MLE Friends: Webinars

About the Webinars

Mind & Life Europe hosts interactive webinars on a monthly base for members of the MLE Friends community.

The webinar lasts for one hour (60 min.). It includes a talk by one of of our MLE Association or (Honorary) Board Members (30 min.) and a Q&A session (30 min.).

Please note: access is granted to MLE Friends only.

Upcoming Webinars

EVENT TYPETOPIC (click on the title to learn more)EXPERT / HOSTDATE

Beyond Confines: Following our Tracks (Philosopy)

Interactive webinar (90min.) for Q&A regarding the webcast on Philosophy

Prof. Dr. Michel Bitbol, MD

MLE Assocation Member

October 20, 2020:

18:00 CEST


Note on registration: All MLE Friends will automatically receive an email for registration a week before the webinar starts. People who subscribe to the MLE Friends community at a later point of time, will be sent an extra email.

>> Back to: MLE Friends EVENTS.

Previous Webinars

In the past, we hosted different webinars for our MLE Friends. See below to get an overivew of the high-quality webinars we hosted together with selected members from our European community.

EVENT TYPETOPIC (click on the title to learn more)EXPERT / HOSTDATE
WebinarMeditation and Pain from the Lenses of Phenomenology and Neurosciences

Dr. Antoine Lutz,

MLE Association Member

May 27, 2020:

18:00 CEST

WebinarThe Mindful Brain

Dr. Elena Antonova

MLE Association Member

June 20, 2020:

17:00 CEST

WebinarThe Power of Compassion - Lessons from the Resource Project

Prof. Dr. Tania Singer

MLE Honorary Board Member

July 8, 2020:

18:30 CEST

WebinarThe Subtle Mind: Essence and Interdependence

Diego Hangartner, Pharm.D., PCC

MLE Association Member

September 9, 2020:

17:30 CEST


Rainbow Body and Resurrection

Father Tiso

MLE Association Member

October 14, 2020:

18:00 CEST

Webinar: "Meditation and Pain from the Lenses of Phenomenology and Neurosciences"
  • Date and time: Wednesday, May 27, at 18:00 CEST.
  • Dr. Antoine Lutz, MLE Association Member, will talk about his current research on meditation and pain.
  • Topic of the webinar: Meditation and Pain from the Lenses of Phenomenology and Neurosciences. An early Buddhist account describes pain as being composed of two distinct “arrows”: an immediate physical sensation and an aversive dimension linked to negative mentation. It is claimed that although negative mentation often habitually follows awareness of unpleasant physical stimuli, this need not be necessarily so, as for individuals trained in mindfulness meditation, it is possible to uncouple sensory and affective pain dimensions, such that the physical component can be fully experienced without concomitant emotional distress. In this webinar, we will review clinical and experimental studies which have investigated the cognitive and neural mechanisms of pain regulation in mindfulness meditation.

Selected references:

  • Hilton, L., Hempel, S., Ewing, B. A., Apaydin, E., Xenakis, L., Newberry, S., … Maglione, M. A. (2017). Mindfulness meditation for chronic pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(2), 199–213.

  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (1982). An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results. General Hospital Psychiatry, 4, 33–47.

  • Zorn, J, Abdoun, O, Bouet, R, Lutz, A. (2020). Mindfulness meditation is related to sensory?affective uncoupling of pain in trained novice and expert practitioners. Eur J Pain. 2020; 00: 1– 13.

  • Lutz, A., McFarlin, D. R., Perlman, D. M., Salomons, T. V., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Altered anterior insula activation during anticipation and experience of painful stimuli in expert meditators. NeuroImage, 64, 538–546.

  • Perlman, D. M., Salomons, T. V., Davidson, R. J., & Lutz, A. (2010). Differential effects on pain intensity and unpleasantness of two meditation practices. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 10(1), 65–71.

Antoine Lutz is a research director at INSERM in the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (CNRL). He did his PhD in cognitive neurosciences in Paris, with F. Varela. During his postdoctoral work with R. Davidson, at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, he pioneered the neuroimaging study of meditation. In 2008, Davidson and him were awarded a NIH-NCCAM grant to fund the first American Center of Excellence on Research dedicated to neurophysiological study of meditation.

At the CRNL since 2013, his research group focuses on investigating the neurophysiological basis of mindfulness and compassion meditations and their impact on consciousness, attention and emotion regulations, and pain perception as measured by cognitive, affective and social neuroimaging paradigms using EEG, MEG, intra-cortical EEG, and fMRI. This research is funded by an European ERC consolidator grant (Brain&Mindfulness). He is a work package leader in a European research consortium investigating the impacts of meditation practices on ageing and well-being (Meditageing, H2020, PI G. Chételat). He participates to the ANR MindMadeClear (PI H. Mounier) on neurocomputation and meditation.

