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European hub for contemplative sciences


Mind and Life Europe's future work is based on “Hubs” that connect scientists, scholars and professionals in the development of contemplative science. These hubs cover both fundamental research in areas such as neuroscience, cognitive science, behavioral science and philosophy, as well as applied research in education, health care and management. The hubs are characterized by transdisciplinarity of scientific approaches, with regional and national diversity representing all of Europe, and contemplatives representing multiple wisdom traditions. The hub translates the outcomes into regionally and nationally relevant frameworks that professionals and policymakers can put into action.

Currently MLE has two hubs: the Europe Neurophenomenology, Contemplative, and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON) and the Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP).

MLE is making plans to establish more hubs in ...

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Mind & Life Europe's Summer Research Institute 2017

Our next European Summer Research Institute (ESRI) will take place from July 27 - August 2, 2017 in Chiemsee, Germany.

The theme of this year's edition will be "Exploring Experience".

The 2017 ESRI will delve into the question of lived experience: how do we recognize and mobilize it to deepen our understanding of mind? “What it is like” to think and feel in a richly embedded, intersubjective, and changing world? What concepts, tools and teams do we need to access meaning and intersubjective understanding and to use them as guides for interventions and programs in areas like health care, social justice and organisational design?  These topics appear especially relevant in times where fear and anxiety may shape our perception of reality.

The 2017 ESRI invites ...

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Successful and inspiring - the Power & Care Dialogue and Public Talk with H.H. the Dalai Lama

© Olivier Adam

We are delighted with the success of the Power & Care Dialogue and the Public Talk of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Brussels earlier this month. We are very thankful for the enthusiastic feedback we received from many people who participated in the impressive events.

Our gratitude goes to all the people who made these events so successful: the speakers and workshop leaders, the sponsors and volunteers, the participants and the many thousands of people who followed these events via live stream.

We hope that we can continue to count on your support as we go forward with building the field of contemplative science in Europe in order to contribute to human flourishing. Thank you for your support!


The Power & Care Program booklet is still available!
Download it here.

For more information:

The first MLE hub meeting of the ENCECON

Mind and Life Europe (MLE) is happy to announce the first MLE hub meeting of the European Neurophenomenology, Contemplative Neuroscience, and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON).

The first ENCECON meeting taking place at the Château de la Bourlie, near Bordeaux in France, from 6-10 June 2016 has been organized by Mind and Life Europe in cooperation with the Department of Social Neuroscience from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London, the Mood Disorders Centre at the University of Exeter as well as the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (INSERM U1028 - CNRS UMR5292) from Lyon 1 University.

The 3-day residential retreat, organized by Elena Antonova, Thorsten Barnhofer, Britta Hoelzel, Antoine Lutz, and Tania Singer, will bring together leading researchers and contemplatives for in-depth dialogue around three key topics: the role of brain’s resting state in meditation, the role of the body in meditation, and neurophenomenology.

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Power and Care: an event to catalyze a shift in consciousness

Why do you think a Mind & Life Dialogue on power and care is needed?
Our modern globalized world is facing many crises—financial, refugee and climate to mention a few. To solve such  "common good problems" we urgently need to move into forms of global cooperation and responsibility and start caring about the world we inhabit. Given the challenges we face, social transformation and shifts in consciousness need to be powerful and rapid. Which forces are needed to bring about such deeper transformation?

In this interview, MLE Board and Power & Care Planning Committee member Prof. Dr Tania Singer explains the context behind the Power & Care conference. Why is such an event needed? What does MLE hope that it will bring to society? Read the interview to lean more about the aim of Power and Care- Brussels, Sept 9-11th.

Read the interview


Download the Power & Care brochure

Brainpower: Mindsight and Emotional Intelligence in Leadership.

Brainpower: Mindsight and Emotional Intelligence in Leadership with Daniel Goleman and Daniel Siegel is a live four-part webcast series provides executive coaches, management consultants, and HR professionals with a science basis for their leadership development work. Each broadcast takes place on Tuesdays throughout February at 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST. Registrants will have access to the recordings shortly after each broadcast.

Each webcast will include a live Q&A with Daniel Goleman and Daniel Siegel. Subscribers will also have access to the recorded webcast for viewing on demand shortly after each broadcast.

More information and buy the series

VIDEO: Why Brain Science Matters in Leadership Development

Article by Daniel Goleman: Understand the Basis for Leadership Development

A European core with a global reach

Mind and Life Europe (MLE) supports pathways for knowledge that provide the basis to increase human well-being, ethical responsibility and compassion in order to more effectively confront global problems.

MLE is dedicated to bridging and integrating contemplative wisdom and practices with western scholarship in the arts and sciences and modern research capabilities, in order to generate, disseminate and translate that knowledge, with a particular focus on how the mind can cause or alleviate suffering.

In this regard, Mind and Life Europe is an integrative part of the global Mind and Life strategy to build and support Contemplative Science and Contemplative Studies at an international and interdisciplinary level. Established to further expand related activities in Europe of the Mind and Life Institute (, in response to increased interest from individuals and institutions, Mind and Life Europe assesses needs, implements strategies, and facilitates programs to help advance the study of consciousness and contemplative practices, specifically in Europe.

Francisco J. Varela Research Awards 2016

We are happy to announce the opening of the applications for the Francisco J. Varela Awards.

The application period is from October 28 - November 28, 2016.
The winners of the Varela Awards will be announced in late February 2017.

Other relevant criteria:
- Applicants must have attended a European Mind & Life Summer Research Institute (ESRI).

- Applicants must be graduate students, post docs, or junior faculty within first 3 years of appointment.

- Maximum award amount: € 15.000-, for a 2-year time frame

For more information, and to apply >>

ESRI 2016

Mind & Life Europe’s annual European Summer Research Institute (ESRI) has been successfully held for the third time from August 22-28, 2016 in Chiemsee, Germany. The theme of this year’s edition was “Contemplative Training: from Physiological Plasticity to Societal Changes". As the previous ESRIs, the meeting featured a unique selection of top quality speakers from the fields of contemplative science and practice, including contemplative scholars, clinicians, change experts etc.

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Activities Report 2015

The Mind & Life Europe Activities Report for 2015 is now available.

Read the Report

2015 MLE Varela Awards

Seven candidates were awarded a Mind & Life Europe Franciso Varela Award at the end of December, 2015.

MLE extends its sincere thanks to the Hershey Family Foundation for its support of this program!

The awardees for 2015 are:

Katarzyna Bylow-Antkowiak
Anira Escrichs
Enrico Fucci
Emily Hammond
Josipa Mihic
Anne Maj van der Velden
Nina Vollbehr  

MLE congratulates the awardees on their award and wishes them well in their work.

More information on the 2015 awardees

More information on the Varela Awards

How can the humanities help neuroscience understand social reality?

Prof. Dr Wolf Singer is Director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt and Founding Director both of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) and the Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society. His research focuses on the neuronal substrate of higher cognitive functions. In this interview, Prof. Dr Singer gives his view on how the humanities approach can help neuroscience understand social reality.

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