SRI 2022 explores the crisis of disconnection and othering. The challenges we face—from racial injustice to conflict within and across borders to climate change—demand concerted action; yet we remain more divided than ever. What is the role of our minds in creating these divisions, and how can our minds transform to create a more connected world?
The SRI 2021 will explore how the union of contemplative wisdom and science can lead to greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, and the relationship between earth care and human health and cooperation.
The 2016 Mind and Life Summer Research Institute (MLSRI) will be devoted to the theme of context, and its relevance for basic mental processes as well as effects of contemplative practices. Findings from the cognitive and social sciences, humanities, and philosophy increasingly suggest that context shapes mind in fundamental ways. With regard to contemplative studies, practices that were once embedded within traditional religious cultures are now being widely disseminated across a variety of globalized, largely secular settings. Contextual factors impact the very course and outcome of these practices, and if not carefully considered, even well-intended efforts can lead to unsatisfactory or incomplete results.
The 2017 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute gives attention to scientific, humanistic and first-person contemplative perspectives on intersubjectivity and social connectivity. Plenary presentations, workshops and small group discussions explore interrelational human dynamics, including how we relate to ourselves and others, and to community and strangers. Faculty from across a multitude of disciplines present research findings on the meditative cultivation of pro-social emotions, intergroup dynamics, social and embodied cognition, cognitive ecology, implicit bias and social justice.
The 2018 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute extends the arc from the 2016 and 2017 programs that addressed themes of context, social connectivity, and intersubjectivity by engaging critical topics relevant to cultural difference and human diversity. The weeklong immersive program will examine social and psychological patterns, both implicit and explicit, to discuss how difference is constructed at personal, interpersonal, and socio-structural levels. Scientific, humanistic, and first-person contemplative perspectives will give attention to processes of othering and how we can overcome conflict by embracing difference.
The world, in the face of pressing global ecological, economic and political challenges, stands in need of social systems renewal. We need generations of individuals, both young and old, who are skilled in the virtuous habits of the head, the heart and the hand, and who therefore are positioned to address the global challenges of our times. How can prosocial qualities be cultivated in individuals, families, schools and communities such that we support generations of people in becoming “forces for good” in the world today?
Political strife, immigration, cultural and racial conflict, environmental concerns, depression, and distraction—these issues and many more influence our daily lives as we struggle to find personal well-being and social harmony. How does the latest research on mental habits, contemplation, and compassion inform opportunities to create change for ourselves and others?