What we do

We strive to bridge and integrate contemplative wisdom and practices with modern research capabilities to bring a new wave of initiatives into the European community.

Use the resulting knowledge to initiate and catalyze programs to alleviate suffering and support human flourishing around the world.

The Mind and Life’s Vision and Mission unfolds through the strength of best practice initiatives that have been in place over many years, and new initiatives that serve as catalysts to complement existing programs like:

Mind and Life Dialogues

Over the years, Mind and Life organized 26 private and public events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India, the USA, and in Europe with scientists, scholars, academics, contemplatives, students, supporters and friends. These efforts have resulted in a global community dedicated to rigorous exploration of the mind.

Mind and Life Publications

So far, 11 proceedings of meetings with the Dalai Lama have been published as books. These include: “Destructive Emotions”, by Daniel Goleman, “Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain”, by Sharon Begley, “The Mind’s Own Physician”, co-authored by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson, to name a few. For a complete list, please view the Mind and Life Website (www.mindandlife.org/books).

Mind and Life European Summer Research Institute

From 2014 on, a yearly ML European Summer Research Institute serves the increased interest of young scientists to work in this area within the European context. Through plenary talks, breakout groups, poster sessions, active meditation practice, the predominantly young participants are invited to explore the scientific progress made to date as well as the challenges in the developing fields of contemplative neuroscience, contemplative clinical science, and contemplative studies.

Mind and Life Research Grant Programs

In honor of the late neuroscientist and philosopher Francisco Varela, and with the generous help of donors, Mind & Life Institute created the Francisco J. Varela Research Awards. The awards have facilitated over 83 pilot and novel research initiatives that would otherwise not have been possible. They have proven to be catalytic to substantial follow-up grants by traditional funding agencies.

Hubs & Communities of Practice

Mind and Life Europe's future work is based on “Hubs” that connect scientists, scholars and professionals in the development of contemplative science. These hubs 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. The hubs are characterized by transdisciplinarity of scientific approaches, with regional and national diversity representing all of Europe, and contemplatives representing multiple wisdom traditions. The hub translates the outcomes into regionally and nationally relevant frameworks that professionals and policymakers can put into action.

Currently MLE has two hubs: the Europe Neurophenomenology, Contemplative, and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON) and the Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP).

MLE is making plans to establish more hubs in applied research fields, in the domain of contemplative education, and - building upon the success of the recent Power & Care Conference in Brussels - on leadership for societal change.

Mind & Life Institute Collaborator Initiative

No such platform exists in Europe. Therefore, Mind and Life Europe organized a European Symposium on Contemplative Studies in Berlin in October 2013. Experts in neuroscience, clinical science, education, contemplative studies, practitioners and economists discussed the topic of “Personal and Societal Change from the Contemplative Perspective”.