UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain Summit

The summit, “Perspectives on Mindfulness: The Complex Role of Meditation Research” this past May was organized by MLI Fellows Cliff Saron, Cathy Kerr, David Meyer, and Evan Thompson. The following lectures and discussions can be watched below:

2015 UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain Research Summit – Opening
Evan Thompson, PhD – Context Matters: Steps to an Embodied Cognitive Science of Mindfulness
Robert Sharf, PhD – The “Work” of Religion and Its Role in the Assessment of Mindfulness Practices
John Dunne, PhD – Understanding Mindfulness: Heuristic Accounts
Alan Klima, PhD – How to Formulate a Spirituality Reuptake Inhibitor
Discussant Responses to Morning Talks: David Meyer, PhD, Even Ekman, PhD & Helen Weng, PhD
Drs. Jen Pokorny and Alex Norman – Network Analysis of Worldview Changes During a Meditation Retreat
Catherine Kerr, PhD – Using Qualitative Methods to Mindfulness Studies to Contextualize Brain Data
Melissa Rosenkranz, PhD – After Active Controls in Meditation Studies: Where’s the Beef?
Judson Brewer, MD, PhD – Past and Future Meet Present: The Center for Mindfulness’s Research Priorities
Discussant Responses to Afternoon talks: Helen Weng, PhD, Eve Ekman, PhD and David Meyer, PhD

Street Loving-Kindness

MLI Fellow Sharon Salzberg’s inspiring new video demonstrates how to bring loving-kindness to the streets by offering wishes of goodwill and happiness to all.




Call to Care Summer Intensive


In 2013, Mind & Life launched its educational initiative, entitled Call to Care, which offers educators and students comprehensive training to foster their social, emotional, and ethical development. The program focuses specifically on the cultivation of compassion through training in three integrated modes of care: receiving care, cultivating deep self-care, and extending care. Call to Care focuses first on educators’ professional development and places additional focus on fostering safe, trusting relationships and school communities.

MLI began piloting the Call to Care program in partnership with the Smith College Campus School. Over the last two years, MLI has since partnered with and trained educators from 25 public and private schools in the northeast and midwest, as well as in countries including Norway, Israel, Bhutan, and Vietnam.C2C Model

This past July, the Call to Care team welcomed a new cohort of nearly 20 schools from across the country for their Summer Intensive. Participants included teachers and administrators from a diverse range of school community contexts, spanning all grade levels, types of schools, and geographic settings.

Educators have had a strong voice in the co-creation of Call to Care all along, and this year’s Summer Intensive was no different. Together we explored foundational aspects of the Call to Care framework and its practical application in our lives. We celebrated our community through pop up choirs, group dialogues, embodied experiences, and participant led sessions. In addition, teams of educators who completed the year-long professional development program returned for a workshop on classroom implementation. This learning community re-connected with each other and the core principles of the framework through raucous conversation, storytelling, imaginative exploration, and mindful walking exercises. The Summer Intensive experience culminated in expressions of gratitude, and participants left feeling energized for the year ahead.

The next phase of the Call to Care professional development portion consists of an online Care Course in which participants will delve deeply into the core principles of the framework. Throughout the next school year, both cohorts will continue to deepen their understanding of the Call to Care framework through the Care Course, online coaching sessions, and dialogues on our edublogs page. Through participant surveys and interviews, we will continue to gather exploratory information to help us gauge the potential impact of Call to Care, so that, in the coming years, we can continue to reach teachers and students across the country.

Click here for more information about Call to Care.

Tickets for Public Address by Dalai Lama at UMass Amherst Go on Sale Wednesday, September 16


AMHERST, MA. (SEPTEMBER 11, 2015) — Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 16 for a public address by Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Sunday, Oct. 25.

The address, hosted by UMass Amherst and the Mind & Life Institute of Hadley, will be held at the Mullins Center starting at 1 p.m., with welcoming remarks made by UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. The address will be followed by a conversation that includes Daniel Goleman, best‐selling author and board member of Mind & Life, and representatives from UMass Amherst.

Tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Mullins Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Student tickets ($10) will be available only at the Mullins Center Box Office to UMass Amherst students as well as students from Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire colleges by showing a student ID. Tickets for the general public ($32) can be purchased at the box office and through Ticketmaster; additional fees may apply.

The Dalai Lama’s public address, titled “A Force for Good,” is part of a range of events he will hold in the region focusing on education, secular ethics and, specifically, an approach to incorporating care and compassion into all levels of education worldwide. In collaboration with the Mind & Life Institute, Amherst and Smith colleges will host panel discussions and dialogues with the Dalai Lama for their student, staff and alumni communities Oct. 23 and 24. The only event open to the general public will be the UMass address Oct. 25. Group sales will be available.

The local events will focus on a global framework for education that the Dalai Lama has been working on with the Mind & Life Institute, the non­‐profit organization he co‐founded in 1987, to more fully understand the connection between science and contemplative traditions. This visit coincides with the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday year.