Webinar: "The Mindful Brain"
  • Date and time: Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 17:00 CEST.
  • Dr. Elena Antonova, MLE Association Member, will talk about her research on the neuroscience of mindfulness.
  • Topic of the webinar: The Mindful Brain. In this talk, I will note the differences in the use of the term ‘mindfulness’  within Buddhism and in secular context, and then provide an overview of the main principles of how the brain’s dynamics change when we related to our experiences in a mindful way that we have learned from the fMRI research.

Selected references:

  • Antonova, E., Chadwick, P., Kumari, V. (2015). More meditation, less habituation: the effect of intensive mindfulness practice on the acoustic startle reflex. PLoS One, 10(5), e0123512
  • Buckner, R. L., Carroll, D. C. (2007). Self-projection and the brain. Trends Cogn Sci, 11, 49-57.
  • Dunne, J. (2011). Toward an understanding of non-dual mindfulness. Contemporary Buddhism, 12, 71-88.
  • Farb, N. A., Segal, Z. V., Mayberg, H., Bean, J., McKeon, D., Fatima, Z., & Anderson, A. K. (2007). Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2(4), 313-322.
  • Fox, M.D, Snyder, A. Z., Vincent, J. L., Corbetta, M., Van Essen, D. C., Raichle, M. E. (2005). The human brain is intrinsically organized into dynamic, anticorrelated functional networks. PNAS, 102 (27), 9673-9678.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness?based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2011). Some reflections on the origins of MBSR, skilful means, and the trouble with maps. Contemporary Buddhism, vol 12 (1), 281-206.
  • Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Dunne, J. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2008). Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(4), 163-169.

Elena Antonova is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Brunel University London, which she joined in June 2019. Prior to that she was a lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London (KCL), where she remains a Visiting Researcher. Elena lectures on the neuroscience and clinical applications of mindfulness. Her research focuses on the effects of long-term mindfulness practice using neuroimaging and psychophysiology methods, with the application to the prevention and management of psychopathologies.

She has been actively involved with the Mind and Life Institute since 2011 and Mind & Life Europe since 2013, organisations catalysing inter-disciplinary scientific research into the effects of contemplative practices. She was elected a Mind & Life Research Fellow for her contribution to contemplative science in 2017. Elena is an experienced mindfulness instructor (MBCT) trained in line with the Good Practice Guidelines in the UK. Elena has had a personal mindfulness meditation practice since 1998 and has attended numerous meditation retreats since 2001.

Webinar: "The Power of Compassion - Lessons from the Resource Project"
  • Date and time: Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 18:30 CEST.
  • Prof. Dr. Tania Singer, MLE Honorary Board Member, will talk about her research on the power compassion based on the ReSource Project.
  • Topic of the webinar: The Power of Compassion - Lessons from the Resource Project. In this webinar I will talk about compassion and how to cultivate it. I will introduce the ReSource project, a large-scale interdisciplinary one-year meditation-based mental training project that aimed at the cultivation of 1) attention and interoceptive awareness, 2) meta-cognition and perspective taking on self and others, and 3) empathy, compassion and prosocial motivation by means of three distinct training modules in more than 200 training subjects. I will present specific findings showing that indeed you can cultivate human qualities such as compassion, altruism and prosocial behavior and even induce structural brain plasticity, when engaging daily for about 30 minutes in different types of mental practices. I will discuss these findings in terms of their relevance for different arms of society.

References: please click here for an overview of publications.

Tania Singer is the scientific head of the Social Neuroscience Lab of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany. After doing her PhD in Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, she became a Post-doctoral Fellow at the same institution, at the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, and at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. In 2006, she first became Assistant Professor and later Inaugural Chair of Social Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics as well as Co-Director of the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research at the University of Zurich. Between 2010 and 2018 Tania Singer was the director of the department of Social Neurosciences at the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive and Human Development in Leipzig.

Her research focus is on the hormonal, neuronal, and developmental basis of human sociality, empathy and compassion, and their malleability through mental training. She is the principal investigator of a large-scale, nine-month longitudinal meditation based mental training study, The ReSource Project, and investigates together with Dennis Snower how psychology can inform new models of Caring Economics. Tania Singer is author of more than 150 scientific articles and book chapters and edited together with Mathieu Ricard the two books Caring Economics (2015) and Power and Care (2019).

Webinar: The Subtle Mind: Essence and Interdependence
  • Date and time: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 17:30 CEST.
  • Diego Hangartner, Pharm.D., PCC, MLE Association Member, will talk about and introduce practicap tools for improving meditation, linking those practices to the framework of twelve interdependent links.
  • Topic of the webinar: The Subtle Mind: Essence and Interdependence. The Buddhist tradition has developed a wide range of practices and technologies to explore the mind and to cultivate healthy qualities of the mind such as wisdom, focus and compassion. Furthermore, the Buddhist lineages have created a huge body of philosophical, epistemological and methodological frameworks to explain the workings of the mind. In my presentations I will provide practical tools for improving meditation, linking those practices to the framework of the twelve interdependent links - a key explanation of why ignorance lies at the root of an untrained mind, in turn leading to suffering, delusions, concepts, clinging and aversion. I will also provide a framework for the reasons why Buddhist philosophy and practice speaks of different levels of mind - even the possibility of more subtle aspects that are not limited to biological functions.

