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.
|EVENT TYPE||TOPIC (click on the title to learn more)||EXPERT / HOST||DATE|
October 25, 2021
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.
- Date and time: Monday, October 25, at 18:00 CEST.
- Speaker: Kevin Hawkins author of Mindful Teacher, Mindful School, Improving Wellbeing in teaching and learning and The Mindful Teacher's Toolkit - Awareness-based Wellbeing in Schools, co-written with Amy Burke.
Topic of the webinar: Awareness-based Wellbing in Schools: Empowering Educators.
How often have you heard a teacher say something like, "I love working with children but I resent the time and energy it takes to meet all the other demands of teaching". Many teachers actually leave their profession because of these 'other demands' that often don't seem to align with their original intention for becoming a teacher. In this session, Kevin will challenge us to consider how we can best empower educators to shift the focus in their classrooms and their schools towards what really matters in teaching and learning. A focus that has less to do with report writing and teacher appraisal and much more to do with the core of education - creating connection and nurturing conditons for deep learning, through relationship.
The recent pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. At this crucial point in time, when individuals, societies and our planet are facing unprecedented challenges, we need to re-focus our efforts in unprecedented ways. How can we help ourselves, each other and our school communities become more conscious, more awake, more aware? How can we support and empower educators to discover, embody and model ways of really listening to ourselves, each other and the planet?
And, what role can the MLE Friends community continue to play in taking practial steps to help support this growth of consciousness in our schools? Join us to explore this further on October 25th at 18:00 CEST.
Kevin Hawkins has worked with adolescents and young people in various contexts for over 40 years – as a teacher, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. For 10 years, he was Middle School Principal at the International School of Prague in the Czech Republic. He is a Senior Lead Trainer for the Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK) and has taught mindfulness to children, teenagers, teachers and parents since 2008. In 2012 he co-founded MindWell, which supports educational communities in developing wellbeing through mindfulness and social-emotional learning (SEL). He has been a lead consultant to the International Baccalaureate Organisation on SEL and mindfulness and he is a facilitator for the evidence-based CARE program (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Educators). He is a regular speaker, writer and presenter on the topics of mindfulness, wellbeing and social-emotional learning in education. His first book on mindfulness in education, Mindful Teacher, Mindful School, Improving Wellbeing in teaching and learning, was published by SAGE in July 2017. His second book, The Mindful Teacher's Toolkit - Awareness-based Wellbeing in Schools is co-written with Amy Burke and will be published in October 2021, also by SAGE/Corwin. Kevin trained in mindfulness in Europe and the USA with Mark Williams (Oxford Mindfulness Centre), Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo-Meyer (UMass Medical School, Centre for Mindfulness), and with Dr. Amy Saltzman (Still Quiet Place).
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 TYPE||TOPIC (click on the title to learn more)||EXPERT / HOST||DATE|
|Webinar||Meditation and Pain from the Lenses of Phenomenology and Neurosciences|
Dr. Antoine Lutz,
MLE Association Member
May 27, 2020:
|Webinar||The Mindful Brain|
Dr. Elena Antonova
MLE Association Member
June 20, 2020:
|Webinar||The Power of Compassion - Lessons from the Resource Project|
Prof. Dr. Tania Singer
MLE Honorary Board Member
July 8, 2020:
|Webinar||The Subtle Mind: Essence and Interdependence|
Diego Hangartner, Pharm.D., PCC
MLE Association Member
September 9, 2020:
Launch of MLE Webcast
Prof. Dr. Michel Bitbol, MD
MLE Assocation Member
September 22, 2020
MLE Association Member
October 14, 2020:
Interactive webinar (90min.) for Q&A regarding the webcast on Philosophy
Prof. Dr. Michel Bitbol, MD
MLE Assocation Member
October 20, 2020:
Interactive webinar (90min.) for Q&A regarding the webcast on Education
Prof. Katherine Weare, PhD
MLE Assocation Member
November 24, 2020
|Webinar||Meditative practice and micro-phenomenology|
Prof. Dr. Claire Petitmengin,
MLE Association Member
March 24, 2021
|Webinar||Embodied Critical Thinking|
Dr. Donata Schoeller,
MLE Association Member
April 28, 2021:
|Webinar||The no-nonsense meditation book|
Prof. Dr. Steven Laureys,
MLE Association Member
May 25, 2021
- Date and time: Tuesday, May 25, at 18:00 CEST.
- Prof. Dr. Steven Laureys, MLE Association Member, will introduce his new book "The no-nonsense meditation book" including his research into the effects of meditation and explanations about why you don't have to be an expert to experience the life-changing benefits of meditation.
- Topic of the webinar: The no-nonsense meditation book. Meditation is good for your brain and mind – and anyone can do it: this is the basic philosophy of neurologist Dr Steven Laureys. With his team he has been researching the power of the mind for over 20 years. For his research into the effects of meditation, Laureys and colleagues (including mindfulness-pioneer Dr. Antoine Lutz) examined the brain of Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and the results were remarkable. Matthieu was able to control his brain activity through meditation, and results showed beneficial effects regarding his brain function. However, you don't have to be an expert to experience the life-changing benefits of meditation. In this webinar, Steven explores his own personal journey to meditation, from cynic to someone who now recommends the practice to his patients. Using science, he shows the effects of meditation on the brain and explains the benefits of a practice that many may find difficult or purely spiritual. Featuring brain-science, clinical studies, inspiring anecdotes and practical exercises and tips, as well as advice on the apps available, this highly accessible conference will explain to everyone that meditation can have a positive impact on all our lives.
