MLE is a home for unconventional interdisciplinary encounters, where researchers and practitioners enrich one another in their understanding of mind and life, through the rigor of scientific inquiry, the openness of philosophical investigation, the edginess of artistic exploration, and the depth of contemplative wisdom traditions. We believe that holding an open-hearted and interdisciplinary space of dialogue is in itself a radical, ethical mode of being-in-the-world, which generates new pathways of research and collective sense-making with transformative potential.
MLE is a multidisciplinary laboratory for investigating the nature of experience — personal and collective, “first-person” and “third-person,” intersubjective and intrasubjective. We are inspired by cutting-edge theoretical frameworks and methodologies that have grown out of the enactive approach, which takes seriously the continuity between life and mind, body and cognition, theory and practice, and epistemology and ethics. Our aim is to develop practices that surpass the limits of orthodox mind science and advance more nuanced and comprehensive understandings of our minds, the world, and human interactions.
MLE provides a meeting ground for contemplative scientists who undertake the scientific study of contemplative practices, and/or approach scientific disciplines through a contemplative lens, with the intention of facilitating positive transformation in academia and the wider world. The field as a whole is indebted to the paradigm of neurophenomenology, first laid out by our founder Francisco Varela, which seeks to put back into conversation (circulation) third-person observations, first-person experience, second-person perspectives, and the space of intersubjectivity. This presupposes a non-dualist stance towards understanding the workings of the mind in relation to classical science, to what we call the “world,” and to social interactions of all kinds.
To find out how we try to achieve this, please visit the ‘What We Do’ page.