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.
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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.  
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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 ...
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‘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 ...
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‘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] ...
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ESRI 2017: ‘Exploring experience brings us to the heart of contemplation’

Andreas Roepstorff (chair of the planning committee) and Nathalie Legros (chair of the community building committee) are both at the heart of Mind and Life Europe’s European Summer Research Institute (ESRI). We got them together to talk about this year’s edition ‘Exploring Experience’. When did you join the European Summer Research Institute? Nathalie: I’m rather new to ESRI. In 2016, I was invited as a speaker to share my experiences of contemplative practices in a working environment. This year, I am involved in the planning committee and in the community building committee because I believe in the community dimension and ...
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‘This workshop model is the future of contemplative science.’

In June, one of Mind and Life Europe’s Communities, the "Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology", organised its first public meeting. A group of thirty philosophers, psychologists, neuro-cognitive scientists and medical doctors, all practitioners of meditation in various traditions, gathered in France to explore and describe their lived experience of contemplative states. ‘The workshop was a great opportunity to go deeper into meditative experience and to engage with pioneers, smart, kind, and rigorous thinkers, therapists and researchers interested in a non-reductionist look at conscious experience.’ Workshop participant Describing state of consciousness from within Most Western scientific approaches to contemplative disciplines investigate meditation ...
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