PHUKET, THAILAND– Thanyapura Mind Centre is hosting the “Future of Education Conference: Contributions of Contemplative Practices and Perspectives” in co-operation with Thailand’s Mahidol University and the global Mind & Life Institute on Sunday, 3 November, 2013 which will focus on the hot topic of mindfulness in education.
The programme will consist of keynote addresses and interactive activities based on cutting edge research centred on a holistic approach to education – focusing on heart, mind and body. The conference will also focus on kindness and wellbeing education and a teaching approach that is rooted in compassion.
Thanyapura’s Mind Centre Chairman and lifetime emeritus board member of the Mind & Life Institute (http://www.mindandlife.org), Dr. Alan Wallace is backing the conference as a major supporter. “Thanyapura and PIADS, with its world-class facilities and qualified professionals in sports, education, mind training and health, have the potential to take a leading role in terms of integrating the best of active health and education. Through such a holistic approach students may be educated not only to become productive members of society but to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives,” said Dr. Wallace.
The programme emphasises learning and elevating the students’ minds and understanding about life and nature, focusing on practices for the benefit of others within a societal and cultural context. The event will be held from 08.00 to 16.00 hrs at Phuket International Academy Day School (PIADS), which is an integral part of Thanyapura’s active and healthy lifestyle concept and a destination which features world-class sports, mind training, health and educational facilities and programmes with a three-dimensional coaching approach of body, mind and soul that aims to help individuals maximise their potential and get more out of life.
The conference is open to education professionals as well as the public with free admission. For participants not residing in Phuket, overnight accommodation is available on site at the Thanyapura Sports Hotel. Please visit https://www.thanyapura.com/event/future-education-conference for event online-registration and details.
Guest speakers at the conference from the Mind and Life Institute will include:
Arthur Zajonc, PhD, was professor of physics at Amherst College from 1978 to 2012, when he became President of the Mind & Life Institute. His research has included studies in electron-atom physics, parity violation in atoms, quantum optics, the experimental foundations of quantum physics, and the relationship between science, the humanities and the contemplative traditions. He will share MLI’s new educational program initiative, which seeks to develop the innate human capacities for a truly ethical life.
Clifford Saron, PhD, is an Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Mind and Brain and M.I.N.D. Institute at the University of California at Davis. Currently, in collaboration with a large consortium of scientists and researchers at UC Davis and elsewhere he is Principal Investigator of the Shamatha Project, conceived with and taught by Alan Wallace. The project is the most comprehensive multi-method study to date regarding investigation of the effects of long-term intensive meditation practice on physiological and psychological processes central to well-being, attention, emotion regulation and health. He will present his work on the Shamatha Project which looks at how meditation practice affects our psychology and brain function.
Matthieu Ricard, PhD, is a Buddhist monk at Schechen Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Born in France in 1946, he received a PhD in Cellular Genetics at the Institut Pasteur under Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob. Since 1989, he served as French interpreter for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is the author of numerous best-selling books on topics like meditation, happiness and altruism. Matthieu has been deeply involved in the work of the Mind & Life Institute for many years, including research on the workings of the mind. He will speak on the cultivation of the innate capacity for altruism as a key educational aspiration.
Dr. Carolyn Jacobs, is Dean and Elizabeth Marting Treuhaft Professor and Director of the Contemplative Smith College School for Social Work; member, Board of Directors of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society; Board of Trustees of Naropa University and Our Lady of the Elms College. She has written and presented extensively on the topic of spirituality in social work. Dr. Jacobs will explore the contemplative practices and perspectives of social work.
Thupten Jinpa, PhD, was trained as a monk at the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University, South India, where he received the Geshe Lharam degree. In addition, Jinpa holds a B.A. honors in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. Jinpa has been the principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama since 1985. Jinpa is adjunct professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal; the founder and president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, Montreal and the general series editor of its “The Library of Tibetan Classics” series. He will explore the mapping of emotions offered by Buddhist psychology as a basis for the cultivation of attention and compassion.
Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is the Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin -Madison. Over the course of his research career he has focused on the relationship between brain and emotion. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including the Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2006, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine and that same year he received the first Mani Bhaumik Award from UCLA for advances in the understanding of the brain and the conscious mind in healing. In 2011 he received the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine. He will speak to the theme Change your Mind, Change your Brain.
Guest speakers at the conference from Mahidol University will include:
Chatchawan Silpakit, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor and a Director at the Contemplative Education Center, Mahidol University. His primary research interest is the practice of mindfulness in everyday life.
Anuchat Poungsomlee, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Contemplative Education Center, Mahidol University. Currently, he is leading a research project which fosters a network of Thai academics who integrate contemplative practices into their teaching and everyday lives. Chatchawan and Anuchat will present the development of Mahidol University’s Contemplative Education Center, and the integration of contemplative practices into the formal curriculum of the centre’s Masters program.
Kornnatt Surapat, a dedicated contemplative health practitioner with a master’s degree in Contemplative Education & Transformative Learning from Mahidol University. He currently runs transformative workshops with the Training Unit of Mahidol’s Contemplative Education Center. He has received training at India’s Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute and is a certified instructor with the Thai Yoga Institute. He will be leading a class to share his approach to yoga and health.
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About the Author
Pierre Gagnon practised concentration and insight meditation intensively from 2010 to 2012, then went on to study meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh with the venerable Ajahn Po from 2013 to 2015. As well as his own practice, he has coordinated meditation retreats in the south of Thailand which were attended by more than 1,000 people.
Having a great passion in the field of neuroscience, he likes to integrate these concepts into meditation practice. He believes that much of our life is lived resisting and defending against internal and external experiences that people perceive as threats. Through the development of concentration and meditation, we can insightfully see that all experiences are harmless and there is no need to defend of contract around them. Pierre has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.