Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XVII: Contemplative Science” on October 21-23, 2010.

Foundations for Scientific Understanding of Contemplative Practice
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Matthieu Ricard
Richard Davidson

Despite its youth, the emerging field of Contemplative Science has advanced considerably in the last decade, and many of these advancements are linked to progress in neuroscience as a whole. In this session, prominent scientists in various fields will present and discuss specific findings on the nature of contemplative practices, and they will likewise discuss larger issues within neuroscience that have been critical to understanding such practices. The main focus of this session will be at the intersection of Buddhist practices and science. Questions about neuroplasticity and the effects of mental training will be considered, and implications concerning the relationship between mind and body will be explored. As discussants, contemplative scholars will seek to clarify how scientific researchers can collaborate fruitfully with contemplative traditions, and the best methodological approaches for studying contemplative practices will likewise be discussed.

MODERATOR: Daniel Goleman

INTERPRETER: Thupten Jinpa

Wolf Singer
John Dunne
Rajesh Kasturirangan


Matthieu Ricard, PhD


Convening Faculty, Fellow

Richard J. Davidson, PhD

William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founder and Chief Visionary for Healthy Minds Innovations, Inc.

Thupten Jinpa, PhD

Compassion Institute

Board Chair

Mind & Life Connections