International Symposium for Contemplative Studies

Join the Dalai Lama and the most innovative thought leaders in neuroscience, psychology, clinical science, the humanities, philosophy, and education as they present their groundbreaking research.

  • Venue: Boston, MA
  • Date: October 30-November 2, 2014

The Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium for Contemplative Studies brings together scientists, scholars, artists, and contemplatives to explore clinical science, philosophy, humanities, education, economics, the arts, and other domains.

These distinct, though overlapping, fields of research and scholarship focus on advancing our understanding of the human mind and how training the mind through contemplative practices can lead to valuable insights that promote a reduction in suffering, enhanced health and cognitive/emotional functioning, and increased social harmony. It has become clear that a multidisciplinary integrative approach is critical for understanding the mind and its effects on health, ethical behavior, and society at large. The International Symposium seeks to encourage and help shape a cohesive interdisciplinary field of contemplative studies in which basic and applied science, scholarship, education, the arts, and contemplative traditions collaboratively develop an integrated way of knowing.

The 2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies will begin the evening of Thursday, October 30, 2014, and will conclude in the early afternoon of Sunday, November 2nd. The program will include keynote addresses by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; Diana Chapman Walsh, president emerita of Wellesley College; Richard Davidson, director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Amishi Jha, director of contemplative neuroscience, the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative, at the University of Miami; Anton Zeilinger, quantum physicist, University of Vienna; and Tania Singer, director of the department of social neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute.

Master lectures by several distinguished scientists, scholars, artists, and contemplative teachers will also be presented. Individuals and groups will have the opportunity to submit proposals for individual paper, panel, or poster presentations, reflecting the most current contributions to the ever-growing field of contemplative studies. Also featured will be contemplative art performances and exhibits, as well as continuous contemplative practice opportunities. Evening activities will be designed to facilitate networking, ongoing collaborative relationships, and the establishment of new collaborations.