The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.
B. Alan Wallace on the Center of Contemplative Research (CCR) in Tuscany
An optimal environment
The Center for Contemplative Research (CCR) is designed to provide an optimal environment for highly qualified individuals to devote themselves to full-time contemplative training. They will practice under the close guidance of experienced teachers, each with several thousands of hours of personal practice.
During the course of their multi-year training, they will collaborate with visiting scientists to fully understand the psychophysiological changes that occur during the course of their practice. While the scientists monitor the effects of the contemplatives’ meditation, scientists will also learn about the inner experiences and discoveries made by the contemplatives. Meditators, in turn, will learn from scientists about the insights gained from their research.
Fathom the nature of consciousness
The research at CCR will be a collaboration between highly trained scientists and contemplatives. Scientists will use third-person, psychological and neurophysiological methods for indirectly exploring the mind.
Contemplatives will use first-person methods of refined concentration and introspection for directly observing states of consciousness. The purpose of this research is to fathom the nature and potentials of consciousness, the origins of the human mind and the nature of death, and the inner sources of both mental well-being and unhappiness.
Insights gained from this collaboration will be applied to the fields of education, mental health, business, and government.
Our aspiration is to help catalyze the first true revolution in the mind sciences, in order to help set humanity on a sustainable course of flourishing, while maintaining a balance with Nature as a whole.
An ecological village
The entire facility, called Miyo Samten Ling (Center of Unwavering Meditation) by H.H. the Dalai Lama, will be an ecological village with organic gardens and orchards. Crops will be watered from a water well in the property, and the cabins will be powered with solar energy.
The main house, with its thirteen rooms, will serve as an administrative headquarters. There, resident contemplatives will meet regularly to share their experiences, and receive collective guidance from the resident instructors. Scientists will use a scientific laboratory to be created in the premises.
This building will also provide accommodations for staff, visiting scientists and teachers. A limited number of rooms will also be made available for guests to engage in their own personal meditation retreats, for relatively brief periods. To request an application to apply for retreat in the Villa, please email.
Prof. Massimo Bergamasco
(Director of the Institute for technologies of communication, information and perception. Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa)
“I met Dr. B. Alan Wallace in 2003 and I immediately acknowledged his approach to the relationship between religion and science and his research on the role of consciousness in nature. I find particularly significant his leading role in the Shamatha Project, which represents the first complete attempt for the study of the effects of intensive meditation from the perspective of cognitive science.”
Prof. Nicola De Pisapia
(Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento)
“A very promising direction is currently found in approaches that integrate advanced scientific research on the functioning of the nervous system with contemplative methods that are thousands of years old. The common objective is the development of eudaimonia – promoting flourishing in the person as a whole, the full development of people’s potential, and happiness as the ultimate purpose of human life. The CCR is fully qualified to become a center of excellence in this collective effort.”
Prof. (Emeritus) Paul Ekman
(Department of Psychology, University of California, San Francisco)
“The center Alan Wallace proposes would be of great benefit in bringing together diverse scientists with experienced contemplative practitioners to help us better understand attention and consciousness. I am glad to not only endorse this proposal, but would do what I can to help bring it into existence.”
Portrait: Copyright 2019. Paul Ekman Group LLC. All rights reserved.
Prof. Jerome Engel
(Director of Reed Neurological Research Center; David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles)
“I am extremely pleased to see that the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany is coming to fruition and wholeheartedly endorse this effort. I anticipate that it will become the focus of major contributions to improving the lives of individual participants, and furthering neuroscientific investigations into the brain and mind that will result in the development of approaches for the betterment of society worldwide.”
Prof. Michel Bitbol
(Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, CREA/Ecole Polytechnique)
“The center for Contemplative Research, as projected by Alan Wallace, may play a decisive role in a revolution of the science of mind.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“I am delighted that the Center for Contemplative Research, under development in Tuscany, Italy, has taken up the challenge in not only offering opportunities for rigorous mind-training, but also in supporting collaborative research by practiced contemplatives and scientists. Together they seek to explore the inner sources of mental conflict and distress, the roots of genuine wellbeing, and the origins, nature, and potentials of the mind.”