Nathaniel Williams

I am from the USA, where I have spent most of my life active as an artist.  I am currently working and studying at the University of Albany in New York, pursuing an interest in the intersection of aesthetics and political culture in a doctoral program.

I have been familiar with anthroposophic meditation since I attended art school when I was 19 and I continue to be intrigued by it years later.  One unique facet of this school of practice is that it aims at being a path of understanding and insight.  Today, in the philosophy of science, there is a general recognition that what anyone doing research can perceive is connected to the methods and practices they employ while conducting an exploration.  In anthroposophic meditation this is not only theoretically acknowledged but we find individuals working together with new research practices and claiming new perceptions related to human physiology, plant life, history, and applying them to their fields in art, education, medicine, etc…  This I find extremely significant, and as is obvious, not only for personal health and well-being.

I will be facilitating a panel on meditation and science with Ursula Flatters and Terje Sparby.  Terje Sparby has been working within a field that has evolved over the last few decades known as contemplative neuroscience.  It involves highly disciplined descriptions of meditative experience parallel to observations of the body.  Terje was a research fellow at the Mind and Life Institute, an international hub for this area of work, and he has since continued as a researcher in Germany, recently focusing particularly on anthroposophic meditation.  Ursula Flatters has pursued a career working in anthroposophic medicine.  A unique view of the relation between the mind and body, primarily due to the way the body is observed, opens up for individuals working in medicine from anthroposophic perspectives.  As far as I know this view is not taken into account in any research on contemplative neuroscience so this will be new, or in a series of firsts.


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