Welcome to the resources page. This is a growing page and we welcome any suggestions for additions. A few notes:
If you are new to meditation or the mindfulness practice, you might try a five-minute guided meditation. For others, there are longer guided meditations for download. Either way, please do check out the audio files of guided meditations.
We have collected a list of some key organizations engaged in bridging meditation and contemplative practice and the law. Their websites provide a wealth of information.
We have included a list of some of our favorite books on meditation and the mindful practice. In particular, we want to draw your attention to books by conference panelists and organizers, who will be happy to further discuss their work in person at the conference. Short reviews and links to the books are below.
- 2010 Mindful Lawyer Conference Video
- 2010 Mindful Lawyer Conference Audio Recordings
- Guided Meditations
- Organizations Engaged in Bridging Law and Contemplative Meditation
- Meditation Classes and Retreats
- Books by Conference Presenters
- Books by Conference Attendees
- Other Recommended Books on Meditation and Contemplative Practice
- Mindful Lawyer Conference in the News
- Articles on Law and Meditation
- Course Materials and Syllabi
- Audiovisual Materials on Law and Meditation
2010 Mindful Lawyer Conference Video
You may also watch these videos on the Mindful Lawyer Vimeo Channel.
In this session, we review the development of meditation and law as a growing area of interest in the law, reflecting on the core themes that will be explored during the course of the conference. We introduce mindfulness practice with a guided meditation. We begin to explore what it means to engage with each other and with the substantive material in a mindful fashion, and discuss and review our hopes and aspirations for the conference and for the future growth of meditation in law practice and legal education.
Meditation and the Brain
Centuries-old contemplative practices are now being studied in the lab. Through the use of powerful technologies for imaging the activity of the brain, we better understand the importance and impact of different types of meditation practices. Clinical psychologist and neuroscientist, Philippe Goldin, offers us cutting-edge insights into what neuroscience research has to say about the benefits of meditation from which we may more fully consider its application to our professional and personal lives.
The Art and Science of Mindfulness: A Psychological Perspective
Studies in psychology and the social sciences about the effects of mindfulness on social interactions and the management of stress have implications for our effectiveness as counselors, advocates, teachers, students, and decision-makers in the legal profession. Join psychologist Dr. Shauna Shapiro as she explores with us the role of mindfulness for awakening the mind and opening the heart. Drawing on current research and theory, she will introduce three primary elements of mindfulness and explore the mechanisms of action through which mindfulness has its transformative effects. In addition, ways of integrating mindfulness personally and professionally to cultivate greater happiness, health and freedom will be discussed (and experienced).
Educating Lawyers: The Meditative Perspective as a Complement to Traditional Education and Training
This session begins with an overview of the growing number of efforts to teach mindfulness in a variety of settings, including law schools, CLE, and CJE. Experienced teachers describe course design and the integration of meditation into substantive courses. They exchange viewpoints on how law teachers benefit from the practice of mindfulness, and on why it is important for students to learn mindfulness as a central component of their legal education.
Reflections on Empathy and Mindfulness, and a Guided Meditation with Jack Kornfield
Putting Mindfulness to Work: The Benefits of Contemplative Practice for Judges and Lawyers
In this Plenary, we explore the benefits of contemplative practice from the perspective of those on the front lines in our system of law and justice: judges and lawyers. Experienced judges and lawyers describe how the movement for contemplative practice in law looks from their perspective. They also describe how particular contemplative practices have assisted them in their daily lives.
Alleviating Lawyers' Stress, Depression, and Substance Abuse: Mindfulness and Health
Compared to other disciplines, both law students and practicing lawyers have alarming rates of stress, depression, and substance abuse, all of which negatively impact both health and professional functioning. The good news is that mindfulness meditation can help to alleviate these conditions. The panelists describe the scope of the problems and summarize the research demonstrating the ameliorating efficacy of mindfulness.
Enhancing Specific Lawyering Skills: Mindfulness in Negotiation and Mediation
This plenary explores various ways in which meditation and mindful awareness have been - and might be - introduced into training and practice in negotiation and mediation. It examines the motives, goals, and methods used by leaders in a number of exemplary efforts. The information presented is relevant to all lawyers, not just specialists in alternative dispute resolution.