Mullins Center Box Office: (413) 545-3038


Special Issue of Frontiers on Interoception

MLI Fellows Cathy Kerr and Norman Farb, along with Olga Pollatos and Wolf E. Mehling, recently collaborated on a special issue of Frontiers on the topic of Interoception, Contemplative Practice and Health. The issue, with 21 articles written by 80 authors, can be found here.

Amishi Jha Teams up with Firefighters on Mindfulness Study

MLI Fellow Amishi Jha is working with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department on an innovative research study to investigate how mindfulness and relaxation training can help firefighters better cope with high-stress. During the project, which is currently underway, firefighters will participate in a four-week training that includes a series of mindfulness sessions, relaxation and visualization exercises to help sleep, and self-guided meditation. To learn more about Amishi’s research, click here or visit www.amishi.com.

MLSRI 2015: Week in Review

Since 2004, one of the cornerstones of Mind & Life’s programming has been the Mind & Life Summer Research Institute (MLSRI), which was designed to support the growing field of contemplative studies. This unique event is a week-long conference that incorporates academic presentations, informal breakout groups, poster sessions, and periods of meditation, yoga, and tai chi each day, as well as a one-day silent retreat. The hybrid academic/retreat format offers opportunities for deep dialogue across disciplines, as well as inquiry through meditative practices, underscoring the challenges of honoring and learning from first-person experience. One of the broad goals of contemplative studies is to create an integrated way of knowing by combining standard third-person methodologies from the sciences and humanities with first-person modes of introspection that have been developed by diverse contemplative and philosophical traditions. The MLSRI has been instrumental in supporting this community through shared knowledge, fostering relationships among participants, and also through our Varela Grants program, which funds contemplative research projects that often emerge from collaborations formed at the event.

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MLI Community Collaborates on New Interoception Paper

Pages from Pages from Farb_Frontiers_Interoception_2015 (2)Two years ago, a group of interdisciplinary scholars gathered from around the world at the Mind & Life Institute for a self-organized, MLI-funded research workshop. They spent several days deeply exploring the topic of interoception—the sense of signals originating within the body. The topic of interoception is becoming increasingly important in cognitive science, as it becomes ever clearer that the mind and body are inseparable systems. At the end of the meeting, the group (including MLI Fellows Cathy KerrNorm Farb, and Anne Klein, as well as Varela Grantee Jennifer Daubenmier and Tim Gard) agreed to write a white paper placing interoception in the context of contemplative practice. This comprehensive paper has just been published in Frontiers in Psychology and promises to be highly influential as contemplative studies progresses. We are thrilled to have been able to support this effort!

Announcing the 2015 Mind & Life Fellows

Mind_and_Life_FellowsThe Mind & Life Fellows are a group of distinguished scientists, scholars, artists, and contemplative practitioners who have contributed significantly to our mission. The Fellows form an important community to whom we turn for advice, service, and recommendations about crucial aspects of MLI’s work and programs.

Mind & Life also regularly features the work of Fellows through our Facebook page, Twitter account (#MLIfellows, #MLIfellow), newsletter, and on our website and blog. Stay connected with us to see their great work throughout the year.

We are delighted to welcome 23 new Mind & Life Fellows in 2015. (To see the full list of MLI Fellows, please visit our Fellows Program page.)

2015 Mind & Life Fellows

Daniel Barbezat, PhD
Amherst College

Jim Coan, PhD
University of Virginia

Bill George, MBA
Harvard Business School

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MLSRI 2015: Fear and Trust in Self and Society

Pages from 2015 SRI Brochure 5.21.15We are in the midst 12th Annual Mind & Life Summer Research Institute (MLSRI), which began on Saturday, June 13. A week-long conference, it incorporates academic presentations, informal breakout groups, poster sessions, and periods of meditation, yoga, and tai chi each day, as well as a one-day silent retreat. This unique format offers opportunities for deep dialogue across disciplines, as well as inquiry through meditative practices, underscoring the challenges of honoring and learning from first-person experience.

MLSRI 2015 will be devoted to the theme of Fear and Trust in Self and Society. Presentations and discussions will draw on research in both the sciences and the humanities, including neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, religion, and contemplative studies. We plan to explore the biological and experiential aspects of fear, its influence on our cognition and emotion, and its expression in both healthy states and clinical disorders. Critically, we’ll also be examining the role of trust and interpersonal connection as a counterpoint to fear, so we’re very interested in conversations about the protective functions of secure attachment and compassion. Finally, we will ask how contemplative practices might be used to help us work with fear and cultivate social bonds.

For those not attending this year, stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages as we cover the event. Interested in applying for next year? The application period will occur in early 2016, and be announced later this year—in the meantime, sign up for our newsletter and stay connected to us through our social media accounts to receive the latest updates.