Mind & Life podcast

Amy Cohen Varela – The Power of Undoing

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In this episode, Wendy speaks with clinical psychologist and contemplative Amy Cohen Varela. In addition to her work as a psychoanalytic therapist, Amy is also the widow of Francisco Varela (co-founder of the Mind & Life Institute), and continues to share his vision and work through the offerings of Mind & Life Europe. This conversation covers many topics, including:

  • her dual interest in biology and literature;
  • the contemplative aspects of psychoanalysis;
  • skills learned from listening deeply to yourself and to others;
  • how she met Francisco Varela;
  • enaction, meaning, and participatory sense-making;
  • links between Francisco's ideas and Buddhist philosophy;
  • subjective and objective viewpoints, and how we oversimplify Buddhism and science in that dynamic;
  • how more than a decade with Francisco has changed her;
  • the power of curiosity and openness;
  • doing and undoing the self in psychoanalysis;
  • Francisco's reflections on the Chilean civil war, and implications for polarization;
  • the need for systems to be able to "undo" themselves;
  • and Mind & Life Europe's latest offerings.

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