Mind and Life Europe's future work is based on communities of practice that connect scientists, scholars and professionals in the development of contemplative science. These communities 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. They are characterized by transdisciplinarity of scientific approaches, with regional and national diversity representing all of Europe, and contemplatives representing multiple wisdom traditions. The communities translate outcomes into regionally and nationally relevant frameworks that professionals and policymakers can put into action.
Our aim is to establish more communities in applied research fields, in the domain of contemplative education, and in leadership for societal change.
Currently MLE has two active communities: the Europe Neurophenomenology, Contemplative, and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON) and the Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP).
The European Neurophenomenology, Contemplative and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON)
The overall aim of the ENCECON community is to support European scientists engaged in empirical and theo-retical research on embodied cognition, contemplative neuroscience, and neurophenomenology. The objective of the network is to address concrete theoretical and methodological challenges currently hampering the empirical investigation of experience, its relationship to brain and body and its potential for well-being. This objective will be approached by gathering a community of researchers interested in both the empirical investigation of the mind, brain, and body and the integration of direct experiential inquiry and rigorous first-person methodology with these third-person approaches.
The Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP)
The ICP community's aim is to demonstrate that Contemplative Phenomenology is a field of inquiry in its own right, which can be learned and applied, with its specific problematics and orientations, without being exclusively conditional upon the needs of cognitive neuroscience. Investigating the contemplative experience, as it is lived and potentially reported by practitioners, is a project which is valuable from an epistemological, practical and ethical standpoint, even before one uses it to disambiguate neurobiological features of the contemplative brain. For, as long as it is considered ancillary to the neuroscientific program, the phenomenological inquiry about contemplative experience is bound to remain in its infancy. We then plan to teach, with the help of a good team of the best specialists in Europe and beyond, each one of the various aspects of first-person inquiry, especially those which are relevant for contemplative disciplines.