Selected references

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama,  Universe in a Single Atom, p.97George Dreyfus, Recognizing Reality, Dharmakirti’s Philosophy, 1997.
  • Longchen Rabjam, Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind, Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, 2018.
  • Bodhisattvabhumi Sastra.
  • Mipham, Gateway of Knowledge, Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang, 2002.
  • Dignaga, Pramana-Samuccaya, 5th CE.
  • Dharmakirti, Pramanavartika, in: Foundations of Dharmakirti’s philosophy, J.Dunne, 2004.
  • Samyukta-Agama, found in: Bhikkhu Analayo, Mindfully Facing Sickness and Death, 2017.
  • Mahaniddana-Sutta, found in: Bhikkhu Analayo, Rebirth, 2018.

Diego Hangartner, Switzerland

Diego Hangartner, Pharm.D., PCC [b. 1962] completed his studies in pharmacology at the ETHZurich, specializing in psycho-pharmacology and addiction. His main interest is to understand what constitutes a healthy mind, and how to cultivate it. He lived for 11 years in Dharamsala, India, learned Tibetan, and studied for 7 years at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. He completed several retreats, worked as an interpreter, translating Tibetan into many languages, and published a few books. On returning to Europe in 2003, he taught widely, and organized several large events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and participated in research aimed at exploring the benefits of meditation as a long-term practitioner. Collaborations with many universities and research institutes, such as the Max Planck Institute, EPFL, Universities of Zurich, Lyon, Madison, USA, etc.

Diego is associated and worked with the Mind and Life Institute since the 1990's: he was Mind and Life’s COO from 2009 – 2012 in the USA. In 2008, he co-founded Mind & Life Europe and was its director until 2015. Diego founded the “Institute of Mental Balance and Universal Ethics” (IMBUE), an interdisciplinary initiative, to develop and provide tools and programs that foster mental balance. He created and teaches “The Wheel of Mental Balance”, a methodology to cultivate a healthy and resilient mind. Diego is also a professional certified coach (PCC), working with individuals, leaders and teams with a special focus on flourishing and development through a process of structure and discovery - insight generation, unfolding and forwarding action. For more information:

Webinar: Rainbow Body and Resurrection
  • Date and time: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 18:00 CEST.
  • Father Francis, MLE Association Member, will talk about the Tibetan rainbow body attainment and bodily resurrection.
  • Topic of the webinar: Rainbow Body and Resurrection. The research project on the Tibetan rainbow body attainment and the doctrine of bodily resurrection has given me an opportunity to reflect on the importance of contemplative practice for the human species. In subsequent research, it has been fruitful to explore the human future in the light of what has already been learned about bodily and spiritual transformation.  Some authors have proposed that artificial intelligence may offer a way forward in human evolution, but there are others who raise objections to this on moral or technological grounds. Our discoveries about human transformation through contemplative disciplines may open a way to reconcile a diversity of views, motivated by a deep sense of respect for the unfolding of the universe that is our home.

Father Tiso, Italy

A New York native, Father Francis Tiso holds the A.B. in Medieval Studies from Cornell University.  He earned a Master of Divinity degree (cum laude) at Harvard University and holds a doctorate from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary where his specialization was Buddhist studies. He translated several early biographies of the Tibetan yogi and poet, Milarepa, for his dissertation on sanctity in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. He has led research expeditions in South Asia, Tibet and the Far East, and his teaching interests include Christian theology, history of religions, spirituality, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. 

Father Tiso was Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2004 to 2009, where he served as liaison to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Sikhs, and the Reformed (Calvinist) Churches. Since 1988, Father Tiso is a priest of the Diocese of Isernia-Venafro, Italy, where he now serves as chaplain to the migrant communities in the Province of Isernia. He is President and Founder of the Association “Archbishop Ettore Di Filippo”, which serves migrant and vulnerable populations in the Province of Isernia. He was Diocesan Delegate for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs from 1990 to 1998 (re-appointed in 2016) and rector of the Istituto Diocesano delle Scienze Religiose (1990-93).

Father Tiso is the author of Liberation in One Lifetime (2014) and Rainbow Body and Resurrection (2016), two books on Tibetan and inter-cultural studies. He is the recipient of grants from the American Academy of Religion, the American Philosophical Society, the Palmers Fund in Switzerland, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, CA. He has served on the faculty of two MLE summer seminars in Germany.