Partnership Events

Upcoming Events

 

VARELA INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM

in partnership with Upaya Institute and Zen Center

 
Laying Down a Path in Walking (Mind in Life) – Interdependence and Enaction (Online 2022)

 

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.

REGISTER NOW!

Varela International Symposium 2022 | Schedule

 

Date & Time:  Saturday May 28 at 10am U.S. Mountain Daylight Time(MDT) (6pm CEST) - Sunday, May 29 at 4pm MDT (0:00 CEST)

Access: Online  

We are so grateful that the faculty was enthusiastic to do this program online. At Mind & Life Europe and Upaya, we are deeply committed to serving you responsibly and with great care.

Varela International Symposium 2022 | Language & Technical Details

 

Spanish Translation by Nirakara: Nirakara colabora con Upaya Zen Center para ofrecer traducción en español y soporte técnico al Varela International Symposium. Haz click aqui para la traducción en español. (Nirakara collaborates with Upaya Zen Center to offer Spanish translation and technical support for Varela International Symposium. Inscríbase gratis.

French Translation by Association pour le Développement de la Mindfulness: L’ADM (Association pour le Développement de la Mindfulness) est partenaire de Upaya Zen Center dans le cadre du VARELA INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM pour y apporter son soutien technique et offrir une traduction simultanée en Français. Merci de cliquer ici pour la traduction en Français et un lien vous sera communiqué ultérieurement.(The ADM (Association for the Development of Mindfulness) is partnering with Upaya Zen Center, Mind & Life Europe and Nirakara within the framework of the international meeting of the “Varela symposium” to provide technical support and offer simultaneous translation in French. Pour vous inscrire, merci de remplir le formulaire en ligne.

  • The Symposium will be hosted via Zoom
  • Access links will be sent to you by email. If it is on the same-day, it may take a few minutes to reach you.
  • You will receive the Zoom link about a day before as well as one hour before the start of the program.
  • Please review the Online Program FAQ.
  • All talks will be recorded and made available to participants afterwards.
  • If you enroll after the program starts you will have access to the recordings.
  • For more information or help with technical questions, please email onlineprograms(at)upaya.org

Please share this registration link with any friends or family you know that may be interested.

If you have already registered for the event, access the resource page here.

Varela International Symposium 2022 | Faculty

Abbot Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

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.

Richard Davidson

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

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, PhD

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

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.

Sensei Al Kaszniak, PhD

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.

Adam Frank, PhD

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

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, PhD

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, PhD

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.

Previous Events

'AWARE' EUROPEAN

LIVE-STREAM

PREMIER

in partnership with Umbrella Films and Studio 23a

'AWARE: Glimpses of Consciousness'

 

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.

'AWARE' reviews 

“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 

October 23 

14:00 - 22:00 CEST 

 

'Science Day' online public event: "Appearance & Reality - Quantum Physics meets Buddhist Philosophy"

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.

online 

 

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.

Websitehttps://www.sciwizlive.com/