Wendy Hasenkamp: "The Science of Meditation: Overview of Contemplative Science"

Thursday October 15th 2020, 7:00 - 8:30PM
Event Sponsor
The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford
Wendy Hasenkamp: "The Science of Meditation: Overview of Contemplative Science"

In this talk, Dr. Hasenkamp will describe the origins of the field of contemplative science, the disciplines involved, goals, and approaches used. She will also discuss how the mindfulness movement has unfolded, then explore the critiques and debates within the field, in addition to speaking on the media hype around mindfulness and meditation. From a research perspective, she will provide an example of blending first- and third-person methodologies to reveal fluctuating brain states during attention and mind wandering. Finally, Dr. Hasenkamp will conclude with a brief tour of current findings—what we know and don't know about meditation—and reflect on relevant applications of contemplative science in today's society.


WENDY HASENKAMP, PhD, serves as science director at the Mind & Life Institute. As a neuroscientist and a contemplative practitioner, she is interested in understanding how subjective experience is represented in the brain, and how the mind and brain can be transformed through experience and practice to enhance flourishing. Her research examines the neural correlates of meditation, with a focus on the shifts between mind wandering and attention. Wendy is the editor of The Monastery and the Microscope: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mind, Mindfulness, and the Nature of Reality (Yale University Press, 2017). She has also contributed to neuroscience curriculum development, teaching, and textbook creation for the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, which aims to integrate science into the Tibetan monastic education system in India. Her latest project is the Mind & Life podcast, where Wendy interviews leading experts in contemplative science to share different perspectives on how we investigate the mind, and how we might integrate contemplative wisdom to improve our lives and create a more connected society.

This talk is part of the Buddhism and Science Lectures

This series explores the many facets of the encounter between Buddhism and science through discussion and debate of relevant scientific papers, traditional Buddhist literature, science and technology studies (STS), and anthropological literature.

Link for the Lecture

Streaming of the of the lecture will be available at 7 p.m. PST the day of the talk. Please check our website for the link at that time.