2010 Mindful Lawyer Conference Audio Recordings
The Mindful Lawyer: Practices & Prospects for Law School, Bench, and Bar
October 29-31, 2010
UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law
1. Meditation session with Norman Fischer (1:21, 112 MB)
2. Meditation session with Patton Hyman and Robert Chender: Working With Fear Through Contemplative Disciplines (1:27, 122 MB)
3. Taking STOCK Exercise (1:15, 104 MB)
4. Deeper Implications of Mindfulness for Conflict Resolution (1:07, 95 MB)
5. Mindfulness in Other Professions and Disciplines (1:23, 120 MB)
6. Mindfulness and Restorative Justice: Focus on an Innovative Approach to Lawyering (1:26, 123 MB)
7. Opportunities in Law Schools: Courses, Academic Support and other Co-Curricular Activities (1:34, 144 MB)
8. Putting It All Togther: What Does a Mindful Lawyer's Practice Look Like? (1:20, 111 MB)
9. Neuroscience of Mindfulness: A Deeper Exploration (1:32, 143 MB)
10. Religious, Spiritual, Secular: Situating Mindfulness (1:26, 120 MB)
11. Can Mindfulness Transform Legal Doctrine and Policy? (1:22, 109 MB)
12. Mindfulness and the Law School Experience: Student Perspectives (1:26, 107 MB)
13. Meditation Instruction For Lawyers by Norman Fischer
Professor of Law, University of Florida
Sitting meditation (About 35 minutes. This meditation moves from awareness of breath, body, thoughts and emotions, to bare attention (or choiceless awareness)
Body Scan Meditation (About 30 minutes. Awareness of sensations in the body)
Director of the Mindfulness Center, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
Breathing Meditation (5 mins)
Loving-Kindness Meditation (10 mins)
Breath, Sound & Body Meditation (12 mins)
Listen to more meditations by Diana at the MARC-UCLA website
Organizations Engaged in Bridging Law and Contemplative Meditation
The Law Program, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society - The Law Program explores ways of helping lawyers, judges, law professors and students reconnect with their deepest values and intentions, through meditation, yoga, and other contemplative and spiritual practices. We run retreats and events which provide a framework for considering ways in which contemplative awareness can enhance and enrich our professional and personal lives, and bring them more into balance. Their retreats address questions and ideas from both a contemplative and legal perspective: the nature of winning and losing, the role of compassion in adversarial situations, truth and "right speech," Socratic and contemplative methods of inquiry, action and non-action, separation and connection, and listening. The website has a great resource section.
The Center for Law and Renewal - A non-profit whose mission is to equip law professionals with foundational principles, tools and practical skills that advance the renewal of professionalism, the spirit of justice, and the exercise of ethical leadership in the legal profession and community life. The Center holds retreats and classes, amongst other activities.
Cutting Edge Law - An online resource for anyone interested in the growing community of those who seek alternate approaches to the traditional adversarial legal system.
The Initiative on Mindfulness in Law and Dispute Resolution, University of Florida College of Law. This program, directed by Professor Leonard Riskin, is a resource for lawyers, mediators and other conflict resolvers who are interested in applying mindfulness in their professional activities.
The Institute for Mindfulness Studies - Brings the contemplative practice of mindfulness to practitioners of law by offering instruction in techniques specifically designed for attorneys. IMS's mission is to improve the quality of life and practice for attorneys and law students and to contribute to the re-establishment of society's recognition of the challenging and admirable role played by attorneys.
The International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers - A non-profit organization to dedicated to finding more joy, satisfaction and meaning in life. IAHL Members are exploring different ways of practicing law, learning how to deal with the stress of the legal profession, and are passionate about helping the legal profession become more open and responsive to its clients and the world at large.
Mediate.com Spirituality Section - The site explores how our own spirituality, different spiritual philosophies and many spiritual practices support and enhance who we are as mediators.
Nyingma - A local Tibetan Buddhist center that offers continuing education programs for lawyers a couple times a year.
Project for Integrating Spirituality, Law, and Politics - Seeks to develop and articulate a new vision of law's relationship to social transformation and bring together leaders and activists in such spiritual/political/humanistic legal movements as Restorative Justice, Understanding-based Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Humanizing Legal Education under a common theoretical and practical vision that can unify their respective efforts.
Sacramento Insight Meditation / Information on Retreats for Attorneys - The mission is to serve as a learning, training, and community center for the development, integration, and skillful use of meditation practices and awareness in all aspects of individual, family, educational, institutional, work, and community life.
idealawg - An active blog by Stephanie West Allen, member of the Conference planning committee, about mindfulness and the law. She is the founder of Colorado Contemplative Lawyers Society, and recently gave the first CLE for the Colorado Bar on contemplative practices for lawyers.
Meditation Classes and Retreats
East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA
An independent center that offers meditation training and spiritual teachings from Buddhist and other wisdom traditions, with attention to social action, multiculturalism, and the diverse populations of the East Bay, California and beyond.
