Clinical Research on Meditation & Mental Health Group Discussion

Clinical Research on Meditation & Mental Health Group Discussion


With the advent of MBSR and more recently, MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy), meditative practices have shown promise in the treat­ment of anxiety and depression.

This session will review the experimental evidence for the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing relapse rates for chronic depression, and how mindfulness might be functioning in the brain to regulate depressive cognitions, affect, and behaviors. The different elements comprising the meditation practices and approaches will be examined from the contemplative perspective, and cross-cultural issues discussed regard­ing content and context and how they may serve to synergistically opti­mize meditation-based interventions in Western and Asian settings.

  • Dialogue 13
    16 sessions
  • November 9, 2005
    Dar Constitution Hall, Washington, DC
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B. Alan Wallace

B. Alan Wallace is president of The Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the ahilosophy of science, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in religious Studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, 13 authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.

Helen Mayberg

Helen S. Mayberg is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. She received her B.A. in Psychobiology from University of California, Los Angeles and the M.D. degree from the University of Southern California. Following an internship in Internal Medicine at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and a Residency in Neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Nuclear Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Mayberg has held academic positions at Johns Hopkins, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, and was the first Sandra Rotman Chair in Neuropsychiatry at the Rotman Research Institute and the University of Toronto

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso, the14th Dalai Lama, is the leader of Tibetan Buddhism and a spiritual leader revered worldwide. He was born on July 6, 1935, in a small village called Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, he was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are manifestations of the Buddha of Compassion, who choose to reincarnate for the purpose of serving human beings. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989, he is universally respected as a spokesman for the compassionate and peaceful resolution of human conflict. He has traveled extensively, speaking on subjects including universal responsibility, love, compassion and kindness. Less well known is his intense personal interest in the sciences; he has said that if he were not a monk, he would have liked to be an engineer. As a youth in Lhasa it was he who was called on to fix broken machinery in the Potala Palace, be it a clock or a car. He has a vigorous interest in learning the newest developments in science, and brings to bear both a voice for the humanistic implications of the findings, and a high degree of intuitive methodological sophistication.

Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield was trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India, and has taught meditation around the world since 1974. He is one of the main teachers to introduce Theravada Buddhist practice to the West. His work has been focused on integrating Eastern spiritual teachings in a way that is accessible to Western society. He graduated from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies and holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Saybrook Institute. His doctoral dissertation was one of the first to explore the psychology of mindfulness meditation. Jack is a husband and father, and a founding teacher of two of the largest meditation centers in the West, the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Jan Chozen Bays

Jan Chozen Bays is a pediatrician specializing in the evaluation of children for possible abuse and neglect. After graduating from Swarthmore College she received medical training at U.C. San Diego. For ten years she served as medical director of the Child Abuse Response and Assessment Center(CARES NW) at Legacy Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon where over 1,000 children and families are seen each year for concerns of abuse and neglect. She has written a number of articles for medical journals and also book chapters on aspects of child abuse including substance abuse and child abuse, child abuse by poisoning, and conditions mistaken for child abuse. Jan Chozen Bays has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1973. She was ordained as a Zen priest underTaizan Maezumi Roshi and given authorization to teach in 1983. With her husband, Hogen Bays, she teaches at Zen Community of Oregon and Great Vow Zen Monastery, a residential center for intensive Zen training in Clatskanie, Oregon.

John Teasdale

John Teasdale received his first degree in psychology from the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, he studied for his Ph.D. in abnormal psychology, and trained as a Clinical psychologist, at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, where he then taught for a number of years. After working as a National Health Service clinical psychologist in the University Hospital of Wales, he began a thirty year period of full-time research, supported by the Medical Research Council, first in the Department of Psychiatry, Univeristy of Oxford, subsequently in the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge. The continuing focus of this research has been the investigation of basic psychological processes and the application of that understanding to the relief of emotional disorders. Dr. Teasdale has published more than a hundred scientific papers and chapters, and co-authored three books. He has received a Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association, and has been elected Fellow of both the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is currently retired, pursuing personal interests in meditation and mindfulness training. 

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. did his doctoral work in molecular biology at MIT, in the laboratory of the Nobel Laureate Salvador Luria. Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (in 1995), and (in 1979) its world-renown Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic. He is the author of 14 books, published in over 45 languages. His work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into mainstream institutions such as medicine, psychology, health care, neuroscience, schools, higher education, business, social justice, criminal justice, prisons, the law, technology, government, and professional sports. Over 700 hospitals and medical centers around the world now offer MBSR. Jon lectures and leads mindfulness workshops and retreats around the world.

Thupten Jinpa

Thupten Jinpa, PhD, was trained as a monk at the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University, South India, where he received the Geshe Lharam degree. In addition, Jinpa holds a bachelor’s honors degree in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. He taught at Ganden monastery and worked as a research fellow in Eastern religions at Girton College, Cambridge University. Jinpa has been the principal English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1985 and has translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama, including the New York Times best-sellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness, as well as Beyond Religion, Universe in a Single Atom, and Transforming the Mind. His own publications include, in addition to numerous Tibetan works, Essential Mind Training; Wisdom of the Kadam Masters; Self, Reality, and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy: Tsongkhapa’s Quest for the Middle View; as well as translations of major Tibetan works featured in The Library of Tibetan Classics series. He is the main author of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), an eight-week formal program developed at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. Jinpa is an adjunct professor on the faculty of religious studies at McGill University, Montreal; the founder and president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, Montreal; and the general series editor of The Library of Tibetan Classics series. He has been a core member of the Mind & Life Institute from its inception. Jinpa lives in Montreal and is married with two daughters.

Zindel Segal

Zindel V. Segal is the Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is Head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto. He received his undergraduate training in Psychology at McGill University and completed his graduate work at Queen's University. Dr. Segal's research focuses on cognitive mechanisms of relapse vulnerability in affective disorder, especially the way in which transient dysphoria can (re)evoke depressive knowledge structures in semantic memory.