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Awareness-based Cultural Evolution

Workshop with Dan Siegel MD (Pre-Conference)


Title Awareness-based Cultural Evolution: Implications for the Personal and Public Mind

This workshop is an exploration of the nature of “self.” Given the human brain’s proclivity to absorb cultural messages and its evolutionary history of tribalism-based survival, the development of our sense of identity is shaped by both genetic propensities and our shared societal ideas. One of these ideas is of a “solo self.” In this meme, we come to believe that who we are is defined merely by our body and brain, or by small group membership. The processes that create such an identity of separation may be at the heart of personal isolation and despair, interpersonal violence, international conflict, and ecological destruction. We will examine a common factor of the learned filters of consciousness that construct this separate-self identity.

Contemplative practices that distinguish ‘the knowing of being aware’ from ‘the knowns of consciousness’ may offer a way for individuals to experience an expanded sense of identity. An example of such a contemplative practice is the Wheel of Awareness meditation which creates a visual metaphor of the mind. Knowing is placed in the hub of the metaphorical ‘Wheel’ and the ‘knowns’ on its rim. Awareness is then moved around the wheel systematically integrating knowing and the knowns. Findings from a study of thousands of individuals engaging in this meditation will be reviewed, and insights will be offered to explore the nature of awareness, identity, and belonging. We will examine the idea that the Wheel is an example of a contemplative practice that integrates consciousness. Such practices may provide practical insights into how becoming more openly aware can facilitate an expanded sense of identity and the direct experience of belonging as part of larger humanity and the system of life on earth.

Register for this Event
Date & Time

Friday May 24, 2019 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

SickKids, PGCRL Auditorium, 686 Bay St
Toronto, Ontario M5G 0A4 Canada
Learning Outcomes

1. Identify three pillars of mind training that research suggests, cultivate a range of aspects of well-being.
2. Distinguish awareness from attention and intention.
3. Name five physiological factors of health that are improved with mind training.
4. List four ways the brain becomes more integrated with mind training.
5. Describe how the default mode network plays a role in mentalizing functions.
6. Discuss the relationships between identity, belonging, and a “sense of self.”
7. Outline the components of the “three pillars” of mind training.

Continuing Education Credtis

Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) 6 CE Credits
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) 6 CE Credits
Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP) 7 CE Credits
Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) 6 CE Credits

*A Mindful Society events are accessible for both non-professionals and professionals. For more information click here to view our Continuing Education and Professional Development Programs page.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. His four New York Times bestsellers are: Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D: The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. Dr. Siegel’s unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental health professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, healthcare providers, policy-makers, mediators, judges, and clergy. He has lectured for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and London’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA). For Dr. Siegel’s full bio please click here.

Details at a Glance

Date & Time

Friday May 24, 2019 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

SickKids, PGCRL Auditorium, 686 Bay St
Toronto, Ontario M5G 0A4 Canada

For all general questions or inquiries, please contact us via email at info@amindfulsociety.org

Interested in Group Tickets?

For group ticket requests please email info@amindfulsociety.org

Cancellation Policy

Registration ticket cancellations prior to January 31st, 2019 receive a refund less 25% of the registration price. Cancellations between January 31st and March 31st, 2019 receive a refund less 50% of the registration price. After April 1st, 2019, tickets are non-refundable.

One (1) attendee name change is permitted on a registration ticket up to 30-days before the conference start date. No changes are permitted after that date.

In the unlikely event, the conference is cancelled, we will refund all tickets limited to the amount paid. No other refunds or compensation will be provided. Speakers are confirmed. However, sometimes life events may prevent them from attending as expected. Speaker cancellation does not alter the cancellation policy.

Purchase of A Mindful Society registration ticket confirms you have read and agree to comply with the cancellation policy. This policy is subject to change. Ticket holders are to be notified of any changes.

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