Mind & Life Institute

The Mind & Life Institute was co-founded in 1987 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, neuroscientist Francisco Varela and entrepreneur Adam Engle, with a view to creating open dialogue and research collaboration between modern sciences, the world’s living contemplative traditions, philosophy, the humanities and social sciences. It is our belief that in order to investigate and know the human mind, an integrated, multi-disciplinary research collaboration is the most effective approach. Through such an interdisciplinary partnership, a more complete understanding of the nature of reality can be developed; it will alleviate suffering and promote well-being on the planet.

Over the past 25 years, the Mind & Life Institute has become a world leader in cultivating this integrated investigation and has developed research fields that explore the effects of contemplative-based practices on the brain and human biology and behavior.

One of the major successes of Mind & Life has been to create the field of contemplative science by involving high-level senior scientists with some of the best young scientists to seed the field. Some of the human qualities of interest to Mind & Life, such as human flourishing, wellbeing, kindness and compassion, were not previously on the scientific map. Mind & Life has justifiably been credited with having successfully brought these topics into the focus of scientific research and dialogue.

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