Another Perspective on the Second ICP Workshop

© Bahman Ajang

In this post, I will share my experience and some pictures of the second workshop of the Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP). My first name is Bahman and my name Ajang, I was born in Iran and raised in France. I’m a cognitive psychologist and also graduated from Ecole normale supérieure of Paris in cognitive sciences.

Quiet obvious then that human cognition is my favorite domain of interest. But the experiential perspective and, namely, the first person perspective in cognitive sciences, that I discovered thanks to Claire Petitmegin, is my second favorite domain. The intersection of both perspective points toward psychological phenomenology, topic of this workshop. As a Vipassana by S.N Goenka daily meditator I was logically very enthusiastic to join the ICP that gathers a bunch of international researchers and practitioners in the domain of meditation.

Introduction Speech to the Workshop (Michel Bitbol)

A central concept of the workshop was the philosophical concept epoché.

Why is the concept is central ? « Without it, there would be no phenomenology. »

Every morning, meditation sessions took place indoor and, of course, also outdoor.

‘What is Contemplative Phenomenology ?’ (Jim Morley)

Jim Morley talked about the meaning of phenomenolgy:« Phenomenologist never agrees on what phenomenology is. » Further, he explained the nature of the epoché: « The epoché is a practice. A contemplative technique for recognizing the natural attitude, loosening the grip of the natural attitude – remembering the role of consciousness in it’s co-constitution of the experienced world. Could help us better understand emotions, psychopathology. »

He said, « The more I meditate the more I understand phenomenology. »

We lead micro-phenomenological interviews, in small groups of co-researchers which gave birth to graphic modelisations. The modelisations became, with a two phases work, more and more refined over time.

A Short Introduction to Buddhism (Anne Carolyn Klein/Rigzin Drolma)

The final conclusions, enriched by reflexive thoughts lead  by four small groups, shed lights on the possible future improvements of this kind of event. We all agreed on the richness of the discussions and the necessity to continue the work.

I hope to be able to share more in the future! It was a privilege to spend this week with such stimulating folks on such an insightful domain of knowledge, grounded in the experiential level.

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