‘Social change needs to come from changing educational contexts.’

In the run up to the 2017 European Varela Awards we highlight some of the work of our 2016 awardees. Carlos Garcia Rubio and Catherine Andreu received a European Varela award for their research into the effect mindfulness in schools has on the self-regulation abilities of children living in highly vulnerable areas in Latin-America. ‘Schools can be an ideal place to carry out mindfulness-based socio-emotional programmes to promote healthier development.’ Carlos and Catherine first met each other in 2014 at the European Summer Research Institute (ESRI). A couple of years later they met again in Spain, in a school where ...
Read more

First Summit on Mindfulness in Politics

Blog by Sander Tideman This month I had the privilege of attending a meeting on Mindfulness in Politics, organised by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG), at the House of Parliament in London. With keynote speaker Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-based Stress Relief (MBSR) in 1979, the meeting assembled some 50 Europeans working on mindfulness at policy levels in their respective countries. These included France, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Slovenia and – of course – the United Kingdom.   The Mindful Nation MAPPG was founded four years ago by Welsh MP Chris Ruane, who started by gathering a few ...
Read more

Publications from the ReSource Project

The ReSource Project is a large-scale study on Eastern and Western methods of mental training. It is a secular programme developed by a team of experienced meditation teachers, scientists, and psychotherapists. The Principal Investigator of the project is our Mind & Life Europe Board Member Prof. Dr. Tania Singer, Director of the Social Neuroscience Department at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. 'This is the outcome of 12 years of work, so we are rather happy about it.' The project has published several project papers over the last months. Two studies on ReSource Change Data were published in ...
Read more

Education that cultivates the wellbeing of the whole child

Katherine Weare, author of newly released book ‘Happy teachers change the World’ and Mind & Life associate member, reflects on a recent Mind and Life education gathering in Frankfurt. Across the world there is a developing consensus that many young people are struggling to cope with our fast paced, interconnected word and that we urgently need new forms of education to help young people meet the emotional, social, intellectual, ethical and spiritual challenges they, and indeed all of us, face. Encouraged by a new curriculum that is in its early stages of development at Emory University in the United states, ...
Read more

Could meditation help with relationship problems?

In the run up to the 2017 Varela Awards we highlight some of the work of our 2016 awardees. Gesa Kappen was one of the 6 young scientists that received a Varela Award. With her research she looks into how practicing meditation influences the way people handle everyday challenges in their romantic relationships. ‘I am intrigued by the idea that meditation may help people see that their partner’s behaviour may not always be the problem’.  What do you hope to achieve with your research? In relationships if something goes wrong, people often jump to the conclusion that their partner might ...
Read more

The constructivist nature of perception and its consequences for education

Board Member Wolf Singer speaks at symposium on education and secular ethics On Thursday 14 September, the Dalai Lama convened a group of scientists and education professionals to explore the topics of education and secular ethics. Mind and Life Europe Board Member Wolf Singer introduced the conference, which included Mind and Life Varela Award recipient Britta Hölzel, and spoke about the ‘The constructivist nature of perception and its consequences for education.’ ‘It appears to me that one of the central problems of our civilisations is our evolutionary heritage…’ Download the talk by Wolf Singer.
Read more

Dalai Lama receives honorary degree  

'Today we honour an incisive, intrepid and indefatigable explorer of human reality.' The Dalai Lama received an honorary degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Pisa on Thursday 21 September. In her Laudatio, or words of praise, Mind and Life Europe Chair Amy Cohen Varela noted that 'his is a compassion that acknowledges our common humanity and as such, comes to touch you in a place that you may never even have guessed was within you; his welcoming is a powerful teaching in unconditional hospitality'. Laudatio for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  
Read more

Mind and Life Europe organises special premiere From Business to Being

Dutch premiere From Business to Being and special Mind and Life Europe event at the Buddhist Film Festival Europe Mindfulness has entered the business world with surprising results: the mind sciences create a new perspective for leadership to tackle the many challenges facing organisations in today's world. In the current economic model we have lost our connection with nature and meaning. How can we transform this and enhance well-being for people and the planet? On Sunday 1 October, Mind and Life Europe is organising a special event that will explore this topic further with the Dutch premiere of the highly acclaimed ...
Read more

‘Mindfulness could improve trauma recovery with refugees’

In the run up to the 2017 Varela Awards we highlight the work of our 2016 awardees. Anna Reebs was one of the 6 young scientists that received a Varela Award. With her research into the mental healthcare and trauma recovery of refugees, she hopes to contribute to an emerging clinical psychological science of refugee mental health. ‘There is a huge global mental health crisis and I believe that research on trauma-related psychopathology in the refugee populations is much needed. Mindfulness may be a promising approach to improve mental health and trauma recovery amongst refugees’ Why did you decide to ...
Read more

‘Thinking at the edge opens up new perspectives into the amazing fabric of meaning‘

At the European Summer Research Institute 2017, held in Germany in August, Donata Schoeller led the 'Thinking at the Edge' sessions. By following simple steps participants explored the tacit dimensions of the very issue they research. ‘For me as a philosopher, 'Thinking at the Edge' opened up new perspectives into the amazing fabric of meaning, which inspires my thinking continuously.’ Current science, social policy and human relations tend to exclude the intricacy of the individual's experience. 'Thinking at the Edge' (TAE)  is a way to think and speak about our world and ourselves by generating terms from a "felt sense".[1] ...
Read more