|Date & Location||Event||Partner|
August 13th - 19th, 2022
Les Colloques de Cerisy, France
|Les Colloques de Cerisy|
A CURRENT THOUGHT
AUTOPOIESIS, ENACTION, PHENOMENOLOGY
- Cooperation partner: Les Colloques Cerisy (France).
- Type of event: Conference (in-person). Click here to see the program.
- Dates: August 13th (7pm) - 19th (2pm)
- Language: French
- Registration: click here to register (registration in French and English language).
About the event:
Francisco Varela contributed significantly to the development of the field of cognitive sciences by proposing, as early as the 1970s, with his professor Humberto Maturana, the formulation of his theory of life, autopoiesis, whose resonance has been decisive, even beyond the field of biology, in the artistic and educational fields. In the 1980s and 90s, from the theories of emergence, he built a new theory: enaction. In contact with phenomenology, he forged an innovative approach to consciousness from neuronal dynamics while being irreducible to it: neurophenomenology. At the same time, he founded the Mind and Life Institute, a place for dialogue with the Dalai Lama and reflection on the possible links between science and contemplative practices, including meditation.
20 years since his passing, it is essential to revisit his thought and measure his influence in the many current fields and disciplines that make his thought bear fruit. He was present in Cerisy, especially at the 1981 meeting "Self-organization: from physics to politics" (Seuil, 1983), which opened a research program to which he contributed and drew many of his inspirations.
This symposium offers a dialogue between natural sciences and humanities, art and science, science and philosophy. It will also be an opportunity, through various artistic performances, to reflect on the practice of interdisciplinarity. Open to all those interested in Francisco Varela's thought, it is about studying its strength and international influence by giving voice to loved ones, scientific collaborators and philosophers, as well as Buddhist "meditators". Finally, videos will be broadcast testifying to the life contexts in which his work has deployed and matured, according to his multiple interactions.
NB: Since this symposium was originally scheduled for 2021, you can access its 2021 presentation: click here.
Michel Bitbol, Amy Cohen-Varela, Natalie Depraz, Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau, Claire Petitmengin, Jean Petitot
Saturday, August 13
Presentation of the Center, the symposium and the participants, as well as the Foyer de création et d'échanges
Sunday, August 14
Amy COHEN-VARELA: Opening
A BROADER VISION OF SCIENCE
Jean-Pierre DUPUY: Francisco Varela, thinker of autonomy [videoconference]
Valérie BONNARDEL: Color, human experience and cyborgism
Around the movie Monte Grande: What Is Life? by Franz Reichle
Claudia VÁSQUEZ GÓMEZ: An artistic project in Monte Grande
Monday, August 15
MEDITATION IN ACTION AND NATURE OF THE MIND
The DALAI-LAMA: Testimony
Amy COHEN-VARELA: Mind and Life
Alan WALLACE: Toward a Renaissance in Contemplative Inquiry within the World's Religions [video]
ENACTION AND ART
Raphaële JEUNE: Varela on the adventure of art
Tuesday, August 16
FRANCISCO VARELA'S THOUGHT, A SOURCE OF EDUCATIONAL AND ECOLOGICAL INSPIRATIONS
Michèle DUZERT: Making Francisco Varela's breath dance: some situations experienced [videoconference]
Andreas WEBER: Skincentric Ecology
Round table, moderated by Ivan MAGRIN-CHAGNOLLEAU, with Carole HOFFMAN (The emergence, in the oscillation of the in-between), Xavier LAMBERT (Autopoiesis and generativité), Célio PAILLARD (The emergence between: accumulation as a creative strategy) and Nico DOCKX (Through Time and Day
Wednesday, August 17
A VELEAN SIGNATURE: ENACTION
Ivan MAGRIN-CHAGNOLLEAU: Approaching emergence, autopoiesis and enaction from a phenomenological point of view in artistic creation and pedagogy
Thursday, August 18
PHENOMENOLOGY AT ITS LIMITS
Natalie DEPRAZ: Cardiophenomenology. Or how to refine neurophenomenology?
