In the lead up to our 35th anniversary in 2022, Mind & Life is pleased to announce two exciting new initiatives designed to curate valuable wisdom gleaned from our past and support grassroots efforts to drive forward social change grounded in contemplative research and practice. Both initiatives build on Mind & Life’s work at the intersection of science and contemplative wisdom as we foster insights to inspire action toward flourishing.

The first of these initiatives, the Mind & Life Digital Library Project, will catalogue and curate valuable knowledge shared through over 50 convenings organized and hosted by Mind & Life since 1987, including the Mind & Life Dialogues with the Dalai Lama and our annual Summer Research Institute, now in its 19th year. These events have brought together leading-edge thinkers—prominent scholars, scientists, contemplatives, and change-makers—to explore understanding the human mind. The digital library will feature a selection of dialogues and presentations, topically arranged to serve as an education resource, and to inform efforts to address present-day challenges—from addressing mental health concerns to repairing our relationships with one another and the Earth. Access to the digital library will be offered in the future for a small monthly fee and excerpts will be shared as part of Mind & Life’s anniversary celebration throughout 2022. 

Plans are also underway to launch a new contemplative action grants program. These micro-grants, of up to $10,000, will support young contemplative leaders who are taking action to ameliorate individual and collective suffering and promote flourishing. The program will prioritize projects in the global South where financial support for activities and scholarship grounded in contemplative practices can be scarce.

The new program will build on the success of Mind & Life’s Francisco J. Varela Research Grants, first established in 2004 to support scientists and scholars involved in contemplative research. The Varela Grants are credited with kick-starting the field of contemplative science as measured by the follow-on funding, publications, and significant research positions now held by grant recipients. The contemplative action grants are a natural outgrowth of the Varela Grants program—supporting young contemplative change-makers—and elevating stories of how contemplative action transforms lives and communities.

“We’ve been seriously considering how to maximize our impact at this critical time when so much is at stake,” said Mind & Life President Susan Bauer-Wu. “The Digital Library Project will allow us to identify and uplift valuable learnings generated over the last 35 years with valuable insights and relevance to the issues of our time. And the contemplative action grants are a logical extension of our work to inspire action that contributes to individual, societal, and planetary flourishing.”

Through these and other initiatives, Mind & Life seeks to contribute to a global shift in consciousness toward our profound interconnection.

Updates on the Digital Library Project and contemplative action grants will be shared through the Mind & Life e-newsletter. Learn more and subscribe.