Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice

The Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice conference brings together internationally recognized researchers engaged in the scientific study of mindfulness and compassion meditation with seasoned Buddhist teachers and scholars to explore the frontiers of contemplative practice.

  • Venue: San Francisco State University
    San Francisco, CA
  • Date: June 3-7, 2015
  • Price: $225-$550

Mindfulness and compassion practice are now becoming part of mainstream science and clinical methods. Indeed, mindfulness programs have become increasingly popular in every sector of society–healthcare, education, business and government—so much so that Time magazine declared we are witnessing a “Mindful Revolution.” Such popular enthusiasm, bolstered by media claims, has often outpaced the actual science.

This conference will provide a forum for exploring the latest advances and more nuanced views on the scientific clinical research on mindfulness and compassion. Inspired by time-honored contemplative traditions, both mindfulness-based interventions and compassion training are having a significant impact on society. Contemplative practice has thrived for several millennia as an art and discipline for the investigating the human mind, the origins of human suffering, and a path to liberation. While contemplative science is still in its infancy, the field is advancing as it is engages Buddhist contemplatives and a 2600 year old tradition which has offered profound insights and practices for the alleviation of human suffering. Indeed, traditional meditative practices and teachings extend beyond the therapeutic aims of modern applications of mindfulness, often diverging significantly in both methods and goals. An exploration of the farthest reaches of contemplative practice, along with its relevance to mainstream clinical practice will be central to the conversation of this conference. Our intention for this conference is to appreciate and explore both the art and science of contemplative practice.

By encouraging a fruitful and respectful dialogue between these two disparate disciplines—modern science and ancient Buddhism—keynote speakers and roundtable panels with seasoned Buddhist teachers and internationally recognized scholars in the neurosciences, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, education will set the stage for exploring and furthering the field of contemplative scholarship and practice. Over several days of presentation, reflection, discussion, and practice, the goal is to explore both our present challenges and future opportunities. The event will consider best evidence, current innovation, research gaps, and ways to optimize practices for greater personal and social good.

This conference will take place June 3-7, 2015 at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Registration begins on June 3rd, with a reception in the evening. Sunday June 7th is an optional gathering at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

The conference is convened by the Consciousness, Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC) International Association and SFSU, in partnership with the San Francisco Zen Center, the Institute for Buddhist Studies, the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, Meridian University, Springer Publishing, and the California Institute of Integral Studies.