Interoception, awareness of one’s body, informs our sense of being in the world.
Over time, we form associations between experiences and embodied responses,
creating a set of expected body responses. While these expectations allow for rapid, proactive responses to life’s challenges, they can also mask unexpected embodied feelings. Meditation often contains an interoceptive focus such as breath monitoring. Cultivating interoception may be a key mechanism by which contemplative practices disrupt expectations to foster greater awareness of embodied feelings and enhance well-being. We are beginning to understand how interoception occurs in the brain, how interoceptive awareness is cultivated, and how such awareness influences well-being. This symposium will present one such scientific model of interoception and contemplative practice. Clinical examples will follow, featuring research findings for addiction, trauma, obesity, and chronic pain. The presentations will conclude with a review of how different contemplative practices view interoception, and an open discussion period.

Jennifer Daubenmeier

University of California San Francisco


Norman Farb, PhD

University of Toronto Mississauga

Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer

Norman Farb, PhD is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where he directs the Regulatory and Affective Dynamics laboratory ( A Fellow at the Mind … MORE

Anne Klein, PhD

Rice University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee

Anne Klein teaches Buddhism and Tibetan language at Rice University, where she is Professor of Religion. She is also co-founder of Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism in Houston, where … MORE

Wolf Mehling, MD

University of California San Francisco


Wolf Mehling is a professor of family and community medicine at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Trained in family medicine, manual medicine, breath awareness and psychotherapy, he cares … MORE

Martin Paulus

University of California San Diego


Cynthia Price, PhD, LMP

University of Washington

Fellow, Reviewer

Cynthia Price, PhD MA LMT is a Research Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA and the Director of the non-profit Center for Mindful Body Awareness. Her clinical … MORE