Berkeley Shambhala Center, Berkeley, CA
The Berkeley Shambhala Meditation Center is part of an international community of urban meditation and rural retreat centers founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and currently headed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Everyday Zen's work involves many areas: traditional zen practice (talks, retreats, personal relationship); work with Jewish and Christian meditation, with the dying, with lawyers and conflict resolvers, with business, with poetry and literature. The teacher is Zoketsu Norman Fischer.
Insight Meditation Center, Barre, MA
Two residential retreat centers for Buddhist meditation on wooded acres in Barre, MA.
Law Dharma Retreat for Lawyers Skillful Means: Setting Boundaries With Clients
Held at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in the Ventana Wilderness east of Big Sur, the Retreat is led by Mary Mocine, a Zen Buddhist priest who was also a lawyer for many years. MCLE credit is offered. The retreat is part of Law Dharma, a group intended to support lawyers in their law practice by offering an on-going meditation/support group in the San Francisco Bay area. For more information about the retreat and the group, please email Mary at email@example.com.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Martin County, CA
The Center is dedicated to the teachings of the Buddha as presented in the vipassana tradition. The practice of mindful awareness, called Insight or Vipassana Meditation, is at the heart of all the activities at Spirit Rock. The Center hosts a full program of ongoing classes, daylong programs, and residential retreats.
Vallecitos Mountain Refuge, 50 miles west of Taos, NM
A wilderness ranch and retreat center.
Vallejo Zen Center
A Soto Zen Buddhist Temple in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and the San Francisco and Berkeley Zen Centers. The center offers regular meditation, meditation instruction, classes, one-day sittings, work practice, lectures and special workshops
Books by Conference Presenters
Norman Fischer, Sailing Home: Using Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Life's Perils and Pitfalls, Free Press
"It is not so easy to come home to yourself, although it may be the most important journey any of us will ever take. This profoundly inspiring book reminds us of why the cultivation of awareness and kindness is so necessary and so difficult. By exploring The Odyssey and tying it to the travails of our personal lives and to a very human understanding of Zen and Buddhist meditation from decades of practice and teaching, Norman Fischer brings it all to life, and us as well, so that we can remember what muses are best listened to, especially when we are so easily captivated by false dreams of security and attainment." -Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and Arriving at Your Own Door
Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation, Shambhala Publications
"It succeeds excellently. Brilliantly, one would say, were it not that the simplicity and total unpretentiousness of the authors are so far removed from any striving for brilliance or effect. Goldstein and Kornfield are totally concerned with one thing only: to convey as straightforwardly as possible the essence of the Buddha's message." -Buddhist Studies Review
Charlie Halpern, Making Waves and Riding the Currents: Activism and the Practice of Wisdom
"It was long believed that wisdom is to the soul what health is to the body. Charles Halpern has lived as if there is no distinction—that body, soul, wisdom, and health are one and the same in a life fully lived with great passion. This most creative of public citizens-lawyer, educator, philanthropist, catalyst of ideas and institutions—has put into practice what he writes in these pages. A nation wandering in the wilderness, as we are, could not ask for a better guide toward clarity and compassion." -Bill Moyers, journalist
"In The Six-Minute Solution, Rogers offers attorneys an overview of mindfulness, mindfulness practices, and the support mindfulness is finding in neuroscience research -- and he does so using the language of the law so that the readings and practices are memorable and accessible to the busy practitioner."
"Scott Rogers offers an exceptionally creative approach to bringing mindfulness into the legal profession." From the Foreword by Leonard Riskin
"A brilliant and clear summary of the whole field of mindfulness research and clinical applications. --Jack Kornfield, PhD, best-selling author of The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Unviersal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology"
Books by Conference Attendees
This is a growing section of books. Please email us with additional sources.
