HANNELI ÅGOTSDATTER Psychotherapist and yoga & meditation teacher - kontemplation.dk, Denkmark

    Hanneli Ågotsdatter, M.A, psychotherapist, architect and meditation teacher. She is the founder of kontemplation.dk which offers MBSR-programs and group retreats where mindfulness, presence yoga, empathy and creativity are interwoven into an integrated practice.

    In her work, Hanneli has placed special emphasis on relational competence, teaching the practice of empathy and presence to professionals working with children and young people. She co-leads a one-year program for Danish school teachers, a project that sorts under The Danish Society for the Promotion of Life Wisdom in Children.

    Hanneli lives at Vaekstcenteret, a contemplative community in Denmark under the guidance of founder Jes Bertelsen. She divides her time between counseling, teaching, and long-term personal meditation retreats.

    MARTIJN VAN BEEK Associate Professor - Aarhus University, Denmark

    Martijn van Beek is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and affiliated with the Interacting Minds Centre, both at Aarhus University, Denmark.

    Having previously spent many years working and conducting research in Ladakh and elsewhere in the Himalayan region, his current research explores the meeting ground between contemplative traditions, especially Buddhism, consciousness research and modernity.

    One of the goals of his current research is to contribute to refining our understanding of the significance of the spread of mindfulness and related forms of modern contemplative practice for people and for society today. Together with colleagues at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris he is also engaged in research on the phenomenology of contemplative experience.

    Martijn teaches on contemplative life in context, in theory and in practice at Aarhus University; in the programme “Training Empathy” for professionals working with children and young adults offered by Børns Livskundskab, The Danish Society for the Promotion of Life Wisdom in Children; and at Vaekstcenter, the intentional community where he lives, and elsewhere.

The retreat will be led by Hanneli Ågotsdatter and Martijn van Beek, with contributions from John Dunne, Nathalie Legros and Andreas Roepstorff.


    JOHN D. DUNNE Professor - University Wisconsin-Madison, USA

    John D. Dunne (PhD 1999, Harvard University) serves on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he holds the Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities, a newly endowed position created through the Center for Healthy Minds.  He also holds a co-appointment in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature and is participating in the creation of a new program in Asian Languages & Cultures. Previously he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University, where he co-founded the Collaborative for Contemplative Studies.

    John Dunne's work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science and Psychology. His publications appear in venues ranging across both the Humanities and the Sciences, and they include works on Buddhist philosophy, contemplative practice and their interpretation within scientific contexts. His current research focuses especially on the varieties of mindfulness and the contemplative theories that inquire into its nature. 

    John Dunne speaks in both academic and public contexts, and he occasionally teaches for Buddhist communities, most notably the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe. In addition to serving as a faculty member for the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, he is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, where he has previously served on the Board of Directors. Dr. Dunne also serves an academic advisor for the Ranjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal.

    ANDREAS ROEPSTORFF Professor - Aarhus University, Denmark

    Andreas Roepstorff is a professor of cognition, communication and culture in the departments of Culture and Society and Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University. He works at the interface between anthropology, cognitive science and neuroscience, and is equally interested in the workings of the mind and brain, and in how cognitive science and brain imaging, as fields of knowledge production, relate to other scientific and public fields.

    He has formal training in social anthropology and in neurobiology, and has published widely both within these disciplines as well as in various collaborations across other fields, such as psychology, linguistics, clinical medicine, semiotics, and philosophy. He is the director of the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University and is involved in a number of transdisciplinary collaborations, focusing on aspects of human interaction. He has a long-standing research interest in cognitive aspects of contemplative practices.

    Andreas is also a Mind & Life Europe Board Member.

    NATHALIE LEGROS Space Engineer, Mediator, Confidential Counsellor, Belgium

    Nathalie Legros is a Space Engineer, Mediator, Confidential Counsellor and EU Organisational Development consultant. She works in the Ethics group for the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA), based in Brussels, Belgium.

    In 2011, inspired by her own long-term practice of meditation, she introduced a lunch-time 'Silence Pause' - an opportunity for mindfulness and reflection, within the working environment. Over the years, this bottom-up initiative has grown and developed; the practice is grounded within ERCEA and spreading within the European Commission. In January 2016, she published her first book on conflicts transformation.