A track is a series of 4 short skill-building sessions held every day with the same sub-group of 10-20 to allow for a deeper exploration of a specific topic over the week.

The following tracks will take place:

'Thinking at the Edge' - Donata Schoeller
(from Prof. Eugene Gendlin, University of Chicago)

What we know, feel and think often contains more than we can put into words easily. When we try to capture this, we tend to fail. What we say will not measure up to the meaning we sense. To be able to account for the experienced meaning of ideas, feelings, thoughts etc. one needs to learn something one does not learn in schools: how to engage a felt and embodied dimension of meaning. This entails becoming aware of the fuzzy felt edges of what we say, know and feel clearly.

Gendlin’s steps of TAE allow us to play with words in order to realize an unfolding interaction of symbolic and felt meaning. We will work with the specificity and intricacy of experienced events to gain non-reductive patterns that elaborate the universality of lived experience. We will engage logic that functions in felt meaning in order to sharpen our differentiations in experiencable ways.

Articulating on the edge can thus be very enriching as well as surprising. It may lead to new paths of thinking.


'Step into exploring interactive experience' - Hanne De Jaegher & Barbara Pieper

Understanding each other is an embodied and interactive process. It would be impossible without limbs, hearts, eyes, ears, stomach. Nor would it be possible without connecting with each other in some way. We continually participate in each other’s sense-making­—exciting, familiar, messy or perfectly ordinary as this may be at any time.

We will take you on a journey into intersubjective experience, inviting you to engage in small, familiar interactive activities which, using our prismatic method, we will refract into their different experiential aspects. The exploration is about gaining awareness and insight into what it is like to interact.

A systematic co-investigation like this requires an attitude of trusting oneself and others as both, and at the same time, subject and object of research. To ground and support this trust, we begin each session with some easy body calibration exercises inspired by the Feldenkrais method.


'Accessing experience through micro-phenomenology' - Claire Petitmengin

The workshop is aimed at giving participants a concrete idea of the micro-phenomenological interview, an interview technique that is used in various (clinical, educational, artistic and contemplative) contexts in order to help people become aware of specific moments of lived experience and describe them with an unusual level of detail. Through examples and exercises, we will focus on the difficulties of coming into contact with one’s lived experience and describing it, and on the devices used by this method to overcome them. We will also discuss the issue “What is experience?” in the light of concrete descriptions of chosen moments of the participants’ experience.


'Mindful/Contemplative Collaboration' - Nathalie Legros & Sander Tideman

Collaboration among different disciplines and diverse groups of people is challenging. It requires skilful action, especially in a context of competition. In this track the participants will explore concepts and practices aimed at developing effective and meaningful collaboration, based on their own experience. This includes the abilities of mindful listening, suspending judgements, opening the heart, engaging the whole being, sensing the field, pre-sensing emerging futures and transforming tensions. In the track we will “play” with these practices to digest and deepen the insights gained at ESRI and transform them into collaborative action with fellow participants.


'Transdisciplinary Contemplative Research' - Andreas Roepstorff & John Dunne

Research conducted on contemplative practices and contemplation-based interventions presents unique challenges because it requires expertise in multiple and disparate domains. In a series of dialogs and brainstorming sessions, this workshop will explore the best practices for research in a field that some call “Contemplative Science.” Topics include the composition of a research team, the collaborative processes for developing a research agenda, and questions concerning hypothesis generation and experimental design. Methodological issues—including especially the problem of working across disciplines—will form part of our discussion, but the emphasis will be on the pragmatic and practical aspects of successful research in this area.


'Relationship between patient and doctor and help of meditation' - Fabienne Picard, Barry Kerzin & Jerome Engel Jr.

In this workshop, we will share our experience with relationships between doctors and patients, and explore how the practice of meditation, mindfulness and compassion can help bring about a more beneficial doctor-patient interaction. We will emphasize the importance of the first meeting, and aim to help participants acquire new skills to optimize their clinical work. Meditation and mindfulness tools for the patient and for the healthcare provider will be used to improve the quality of the description of symptoms by the patient, the quality of non-judgemental listening by the doctor, the identification of the correct diagnosis, and better communication of relevant information for effective management of the patient's complaint. Furthermore, these interventions are meant to help prevent healthcare professional burnout. So these introspective tools will foster happier less depressed healthcare professional. This indirectly improves the doctor-patient relationship. So lots of symbiosis resulting from more clarity in understanding one's own experience will lead to increasing happiness.


'Exploring Contemplation' - the ESRI Contemplative Faculty

Led by the ESRI contemplative faculty, these sessions are for participants who wish to deepen their exploration of the contemplative practices taught by the ESRI Contemplative Faculty. Sessions will focus not only on the main practices during the week; they will also introduce some new practices from the lineages of our faculty. The background for each practice will be explained, as well as the relevance of each practice to our week’s theme. But the emphasis will be on contemplative exploration and discussion of issues that emerge from our practice together.


'Harmonic Presence: music of the spheres of being' - David Hykes

Contemplative mentor and composer-singer David Hykes will share principles and practices of the Harmonic Presence work, including contemplative chant based on the universality of sound's harmonic nature, and related practices of deep listening, breath, sensation​,​ harmoniz​ation​, and meditative awareness work-- all in service to the theme of enlightened accompaniment in all spheres of life.​