Diverse Perspectives on Cultivating Well-Being and Flourishing Panel Discussion

Home » Diverse Perspectives on Cultivating Well-Being and Flourishing Panel Discussion


Cortland Dahl, PhD, Daniela Labra Cardero, Yuria Celidwen, PhD and Mingyur Rinpoche

From Neuroscience to Indigenous Wisdom: Diverse Perspectives on Cultivating Well-Being

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About Cortland Dahl, PhD

Cortland is a scientist, translator, and meditation teacher. His work focuses on the psychological mechanisms of different forms of meditation, as well as the development of programs that can be used as the basis for research and the broad dissemination strategies to train the mind. He currently serves as Research Scientist and Chief Contemplative Officer at UW-Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds and its affiliated non-profit, Healthy Minds Innovations, and also as Executive Director of Tergar International, an organization he co-founded with Mingyur Rinpoche that oversees a global meditation community.

You can learn more about some of his research on Mapping the Interface between Meditation and Neuroscience at Center for Healthy Minds.

About Daniela Labra Cardero

Daniela Labra is an expert in the design of online and face-to-face curriculum development, teacher training, and the link between scientific research and the pedagogical practice of socio-emotional education. Trained as a biologist, she was a professor-researcher and university coordinator for ten years. Daniela is co-author of books and programs on socio-emotional education, lectures nationally and internationally and is a senior instructor. She is a Founding Partner and General Director for the non-profit AtentaMente Consultores AC, a consultant for Healthy Minds Innovations, and is currently enrolled at Harvard Kennedy School.

You can learn more about her work at AtentaMente, an educational non-profit whose mission is to provide tools for well-being. They have participated in the development of Mexico's nation-wide SEL curriculum, training more than 15,000 teachers in person and 200,000 online. Their research-based programs are currently running the largest yet RCT for preschool SEL teacher training and they have developed a free app for IOS and Google Play to support these trainings.

About Yuria Celidwen, PhD

Dr. Yuria Celidwen (Indigenous Nahua and Maya) works on the intersection of Indigenous studies, cultural psychology, and contemplative science. She investigates the embodied experience of self-transcendence in world ecstatic and Indigenous traditions and how it enhances prosocial behavior. Her “Ethics of Belonging” thesis offers an earth-based ecology that engenders wellness and purpose through relational ecological awareness. She emphasizes the reclamation, revitalization, and transmission of Indigenous wisdom and the advancement of Indigenous and planetary rights.

To learn more about Dr. Celidwen's work you can visit her website.

About Mingyur Rinpoche

Born in Nepal, Mingyur Rinpoche began to study meditation as a young boy and spent many years of his childhood in strict retreat and traditional training. Rinpoche has also had a lifelong interest in Western science and psychology, which has led to many fruitful collaborations with neuroscientists and psychologists. In his approach to teaching meditation, he integrates traditional Buddhist practice and philosophy with the current scientific understanding of the mind and mental health – making the practice of mediation relevant and accessible to students around the world. Rinpoche is the author of the best-selling book The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, as well as several other titles.

You can learn more about his work through Tergar Meditation Community and find his Online Training for The Joy of Living here.

About Richard Davidson, PhD

Richie Davidson’s research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices. He has published over 465 articles, numerous chapters and reviews, and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of The Emotional Life of Your Brain, published in 2012, and co-author with Daniel Goleman Altered Traits, published in 2017. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2017 and appointed to the Governing Board of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in 2018.

To learn more about Dr. Davidson's work you can visit Center for Healthy Minds.

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  1. Katherine Dowd Gulotta May 4, 2021 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I am so interested in these presentations. This past year, in addition to everything else, I have studied closely the work on emotions done by Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD. I was hoping she would be among the presenters. Does her research dovetail with that of the others here? Thank you so much for furthering our understanding of the research being done on emotions.

