La Mente Mediante at MAXXI in Rome


A research project that becomes an artistic performance. An initiative that combines three universal languages ​​as art, science and meditation, and builds a bridge between ancient millenary practices and the most advanced discoveries in neuroscience.

It is the projectTHE MIND MEDITATING.Art, Science, and an Enlightened Mind, experimental and avant-garde, at MAXXI in Rome from 20 to the 24 September 2022, which arises from the unprecedented consortium betweenMAXXIMuseo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo driven byGiovanna Melandri; Institute of Neuroscience of the National Research Council(CNR), with professorGiacomo Rizzolatti, discoverer of mirror neurons, and his team of researchers; Daniel Lumera, naturalist biologist, best-selling author and international reference in the sciences of well-being and in the practice of meditation. In collaborazione conHenesis Srl and with the support ofSolgar Italia Multinutrient S.p.A.

THE MIND MEDITATING, unique event in the European panorama, therefore celebrates the union between art, science and meditation, making visible neural processes usually invisible to the human eye. Thanks to science and the most advanced technologies, in fact, the neural activities of a meditating brain and the neurophysiological aspects on which meditation impacts are revealed, displayed in real time on a large screen in the form of colors, becoming themselves a work of art. Nel contempo, seeing what happens to the brain during meditation helps to study its effectiveness for physical and mental well-being.

Professor explainsGiacomo Rizzolatti:"The integration of different disciplines within MAXXI is an essential element for studying how the brain reacts to the work of art and the surrounding architectural space, but in an ecological environment. Per questa ragione, the collaboration with MAXXI represents an exceptional opportunity for us to evaluate the neural processes underlying our ability to live and inhabit space. The idea of ​​approaching the meditative process with a public scientific method was also born from the meeting with Daniel Lumera, that is, to make neural activity visible not only to the meditating subject himself, but also to the viewer, in the ambitious idea of ​​creating awareness in the visitor of the brain dynamics underway during meditation».

"This performance -commentaDaniel Lumera - intends to unite three universal languages, what art, science and meditation, in a special architectural context, where shadow and light come together with sound and silence to expose the human brain and its "transformations", through the millenary contemplative practices that modern science and neuroscience have recognized as natural medicine, of fundamental importance for our health, our well-being and the very evolution of the human being, and by which we develop cognitive skills. Being able to do this, thanks to the deep sensitivity and avant-garde vision of the President of the MAXXI Foundation Giovanna Melandri who immediately supported the project, together with Professor Giacomo Rizzolatti, one of the world excellence in the field of science, it is a great honor and privilege for me».

ConcludeGiovanna Melandri, MAXXI Foundation President:"We have always explored connections with other disciplines at MAXXI: the relationship between art and science in the exhibitionGravity; art and spirituality inOf the spiritual matter of art; art, artificial intelligence and digital technologies inWhat a Wonderful World. Is always, at the center of every project, people, visitors who are an active part of each initiative. This is why it is a great honor for us to host and share this experience with Giacomo Rizzolatti and Daniel Lumera, open to our public. I have long believed that meditation is a valuable tool for cultivating awareness and peace. The interesting aspect of this project is the possibility of giving visible form to this intuition. Seeing how a meditating mind works thus becomes performance-testimony of how neuronal activities change profoundly. As Giordano Bruno wrote: “It is not the matter that generates thought, but it is thought that generates matter "».

The performance

Daniel Lumera, international reference in the practice of meditation, which he studied and studied with Anthony Elenjimittam, direct disciple of Gandhi,it will give rise to an unusual performance, entering the meditative state for approx 7 hours a day for 5 days, from time to time with guests from the world of art, the show, della scienza, but also with the museum public, once again protagonist, making it visible to participants and spectators, in the form of colors, all four meditative states described both by the ancient wisdom traditions and by the beyond 8.000 scientific studies conducted on the subject: focused attention, sustained concentration, deep contemplation and actual meditation, highlighting its unique features.

The audience will then see on a big screen, in the form of an oscillating color spectrumfrom blue to red, from cold to hot, such as the electroencephalographic signal (EEG) recorded by the scalp evolves over time during a meditation session, which lasts approx30 minutes. The signal will be transmitted wirelessly at very low power, tramite bluetooth, from the bands positioned on the head of Lumera and on that of the meditating guest next to him to a computer where it will be processed in real-time.

In practice, Daniel Lumera will be supported not only by the most experienced students, who will join him in meditation, but they will also be well-known names of the culture, della musica, dell, the show, of science and journalism to alternate with electrodes, unveiling one's brain in meditation to discover e, al contempo, show what happens in a "trained" or neophyte brain who approaches meditation.

And it doesn't stop there, because museum visitors are also invited to join the performance, by booking in the slots available to participate in the meditation sessions. I biglietti, put on sale since the middle of last July, in less than a month they sold out. For this reason, new time slot entrances are already available for individual meditation sessions for € 3,00. Info and tickets

IN-CNR researchers Pietro ADVANCED collaborated on the project, Maddalena Fabbri Destro and Giovanni Vecchiato, with Henesis Srl and its Chief Technology Officer Luca Ascari.

The four states of meditation

Thefocused attention consists of concentrating without distraction on a single object of attention, which can be internal or external to us, abstract or concrete: something that inspires us and brings to mind impressions of peace, serenity or strength, welfare, clarity.

Thesustained concentration instead it has three fundamental characteristics: it is stable, intense and absolute; it does not require effort but presence, you are active in supporting it, but without any kind of forcing. It is a state of intentionality and will that allows us to be completely relaxed, present and at ease in this dimension of centering.

The deep contemplation, then, it is characterized by mental silence, absence of definition and absence of judgment. When deep contemplation is sustained and prolonged, one naturally enters the phase of meditation, where you reach a condition of calm and lightness in which the breath becomes very deep; you no longer have the feeling of doing a practice, rather, a sense of integrity becomes clear in our presence, of purity, prelude to a unique sensation, as if the soul "smiled". The exercise is to let that state take over and surrender to it.

Coordinate performance

Titolo THE MIND MEDITATING. Art, Science, and an Enlightened Mind

Date 20 – 24 September 2022

Headquarters MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Carlo Scarpa room, via Guido Reni 4a, Rome

Hours Tuesday to Saturday, hours 11-19

Public info and reservations |

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