Antoine LUTZ: Impact of awareness on perception and pain: neurophenomenological and computational exploration
Michel BITBOL: The dialectic of body and consciousness: a metaphysical translation of neurophenomenology [videoconference]
Presentation of the artistic works created during the symposium
Friday, August 19
Final round table and assessment
August 11th, 2022
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany
|Tergar Meditation Community|
"The Natural Qualities of the Mind" Panel Discussion with Mingyur Rinpoche, Dr. Antoine Lutz, and Dr. Marieke van Vugt, moderated by HolgerYeshe
May 28th - 29th,
|Upaya Institute and Zen Center, Nirakara, and L'Association pour le Développement de la Mindfulness||Varela International Symposium 2022: Laying Down a Path in Walking (Mind in Life) Interdependance and Encation||Online|
|Umbrella Films and Studio 23a||Online|
|Science & Wisdom LIVE||Science Day: "Appearance & Reality - Quantum Physics meets Buddhist Philosophy"||Online|
"The Natural Qualities
of the Mind"
A panel discussion with Mingyur Rinpoche, Dr. Antoine Lutz and Dr. Marieke van Vugt, moderated by HolgerYeshe
in partnership with the Tergar Meditation Communtity
In a panel discussion, Mingyur Rinpoche and scientists from Mind and Life Europe explore The Natural Qualities of Mind.
- Mingyur Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist meditation master
- Dr. Marieke van Vugt, Bernoulli Institute of Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence of the University of Groningen
- Dr. Antoine Lutz, French Medical Research Institute (INSERM) in the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (CNRL)
The panel discussion was moderated by HolgerYeshe.
Following the panel discussion we will show the film "Wandering... But not lost" in the presence of the filmmaker Paul MacGowan. (For in-person attendees only).
The film is a personal account of Mingyur Rinpoche's four and a half year retreat, interspersed with Rinpoche's own guidance on applying Buddhist wisdom to our daily modern lives, which will touch and inspire audiences everywhere. Info about the film HERE.
Date, Time, & Accessibilty
Date: Thursday, August 11th, 2022
Location: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany (for ticket holders)
- 18:00 - 20:00 Panel discussion The Natural Qualities of Mind (live-streamed on YouTube)
- 20:00 - 20:30 Break
- 20:30 - 22:00 Film screening "Wandering... But not lost" with director Paul MacGowan in attendance (no streaming for online attendees)
What are the natural qualities of mind? How can we study them from both the third- and first-person perspectives? What do the Eastern and Western traditions have in common (or not) when it comes to the cultivation of a healthy mind? How can these two traditions interface with each other in light of the most recent advances in the study of the human mind?
In this evening of dialogue, we’ll take a cross-sectional look at the natural qualities of the human mind, reaping insights from Western neuroscience and the age-old wisdom of Buddhist thought and practice. Mingyur Rinpoche, known throughout the world as a clear and charismatic Tibetan Buddhist teacher, has long been interested in Western science and psychology. In this unique encounter, he will co-investigate the natural qualities of mind with two prominent European scientists who specialize in the neuropsychology of meditation practice. Dr. Antoine Lutz, who was trained by Francisco Varela and worked extensively with Dr. Richard Davidson, has been a pioneer in Europe for his work on the neurophenomenology of mindfulness and compassion meditations. Dr. Marieke van Vugt will offer key insights from her own body of work on mind-wandering and the cognitive processes underpinning meditation and mindfulness.
This conversation will be an important step in extending the long tradition at Mind & Life Europe of exploring how to integrate the third-person perspective of Western science with the first-person perspective of serious contemplative practice. We hope you’ll join us for the exploration.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is one of the outstanding meditation teachers of our time. Born in Nepal in 1975, he became one of the youngest Tibetan meditation masters at the age of 17. His childhood encounter with the biologist and consciousness researcher Francisco Varela sparked his interest in brain research and neuroscience. He overcame his own severe anxiety disorder through meditation techniques. During neurological measurements of his brain activity at the Waisman Institute for Brain Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he achieved unprecedented values and was subsequently christened the "Happiest Man on Earth".
Dr. Marieke van Vugt is an assistant professor at the Bernoulli Institute of Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence of the University of Groningen (Netherlands). Her research aims to understand how, when, and why we mind-wander. She is also fascinated by how this mind-wandering process is adaptive--as in the case of creativity--and when it becomes maladaptive, as is the case for depressive rumination.
