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Abstract

Mindfulness is a natural, trainable human capacity to intentionally bring attention and awareness to all our experience, with attitudes of curiosity, friendliness and compassion. Mindfulness trainings have started to play a role in the contemporary world in recent years through a confluence of ancient contemplative traditions with modern science. This confluence offers insights into how the mind creates distress and suffering, but also how it can create joy. It includes tools to train - and retrain - the mind so we can live with greater ease and effectiveness.

This talk will address questions such as “How have mindfulness and mindfulness practice developed into the various contemporary mainstream forms? How effectively can these methods of transformation be applied to different conditions (e.g., chronic pain, recurrent depression)? What does psychological science have to say about the meditating and mind-wandering brain? Who are the people that practice mindfulness - from politicians to prisoners - and why? Could it be a way of “finding peace in a frantic world?” Or should be mindful skeptics?

The session will include some brief mindfulness practices.

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