The Mind and Life Summer Research Institute


Date and Time:

Sunday, June 6, 2021, 10:00am to Friday, June 11, 2021, 5:00pm

Registration Deadline:

Thursday, April 1, 2021, 12:00pm


The Summer Research Institute is an application-based program. Applications are open until Thursday, April 1. Upon notification of your accepted application, you will be contacted directly with more information concerning the program schedule and how to register for the event.

What to Expect

  • Live plenary lectures and Q&As with leading scholars, activists, and contemplativesin the climate sector.
  • Curated small group breakout sessions for storytelling, reflection, and action
  • Daily contemplative meditation and movement practices to cultivate awareness and embodiment
  • Live intergenerational, interdisciplinary panel discussions for fostering inquiry and dialogue
  • Social forums to network with participants and faculty, share new ideas, discuss topics of interest, and find new collaborators
  • Poster presentations with interactive discussion boards
  • Contemplative arts offerings to experience the prosociality of music and art

Program Overview

Climate change and its consequences—from deadly forest fires to species loss to sea level rise—are reminders of the urgent need to repair the human-earth-ecosystem through holistic, ethically-responsible action. The SRI 2021 will explore how the union of contemplative wisdom and science can lead to greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, and the relationship between earth care and human health and cooperation.

The six-day program will begin with a focus on the historic and cultural roots of our current context. We will look at indigenous communities’ earth-care histories and contemporary courage. How have we lost the earth-honoring practices embedded in art, ritual, and storytelling, along with the power and wisdom of ancestor-insights? How can they still help us? We will examine histories of exploration, exploitation, and colonization and their contribution to today’s extinction crisis.  

We will then look at the individual and structural influences in modern society that disconnect us from each other and the earth. Scientific insights will be shared on the mind, brain, behavior change, and social change, along with successful models that can inform our own goals and work. We will draw from contemplative wisdom and the deep knowledge of change leaders. We will explore models of radical inclusive interrelatedness, interweaving both creativity and new scientific insights. 

With a firm grounding in contemplative and indigenous wisdom, SRI 2021 will look at the changes needed to nurture devotion to earth-care practices that minimize human impact, restore the natural environment, and nourish the human capacity for cooperative kindness, humility, and positive change. Our driving question will be how to re-awaken our relationship with the earth and all its inhabitants, while re-igniting our collective responsibility as stewards of our planetary future. 

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