Dr. Antoine Lutz is a director of research at the French Medical Research Institute (INSERM) in the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (CNRL). Since 1998, he has studied meditation with various teachers including Mingyur Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Matthieu Ricard and Joseph Goldstein. He is also currently collaborating to a European research consortium investigating the impacts of meditation practices on ageing and well-being as measured by brain imaging, biomarkers of ageing, and psycho-affective and cognitive behavioural measures. He recently started a collaboration investigating the neurocomputational principles of meditation (ANR MindMadeClear, coordinated by Hugues Mounier, CNRS).
HolgerYeshe, born in Nuremberg, has been meditating for 20 years and has been a student of Mingyur Rinpoche since 2005. In 2010, he was ordained as a monk and has been intensively studying the Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy ever since. He is also interested in the social challenges of our time.
VARELA INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
in partnership with Upaya Institute and Zen Center
Over the past three decades, a transformative view of life, now known as “the enactive view,” has been developed and expanded by thinkers in philosophy and the sciences of mind; prominent among them was the late Chilean neuroscientist, philosopher, and Buddhist practitioner, Francisco Varela, for whom this symposium is named. The Varela International Symposium, 2022, with its extraordinary international faculty of scientists, philosophers, and contemplatives, explores the enactive view that living beings are fundamentally sense-making creatures that bring forth meaning in their interactions with their physical and social environments. As such, a subject enacts the world he or she is part of, including the physical environment, and this world reflects social, ethical and political values and structures. Recent contributions within the enactive framework by faculty in this year’s Varela Symposium have expanded how we understand social cognition, social interaction, and cultural institutions, including science, medicine, politics, and our relationship to the natural world. The 2022 Varela International Symposium will explore the potential outcomes and psychosocial impacts of shifting our extractive, reductionistic, mechanistic, predictive views to an enactive view that could be profoundly transformational at a personal as well as global level. Presentations and panel discussions will occur along with contemplative practice during this unique program which is organized and sponsored by Upaya Zen Center and Institute, Santa Fe, NM and Mind & Life Europe.
All recordings of the Varlea International Symposium are available to view on the MLE YouTube channel here.
Saturday, May 28th, 2022
Morning Session 1
|"Enaction and the Dialetics of Nature"||Ezequiel Di Paolo|
Saturday, May 28th, 2022
Morning Session 2
|"Enaction: An Engaging Epistemology"||Hanne De Jaegher|
Saturday, May 28th, 2022
Afternoon Session 1
|"The Enactive View: Looking Back, Looking Forward"||Evan Thompson|
Saturday, May 28th, 2022
Afternoon Session 2
|"Science, Practice, and Encaction: Reminiscences of Francisco and Reflections of Embodied Engagement"||Richard Davidson|
Sunday, May 29th, 2022
Morning Session 1
|"On Doing Physics and Being a Subject"||Adam Frank|
Sunday, May 29th, 2022
Morning Session 2
|"Complexity and Machine Learning"||Abeba Birhane|
Sunday, May 29th, 2022
Afternoon Session 1
|"The Enactive Perspective"||John Dunne|
Sunday, May 29th, 2022
Afternoon Session 2
|Participant Q&A Session||Faculty|
Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher, anthropologist and author. She is co-founder of the Mind & Life Institute, founded the Ojai Foundation, the Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, is Abbot and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, and co-founder of the Zen Peacemaker Order. She is a pioneer in the end-of-life care field, and is well known internationally for her work in engaged Buddhism. She was an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.
Al Kaszniak received his Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Illinois in 1976, and completed an internship in clinical neuropsychology at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. He is presently Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Faculty Advisory Board Member of the Center for Compassion Studies, and Pedagogy Fellow at the University of Arizona (UA). He formerly served as Director of the Neuropsychology, Emotion, and Meditation Laboratory, Faculty and Advisory Board member of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and a professor in the departments of Psychology, Neurology, and Psychiatry at The UA. He also formerly served as Head of the Psychology Department, as Director of the UA Center for Consciousness Studies, as Director of the Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium Education Core, and as Chair of the Steering Committees for the biennial International Symposium for Contemplative Studies (April, 2012, Denver, CO; October, 2014, Boston, MA). He has also served as Chief Academic Officer and interim CEO for the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to facilitating contemplative science and studies. He is the co-author or editor of seven books, including the three-volume Toward a Science of Consciousness (MIT Press), and Emotions, Qualia, and Consciousness (World Scientific). His research, published in over 165 journal articles and scholarly book chapters, has been supported by grants from the U.S. National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Science Foundation, as well as several private foundations and institutes. His work has focused on the neuropsychology of Alzheimer's disease and other age-related neurological disorders, cognition and emotion in healthy aging, consciousness, memory self-monitoring, emotion, the psychophysiology of long-term and short-term meditation, and contemplative pedagogy. He has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, has been an advisor to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs and other governmental agencies, and has served on the Boards of Directors of several voluntary health organizations, professional organizations, and institutes. He is a former President of the Section on Clinical Geropsychology, Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA), and was a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). In addition to his academic and research administrative roles, he received dharma transmission as a teacher (Sensei) of Zen Buddhism, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Upaya Zen Center and Institute, Santa Fe, NM.
