Our training courses integrate the work and research results of internationally renowned scientists in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive, behavioural and positive psychology, and sociology.
Over the last twenty years, these fields of knowledge have made incredible progress in understanding the functioning of the brain and the mind through an increasing number of studies, improved scientific methods and instruments, and better capabilities in data collection, sharing and comparison.
Why & How
Can We Change?
The achievability of developing or strengthening human skills is made possible by neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the mechanism by which the brain is able to create, remove or modify neuronal networks and connections. It is a key mechanism of learning ability and experience which, contrary to popular belief, is active throughout our entire life.
The principle is, therefore, to use these mechanisms of cerebral change for the benefit of the human skills that one wants to develop or strengthen so that they become established and spontaneous qualities.
To implement such changes, the only effective techniques are mind-training practices from contemplative traditions that have been studied for more than thirty years by a specific branch of neuroscience (see below). These meditative practices familiarize the mind with the attributes of the skills to be developed and constitute a first level of experience.
This is a key element of our pedagogical model in response to the complexity of training people in human skills development and the need to go beyond mere intellectual acquisition. It is, therefore, to ensure the impact and effectiveness of our training that we also use different guided meditation practices (see below).
The meditative practices we use are based on our respective experience as well as our training and retreats with internationally renowned meditation teachers over the past 20 years. Their knowledge and experience are rooted in the ancient tradition of Buddhism, which provides the richest and most detailed instructions on contemplative practices. Over the past fifty years, as scholars and pioneers, these meditation teachers have carried out the fundamental work of adapting these disciplines to our modern Western society by creating a body of knowledge and practices that are secularized and adapted to professional environments.
All the meditative practices used in our training sessions are strictly secular.
Among the meditations we implement in the various training levels are mindfulness practices that aim to strengthen the awareness of the momentary experience of mental processes and the ability to observe, identify and manage them. These practices allow the development of a process of reinforced self-regulation: regulation of attention, body awareness and emotions, as well as opening up the opportunity for a change of perspective of the self. We also use analytical meditation practices and meditative practices of visualization and aspiration that facilitate the understanding and the experience of attitudes and aptitudes to be developed.
The aim of the contemplative practices used in our programme is by no means to transform people into professional meditators, but to develop the mental capacities that are beneficial to everyday life.
The two sources of knowledge that define the Contemplative Sciences are:
1. The body of systemic knowledge developed by contemplative traditions, based on first-person experimentation, introspection and critical analysis of mental phenomena to describe and explain the processes and experiences of different meditative states and their observed and reproducible benefits.
2. The specific branch of neuroscience devoted to investigating the Why and How of mind training practices and their benefits using, in particular, the latest brain imaging tools.
For more details, please contact us.
Scientific & Academic
Here are some of the international researchers and authors whose scientific and academic works inspire us:
Richard J. Davidson is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds. He holds a PhD from Harvard University in psychology, psychopathology and psychophysiology. He is the author of more than 375 publications, 80 reviews and 14 books.
He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Mind & Life Institute, which encourages research dialogues and collaborations between scientists and experienced meditators.
Prof. Richard J. Davidson
Paul Ekman is Professor Emeritus in Psychology at the University of California. He is a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions which led him to develop in 1978 the Facial Action Coding System. Together with Alan Wallace, Mark Greenberg, and Richard Davidson in 2000, he created the protocol Cultivating Emotional Balance to help people decrease destructive emotions and cultivate a constructive way of living. In 2016, together with his daughter Eve Ekman, he created the Atlas of Emotions which brings together the most up-to-date scientific knowledge on emotions.
He is considered one of the hundred most prominent psychologists of the twentieth century. He is the author of more than 100 publications and a holder of several Honorary Doctorates.
Prof. Paul Ekman
Jon Kabat-Zinn received a PhD in molecular biology from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). He is known worldwide for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher who strives to integrate mindfulness into medicine and society. He is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, where in 1979 he created the world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and in 1995 the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society.
He is the author of numerous scientific publications on the clinical applications of mindfulness in medicine and healthcare, as well as several books for the general public translated into more than 30 languages. He is the founder of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of the Mind & Life Institute.
Prof. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Daniel Goleman is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and Personal Development and Professor at Harvard University. He is also an internationally renowned science journalist. In addition to his best-selling books on emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman has written books on self-deception, creativity, meditation, and social and emotional learning.
He is the co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, and co-director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Mind & Life Institute.
Prof. Daniel Goleman
Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, and a world-renowned teacher and author of numerous books. Since 1974, she has played a crucial role in the introduction of meditation and mindfulness practices in the West.
She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society.
Daniel J. Siegel is a neuropsychiatrist and neurobiologist who graduated from Harvard University. He is currently a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, where he is the founder and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Daniel Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational centre dedicated to promoting knowledge, compassion and empathy in individuals, families, institutions and communities. Professor Siegel is an internationally renowned author who has published numerous books for general and professional audiences.
Prof. Daniel Siegel
Tania Singer is the former Director of the Social Sciences Department at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Human Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Since 2019, she has been head of the Social Neurosciences Research Group. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Leipzig and the Humboldt University in Berlin.
In 2001, she received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society.
Prof. Tania Singer
Alan Wallace is the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He combines extensive experience in contemplative practices with a degree in Physics and Philosophy of Science from Amherst College and a Doctorate in Religious Studies from Stanford University. He has been a Professor of Buddhist philosophy and meditation since 1976 and is one of the most prolific authors and translators of Tibetan Buddhism and its relationship to modern science.
At the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama, in 2000 Professor Wallace collaborated with Paul Ekman, Mark Greenberg, and Richard Davidson to create the protocol Cultivating Emotional Balance to help people decrease destructive emotions and learn to live in a more constructive way of living through the cultivation of attentional, cognitive, emotional and decisional balances.
Prof. Alan Wallace