Help us foster healthy human connections

The Mind & Life Institute operates as a nonprofit organization thanks to the charitable contributions of individuals, foundations and sponsors. Charitable contributions are the source of more than 90% of Mind & Life’s budget. As careful stewards of the funds entrusted to the institute, Mind & Life undergoes a third-party audit every year and complies with all regulations governing non-profits in the United States. The Mind & Life Institute is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code, EIN #77-0284767.

Building on Mind & Life’s 35-year history, we engage researchers, contemplatives, and changemakers around big questions. How can the potential of our minds be understood and leveraged to bring humanity together? Through grantmaking and convenings we foster insights, then share this knowledge to inspire action—to bridge divides, improve mental health, nurture pro-social qualities, deepen human-earth connection and more.

Your donation enables us to provide the vital resources and opportunities to foster rigorous research and to educate, support, and inspire the most innovative thinkers and doers in the field. When you give to Mind & Life, you:

  • Support educational programs that inspire people to be a force for positive change;
  • Invest in leading-edge scientific research into how contemplative wisdom can be used to transform our world; and
  • Strengthen efforts to make the field of contemplative science more equitable, diverse, and inclusive

Join us in revealing new paths toward wellbeing for all. Each gift contributes to powerful work toward individual, societal, and planetary flourishing.

Contemplative traditions have developed the practices and understandings we need in this uncertain time. And Mind & Life has brought these into the world through the lens of science and scholarship, so they can be used by people everywhere.

– Jack Kornfield

Target Your Giving

Mind & Life Podcast
The Mind & Life Podcast

The Mind & Life podcast explores fundamental questions at the heart of the human experience. How do we understand our minds? In what ways can contemplative practices like meditation help us work with our minds? Host Wendy Hasenkamp investigates these complex questions with leading researchers, thinkers, and on-the-ground practitioners, moving us toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world.

Contemplative Changemaking
Contemplative Changemaking Grants

Launched in 2022, the Mind & Life Contemplative Changemaking grants fund small-scale, impact-oriented work undertaken by individuals, community workers, and nonprofits that ground themselves in contemplative practices to achieve real impact in people’s everyday lives.

Mentorship Program
Global Majority Leadership and Mentorship Program

Mind & Life’s Global Majority Leadership and Mentorship program seeks to evolve the field of contemplative research and expand its impact to support and grow the pool of Global Majority investigators in contemplative research by pairing emerging and experienced Global Majority scientists and scholars.

Varela Grants
Francisco J. Varela Research Grants

Now in their 20th year, the Mind & Life Francisco J. Varela Research Grants—a cornerstone of Mind & Life’s support of contemplative scientists and scholars—are based on neuroscientist and philosopher Francisco J. Varela’s belief that contemplative practices offer modern science novel, valuable methods for investigating human experience.

Digital Library
Digital Library

What does real dialogue look and feel like? And how could it create possibilities for deeper understanding at a time of mounting divides? Mind & Life’s new Digital Library explores these questions and more. The Library catalogs and makes available video recordings of Mind & Life Dialogues and Conversations hosted between the Dalai Lama and leading scientists, philosophers, contemplatives, and other ‘big picture’ thinkers.

PEACE Grants
PEACE Grants

The Mind & Life PEACE Grant program supports projects that advance our understanding of wholesome mental qualities and positive interpersonal and social action related to Prosociality, Empathy, Altruism, Compassion, and Ethics (PEACE). Mind & Life PEACE grants fund projects that advance our understanding of the mechanisms, implementation, and outcomes of contemplative approaches to promote well-being and prosocial behavior in individuals and communities.

Donor Stories

Donor Story
Connection and Creativity Inspire Jessie and Richard Benjamin to Support Mind & Life

Jessie Benjamin shares, “The origin of Mind & Life is extremely powerful: it’s clear that the Dalai Lama’s pure intention has led the organization’s work to blossom in a beautiful way.”

Donor Story
The Hollywood Compassion Coalition: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The roots of Brian Riordan’s interest in the impact of the entertainment industry can be traced to the 2018 Mind & Life Dialogue in Dharamsala, India. “It was a life changing trip.”

Donor Story
Bringing Mindfulness to Utah Public Schools

“We saw how mindfulness was spreading in schools throughout the country, but were struck with how little was being done in Utah, our home state,” Kirk Benson says.

Impact Stories

Impact Story
Combining Mindfulness Training with Climate Education: One Researcher’s Journey

“We live in a world where the environment, and what we’re doing to it, is impacting us directly,” says neuroscientist and Mind & Life grantee Jyoti Mishra.

Impact Story
In Your Dreams: One Mind & Life Grantee Has Big Hopes for Exploring the Past and Future of Tibetan Dream Yoga

What can we learn from the images and symbols encountered in our dreams? What lessons can we take with us from sleep to our waking life?

Impact Story
Happiness Education in India: Two Researchers Set out to Ask What Students and Teachers Think

In India, a government-sponsored happiness curriculum has reached 800,000 students since 2018. How are students and teachers responding?

Ways to Give

Thank you for your interest in and support of Mind & Life’s work to better understand the mind and create positive change in the world. 

In addition to online giving, you can support the Mind & Life Institute in the following ways:

Mail a Check:

Mind & Life Institute 
977 Seminole Trail, PMB 363
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Attention: Advancement

Wire Transfer

Mind & Life Institute accepts large gifts by wire or by stock transfer. Please contact for instructions.

Stock Transfer or Securities Donations

Stocks, bonds and mutual funds can be donated to the Mind & Life Institute. The full current market value of the securities at the time of the donation can be written off as a tax deduction. Please contact for instructions.

Planned Giving

One way to make a lasting gift is to include the Mind & Life Institute  in your will or trust, or to name the Mind & Life Institute as a beneficiary in your retirement or life insurance policy. 

Making a planned gift to Mind & Life through a charitable bequest in your will or living trust is an outstanding way to combine your desire to support our mission and your overall financial, tax, and estate planning goals. 

Bequests are exempt from federal estate taxes. If you have a taxable estate, the estate tax charitable deduction may offset or eliminate estate taxes, resulting in a larger inheritance for your heirs. See sample bequest language here.

For more information about making a planned gift please contact us at (434)338-7380 or at


Mind & Life’s digital programming serves a vibrant global audience of engaged seekers, reaching hundreds of thousands each year. To learn about opportunities for sponsorship, including the Mind & Life Podcast, please contact us at (434)338-7380 or at

Donor Privacy Policy

Annual Reports

Learn more about what donations have made possible in recent years:


2022 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report

2019 Year in Review

2018 Annual Report


2021/2022 Financial Statement Audit

2020/2021 Financial Statement Audit

2019/2020 Financial Statement Audit

IRS Form 990

2022 Form 990

2021 Form 990

2020 Form 990

2019 Form 990