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Science and Spirituality - Online Conference

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Event description
Explore the new science of spirituality in this day of talks from leading neuroscientists and professors.

About this Event

Have you ever felt you went beyond your ordinary self and felt connected to something bigger than you?

In a 2016 UK survey, over 84% of respondents (including atheists, agnostics, Christians, and Buddhists) said yes to this question.

So what’s going on?

In the complex web of modern life, we’re conditioned to embrace our rational minds and spend every second of our conscious hours in search of opportunities and threats. We are encouraged to get ahead, win friends, influence people, attract praise, avoid blame and generally focus on satisfying the individual everyday ego.

Indeed, the idea of a “self”, as a unique and coherent individual, has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable.

But is this egoistic view of ourselves scientifically accurate?

Or is there something more to the human experience? And might our most basic assumptions about who we are be wrong?

In this series of talks, we’ll explore the science and psychology of spirituality, drawing on insights from the neuroscience of yoga and meditation, the psychology of enlightenment, and the new science of interconnectedness – to question our most basic assumptions about who we really are, and our place in the world.

Content

  • The Neuroscience of Yoga and Meditation; how these ancient practices impact our cognitive and behavioural functions, cause lasting structural alterations in the brain, slow down atrophy, improve learning, memory, and decision-making processes, and boost mental health and wellbeing – Dr Sara Lazar (Harvard University)
  • Neuroscience, Spiritual Experiences & Self Transformation; what brain scan studies of Brazilian psychic mediums, Sufi mystics, and Buddhist meditators have revealed about the specific neurological mechanisms underlying spiritual experiences, how you can activate these circuits in our own brain, and why these experiences often lead to profound, positive and lasting life changes – Dr Andrew Newberg (Thomas Jefferson University)
  • The New Science of Interconnectedness; how our sense of identity as isolated individuals is an illusion that is becoming increasingly maladaptive in the modern world, evidence from neuroscience and psychology that challenges this paradigm, and how a scientific perspective can transform our self-identity into one which leads to both human and planetary flourishing – Professor Tom Oliver (University of Reading)

For a full breakdown of the lectures, speakers (and their reading recommendations) emailed to your inbox, please click here.

Speakers

The New Science of Interconnectedness - Professor Tom Oliver

Tom Oliver is a professor at the University of Reading, leading their Ecology and Evolution research group. He is a prominent systems thinker, advising both the UK government and the European Environment Agency. He has published more than eighty scientific papers in world-leading interdisciplinary journals and won two first-place prizes for essays communicating science to a broader audience. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Independent and BBC Science Focus and he is author of the critically acclaimed book The Self Delusion: The Surprising Science of Our Connection to Each Other and the Natural World.

The Neuroscience of Yoga and Meditation - Dr Sara Lazar

Sara W. Lazar, PhD is an Associate Researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. The focus of her research is to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals. She is a contributing author to Meditation and Psychotherapy (Guilford Press), and has been practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation since 1994. Dr Lazar’s research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, and WebMD, and her work has been featured in a display at the Boston Museum of Science.

Neuroscience, Spiritual Experiences & Self Transformation - Dr Andrew Newberg

Dr Andrew Nerberg is a neuroscientist, author, Professor, and the Research Director in the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He studies how brain function is associated with various mental states, and is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences - a field known as “neurotheology.” Dr Newberg’s research has included brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, as well as surveys of people's spiritual experiences and attitudes. He has also evaluated the relationship between religious or spiritual phenomena and health, and the effect of meditation on memory. He believes that it is important to keep science rigorous, and religion religious. You can learn more about Dr Newberg’s work at: http://www.andrewnewberg.com/

For a full breakdown of the lectures, speakers (and their reading recommendations) emailed to your inbox, please click here.

Event Schedule

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: The New Science of Interconnectedness - Professor Tom Oliver
  • 12:00 - 1:00pm: Lunch break
  • 1:00pm - 3:00pm: The Neuroscience of Yoga and Meditation - Dr Sara Lazar, PhD
  • 3:00pm - 3:30pm: Afternoon break
  • 3:30pm - 5:00pm: Neuroscience, Spiritual Experiences & Self Transformation - Dr Andrew Newberg, M.D.

FAQs

How does the Online Video Conference Work?

After you register on Eventbrite, you will receive an email with a unique link and instructions to join the video conference.

Will I be able to ask questions?

You will be able to submit questions to each speaker during the Q+A sessions.

What if I miss part of one of the lectures? Will I have access to the recordings?

Yes, the recordings will be emailed to all ticket-buyers (even those who can't attend on the day) approximately one hour after each lecture finishes.

This means that if you miss anything, you'll be able to catch up in your own time.

If you have any further questions, please email support@theweekenduniversity.com for more information.

Testimonials from previous participants


		Science and Spirituality - Online Conference image

		Science and Spirituality - Online Conference image

		Science and Spirituality - Online Conference image

		Science and Spirituality - Online Conference image

Who is this event for?

You might be:

  • A mental health practitioner; psychotherapist, counsellor or coach, attending for continuing professional development
  • A psychology student seeking to broaden your knowledge in different areas of the subject
  • Considering a transition into a career in psychology, but not sure exactly what route to take yet
  • A member of the general public attending for the sheer joy of learning and exploring your curiosity.

TWU Guarantee

The Weekend University seeks to guarantee an excellent learning experience.

If you are not fully satisfied with the day, you will receive 100% of your money back, and we will cover the cost of your travel to and from the venue.

Refund Policy

We offer a full refund if you cancel within 7 days of the event date.

For cancellations in the week leading up to the event, tickets are transferable but non-refundable.

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