Yuria Celidwen, PhD, is of Indigenous Nahua and Maya descent from the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Her research examines the experience of self-transcendence in Indigenous contemplative traditions wide-reaching, and how its embodiment enhances prosocial behavior towards what she suggests is an “ethics of belonging” (ethics, compassion, kindness, reverence, and a sense of awe, love, and sacredness). This work is grounded in an Earth-based identity to encourage relational well-being, purpose, and actions toward planetary flourishing. Her interdisciplinary approach intersects Indigenous studies, cultural psychology, and contemplative science to bridge Indigenous and Western methodologies for epistemological equity. She emphasizes the reclamation, revitalization, and transmission of Indigenous wisdom and the advancement of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the rights of Mother Earth. She is a senior fellow at the Other & Belonging Institute of the University of California, Berkeley, where she works toward bridging and belonging, reclaiming spaces for Indigenous wisdom into Western Academia and society. In her professional career at the United Nations her work supports the international humanitarian efforts for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, with a concentration on the advancement of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the rights of Nature. She co-chairs the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit and is a member of the Contemplative Studies Unit steering committee of the American Academy of Religion.
This profile was last updated on February 13, 2023
Mind & Life Connections
Mind and Life Institute • July 11, 2022
Master Plants and Mindful Medicine: Towards Reciprocation and Recontextualization of Indigenous Practices and Western Psychedelic Research
Yuria Celidwen, Dacher Keltner, Juan Nelson Rojas, Yuniur Vazquez Rosalio, Nicole Redvers