This panel will explore the medical relevance of contemplative practice, from brain and nervous system function and structure, to the role of positive emotions in boosting immune system function and furthering life satisfaction and meaning. Dr. Barry Kerzin will present experiences as a physician, ministering on the one hand to monks, and on the other, to patients who do not have the benefits of contemplative practice. Dr Magdalena Naylor will discuss the application of mindfulness meditation to pain management, as well as her fMRI studies of brain activity during meditative pain-control practices. Peter Wayne, Qigong teacher and trauma therapist, and Dr. Mardi Crane-Godreau will copresent on the mediating role of the autonomic nervous system in the medical effects of contemplative practice. They will clarify the interface between the autonomic nervous system and the immune system, and their roles in influencing outcomes in a wide variety of inflammation-related medical conditions.

Mardi Crane-Godreau

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College


Barry Kerzin, MD

Altruism in Medicine Institute

Barry Kerzin is a monk, doctor, and international teacher. He is founder and president of the Altruism in Medicine Institute ( and is founder and chairman of the Human Values … MORE

Magdalena Naylor

University of Vermont and MindBody Medicine Clinic


Peter Wayne, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Convening Faculty, Fellow

Peter Wayne, PhD, is a researcher and practitioner in the field of mind-body and integrative medicine.  Dr. Wayne is the Bernard Osher Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School … MORE