Richard Davidson Speaks with the Dalai Lama

From 2000, Mind & Life Founding Steward Richie Davidson shares a new finding on neuron growth.

Arthur Zajonc: On Bridging Science and Spirituality

We revisit the former president’s (2012-2015) invaluable role and contributions in a tribute.

Celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday

Mind & Life Founding Steward Daniel Goleman reflects on the Dalai Lama as the embodiment of compassion.

Norm Farb on Coping with Stress

Mind & Life Fellow and Kerr Award winner Norm Farb on strategies for coping with today’s stress epidemic.

Befriending Stillness

A meditation from Mind & Life Founding Steward Jon Kabat-Zinn, from our April 2021 Inspiring Minds episode.

Wisdom from Women in Contemplative Research

We’re proud to have supported many women in our 35 year history. Read research highlights on our blog.

Meditation from Gail Parker on Attuned Relationship

Gail Parker leads a meditation reflecting on the Joshua tree, from our November 2020 Inspiring Minds.

Roshi Joan Halifax on our Founding

Mind & Life Founding Steward Roshi Joan Halifax remembers an early conversation with the Dalai Lama.