Other Important Guides to Meditation and Contemplative Practice
"Author Claudia Horwitz is the founder of stone circles, a North Carolina-based organization that integrates faith, spirituality and social justice. Here, she charts a course that moves from "refuge" (finding inner strength) to "union" (reaching out at home and at work) and "embrace" (finding a connection in the outside world). Her book includes useful tips ("spiritual quick hits"), practical suggestions and worksheets. Interviews with socially conscious leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, that add to Horwitz's own counsel." -Publishers Weekly
Joseph Goldstein, The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala Publications
"An intelligent, thorough, startlingly clear description of Western vipassana practice in particular and Buddhism in general." -Los Angeles Times
Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, Shambhala Publications
"The Experience of Insight comes about as close to delivering the promise of its title as any written material can." -East West Journal
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There you are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, Hyperion
"Kabat-Zinn's book outlines the Buddhist technique of "mindfulness": a method of living fully in the moment without judgment." -Publishers Weekly
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation, Parallax Press
"Encouraging his readers to walk with their attention on the present and gently to resist struggling with issues of the past or problems of the future, the author offers short meditative verses and personal observations to facilitate the practice of 'walking peacefully.'" BOMC/One Spirit selection. -Publishers Weekly
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation, Beacon Press
"One of the best available introductions to the wisdom and beauty of meditation practice". -New Age Journal
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Weatherhill
"In one of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice, the important teacher Shunryu Suzuki discusses posture and breathing in meditation as well as selflessness, emptiness, and mindfulness." -Library Journal
Les Kaye, Zen at Work: A Zen Teacher's 30-Year Journey in Corporate America, Crown Publishers
"Kaye's book is an extraordinary witness to the way Zen practice can mesh with corporate culture, for the book demonstrates elegantly how Zen thinking can transform an individual's experience of the workplace." -Publishers Weekly
David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of Soul in Corporate America, Currency/Doubleday
"A corporate analyst who quotes Dante, Yeats, and Blake? Whyte, a maverick business consultant, wends his way through office and board room finding occasions for poetic reflection. The reader who attends to his message may indeed discover that success in business is spiritual, not merely financial, and that time spent in meditating will count for more in the end than time spent tabulating profits and losses. This intuitive rather than rational line of reasoning will mystify—perhaps infuriate—executives hardened to everything except career advancement. But readers willing to lay aside workaday preconceptions will learn ways to look for the hidden patterns of labor and creativity that can give new meaning to corporate employment. While some of Whyte's insights translate almost immediately into more effective office communication and management, many require the slow pondering that leads to fundamental reorientation of vision." -Booklist
Mindful Lawyer Conference in the News
Mindful Lawyers Lead the Way to Work and Life Satisfaction, examiner.com (4/20/11)
Meditation: A New Practice for Lawyers, The California Bar Journal (1/11)
UC Berkeley Lawyers Meditation Class Draws Crowd, San Francisco Chronicle (10/28/10)
U.C. Berkeley to Hold Conference on Meditation and Law Practice, The National Law Journal (10/25/10)
Berkeley Law to Host First National Conference on Meditation and Law, Berkeley Law Homepage News (10/25/10)
Lawyers Meditate to Elevate Skills, California Lawyer Magazine (10/10)
Articles on Law and Meditation
- Annual Saltman Lecture: Further Beyond Reason: Emotions, the Core Concerns, and Mindfulness in Negotiation, by Leonard L. Riskin, 20 Nevada Law Journal 289 (2010).
- The Contemplative Lawyer: On the Potential Contributions of Mindfulness Meditation to Law Students, Lawyers, and their Clients, by Leonard L. Riskin. 7 Harvard Negotiation Law Review 1-66 (2002) (Centerpiece of a symposium on Mindfulness in Dispute Resolution and Law).
- Depression and Anxiety in Law Students: Are We Part of the Problem and Can We Be Part of the Solution? McKinney, Ruth Ann, 8 (Legal Writing: Journal of Legal Writing Instruction) 229 (2002).
- Distress Among the Legal Profession: What Law Schools Can Do About It, Maloney, Bridget, 15 (Notre Dame Journal of Legal Ethics & Public Policy) 307 (2001).
- The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Medical and Premedical Students, Shauna L. Shapiro, PhD (et al) (Journal of Behavioral Medicine) 21, 581-599 (1998)
- From 'The Art of War' to 'Being Peace': Mindfulness and Community Lawyering in a Neoliberal Age, Angela P. Harris , J. Selbin, and M. Lin (California Law Review)
- Further Beyond Reason: Mindfulness, Emotions, and the Core Concerns in Negotiation (Annual Saltman Lecture), Leonard L. Riskin, 10 Nevada Law Journal 289 (2010). This article is the centerpiece of a print symposium entitled "Mindfulness, Emotions, and Ethics in Law and Dispute Resolution."
- Further Examining the American Dream: Differential Correlates of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goals, Kasser, Tim & Richard M. Ryan, 22 (Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin) 281 (1996).
- Knowing Yourself: Mindfulness, in The Negotiator's Fieldbook Christopher Honeyman & Andrea K. Schneider, eds., American Bar Association, 239-50 (2006).