William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Richard Davidson received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 390 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" published by Penguin in 2012. He is co-author with Daniel Goleman of "Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body", published by Penguin Books in 2017.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research including the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association - the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was the Founding Co-Editor of the new American Psychological Association journal EMOTION. In 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011-2019 and current member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Mental Health. In 2017 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices.
Amy Cohen Varela is Chairperson of the Mind & Life Europe Board and involved with Mind and Life since its inception. She is also a clinical psychologist specialized in psychodynamic therapy and philosophy. Amy studied comparative literature at Brown and Columbia Universities before moving to Paris in the early '80's, where she received her degree in clinical psychology at the University of Paris 3, with a specialty in psychodynamic theory and practice, and in parallel, completed psychoanalytic training.
Evan Thompson is a writer and professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He works on the nature of the mind, the self, and human experience. His work combines cognitive science, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Asian philosophical traditions. He is the author of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2015); Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2007); and Colour Vision: A Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception (Routledge Press, 1995). He is the co-author, with Francisco J. Varela and Eleanor Rosch, of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience(MIT Press, 1991, revised edition 2016). Evan is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Evan received his A.B. from Amherst College in 1983 in Asian Studies and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1990. He was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto from 2005 to 2013, and held a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Science and the Embodied Mind at York University from 2002 to 2005. In 2014, he was the Numata Invited Visiting Professor at the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has also held invited visiting appointments at the Faculty of Philosophy, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen, and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
In 2012 he co-directed, with Christian Coseru and Jay Garfield, the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Investigating Consciousness: Buddhist and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives, and he will again be co-director, with Coseru and Garfield, of the 2018 NEH Summer Institute on Self-Knowledge in Eastern and Western Philosophies.
Evan is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Steering Council of the Mind and Life Institute and is a member of the Dialogue and Education Working Circle of the Kalein Centre in Nelson, British Columbia.
John Dunne (PhD 1999, Harvard University) is the Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves as Core Faculty for the Center for Healthy Minds and as the chair of the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures. John Dunne's work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science and Psychology. His publications appear in venues ranging across both the Humanities and the Sciences, and they include works on Buddhist philosophy, contemplative practices and their empirical examination and interpretation within scientific contexts.
John Dunne speaks in both academic and public contexts, and he occasionally teaches for Buddhist communities. His broader engagements include being a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, where he was previously a member of the Board of Directors, and serving as an academic advisor to the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Professor Frank received his PhD in Physics (1992) from University of Washington. He held postdoctoral and visiting scientist positions at Leiden University and the University of Minnesota. In 1995, he was awarded a Hubble Fellowship. He joined the University as an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy in 1996. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000 and to Professor in 2004. He received a University Bridging Fellowship in 2005.
Astrophysicist Adam Frank is a leading expert on the final stages of evolution for stars like the sun, and his computational research group at the University of Rochester has developed advanced supercomputer tools for studying how stars form and how they die. A self-described “evangelist of science,” he is also committed to showing others the beauty and power of science, and exploring the proper context of science in culture.
His research is in the general area of Theoretical Astrophysics, and in particular the hydrodynamic and magneto-hydrodynamic evolution of matter ejected from stars. Current research topic include jets from Young Stellar Objects, bipolar outflows from evolved stars such as Planetary Nebulae and Massive stars. Investigations are carried out though the use of large scale numerical simulations. For more detail, see the Theoretical Astrophysics page. Professor Frank is also active member of the department's Plasma Physics program, which is part of the University's interdisciplinary program in High-Energy Density Plasmas. In collaboration with faculty at the University's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (an Inertial Confinement Fusion facility), he is conducting plasma astrophysical research on topics such as magnetic diffusion in interstellar clouds and the evolution of solar magnetic flux tubes. Professor Frank is also actively involved in science outreach as a popular science writer. He has contributed articles to Discover and Astronomy magazines. He received the science-writing prize from the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society in 1999.
