MLE Friends is a community for people who seek to foster human flourishing in connection with science and wisdom traditions.
Mentoring is an essential component of fostering the next generation of contemplative scientists. It is an opportunity to share ‘pearls of wisdom’ with those who are only starting on this journey, supporting the contemplative community of scientists to grow, expand, and strengthen. Who is better to do it than our EVA success stories? Apart from sharing their work via our EVA Alumni Series, these EVA alumni members also offer prospective EVA applicants mentoring advice: for example, how best to present your EVA application or guidance on securing further funding and a research post to ensure career progression.
The Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) was initiated by Mind & Life Europe in 2018 with the goal of creating a sustainable and vibrant community of leading pioneers and experts to enhance collective learning and implementation around contemplative education in Europe to cultivate human flourishing through education.
European Neurophenomenology, Contemplative and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON)
Mind & Life Europe supports European scientists engaged in empirical and theoretical research on embodied cognition, contemplative neuroscience, and neurophenomenology. Through the European Neurophenomenology, Contemplative and Embodied Cognition Network (ENCECON) we address concrete theoretical and methodological challenges currently hampering the empirical investigation of experience, its relationship to the brain and body, and its potential for well-being. The ENCECON network consists of researchers interested in both the empirical investigation of the mind, brain, and body and the integration of direct experiential inquiry and rigorous first-person methodology with these third-person approaches.
In 2019, we held a program entitled “States of Consciousness: Comparing Hypnosis, Trance, and Psychedelics from a First and Third-person Perspective.”
ENCECON 2019 brochure
Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP)
Through the Initiative for Contemplative Phenomenology (ICP) community Mind & Life Europe demonstrates that Contemplative Phenomenology is a field of inquiry in its own right. One that can be learned and applied, with its specific problematics and orientations, without being exclusively conditional upon the needs of cognitive neuroscience. Investigating the contemplative experience, as it is lived and potentially reported by practitioners, is a project that is valuable from an epistemological, practical, and ethical standpoint, even before one uses it to disambiguate neurobiological features of the contemplative brain. Through a strong team of the best specialists in Europe and beyond, we teach each of the various aspects of first-person inquiry, especially those that are relevant to contemplative disciplines.
A joint ENCECON-ICP workshop
In 2022, we held a joint ENCECON-ICP workshop entitled: “Embodied Experience of Intersubjectivity: Exploring the Boundaries Between ‘Self’ and ‘Other'”. The goal of this workshop was to explore how phenomenology and microphenomenology may be deployed to inform and benefit neuroscientific research. We did so by engaging in a co-emergent, collaborative effort to reach greater clarity about the affordances and obstacles to the realisation of a contemplative science of mind and life.
ENCECON-ICP 2022 brochure
Shortly prior to the ENCECON-ICP 2022 workshop, Dr Natalie Depraz offered a pre-recorded talk for the participants entitled: “Concepts of Intersubjectivity in the History of Phenomenology”, which you can now watch here:
Mind Your Food
“Mind your Food” has been initiated by Mind & Life Europe with the purpose to better understand the role of the mind and consciousness in nutrition and the relations between mind function and food, our well-being and sustainable food systems.
Food and nutrition play an increasingly important role in ensuring peaceful, secure, and healthy societies for our sustainable future. They represent broad, inclusive, and interconnected areas embracing everything from the ritualistic, ceremonial aspects of food, the social dimension of “breaking bread together”, farm to table, slow food, nutritional elements of food, consumer behaviors, local and global economies, and so on, to systemic changes in agricultural practices, from conventional to organic or bio-dynamic methods and variety of research-based policies and regulations.