  2. Mateo Espejel May 4, 2021 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m Mateo, I’m 12 years old, I’m from Mexico, doctor Davidson, it’s always interesting to listen to you, I learn a lot from you. Doctor Cortland I really like listening to you I always learn a lot. Very interesting Daniela your talk. Rinpoche thank you for your teachings are very important for my life. Greetings to all

    • Haley K May 5, 2021 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Aloha Mateo! So wise and open you are at 12!! You are limitless!

    • Jennifer Ambriz May 8, 2021 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Wonderful comment. I admire how you are in a spiritual path. And very young too!

  3. Giuseppe Erba May 4, 2021 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    very moving discussion, instilling hope that in our divisiveness we can all find a common ground and purpose

  4. SOON HEE SMYTH May 4, 2021 at 6:52 pm - Reply


  5. Dwariko May 4, 2021 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Sorry to see Dr. Yuria Celidwen, PhD, cut off in the midst of her initial delivery by the moderator, and rushed later on as she spoke.
    Please keep in mind allowing time for multi-lingual participants’ poetic delivery.

    • Renate Hermes May 5, 2021 at 12:56 am - Reply

      thank you for pointing this out. That was the only point in this amazing conversation where I felt it was a bit out of sync. However, I also think sometimes it’s difficult to keep all aspects of online moderation in the perfect flow/time.

  6. Ling May 4, 2021 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much everyone,every being that we are sharing this awesome space together as Ourness from one standpoint! I am so grateful and so inspiring…I am so grateful of being with us all at this very special time. I am an early childhood educator. I would love to join us all wherever we are as Ourness in practicing kindness and wisdom.
    May we all be carefree in body and mind.

    • Dan Wei May 4, 2021 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      So great to hear you enjoyed it! I’m Dan from Melbourne as a secondary teacher. I’m guessing you are a Chinese cultural background from your name. Just feeling thrilled to meet another one with similar backgrounds.

  7. Yanela G Stephenson May 4, 2021 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    This is so rich and filled with so much emotional nutrition. Thank you all.
    Daniela, have you heard of The Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA) developed by Howard Glasser from Arizona. It is a transformational approach used with children and families.

  8. Chandana Watagodakumbura May 5, 2021 at 3:40 am - Reply

    It is indeed great to see the consilience of the notion of well-being from several perspectives. Even more, the optimism talked about makes us stay motivated and committed.

  9. Nitika May 5, 2021 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Hi this is Nitika from India… It really fascinating to learn so much about wellbeing…. thank you to all the panelist for providing such meaningful insights…. Im really inspired by Dr. Davidson and the way he has used science in wellbeing….. I use HMI APP which is I must say is very helpful.

    I have a question- How can the model adopted in Mexico for wellbeing at school level be replicated in India.

  10. Crystal May 5, 2021 at 7:59 am - Reply

    I appreciate this panel so much! Thank you. I am particularly struck by Yuria’s description/model – particuarly the connection of ecology, community and individual – how well-being depends on all of these. As a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, we have some practices that include the physical environment- and the outer world is not seperate from the individual… I’d like to see this more integrated into the 4 pillars… perahps it is… but there’s a need to see the “ecology” and how our families, communities and the natural world work as an organism.

    Also – it’s important not to just “bring ideas to communities”… but sharing wisdom and weaving this together.

  11. Crystal May 5, 2021 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I appreciate this panel so much! Thank you. I am particularly struck by Yuria’s description/model – particuarly the connection of ecology, community and individual – how well-being depends on all of these. As a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, we have some practices that include the physical environment- and the outer world is not seperate from the individual… I’d like to see this more integrated into the 4 pillars… perahps it is… but there’s a need to see the “ecology” and how our families, communities and the natural world work as an organism.

    I would love to hear/ see more about not just “bring ideas to communities”… but sharing wisdom and weaving different and shared knowledge together.

