My wife and I were fortunate to conduct recently a mind training experiment, in the form of a breathing & meditation retreat, with some neuroscientists and Adam Engle, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Mind & Life Institute (nice name, isn’t it?)
The Mind and Life Dialogues “started in 1987 as an experiment to determine whether a scientific exchange could occur between modern science and Buddhism. MLI has now sponsored 14 dialogues (between the Dalai Lama and neuroscientists) over the last 20 years. In that time MLI has become a recognized world leader in the emerging scientific investigation of the effects of contemplative practices on the brain, behavior, and the translation of this data into effective tools to benefit all people everywhere.”
A few notes from our conversation with Adam
- - He helped launch the Mind & Life Institute to build a science-based field of interdisciplinary study to investigate the applications of the “database of practices” that Buddhism and some Christian traditions have accumulated over milennia
- - From early on it became clear that they needed to engage Western neuroscientists in order to be credible and become a real East-West bridge with potential to reach mainstream society. You can see below a partial list of participants in their most recent meeting, 2 weeks ago
- - They are very happy that Sharon Begley’s book Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain has become a non-fiction Bestseller, since it is based on one of the Mind & Life Dialogues (more on Books on neuroplasticity)
- - He is glad to see the inroads that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is making in the medical world thanks to solid research. He believes the Corporate Training and Leadership market is also going to become very interested in this technique for stress management. The main bottleneck for growth? the existing number of qualified instructors does not meet the increasing demand.