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June 8, 2019—June 14, 2019

Mind & Life Summer Research Institute

The Mind & Life Summer Research Institute (SRI), now in its sixteenth year, is a week-long immersive, residential program designed to foster collaborative research across the sciences and humanities, based on a process of inquiry and dialogue with contemplative practitioners and professionals engaged in applied work. The long-term objective is to advance the training of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners interested in exploring the influence of contemplative practice on mind and behavior, brain function, and health, including the potential role of contemplative methods in shaping and enriching human experience, society, and consciousness.

The program incorporates academic presentations, informal breakout groups, poster presentations, and regular contemplative sessions, including daily yoga and a full-day silent retreat. This program is designed to provide opportunities for deep dialogue across disciplines as well as inquiry through first-person reflection and meditation practice. SRI participants become eligible to apply for the Mind & Life Francisco J. Varela Research Grants.

The 2019 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute addresses critical questions that are at the core of understanding contemplative practices and interventions, and how they can reduce suffering and cultivate individual and social flourishing. We define mental habits as perceptual, emotional, and cognitive processes that shape and bias how we perceive self, others, and the world.  Here we focus on those habits that tend to support individual, cultural, and institutional behaviors that result in suffering and a lack of compassion and equity.  

How do such mental habits impact behavior? How can we change such habits through individual and structural contemplative interventions?  We will discuss sophisticated methods and measurement strategies for assessing mechanisms of change.

This theme extends the arc from the 2016, 2017, and 2018 programs that addressed contemplation in relation to context, social connectivity, intersubjectivity, cultural diversity, and pressing problems related to human health and wellbeing, social harmony and integration, and fair, just, and equitable societies.

Please Note: This retreat will be held in partial silence. The silent times will be during night times, 10:00 PM – 8:15 AM and all day Tuesday, June 11. 

Prospective attendees can apply directly on the Mind & Life website by clicking here.