European Mind Centre and Contemplative Observatory

Developing a European Mind Centre

Executive Summary

The Contemplative Consciousness Network (CCN) is seeking funds to set up and run a non-profit European Mind Centre. The Mind Centre has two main aims: firstly, to provide low cost, long-term retreat facilities for seriously committed European meditators and secondly, to foster collaborations with scientists/build upon previous scientific studies to investigate the effects of meditation upon the human mind. The non-sectarian centre will be part of an international network of contemplative observatories, inspired by the work of Dr B Alan Wallace and fully endorsed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. An estimate of total funds to set up and run the centre for 2 years is £500,000. A business plan demonstrates how the centre will be self-funding and supported after this time. The major portion of funds requested will be to purchase a property, currently on the market, which is very reasonably priced and which is almost fit for purpose, the remaining funds will be allocated to setting up the centre and running it for the first 18 months.


The European Mind Centre will be a place for serious meditators to undertake long-term retreat in a beautiful and serene environment. It will also be a place where people from both secular and religious traditions can come for short-term retreats in a non-sectarian contemplative environment. It will be linked to a network of contemplative observatories around the world, arising from the work and vision of Dr B. Alan Wallace. The heart of this network is the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies in California, USA.

The European Mind Centre will seek to meet two complementary needs. In our culture many serious meditators find it difficult to locate an affordable and conducive environment in which to do their retreats. Many scientists find it difficult to find serious long-term meditators with whom to collaborate on their research into meditation and the nature of consciousness. The vision for bringing highly trained contemplatives together with scientists was first developed by Dr Wallace following discussions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Such collaboration has the potential to help our culture begin to truly understand meditation and its power to transform the mind and enhance wellbeing. A detailed rationale for a contemplative observatory is attached as

Dr Wallace will be a key advisor to this project. His interest in researching the effects of meditation grew out of his many years of training in Tibetan Buddhism and studying other spiritual traditions, his study and love of science, and his vast experience as a meditation teacher. His recent collaborative work with a number of internationally renowned scientists in the Shamatha Project (www.shamatha.org) led to the initiative to establish these centres.

This initiative has the full support of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama who said:

“I believe that the creation of such a centre will be a major step towards understanding the mind and applying the knowledge gained from this research to such fields as education, mental health, and business.”
Dalai Lama, November 21, 2012


The principal aims of the European Mind Centre will be:

  • To provide fully catered accommodation in a peaceful, supportive environment for aspiring contemplatives (and in particular, European residents) interested in engaging in solitary long-term meditation retreats under the guidance of qualified meditation teachers,
  • To offer opportunities for individuals to engage in short-term mindfulness and meditation retreats, short courses or volunteer support activities in order to gain exposure to the theory and practice of shamatha, vipashyana and other related contemplative practices. Such exposure may also provide a stepping stone to future engagement in solitary long-term meditation retreats, and
  • To establish a contemplative observatory and initiate collaborative research projects with interested scientists to investigate the effects of these practices on the human mind through first-person empirical enquiry.

Business Plan

For more information please download the business plan (PDF; 200KB).

This vision statement has been produced by the Contemplative Consciousness Network (CCN), a charitable non-profit company with limited liability based in the United Kingdom, registered with HM Revenue and Customs for Gift Aid (company number: 7482768; charity number: 1142097).

Contact Details:
Elizabeth West, Company Secretary
Contemplative Consciousness Network
16 Servite House, 27 Bramley Road
London N14 4HQ

+44 (0)20 8440 4454