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Kindness and the Atheist Case for Karma with Christopher Willard, PsyD

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CHA Center for Mindfulness & Compassion

26 Central Street

2nd floor

Somerville, MA 02143

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Kindness and the Atheist Case for Karma with Christopher Willard, PsyD

There's an old joke that karma does not mean that cutting someone off in traffic means you won't find a good parking spot. But what if it does? In this talk, expanded from Chris's recent TEDx talk, we will explore more deeply the neuroscience, social science and even genetic science behind mindful and compassionate action. If “Karma” is a spiritual concept about of cause and effect, we will examine the ways that compassionate actions can "go viral" and ripple outwards through social contagion effects. We will also consider how compassion action can change us inwardly through neuroplasticity and influence future generations via epigenetics. Finally, we will discuss new social psychology research on "downstream and upstream reciprocity," which may have implications for how we perceive and feel about the world around us, and how our actions can ripple back to us, in what is essentially a statistical model of “what goes around comes around.” Looking more closely at how our behavior impacts ourselves, and the world, and how the world impacts us, we may well discover how you drive actually does affect whether you get that coveted parking spot.

At the end of this event, participants will be able to:

1. understand the social psychology of behavioral contagion and upstream reciprocity.

2. learn about current research in the science of compassion and generosity.

3. understand how epigenetics may play a role in behavior and mental health.

Dr. Christopher Willard is a psychologist and educational consultant. He has been practicing meditation for nearly 20 years, and leading workshops internationally on the topic of mindfulness, education, and psychotherapy. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010), Growing Up Mindful (2016), Raising Resilience (2017), and various other books. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

Continuing Education:

Continuing Education (CE) credits available for psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and nurses. Please see details at http://meditationandpsychotherapy.org/lecture-series.

Fees:

Suggested donation for general attendance is $15. CE credits are available for a fee of $30. Please click the Green 'Tickets' button to register.

Directions:

The Center for Mindfulness and Compassion is located at 26 Central Street, Somerville, MA 02143 on the second floor of the CHA Central Street Care Center.

Click here for details on directions and transportation.

Parking:
Free Visitor Parking is available in the lot directly across from the clinic which is shared with the Greek Orthodox Church. Please note: parking on the streets in the surrounding area is limited to Somerville residents with parking permits.

Online live-streaming

This will be available via the IMP Facebook page.

Mindfulness and Compassion Lecture Series

This program is part of the Mindfulness and Compassion Lecture Series, offered through collaboration by the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, and the David S Rosenthal Center for Wellness and Health Promotion, Harvard University Health Services. In this monthly series, gather with friends and colleagues in an informal setting to explore the intersection of mindfulness, compassion, and clinical practice. The presenters are notable leaders and speakers in the field who bring with them a wide variety of research and clinical experience. Each presentation will be followed by Q&A and discussion. Everyone is invited to attend.

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Date and Time

Location

CHA Center for Mindfulness & Compassion

26 Central Street

2nd floor

Somerville, MA 02143

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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