Mark your calendars! July 31st is this years date for the Australian Meditation conference. The conference, I believe, has been running for two or perhaps even three years now, and focuses on bringing teachers of meditation together to discuss and present their work. From their website we get the following information:

The Conference brings together some of Australia’s leading meditation teachers, meditation researchers and performing artists in the field of contemplative/intuitive music.
The event provides practitioner-oriented education for wellness professionals. Our commitment is to bring together leaders in the field of meditation, presenting the latest information and approaches.
Storey Hall is in the heart of the city and offers a fully integrated venue, combining a great auditorium, exhibition space and an area for networking, refreshments and a vegetarian lunch.
This event promises to be a wonderful opportunity for anyone with a personal or professional interest in meditation to explore this marvellous practice in its many diverse forms.

I was invited to present at this years conference—thanks to the recommendation of a reader—which of course I accepted. However, I never did find out who this person is, and so if you are reading this, please email me so that I may thank you.

I hope to weave the story of the Australian Institute for Consciousness Studies into the talk, as it is the institutes work which will give meaning to much of what I will present. However, speaking with the organizers after submitting my abstract, I subsequently found out that the conference attendees are mainly non-academics (somehow I was under the impression this was an academic conference), so I might in the end change the talk, making the content a little lighter. Regardless of the style of the conference, I am more than happy to be invited to events such as this, for it helps to promote AICS, and of course, the Institute will only succeed if people know about our work. So, if you feel inclined and you are in the position to do so, please do recommend the AICS as a possible guest speaker. Given our affiliation with the Santa Barbara Institute, this goes for conferences outside of Australia as well.

Then, given, I am coming to Melbourne I wonder if it would be worth arranging a day of meditation—perhaps the day after the conference as this is a Sunday. This would give us 4 or 5 months to arrange the event. If you would like to discuss this please contact me.  With all that said here are the details for the conference…

Australian Meditation Conference

Date: 31 July 2010
Place: RMIT
Time: 8.30am—6.00pm. My talk is at 2.30pm
Presentation title: Dispositional Narrative, Dysfunction and Mental Training.

Abstract: The stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, can often lead to dysfunctional cognitive states, which in turn lead to misunderstanding our place in the world. This dispositional narrative is based on fundamentally misunderstanding our own ontology—who we really are. This, then, begs the question: can mental training affect dispositional narrative in such a way as to lead to a flourishing life? Clarke’s talk will present current research that suggests this is indeed the case—thus detailing the efficacy of meditation as both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool used to explicate these dysfunctional cognitive states.


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