Faculty Announced for 2018 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute

The 2018 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute, June 2-8 in Garrison, New York, brings together a diverse group of contemplatives, scholars, and scientists to explore the theme “Engaging 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.

Mind & Life is pleased to announce the exciting faculty roster for this year’s program:

Plenary Faculty

  • Polly Young Eisendrath, Ph.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont, Director of the Institute for Dialogue Therapy, and has an independent clinical practice in Central Vermont.
  • Michael Onyebuchi Eze, Ph.D., teaches African political theory at the University of Amsterdam and is a fellow at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge.
  • Marisela Gomez, M.D., Ph.D., is a community activist, author, public health professional, and physician.
  • Lasana Harris, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at University College London
  • Bruce Knauft, Ph.D., is the Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology at Emory University.
  • Batja Gomes de Mesquita, Ph.D., is Director of the Leuven Culture and Emotion Lab at KU Leuven.
  • Robert Roeser, Ph.D., is Bennett Pierce Professor of Caring and Compassion and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Helen Y. Weng, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and is a core faculty member of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and affiliate faculty member of the Neuroscape Center.
  • Jan Willis, Ph.D., is Professor of Religion, Emerita, Wesleyan University and

    Adjunct Professor of Religion at Agnes Scott College.

  • Additional plenary faculty to be announced.

Contemplative Faculty

  • Louis Komjathy, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego.
  • Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel is an author and Buddhist teacher.
  • Laura Schmalzl, Ph.D., RYT, is Associate Professor at Southern California University of Health Sciences.
  • Larry Yang is on the Teachers’ Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is one of the founding teachers of both East Bay Meditation Center (Oakland) and Insight Community of the Desert (Palm Springs).


  • Daniel J. Siegel, Ph.D.

Council for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Members of the Mind & Life Council for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion will serve as facilitators and discussants throughout the program

  • Nilanjana Dasgupta, Ph.D.
  • Martin Davidson, Ph.D.
  • Chris Kaplan, M.A.
  • Rhonda Magee, J.D., M.A.
  • Juan Santoyo
  • Daniel J. Siegel, Ph.D.
  • Helen Weng, Ph.D.

The application period for the 2018 Summer Research Institute closes Sunday, January 21 at 11:59PM EST.

The Summer Research Institute is restricted to 150 participants who are selected through a competitive peer-review process. With a limited number of committed participants, the gathering fosters the potential for innovative and interdisciplinary dialogue as well as potential collaborations and the emergence of new research projects. We welcome your application!

Apply Now!

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