We care deeply for science, contemplation, collaboration, community, and life on a healthy planet. We are passionate and curious humans. We experiment with novel ways of co-creativity and mutual support. We practice bringing head, heart, and hand together. We sometimes call ourselves “enActivists”.
My academic background is in nuclear and particle physics and computer simulations, with a master’s degree in physics from the Graz University of Technology and a PhD degree in physics from the University of Innsbruck. I was also a member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN from 2010-2017.
I began exploring contemplative practices in 2005, with a focus on Theravada and Zen Buddhism, while remaining fascinated by the big picture of all contemplative traditions, sciences, arts and humanities. In 2012 I met Scott Virden Anderson, director of the Yoga Science Foundation, who supported my career transition towards Contemplative Science. This journey led me to found the Contemplative Scientific Collaboration (CSC) project in September 2016 – about one and a half years after it had “found me”.
As an Independent Researcher, I am passionately building bridges to connect seemingly disjunct domains of human endeavor and experience. I believe in the vast potential and immense challenge of collaboration. The mystery of life, nature, and our universe gives me chills of awe and wonder. My heart lights up for scientific collaboration, contemplative practices, community building, process facilitation, Art of Hosting, Council, Systemic Konsensing, holding space for the unknown / emergence / authentic inquiry / heartfelt communication / human connection, exploring the microscopic nuances of direct experience, storytelling, creative writing, filmmaking, embodied practices, contact improvisation, dancing, and walking barefoot.
Educated in liberal arts & sciences (UCM, Maastricht), and brain and mind sciences (UCL London, ENS & UPMC Paris), I am currently finishing my PhD in embodied cognition (UKE, Hamburg). My research involves lab experiments and interdisciplinary work around the idea that thoughts and behaviour are based on a web of relations – involving our brain and body, but also our social and cultural community, our ecology.
I care about this topic pragmatically: I gather and develop tools to notice, invite and expand the bodily, personal and environmental bases of my scientific work. To do so, I integrate ideas and activities from other traditions, in particular improvisation, movement and listening practices (e.g. contact improvisation, Feldenkrais, circle/council, sports). Find more on this, here.
I seek radical inclusion: I want to ask questions (rather than impose answers), be transparent about my motivation and choices, and invite playful dialogue with every view I encounter. My experiment is to sense into the constraints and possibilities of any real situation I find myself in – one moment of one collaborative project at a time. While I run experiments, write and defend my PhD thesis – while I build a garden house with my brother – while I love and feel close to very different people and circumstances.
Frank Schumann, PhD
Frank is an interdisciplinary cognitive scientist currently based in Paris at Laboratoire de Systèmes Perceptifs (École Normale Supérieur) and Institute de la Vision (Sorbonne). He is interested in perception, action and self within the framework of embodied cognition, in particular sensorimotor theory, enactivism and predictive models. He is currently also a Feldenkrais practitioner in training and has a gift for asking useful questions.
Dav Clark, PhD
Dav is a cognitive and data scientist based in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. A long-term meditation practitioner, he enjoys Feldenkrais and Contact Improvisation, and has co-authored a paper on “Mindful movement and skilled attention” with Frank. Dav is also the father of an adorable 2-year old boy who teaches him and his wife new things every day.
This work is being supported by the Yoga Science Foundation, and has been greatly inspired by the vision of the late neuroscientist and philosopher Francisco Varela.