The Francisco J. Varela award program initiated by the Mind and Life Institute has been the primary catalyst for seeding the field with young scientists investigating contemplative practice. This meeting in 2012 with HHDL is intended to showcase 6 young scientists (Varela awardees) that best represent the grant award program to dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Each of the 6 young scientists brought something unique to the table from all across the globe. The meeting had been named, Mind and Life XXIV: Latest Findings in Contemplative Science. It is significant for the reason that it is the first time that junior level investigators are given the opportunity to present research findings to His Holiness. This is sooooo cool, b/c it is the young investigators that are now immersed in this paradigm shift for science. All aspects of basic and clinical science, and society are being infused with mindfulness. Mindfulness represents more than how it is defined. It represents the paradigm shift towards re-investigating the mind from the 1st person perspective. It is the new introspection. It is the key to the door of consciousness for all scientists to explore and the public to embrace for mental health.
These 6 presenters represent how the younger generation of scientists are willing to examine some of the more difficult and even taboo aspects of deep contemplative transformation – topics the first generation of more cautious researchers were never explicit about. Friend and journalist, Jeff Warren refers to us as “The Pragmatic Dharma wing of neuroscience”. He further explains, “They are actively researching, among other things, the neural correlates of noself / Enlightenment, the Progress of Insight, the often very difficult Dark Night dissolution process some meditators go through, and much more besides. They have ambition and they plan to ask the Dalai Lama tough questions.”
To view the brochure see: contemplativemind.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/ml24_brochure.pdf
Jeff comments further: “This is not another meditation and the brain story – it’s about the new age of contemplative transparency that may finally be upon us, and the radical prospect of science taking enlightenment – that multifaceted jewel – seriously.