  12. Ravi Pradhan May 5, 2021 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Richie’s last question quoting HHDL about reaching 7 billion people ..requires more strategic approach. History could help us think more creatively. For example, the theory and practice of “double entry” booking in the middle ages was first adopted and eventually promoted by the Medici family – ushering in a financial, entrepreneurial renaissance. Or how modern management practices and MBA education became the benchmark (and also being revamped as we speak) all over the world. However, I suggest we have to think outside the box to see how this concept/practice of “wellbeing, emotional awareness/regulation and skills can become normal part of our education, of organizational life, of family relationships, and so on….Who are the champions, how to galvanize the resources, how to shift the “paradigm” in education, in medical science? Which billionaire is going to fund a foundation for this mission (maybe Melinda Gates!!!) May have to think in terms of 20-30 more years?

  13. Anne May 5, 2021 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Thank you all. Your care, generosity, sincerity are all so felt. Truly these are the elements that transform. Sending heartfelt thanks to all

  14. Ravi Pradhan May 5, 2021 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Found Richie’s last question very stimulating – about how to reach 7 billion people (or majority of people)? Looking back to the middle ages, a financial and entrepreneurial renaissance was triggered by the adoption and promotion of the innovative “double entry” book-keeping system, primarily by the Medici family. Likewise, what is a similar innovation that could trigger a renaissance in our system of education, medicine, mental health, organizational management, ecological management….Where is the equivalent of the Medici family that ? Who will setup a multi-billion $$ foundation (maybe Melinda Gates and Mckenzie B. Scott??). OF course, it will take more than one size-fits-all approach.
    Ravi in Bangkok and Kathmandu

    • Philip Dodson May 5, 2021 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Wow ! I’ve definitely learned something – or at least opened a window of curiosity. Thank you for this fertile idea.

  15. Philip Dodson May 5, 2021 at 10:06 am - Reply

    . The interaction between these wise men & women was awesome. Perfect synergy. Thank you so much !
    From the Pyrenees, in France.

  16. Corina König May 5, 2021 at 11:44 am - Reply

    THANK you all FOR your work and wisdom you Shared WITH us. Kind Regards From germany Corina

  17. Monica Aubi May 5, 2021 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much !!!
    From Buenos Aires Argentina

  18. Diane Boover May 5, 2021 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Wow! Mexico might just become the most insightful culture on the planet with all of the socio-emotional learning across the spectrum of education going on there.

  19. Barbara Barragan May 5, 2021 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Amazing Panel! Congratulation to all specially this two women that transform the country we love so much

  20. Susie May 5, 2021 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    This was fantastic. Thank you all so much. All of the panelists were such beautiful, genuine and brilliant people. I am especially grateful to Yuria for her emphasis on the deep connection that exists with all life, all beings. This departure from our hyper focus on humans only is so urgently needed and indispensable to achieving the solutions sought for both the larger life community, and us humans.

  21. Lucia Cañizares May 5, 2021 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed this conversations which enrich concepts and way on how to apply well being.


  22. Eligh May 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Appreciate that very inspiring message from Daniela. Hoping that all education system would engage that way.

  23. Katia May 5, 2021 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you all for such an interesting panel!!
    Congratulations for the approach you have implemented in Mexico with Atentamente and for such a robust framework behind!

  24. Sandi Bain May 5, 2021 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Wonderful concept and great information to help understand cultural differences, ethic differences and how dedicated you all are to make the world better. To children, to the environment that honour we must have to encourage changes. I truly believe all of you will do this. I teach Yoga and I’ll do my part to model what is necessary to help others in their well-being. Blessings to all of you for your insight, your wisdom and your passion.

  25. Ydalia May 5, 2021 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Muchas gracias a todos los panelistas realmente fue muy enriquecedor ver como las ciencias contemplativas contribuyen al desarrollo del bienestar y el reto que se tiene de acercar esta propuesta a otras comunidades a través de la escucha atenta que propone el Dr. Cortland para generar apertura. Me quedo muy motivada para seguir profundizando en estas enseñanzas para compartir en la práctica clínica y educativa.

  26. sunita lama May 6, 2021 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Deepest gratitude for the wisdom shared. I’m a teacher by profession and in terms of my workplace, Daniela, my deepest gratitude to you for sharing your passion. I resonate so deeply with each of them. It would be a pleasure to connect with you.

