Dusana Dorjee, PhD
Dusana Dorjee, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist, author, Dzogchen meditation practitioner and teacher. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science (with neuroscience focus) from the University of Arizona. Dusana also holds a master's degree in clinical psychology (Comenius University) and a master's degree in cognitive psychology/cognitive science (University of Arizona). She also studied philosophy of mind and science at doctoral level. She leads the Well Minds Lab where she investigates capacities underlying wellbeing and changes in these capacities resulting from contemplative practice in the context of individual and societal wellbeing. Dusana has pioneered neuroscientific research on secular meditation with children and adolescents in schools and proposed a framework for research in contemplative science. She recently led the development of new measures which may enable more comprehensive understanding of modifications in the mind and brain resulting from contemplative practice. Dusana's current research also explores the role of wellbeing capacities (and contemplative training) in addressing current societal crises including the Covid-19 pandemic, political polarisation, sustainability and technology related challenges. She co-authored (with focus on neuroscience content) a mindfulness and well-being curriculum called The Present for Primary Schools and co-directs The Present Courses Community Interest Company providing mindfulness and wellbeing training for pupils (3-18 year olds) and school teachers. Dusana authored the Mind, Brain and the Path to Happiness (Routledge, 2013) and Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life (Routledge, 2017). She has been regularly practicing meditation for over 20 years, mainly in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen, and cumulatively spent 6 months in silent meditation retreat. Between 2005 and 2012 Dusana taught Dozgchen to small groups of students in the USA and the UK. She was focusing on book writing, research and personal meditation practice between 2012 and 2020. Dusana is now starting to teach Dzogchen again, mostly via recorded talks and small discussion groups. Padmasamhava's (founder of Tibetan Buddhism) teachings on the Six Bardos and less well-known teachings by a female Dzogchen master Shakyadevi (8th century) have been the main focus of her practice and teaching. Dusana presents these teachings in the contemporary context in relation to the latest reseach on the effects of meditation on the mind and brain, building on the material from her books.