Abeba Birhane is a PhD candidate in cognitive science at the Complex Software Lab in the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin, Ireland. Her interdisciplinary research examines the indeterminable and ambiguous nature of people (as complex adaptive systems) and the problems that arise with machine prediction of such systems.
Ezequiel Di Paolo is a full-time Research Professor working at Ikerbasque, the Basque Science Foundation, in San Sebastián, Spain. He received his MSc from the Instituto Balseiro in Argentina and his DPhil from the University of Sussex. He was Reader in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems at the University of Sussex where he has also been co-director of the Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems MSc programme. He remains a member of the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics (CCNR) and the Centre for Research in Cognitive Science at Sussex (COGS). His interdisciplinary work on the enactive approach to life, mind and society integrates insights from cognitive science, phenomenology, philosophy of mind and computational modelling. His recent research focus is on embodied intersubjectivity and participatory sense-making. His other research interests include embodied cognition, dynamical systems, adaptive behaviour in natural and artificial systems, biological modelling, complex systems, evolutionary robotics,
Hanne De Jaegher (DPhil, 2007, University of Sussex) is a philosopher of cognitive science, working to better understand how we think, work, play-basically, live and love-together. She has been developing the theory of intersubjectivity called participatory sense-making. Grounded in enactive cognitive science, dynamical systems theory, and phenomenology, this theory is being applied across academic and practical disciplines, such as neuroscience, psychiatry, architecture, psychology, the social sciences, music, education, various forms of therapy, the arts, and understanding autism. Hanne's interest is not only in scientifically understanding how we participate in social interactions and how this changes us, but also in helping us become better at understanding each other, especially across differences. Her latest project brings this together in the idea of an engaged-even engaging-epistemology, which understands knowing as based in the ongoing existential tensions of loving. In 2018, Linguistic Bodies: The Continuity Between Life and Language came out, co-authored with Ezequiel Di Paolo and Elena Cuffari (MIT Press). De Jaegher is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, IAS-Research Centre for Life, Mind and Society, and 2021-22 Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia.
in partnership with Umbrella Films and Studio 23a
In partnership with Umbrella Films and Area 23a, MLE invited our community to the European Live-Stream of “AWARE” on Thursday, March 3rd at 7:00 PM CET (6 PM London Time, 1 PM NYC)
What is consciousness? Is it in all living beings? Why are we predisposed for mystical experience? And what happens when we die? With haunting cinematography, AWARE follows six of the world’s most brilliant researchers approaching the most mysterious of enigmas, consciousness, from radically different perspectives, from within and without: through high-tech brain research and Eastern meditation, by scientifically exploring inner space through psychedelic substances and delving deep into the consciousness of plants. Scientists are arriving at new insights – some which have been integral to Indigenous knowledge for millenia.
Following the film screening there will be a live discussion with Directors Frauke Sandig & Eric Black; Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., Director, Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research; Monica Gagliano, Professor of Plant Behavior & Cognition, University of Sydney; and Dr. med. Andrea Jungaberle Medical Director OVID Clinics I Co-founder of MIND Foundation.
“The most moving and beautiful depiction of deep understanding of consciousness and of who we are that I have seen depicted through film.”
-Jack Kornfield, author, and Buddhist teacher
“Consciousness-elevating food for thought.”
– Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times
"Stunningly Deep, Wise and Visually Arresting, the most Mind-Blowing Film the Maui Film Festival has presented in Twenty Years!"
-Barry Rivers Maui Film Festival Founder/Director
Science and Wisdom LIVE
14:00 - 22:00 CEST
A dialogue with Prof. John Dunne, Dr. Michel Bitbol, Dr. Carlo Rovelli, Geshe Tenzin Namdak, and Scott Snibbe.
This event was open to the public.
About Science and Wisdom LIVE
Science & Wisdom LIVE brings meditation practitioners in conversation with scientists to address the problems of contemporary society and come to new possible solutions.
The dialogue between science and contemplative traditions can inspire positive action and inform an ethical response to the challenges of our times, grounded in the human values of cooperation, compassion and equality.