Mind and Life XIII: Investigating the Mind 2005
The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation
DAR Constitution Hall, Washington DC
November 8 - 10, 2005

Speakers and Panelists at "Investigating the Mind 2005" in Washington, DC.

This latest Mind and Life public meeting "Investigating the Mind 2005: The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation" built on the growing interest in meditation within modern medicine and biomedical science that has arisen over the past thirty years and further explores the emerging clinical opportunities.

Meditation is becoming Mainstream in Western Medicine and Society
Applications of meditation are now common in the treatment of stress, pain, and a range of chronic diseases in both medicine and psychiatry, and some approaches are currently the subject of NIH-supported clinical trials and research studies. At the same time, the power of our non-invasive technologies have made it possible to investigate the nature of cognition and emotion in the brain as never before, and to begin to explore the interfaces between mind, brain, and body, and the implications of particular forms of meditative practices for modulating and regulating biological pathways to restore or enhance homeostatic processes and perhaps extend the reach of both mind and body in ways that might potentially promote rehabilitation and healing as well as greater overall health and well-being.
Recent studies are showing that meditation can result in stable brain patterns and changes over both short and long-term intervals that have not been seen before in human beings and that suggest the potential for the systematic driving of positive neuroplastic changes via such intentional practices cultivated over time. These investigations may offer opportunities for understanding the basic unifying mechanisms of the brain, mind and body that underlie awareness and our capacity for effective adaptation to stressful and uncertain conditions.

Mind and Life Dialogues
Mind and Life Institute XIII is the latest in a series of dialogues between scientists, the Dalai Lama, and other Buddhist contemplatives on areas of mutual interest at the intersection of western empirical science and the contemplative traditions and their associated methodologies, psychologies, and philosophies. Prior to 2003, all of these meetings have been held in private; however books describing them have been published and are widely available.
Investigating the Mind 2005: The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation is the second Mind and Life Dialogue that was open to a large audience, consisting primarily of people working in the fields of medicine, clinical psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, as well as students in these fields.
The first public dialogue of this kind was held at MIT in September of 2003 on the interface between Buddhism and neuroscience. As a result of that meeting, further studies of various interfaces between neuroscience and the meditative disciplines are currently underway in the laboratories of some of the presenters and participants at that gathering.
In addition, an annual, week-long Mind and Life Summer Research Institute was started to advance the field of the scientific study of meditation, and a number of studies have also been initiated by participants in that program.