The Science of Mindfulness

We’ve all heard that mindful breathing can reduce stress and positively affect our health and mental wellness. Sister Đẳng Nghiêm, a former physician, has reminded us how we can literally change our neural pathways by cultivating the seeds of right thinking. And studies have found that we can use mindful meditation to lower our blood pressure. 

Deer Park Monastery is hosting a retreat from September 26 to October 1, 2023 called The Buddha the Scientist. (Camping and commuter spots are still available!)

At The Buddha the Scientist Retreat & Symposium, open to everyone, we will listen to Dharma talks from Brother Pháp Dung, Sister Đẳng Nghiêm, and Brother Pháp Lưu, and practice mindfulness together with scientists from Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown and other research institutions. On the last two days of the retreat, during a symposium, eight of these scientists will speak about their experience of the retreat in the light of their research.

Here is a preview of the speakers:

Dr. Lilian Cheung is a lecturer, Director of Health Promotion and Communication, and Director of Mindfulness Research and Practice at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. She co-wrote “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life” with Thầy and was a driving force behind the creation of the new Thích Nhất Hạnh Center for Mindfulness at Harvard.

Dr. K. “Vish” Viswanath is a Professor of Health Communication at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). With his research, he strives to influence public health policy and practice through knowledge translation and translational communication. 

Dr. Michelle Williams is an epidemiologist, educator, and academic leader at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research places special emphasis in the areas of reproductive, perinatal, pediatric, and molecular epidemiology. 

Dr. Solomon Diamond is the co-founder and CEO of Lodestone Biomedical where he is developing biosensor technology to increase the success rate of drug development in immuno-oncology.

Dr. Diane Gilbert-Diamond is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Her research focuses on genetic and environmental factors related to child health behaviors including unhealthy consumption of food and electronic media. 

Dr. Juliet Hwang is a pediatrician with a special interest in childhood trauma and transgender care. She incorporates mindfulness techniques and embodied practices in her clinical practice to help her patients regulate their nervous systems.  She started practicing in the Plum Village tradition in 2004. In 2011, she was ordained into the Order of Interbeing and was transmitted the lamp to become a Dharma teacher in 2021.

Dr. Eric Loucks is the director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University, where he teaches mindfulness-based programs and leads research that investigates the science behind mindfulness and its impact on health and well-being. Loucks has practiced mindfulness for about 25 years, and he received ordination into the Order of Interbeing in the Plum Village tradition.

Dr. Ryan Niemiec is a scientist, educator, and practitioner in the field of character strengths (known in Plum Village as “wholesome seeds”). He’s creator of the evidenced-based program, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP) which integrates the wisdom of Thầy with character strengths and mindful living.

Please join us to explore together the intersection of ancient Buddhist wisdom and scientific inquiry.

Note: A “Mindfulness & Science” series is available on the FREE Plum Village App.


3 responses to “The Science of Mindfulness”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.