The Conference aim at a contribution to an authentic and harmonious integration of mindfulness in these sciences fields: health and care, education, management, living together harmoniously.
As there is a large consensus regarding the need for dialogue, collaboration and creative networking, this initiative seek to contribute to the cooperation between researchers, teachers, practitioners and any person taking an interest in the fields of education and contemplative sciences.
Mindfulness and its applications
Today, extensive scientific researches on Mindfulness and its numerous applications stand at the heart of new perspectives in the fields of scientific and social challenges of our time. In the fields of healthcare, education, management as well as in the broader and crucial issue of living together harmoniously here and now, the social integration of Mindfulness based training could be of a tremendous help to our world.
The Conference follows the thread of “humanism and mindfulness encounter” going through four main issues:
Humanism & Mindfulness
The roots of Humanistic heritage as well as the experience of Mindfulness are universal. How can both be integrated in an education including the global dimension of human experience – body, speech and mind – and its natural environment?
The authentic mindfulness experience is part of an education to life, an education to the knowledge of oneself, to the understanding of others and to the development of compassion and empathy. How Mindfulness could be a source of regeneration of education, for an active and transformative education at all age of life?
From ancestral contemplative sciences and modern cognitive sciences emerge “contemplative neurosciences”. It is a new field of researches bringing scientific evaluation of mindfulness experience on brain functionalities and on human cognitive, emotional and relational experience. What are the perspectives emerging from this researches today ?
At school and at work
Mindfulness training is practiced at school and at work. Those concrete experiences reveal various innovative know how profitable to each others. What are the obstacles and the resources to promote this initial and creative dynamic?
Mindfulness contribution to global crisis
Mindfulness insight may open new vision on our human experience, new perception of interdependence and its ethical implications. What could be its effect on human awareness facing the social, ecological and economic challenges of our time?
Preserving an authentic transmission
Mindfulness being more and more integrated in various professional fields, is there traditional and/or scientific guide lines to preserve the authenticity of its transmission?
The mindful revolution
Mindfulness has been practiced in the East for more than two thousand years and is now spreading to the West. The cover of Times magazine recently read “The Mindful Revolution”.
The image of Mindfulness is changing as its positive efficiency has been recognized by modern science and its practice is now socially accepted.
In the West, a taste of mindfulness experience – which is universal – appears sporadically in mystical and philosophical works, as well as in arts and literature. But today as global social, economic and ecological crisis are challenging the human mind, people have come to realize that mindfulness can play an important role in modern everyday life. Education is the key for that radical metamorphose and renewal of human relation to life that is needed today.
Towards an integral humanism
The implications of mindfulness on the human experience open fields of knowledge and transformation that are convergent and complementary with the ideals of the western humanist tradition. Brought together, humanism and Mindfulness could bring the vision of an integral humanism based on secular ethic and addressing the person as a whole: body, speech, and mind. This conference wishes to shine the light on a universal and pragmatic humanism that integrates mankind within the natural world. This vision is notably supported by the renowned French philosopher, WWII resistant and visionnaire Edgar Morin, among others. His works on education promoted by UNESCO and summarized in Les sept savoirs nécessaires à l’éducation du futur, could be a very useful reference to inspire our research and discussions. We could envision how to integrate Mindfulness in this vision. > Watch the video.
New fields of research
Today, the emergence of contemplative neurosciences, social psychology, fundamental anthropology – if associated to the practice of Mindfulness, could bring a significant contribution to the renewal of education. Fundamental and clinical neuroscience research done in the USA and Europe, have shown that training in Mindfulness and training to develop one’s compassion give efficient and positive results in modifying brain functions linked to attention, emotions, interpersonal relations, and health in general.
The Mind and Life Institute coming from the meeting of the Dalai Lama, the neuroscientist Francisco Varela and lawyer manager Adam Engle, is the main leading initiative in this quest.
Contemplative and transformative education
As it is presented in the opening keynote of the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, organized by the Mind and Life Institute:
“Both the contemplative and transformative fields of education are concerned with systemic positive change in education. Contemplative education integrates practices that promote self-reflection, compassion, and an ability to become more aware of once perceptions and actions. The contemplative focuses on the “inner” dimension of being and strives for an integration of the inner and the outer. The transformative education field seeks to develop the social skills and ethical dispositions necessary to support effective participation in a democracy that is just and fair to all citizens. Both approaches have much to teach and learn from each others”.
 Conference by John a. Powell: A tale of two mouvements : what transformative and contemplative educationcanlearnfromeachother. – October 30th – November 2nd 2014, Boston, Massachusetts.
A natural education of consciousness
The practice of Mindfulness takes its source in time-old contemplative sciences and offers a deep understanding of the human experience. Non-dogmatic, non-religious, and natural (therefore universal), Mindfulness training is an education of the mind for the development of awareness and non-violence and to understanding what we are and what we are going through. Practicing Mindfulness develops openness, lucidity, and sensitivity, all of which are inherent qualities to the human mind. Rooted in our body, our breathing and our mind, the practice of Mindfulness redefines and harmonizes our relation to ourselves, to others and to our environment. This is why it could be the key for a regeneration of education – an active type of education for all people at all stages of life.