Non-dual awareness (NDA) has been identified as an important aspect of spiritual awakenings, from contemplative trainings practiced in both traditional wisdom traditions and in emerging contemporary “Dharma” teachings (such as mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement). Although NDA itself may not necessarily be an ultimate goal or destination, attaining NDA may signify an important landmark for one’s contemplative development. The purpose of this interdisciplinary panel is to explore the merit of investigating NDA in the context of emerging interdisciplinary contemplative studies. The panel will consider how best to investigate NDA in empirically tractable ways, with four presentations by an interdisciplinary panel consisting of a research psychologist, a Buddhist scholar and contemplative, a neuroscientist, and a translational contemplative clinical scientist. In the end, the panel will open the discussion to the audience, with the hope of identifying other outstanding issues for a better understanding of NDA in contemporary contemplative practice.

James Austin, MD

University of Colorado Medical School (emeritus)

James Henry Austin was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925. He attended Brown University, graduated from Harvard Medical School (1948), and did his medical internship at Boston City Hospital, where his … MORE

John Dunne, PhD

University of Wisconsin-Madison

John Dunne’s work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science. His publications range from technical works on Buddhist epistemology to broader works on the … MORE

Eric Garland, PhD, LCSW

University of Utah

Dr. Eric Garland, PhD, LCSW is Distinguished Endowed Chair in Research and Distinguished Professor in the University of Utah College of Social Work and Director of the Center on Mindfulness … MORE

Zoran Josipovic, PhD

New York University


Yoshio Nakamura, PhD

University of Utah School of Medicine

Planning Committee Member