Steven Laureys, Belgium & Canada
Steven Laureys MD PhD FEAN is an award-winning neurologist and neuroscientist recognised worldwide as a leading clinician and researcher in the field of the neurology of consciousness. He is an active member of Mind and Life Europe and former president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and has published over 500 scientific articles on the workings of the human mind. He is known for his studies on consciousness after coma but also on near-death experiences, anesthesia, dreaming, hypnosis and meditation.
Prof. Dr. Laureys is Research Director at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (2012), founding director of the "GIGA Consciousness Research Unit" (2014) and "Coma Science Group" (2006) of the University of Liège and ‘Centre du Cerveau’ at the University Hospital of Liège (2019) and visiting professor at CERVO Brain Research Centre in Canada (2021). He recently co-founded the Mind Care International Foundation and published the international bestseller ‘The no-nonsense meditation book’ (Bloomsbury 2021) in collaboration with Matthieu Ricard.
Photo credit: Debby Termonia
- Date and time: Wednesday, April 28, at 18:00 CEST.
- Dr. Donata Schoeller, MLE Association Member, talked about her interdisciplinary research project on Embodied Critical Thinking, introduced the methods used and reflectd on current struggles and questions.
- Topic of the webinar: Embodied Critical Thinking. There seems to be an unbridgeable gap between meditation in which one learns to let go of thoughts and the Western discipline of rigorous thinking in philosophy. The practice of meditation enhances peace of mind, compassion and depth of awareness. The practice of philosophy has over the centuries contributed in explicating and transforming unjustness and self-contradictions in non-questioned political, societal and religious thinking- and action-habits. The skill to think critically is thus the cornerstone of the Western enlightenment tradition. However, within and without philosophy awareness has grown that the disembodied approach in the understanding of critical thinking is, among many other things, co-responsible for the crisis that we face today. In response, we have launched a research project called Embodied Critical Thinking. It has attracted a growing and vibrant community of researchers and has won a European grant to become an interdisciplinary training-project in which several universities participate. In this webinar I introduced what we mean by Embodied Critical Thinking and what we do. I laid out the micro-phenomenological, pragmatist and radical listening methods we use and how this changes our understanding of criticality and good thinking. I also reflected on the struggles and questions we face in our pioneering project. Last but not least, I reflected on how embodied critical thinking builds a bridge between meditation and philosophy.
Donata Schoeller is a philosopher that has initiated the international research project Embodied Critical Thinking in 2018, together with the philosopher Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir. She now is the Academic Director of TECT (Training in Embodied Critical Thinking), an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership in Higher Education in which five European Universities participate. In the last years, she has been a guest professor at De Paul University in Chicago, a fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt, and currently is a guest professor at the University of Iceland as well as a senior lecturer at the University of Koblenz.
Among her recent publications is a monography on Close Talking: Erleben zu Sprache bringen, a volume on Saying What We Mean, ed. with Ed Casey, a co-edited volume on Nachdenklichkeit and a co-edited volume on Thinking Thinking. She has translated Eugene Gendlin’s philosophical main work A Process Model into German, together with Christiane Geiser, and has written a first introduction to this groundbreaking philosophical work. Her PhD on humility is published in the 2nd edition. She is an accredited Focusing-Trainer, and also trained in Thinking-at-the-Edge by Prof. Eugene Gendlin and in Micro-phenomenology by Prof. Claire Petitmengin. She is an invited teacher of methods of Embodied Critical Thinking at institutes, academies and universities in Europe, the US and Israel. She has three grown up daughters. donataschoeller.com
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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. http://qwww.brunel.ac.uk/people/elena-antonova
- 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).
- Date and time: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 17:30 CEST.
- Diego Hangartner, Pharm.D., PCC, MLE Association Member, will talk about and introduce practical 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.
- 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: www.diegohangartner.org
- 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.
- Date and time: Wednesday, March 24, at 18:00 CET.
- Prof. emer. Claire Petitmengin, MLE Association Member, will talk about the scientific discipline of micro-phenomenology.
- Topic of the webinar: Meditative practice and micro-phenomenology. At the instigation of Francisco Varela, a new scientific discipline has been developed to study lived experience with rigor and precision: micro-phenomenology. Like meditation, micro-phenomenology starts from the observation that a large part of our experience escapes us, and provides devices allowing us to become aware of it. In addition, the method makes it possible to describe experience verbally with great precision. In this talk I will describe the main principles of micro-phenomenology and explore some of its similarities and differences with Buddhist meditative practices.
Claire Petitmengin is Professor Emerita in Philosophy at the Institut Mines-Télécom and member of the Archives Husserl, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research focuses on the usually unrecognized dynamics of lived experience and “micro-phenomenological” methods enabling us to become aware of it and highlight its essential structures.
She studies the epistemological conditions of these methods, as well as their educational, therapeutic, artistic and contemplative applications. She currently devotes herself to exploring the links between the ecological crisis and our blindness to our lived experience.