- The Happy Charade: An Empirical Examination of the Third Year of Law School, Gulati, Mitu, Richard Sander, & Robert Sockloskie, Robert, 51 Journal of Legal Education 235 (2001).
- The Inseparability of Professionalism and Personal Satisfaction: Perspectives on Values, Integrity and Happiness, Krieger, Lawrence S., 11 Clinical Law Review 425 (2005).
- Institutional Denial About the Dark Side of Law School, and Fresh Empirical Guidance for Constructively Breaking the Silence, Krieger, Lawrence S., 52 Journal of Legal Education 112 (2002).
- Lessons Learned: Legal Education and Law Student Dysfunction, Iijima, Ann L., 48 Journal of Legal Education 524 (1998).
- Mindfulness: Foundational Training for Dispute Resolution and Law, by Leonard L. Riskin. 54 Journal of Legal Education 79-91 (2004).
- Mindfulness, Meditation and Clinical Law Teaching©, Kuennen, Tamara, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Description of Presentation for the Mindful Lawyer Conference.
- Now and Zen, by Ron Greenberg, California Lawyer Magazine (April 2003)
- The Place of Mindfulness in Healing and the Law, in Shifting the Field of Law & Justice, 99-120, Center for Law and Renewal (Linda Hager, Bonnie Allen & Renee Floyd Meyers, eds) (2007).
- Reflections on Teaching Law as Right Livelihood: Cultivating Ethics, Professionalism, and Commitment to Public Service From the Inside Out, Morin, Laurie A., 35 Tulsa Law Journal 227 (2000).
- Reflections on the Potential Growth of Mindfulness Meditation in the Law, Codiga, Douglas A., 7 Harvard Negotiation Law Review 109 (2002).
- Some Thoughts About Developing Constructive Approaches to Lawyer and Law Student Distress, Glenn, Peter G., 10 Journal of Law & Health 69 (1995-96).
- Symposium on Mindfulness, Emotions, and Ethics in Law and Dispute Resolution, 10 Nevada Law Journal 289 (2010). Table of Contents
- Using Mindfulness Practice to Work with Emotions, Deborah Calloway, 10 Nevada Law Journal 338 (2010)
- What does it Mean to Do the Right Thing?, Ran Kuttner, 10 Nevada Law Journal 407 (2010)
- What We're Not Telling Law Students – and Lawyers – That They Really Need to Know: Some Thoughts-In-Action Toward Revitalizing the Profession From Its Roots, Krieger, Lawrence S., 13 Journal of Law & Health 1 (1998-99).
- What's Special About Meditation? Contemplative Practice for American Lawyers, Blatt, William S., 7 Harvard Negotiation Law Review 125 (2002).
- Yes, and: Core Concerns, Internal Mindfulness, and External Mindfulness for Emotional Balance, Lie Detections, and Successful Negotiation, Clark Freshman, 10 Nevada Law Journal 365 (2010)
Course Materials and Syllabi
Below, please find a list of law school courses and law school programming on meditation and the law, and meditation and dispute resolution. Syllabi and descriptions are available in PDF form for download. If you teach such a course or offer such programming, please email us your syllabus or a description of the programming, so that we can add it to this growing list.
Law School Courses
- ADR Seminar, Professor Rachel Wohl, University of Baltimore School of Law (Spring 2009)
- Advanced Trial Advocacy: Integrating Mindfulness Theory & Practice, Professor David Zlotnick, Roger Williams University School of Law (Spring 2009)
- Conflict Management in Legal Practice, Professor Leonard Riskin, Northwestern University School of Law (Fall 2010)
- Contemplative Lawyering, Professor Judi Cohen, Golden Gate University School of Law (Fall 2010)
- Contemplative Lawyering, Professors Judi Cohen, Rhonda Magee, and Tim Iglesias, University of San Francisco School of Law (Spring 2010)
- Contemplative Lawyering, Professor Deborah Calloway, University of Connecticut School of Law (Fall 2010)
- Effective and Sustainable Law Practice: The Meditative Perspective, Professor Charlie Halpern, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Spring 2010)
- The Mindful Lawyer: Practices and Prospects for Law School, Bench, and Bar, Professor Stephanie Phillips, University at Buffalo Law School (Fall 2010)
- Mindfulness Skills for Legal Practice, Professor Robert Zeglovitch, William Mitchell College of Law (Fall 2010)
- Tools of Awareness for Lawyers, Professor Leonard Riskin, University of Florida Levin College of Law (Spring 2010)
Law School Programming
- Incorporating Mindfulness Meditation into Student Programming, Vanderbilt University Law School, by Julie K. Sandine, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs