Developing a Semantic Clustering Approach to Study the Effects of Mindfulness Training on Ruminative Thoughts

In our daily life, we encounter various people, objects, or environmental context that can evoke memories of unpleasant events. Some of us might be able to quickly move on from these memories, whereas others might get stuck repeatedly thinking about them. The tendency to repeatedly think about stressors is called rumination, which is closely linked …

Bridging Psychology and Contemplative Practice to Benefit Hearts and Minds Today

Science has served as a double-edged sword for meditation. On the plus side, scientific research has helped adapt meditation into secular settings, which has provided broad access to Western audiences. It has also led to innovations in healthcare, education, social activism, workplace culture, and other areas. At the same time, there are valid critiques to …

Sleep’s role in realizing the prosocial benefits of contemplative practice

Robust learning requires substantial effort. Our recent studies, conducted in a sleep laboratory as well as in typical home environments, have showed that sleep contributes to learning. Indeed, sleep is important for solidifying memories of various types. By extension, in a contemplative practice when people strive to develop enduring prosocial qualities, such as compassion, kindness, …

How do the benefits of meditation spread? Investigating interpersonal mechanisms following practice

Research has begun to show that the benefits of meditation practice can extend beyond the individual to influence the well-being of others. An important next step in the field is to look at how this happens. We will therefore examine how participation in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course impacts the amount of negative emotions, specifically, …

Does the contemplative practice of loving-kindness propel prosocial acts via increased neural integration? A dynamic functional connectivity approach

“If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” With tendrils of hate, disrespect, and arrogant dismissiveness implicated in the senseless loss of too many lives to COVID-19 and police brutality, these touchstone words of Nelson Mandela become ever more pressing. Yet it remains unknown how best to teach love. As we …

Calling on Our Shared Humanity

As we all navigate the current moment of uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Presidential election, we recognize that many of the challenges in today’s world have roots in the mind—and that there, too, lie solutions. Through bringing science and contemplative wisdom together, we seek to foster insights that can contribute to individual, collective, and planetary flourishing. With this in mind, I would like to share five kernels of wisdom, gleaned from members of Mind & Life’s expanding community, to help guide the way forward.

How One Scientist is Using Mindfulness to Transform Treatment for Pain and Addiction

There’s growing concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating another ongoing epidemic: the opioid crisis. Recent reports point to an increase in fatal overdoses in the United States since the pandemic began. Could mindfulness-based approaches offer long-term relief for those grappling with chronic pain and addiction? Dr. Eric Garland, Director of the Center on Mindfulness …

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies

The 2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies (ISCS) drew a diverse, talented and enthusiastic group of attendees, and brought together distinct, though overlapping, fields of research and scholarship across the sciences, humanities, arts and other domains. ISCS 2014 focused on advancing our understanding of the human mind, and how training through contemplative practices can lead …