Neuroscientist, philosopher, and Mind & Life co-founder Francisco J. Varela (1946-2001) believed that contemplative training offered modern science novel methods for investigating the depth of human experience. In his vision, contemplative training such as meditation not only provided a new domain for scientific study, but also offered resources for advancing scientific models of consciousness, emotion, and cognitive processing.
Named in his honor, the European Varela Awards (EVAs) are grants of up to 17.500 Euro awarded annually to research scientists who have attended the European Summer Research Institute (ESRI). These grants fund scientific and scholarly examinations of contemplative techniques, with the ultimate goal that findings will provide greater insight into the mechanisms of contemplative practice and its application for reducing human suffering.
Mind & Life Europe extends its sincere thanks to the Hershey Family Foundation for its support of this programme. Mind & Life Europe also congratulates the awardees on their award and wishes them well in their work.