  27. Anjali May 6, 2021 at 1:12 am - Reply

    I love hearing to Davidson and Rinpoche but loved hearing to many more today.
    I feel well being needs to start at the school level and reach the masses.
    I am discovering myself still.

  28. Elain May 6, 2021 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Hi, I’m from Malaysia, it’s amazing to connect with this channel and listern to the thoughts and sharing from this group of panel speakers. Thank you so much. If have opportunity I love to hear more from Daniela Labra Cardero, how’s the outreach works to community.

  29. Flávia kolchraiber May 6, 2021 at 3:51 am - Reply

    So important the diversity showings up. I’m very happy and thankful for have the opportunity to access the M&L summit. Watching Dr Yuria talking about indigenous people my heart burns. In Brazil we’re seeing a genocide and persecution of this people

  30. Dr. Jaya Mohan May 6, 2021 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Thank you panelists for such an enriching discussion on different perspectives of emotional well being. It was very inspiring to see how each one of you is taking this forward in your own zone of influence. More power to you!!

  31. Ingrid Otepka May 6, 2021 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Deeply thank you to all of you
    I love the feeling of connection

  32. cristina quadros May 6, 2021 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this panel. I Know Daniela´s voice from the app, and love to ear about her project. we are trying to do it in Portugal.
    Loved the humor, the inspiration, the love. And Richard Davidson you are really changing the world. Proud to learn so much from you, honored to spread the word.
    Obrigada 🙂

  33. Kurt May 6, 2021 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    What an incredible discussion! Brought tears to my eyes with new found hope of where we are bringing humanity. Thank you to everyone reading this & participating in the ground breaking summit. Also thank you Cortland, Yuria, Mingyur, Daniela, and Richie for your phenomenal work!

  34. Luisa Castro D May 6, 2021 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I believe that to transmit to the communities the practices that allow us to discover and train our well-being, we need first of all to experience them in the first person, work with ourselves and have a minimum theoretical-practical trajectory to be able to teach them properly. This appropriate teaching begins, theoretically, using a language that fits the teaching context, simple and concrete. In practice, we have to know the resources and limitations of the community, so that it adjusts to the needs and can cover them effectively.

    Meditation, like any habit, implies a series of principles to be consolidated. For example, gradualness (starting little by little), knowing that progress is not linear, patience and persistence.

    There are some people, who feel discomfort just closing their eyes or sitting for a certain time without “doing something”. Therefore, I believe that before starting formal meditation, some previous practices are required that can cultivate the basic skills that facilitate the constancy of practice.

    Thak you!

    Versión original (español):

    Creo que para transmitir a las comunidades las prácticas que permiten descubrir y entrenar nuestro bienestar, necesitamos primero que todo vivirlas en primera persona, trabajar con nosotros mismos y tener una trayectoria teorico-práctica mínima para poderlas enseñar apropiadamente. Esta enseñanza apropiada empieza, en lo teórico, utilizando un lenguaje que se ajuste al contexto de enseñanza, sencillo y concreto. En lo práctico, ayudaría conocer los recursos y limitaciones para que se ajuste a las necesidades y las pueda cubrir eficazmente.

    La meditación como cualquier hábito, implica una serie de principios para que sea consolidado. Por ejemplo, la gradualidad (iniciar poco a poco), saber que el avance no es lineal, paciencia y persistencia.

    Hay algunas personas que sienten malestar significativo con sólo cerrar los ojos o sentarse por determinado tiempo sin “hacer algo”. Por eso, creo que antes de iniciar la meditación formal, se requieren algunas prácticas previas que puedan cultivar las habilidades básicas que facilitan la constancia de la practica.


  35. Natasha Nichols May 9, 2021 at 4:14 am - Reply

    Hi from Sweden…. Love this initiative and all the talks I had the time to listen to 😍❤️🙏
    Please make more talks for free in the future, and I love to share your insights about emotionsawareness and a happy humanity 😃🤗🙏
    Natasha 😊

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