Mindfulness in Cultural Context – McGill Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry, June 3-5, 2013

The announcement for next year’s McGill Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry has just gone out. It will be held on June 3-5 in Montreal and the topic for 2013 is “Mindfullness in Cultural Context.” Here is the abstract:

Recent years have seen the enthusiastic embrace of mindfulness meditation and other techniques drawn from Buddhism as therapeutic interventions in psychiatry. Buddhism is portrayed as a psychology closely akin to cognitive psychology. However, in the societies where it originated, Buddhism is a system of practice that has strong ethical and moral dimensions. How does extracting techniques like meditation from the tradition and social context in which they originate change the nature and effects of the practice? What is the relationship of these practices to everyday Buddhism as lived in Asian countries or by migrants to the West? How has the Westernization and psychologization of Buddhism and other contemplative traditions altered their meaning. What does contemporary cognitive neuroscience tell us about the nature of meditation and allied techniques? What are the implications of a cultural/contextual view for the continued dialogue between Buddhist thought and psychiatry? This workshop and conference will explore the nature of mindfulness meditation in culture context. Sessions will address: (1) the varieties of mindfulness and its location in religious, spiritual and moral traditions including Buddhist philosophy and psychology; (2) cognitive neuroscientific research on meditation and mindfulness; (3) the meanings of mindfulness, meditation and related practices in cultural contexts both globally and in migrant populations; and (4) the uses of mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention in contemporary psychiatry and psychology.

The format will be a one-day conference (July 3) oriented toward mental health practitioners followed by a two-day workshop (June 4-5) for researchers in culture and mindfulness.

Guest Faculty

Sushrut Jadhav, Brendan Ozawa-De Silva, Chikako Ozawa-De Silva, Geoffrey Samuel, Evan Thompson

McGill Faculty

Suparna Choudhury, Ian Gold, Thubten Jinpa, Laurence J. Kirmayer, Amir Raz, Allan Young

You can download a program with information about registering here: ASI 2013 Program. There will be a poster session on June 3, 2013. To submit a poster, please complete the form (in the program) and send with your application for the ASI Conference. You can also find the dynamic electronic version of this form online:

4 Responses to Mindfulness in Cultural Context – McGill Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry, June 3-5, 2013

  1. I am not able to attend the Advanced Study Institute in March but am doing my PhD thesis on mindfulness and would be very keen to keep in touch with you about what comes out of the session.

    Many thanks,
    Kate Spiegelhalter

  2. Please forward me any other study days you may have. I am very interested in mindfulness and am doing an MA in Infant Mental Health. I would very much like to link my MA with mindfulness and early parenting.

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