Musical Performance by Vusi Mahlasela during The Mind and Life XXXII Dialogue at Botho University in Gaborone, Botswana held on August 17-19, 2017.

Susan Bauer-Wu: 0:07

Cliff Saron: 1:24

Vusi Mahlasela’s performance: 4:50

Program Description: The Botswana Dialogue brings African humanitarian and spiritual leaders, scholars and healers into conversation with international neuroscientists about the African worldview of Botho/Ubuntu, during five sessions followed by a concert performance by Vusi Mahlasela.

Defining humanity through our connections with one another, Botho/Ubuntu is expressed as: “I am because you are.” Examining African values and healing practices in light of new scientific research on social connection and trauma, the Dialogue in Botswana explores the potential of Botho/Ubuntu as a framework for healing the legacy and trauma of wars and colonialism, and advancing social justice and women’s equality.

The purpose of this Dialogue is fourfold: 1) To explore the indigenous African ethic of Botho/Ubuntu as it relates to Buddhist ideas of interdependence and compassion; 2) To examine current scientific understanding of how our interconnectedness impacts one another for good or ill; 3) To understand how Botho/Ubuntu can be distorted to maintain cultural norms and systems of power that lead to oppression of, and violence against, women, children and other marginalized groups; and 4) To envision how our connectedness can heal division, forgive profound transgression and point toward a richer understanding of what it means to be human.

Vusi Mahlasela

Vusi Mahlasela is simply known as ‘The Voice’ in his home-country, South Africa. He is celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred … MORE

Susan Bauer-Wu

Mind & Life Institute

  Susan Bauer-Wu is the former president of the Mind & Life Institute. Throughout her career, she has held leadership, academic, and clinical positions in nonprofits, health care, and higher … MORE

Clifford Saron, PhD

University of California, Davis

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Planning Committee Member

Clifford Saron is a research scientist at the Center for Mind and Brain and MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the … MORE