State of the Field—Discoveries, Opportunities, and Challenges

Important Update Concerning COVID-19:

We recognize that we are now in uncertain and unprecedented times. Mind & Life is committed to the health and safety of all program participants, and will continue to follow the guidelines as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are currently considering all of our options for holding the Contemplative Research Conference and in light of this, we have extended the Call for Abstracts and Scholarship Applications, along with the Early Bird Registration opening until July 1.

We encourage you to monitor our website for future updates.


November 5-8, 2020
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Mind & Life 2020 Contemplative Research Conference is an international conference for rigorous interdisciplinary investigation of contemplative practices and programs in diverse contexts. The conference will feature plenary sessions and concurrent symposia on a diverse range of topics and best practices within contemplative research, including basic research, clinical studies, cultural and philosophical analyses, and education. Themes of particular interest include the role that contemplative approaches may play in enhancing social connectivity, reducing polarization, and the development of individual and societal flourishing .

Sessions and events will provide attendees with a range of opportunities, including discussion and debate about our latest findings and related issues, such as best practices for interdisciplinary research. In addition to invited plenary speakers and panels, the conference will feature participant-driven papers, posters, and symposia, along with opportunities for career development, networking, and contemplative arts and practices. There will be two preconference events including an education focused day-long workshop and a contemplative retreat day.

Contemplative Research Conference Planning Committee: John Dunne, University of Wisconsin-Madison (co-chair); Linda Carlson, University of Calgary (co-chair); Doris Chang, New York University; Amishi Jha, University of Miami; Neil Dalal, University of Alberta; and Dave Vago, Vanderbilt University.

Education Preconference Planning Committee: Ed Taylor, University of Washington (chair); Gail Perry-Ryder, The City University of New York; and Tish Jennings, University of Virginia.

Featured Speakers: Kalina Christoff, University of British Columbia; Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, University of Lancaster; Kim Schonert-Reichl, University of British Columbia; David Creswell, Carnegie Mellon University; Margaret Cullen, Portland State University; Richard Davidson, Center for Healthy Minds; Thupten Jinpa, Center for Compassion; and Cheryl Woods-Giscombe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Learn more at