The “Mindful Researchers” initiative emerged in August 2020, by a collaboration of participants in the ESRI 2020 hosted by Mind & Life Europe. We are an independent grassroots community based on a shared intention –
to explore how our professional and research life can be integrated with our contemplative life, in all its possible meanings.
Being aware that this is a difficult path to follow within traditional academia, we aim to offer support to each other, to hold this inquiry as a living question and to put it into practice together.
We aim to cultivate a space of collective inquiry, a ‘living lab’ supporting the emergence of a new generation of researchers rooted in genuine embodied, situated, contemplative practice.
In this way, we also intend to support and foster a beneficial transformation towards a more compassionate, generous, kind, collaborative, ethical academic culture.
How you can participate
We invite you to …
- sign up for our newsletter – to stay informed about our activities and related events;
- join our private space for conversation on the online discussion forum “On Science & Academia” (please contact us upon your forum registration, so we can give you access to our space!);
- participate in our online community meetings and practice sessions on Fridays, including our monthly Listening Circles.
Contact us for Zoom details (which are the same for all meetings). All times are from 18:30-20:00 CET, unless otherwise indicated.
- Friday, 4th June 2021: Listening Circle
- Friday, 11th May 2021: — break —
- Friday, 18th June 2021: Mindful Presentations
- Friday, 25th June 2021: — break —
We also highly recommend you to join the Mindful Writing Group sessions that are being co-hosted by our member Dara.
In our Listening Circles, we practice diving deeper into the themes of our shared inquiry. The circle is an intentional space that we set together, based on mindful presence, sharing stories from personal experience, deep listening, witnessing, and confidentiality.
In our new Mindful Presentations format, three researchers each give 15’ presentations, followed by an open conversation (in the spirit of Listening Circles). Instead of “ordinary presentations” that we usually give to academic peers, these short talks will invite our deeper reflections on why and how we care about our research, as well as our non-academic ventures, ambitions, motivations, inspirations, contemplative practices, and questions in life that matter to us.
In our practice sessions, we cultivate our skills as facilitators and practitioners. These include contemplative, scientific, co-creative, participatory, and other practices. One example is the “Playful Academic” sessions that are facilitated by our member Annika:
“The playful academic is all about drawing from diverse resources to support alive inquiry and collaboration. You can imagine the 1.5 hours as a series of games that involve explorations of space, writing and reading, as well as reflections on your intentions, motivation or desired outcomes. And while this may sound like a lot, each element is intended to be light and easy.”
Our “open conversation” meetings are gently facilitated open spaces for welcoming new members, reconnecting with each other, and engaging in open conversation. Structure, flow, and themes are more emergent in these community meetings.
Our first collaborative project was to co-create an abstract, titled “The Mindful Researcher: Transforming Academia from Within“, that led to a presentation at the Contemplative Research Conference (CRC) hosted by Mind & Life in November 2020.
We have been applying participatory methods, collaborative decision-making and co-design practices within our group, as well as for various emergent initiatives.