About Us

Board of Directors:
Paul Ekman, PhD
Jerome Engel, Jr., MD, PhD
Jorge Larrea
Agustín Barrios Gómez
President and Founder of SBI:

SBI Staff:

At the beginning of the 21st century humanity is poised for a revolution in our understanding of consciousness, as the first-person modes of inquiry of the contemplative traditions of the world are integrated with the third-person methods of modern science. The Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies is dedicated to furthering such interdisciplinary and cross-cultural investigation of the nature and potentials of consciousness and extending its benefits to the general public.

The Institute’s research emphasizes the integration of scientific approaches with contemplative methods adhering to equally high standards, radically expanding the study of the mind to explore its potentials more fully than ever before. Its practice and education focus is on the cultivation of human flourishing and genuine happiness through exceptional mental health and balance, bringing the physical and psychological benefits of training awareness to ever-broader segments of the population and all areas of life.
The Santa Barbara Institute is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education to advance understanding of the nature and potentials of consciousness. Its comprehensive approach integrates the insights and techniques of contemporary science with those of the world’s classic contemplative and philosophical traditions.
Consciousness studies are at a critical juncture. It is now possible for the first time to synthesize rigorous scientific research in such disciplines as neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry with the techniques of consciousness study and development found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.
The Santa Barbara Institute was established as a nexus for advancing interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding that joins scientific knowledge and spiritual practice. It is a non-sectarian organization that reaches out to the scientific and academic communities, a variety of contemplative traditions, and the general public.
The Santa Barbara Institute’s activities focus on three inter-related fields of endeavor: