woman sitting still on mountain

Mindfulness Science & Practice

A Multiyear Cluster

Transforming the Science of Mindfulness Through Pioneering Collaborative Research

Mindfulness is a term that refers to an increasingly popular and accessible set of mental training practices and skills that can be used to improve health, wellness, and psychological functioning in a low-cost, non-pharmacological manner.  Mindfulness practices have formed a central component of Hindu and Buddhist traditions for over 2,500 years, and consequently, are a long-standing topic of scholarship within the humanities. 

Strikingly, within the 21st century, secularized versions of these practices have gained widespread adoption within Western culture as well, and as a result, are becoming a focus of intense transdisciplinary research interest.

The Mindfulness Science and Practice cluster will bring together a diverse set of researchers, scholars, and mindfulness practitioners that represent a wide range of Arts & Sciences departments as well as other units at the university to transform the science of mindfulness. Our team will produce innovative and pioneering collaborative research while applying a critical scholarly lens toward what has been termed the “modern mindfulness movement.”

The cluster will advance Arts & Sciences and university-wide strategic initiatives through a range of activities, including:

  • developing a new interdisciplinary undergraduate minor;
  • expanding mindfulness programming to support campus and community needs;
  • hosting high-visibility public-facing events, including interdisciplinary seminars, lecture series, scientific conferences; and
  • launching the first-of-its-kind mindfulness instructor certification program to fully incorporate DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) perspectives.

Faculty Leads

Save the Date

Oct. 4, 2023
Mindfulness Day at WashU

This exciting inaugural event will celebrate and showcase the various opportunities for research and engagement with mindfulness practice and study across our campus.

The day's keynote speaker will be Richard Davidson, the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds. Additional activities will include morning meditation practice, a showcase of the ongoing research happening on campus, and a vendor and community showcase. Stay tuned for more information. 

Oct 5-6, 2023
M4: Mindfulness Mechanisms and Methods Meeting

The goal of this meeting is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of individuals to inspire mindfulness research using advanced cognitive neuroscience tools and technology. This meeting is made possible by funding support from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (R13 AT011981), with matching funds from Washington University, Arts & Sciences, Psychological & Brain Sciences, and the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience. Student researchers studying topics related to mindfulness and science-oriented mindfulness practitioners are encouraged to apply for a travel award to attend the meeting in St. Louis (application deadline: February 15, 2023). Learn more

Find more news, events and updates on our dedicated website.

Mindfulness at Washington University in St. Louis