The metaMind Institute is committed to providing individuals and organizations with the skill-sets that promote calm, clear and adaptive thinking.
The metaMind Institute was formed from the synthesis of three disciplines: behavioral economics, neuroscience and mindfulness training.
- Behavioral Economics is the study of how people behave and make decisions. Classical economics assumes that people make decisions based on rational calculation, like Mr. Spock. But in reality, people behave far more like Homer Simpson than Mr. Spock. The field of behavioral economics investigates the underlying reasons for these irrational patterns of behavior and prescribes ways to work around the very tendencies towards error.
- Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system, particularly the brain. In the last few decades, neuroscientists have discovered a remarkable thing about the brain, namely that the brain changes its function and structure in response to environmental, behavioral and mental influences. Just as muscles become stronger with regular exercise, regions of the brain become ‘thicker’ when used with frequency and attention. This phenomenon is called neuroplasticity. The field of neuroscience is now giving us a better sense of what brain regions we need to strengthen and activate for optimal performance.
- Mindfulness Training. Originally a part of traditional meditation practice, mindfulness training is now a secular skill of attention that has many practical benefits. These include: 1) stress-reduction, 2) increased focus, 3) more accurate perception, 4) emotional regulation and 5) enhanced creativity. In essence, mindfulness means paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment, without judgment or cloudy perception. It’s easy to be mindful, but not so easy to rememberto be mindful. Hence, the need for a methodical training.People who regularly practice mindfulness become more aware of their thinking process. They literally think more reflectively about how they are thinking. This is called metacognition, and metacognition has proven to be one of the most important capacities for optimal mental performance.
In short, behavioral economics defines the problem, neuroscience reveals the mechanism of the problem and mindfulness training provides the solution. Drawing on insights from each of these fields, the metaMind Institute trains people to intentionally access different ways of thinking to optimize their decision-making and performance.
For over twenty years, Mr. Summers has trained extensively in yoga and mindfulness meditation both in the United States and Asia, with intensive training in a Burmese monastery. In addition to co-authoring The Buddha’s Playbook: Strategies for Enlightened Living (2009), Mr. Summers’ work includes teaching mindfulness to medical residents at Massachusett’s General Hospital, serving as the meditation coach to the Boston University Women’s Division I soccer team, and lecturing about the benefits of mindfulness training at the Berklee College of Music and other universities.
Sensing the growing demand for mindfulness-based capacities, Mr. Summers founded the metaMind Institute. Under Mr. Summers’ leadership, the metaMind Institute developed a mind fitness program called Adaptive Intelligence Training to help groups and individuals better manage complexity, stress, innovation and decision-making.
To contact Mr. Summers, email email@example.com.