top of page
Anchor 8

Mindfulness is in itself, something very simple and familiar. It is a universal and basic human capacity, which consists of the possibility of being aware of the contents of the mind moment by moment. It is the practice of self-awareness.

~ Vicente Simon

IN WESTERN PSYCHOLOGY a maturation of cognitive therapies is taking place, within what are called third generation therapies. Cognitive psychotherapies constitute a fertile ground in which techniques related to mindfulness can be planted and bear fruit.

     Mindfulness is characterized by the cultivation of attention and concentration. It is natural that, when mindfulness became known in Western psychological circles, cognitive psychologists guessed the enormous therapeutic possibilities that it possesses.

     At present there are already various therapeutic techniques that have emerged in Western psychology, in which mindfulness plays a prominent role. The best known are: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR: Kabat-Zinn, 2003); mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT: Segal, Williams, Teasdale, 2002); acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT: Hayes, Strosahl & Houts, 2005) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT: Linehan, 1993; García Palacios, 2006) to treat borderline personality disorder.

     As Thich Nhat Hanh has said that mindfulness is keeping awareness alive in the reality of the present. On the one hand, there is the basic component, the fundamental characteristic of mindfulness, which consists of keeping the attention focused on the immediate experience of the present.

     Therefore, the first instruction of mindfulness is to be aware of what is happening in the present moment. The second component of the definition is to keep a non-judgemental attitude toward the experience of the present, that is, keeping a simple and open mind to the experiences of the present moment as they are unfolding.

     A fundamental attitudes in the practice of mindfulness is what Kabat-Zinn calls a beginner's mind, in reference to the title of a well-known Suzuki book: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. When mindfulness is practiced imbued by this attitude, one tends to free oneself from all previous knowledge, from any acquired expectations. Thus, reality is perceived as if it were for the first time that it is seen and experienced. In turn, this liberation opens the possibility of change. 

Anchor 1





Saturday, December 4, 2022 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Popular Center Penthouse, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Anchor 2

Speakers, topics and / or times may vary

Health professionals can opt to obtain a Continuing education certificate (CEC) for 6 hours accredited by the Health Examining Boards of PR for $20, you must sign your attendance at the UPR table, Medical Sciences Center (located in the lobby) and take the pre and post tests .

To register, choose between ATH Móvil or Credit Card

Students or adults over 65 years old

(must present evidence the day of the event)

If you register on or before October 15: $65

If you register after October 15: $95

Professionals and the general public

If register on or before October 15: $95

If you register after October 16: $125

Program | Topics and schedules


Speakers, topics and / or times may vary

All conferences will be face-to-face (there will be no video conferences)

8:30 am - 9 o'clock A.M
Sign in
9 o'clock A.M - 9:10 am
Introduction to the conference
Dr. Mauricio Conejo, San Juan
9:10 am - 9:30 am
Meditation session | Counting the breath
Dr. Mauricio Conejo
9:30 am - 10:20 am
Mindfulness to increase the gross national happiness quotient 
Dr. Mauricio Conejo

IN RECENT YEARS MINDFULNESS has had an unprecedented boom. The impact it has on reducing stress has been studied and the effect of creating a positive work environment is increasingly being studied. For a vast majority of individuals today, their primary focus is to find balance between their work and personal lives in order to improve their quality of life. Therefore, many countries are looking at alternatives to increase the level of happiness of their citizens by investing in programs that promote not only a long life but a better quality of life. The practice of Mindfulness is being advanced from public policy as a way to impact both dimensions, health and quality of life. The practice of Mindfulness has been supported by progressive labor movements, educational and public reforms and health legislation. Mindfulness practice has been established as a third generation contextual therapy covered by health plans. Faced with the eminent wave of popularity of Mindfulness, there are great challenges to establish a responsible professional practice and reasonable goals.

10:20 am - 10:40 am
Coffee break
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Meditation session | Open consciousness
Dr. Mauricio Conejo
11:00 am - 12:00 md
Living Mindfulness: Life as the best scenario for practice
(Conference in English)
Dr. Paul Fulton, Boston

AMONG THE MANY MINDFULNESS EXERCISES those that have to do with formal practice stand out. However, not much is said about the informal practices that can be done at any time of the day and that are as important as the formal practices. In this context, life itself takes on a vital importance as it becomes the best setting for practicing mindfulness amid the bustle, calamities, and uncertainties of life. Mindfulness is not only a practice of meditation in silence and in complete stillness, but it is also a practice where the one observes objectively, attentively and without judgement each action of daily life with the purpose of discovering automatic reactions in order to knowing oneself in an integral and deeper way. Together we will explore active Mindfulness practices for daily life.

12:00 noon - 1:30 pm
Lunch break
1:30 pm - 1:50 pm
Meditation session | Body scan
Tim Desmond, LMFT, New Hampshire
1: 5 0 pm - 2 : 50 pm
Mindfulness in neurocognitive rehabilitation
Dra. Mónica Iturry, Buenos Aires

THE AIM OF NEUROCOGNITIVE THERAPY is not only rehabilitation in case of stroke, trauma, heart attack or ischemia, but also to preserve and strengthen cognitive abilities, particularly executive functions. As part of a set of neuropsychological interventions, the contemplative practice of mindfulness is increasingly being used to strengthen attentional processes which are vital for the correct execution of essential neurocognitive skills for proper performance in daily life activities. Contemplative practice for older adults facing cognitive impairment, helps them manage the uncertainty generated by the disease and offers a coping strategy for anxiety generated by the diagnosis of a neurocognitive disorder. 

2:50 pm - 3:10 pm
Coffee break
3:10 pm - 3: 3 0 pm
Meditation session | Body scan
Dr. Paul Fulton
3:30 pm - 4: 1 0 pm
Mindfulness and social change through social action
(Conference in English)
Tim Desmond, LFMT

TIM DESMOND WAS ONE OF THE ORGANIZERS of the protest movement Occupy Wall Street. He has focused on conscious actions that promote a change in the individual and that result in social changes that benefit the environment, the most vulnerable in society and those in need. In today's society the paradigm of competition, struggle, fear, domination and exploitation collapses in the face of scientific findings that demonstrate the effect of collaboration, tolerance and compassion for the well-being of both the individual and society. Mindfulness is leading the way in the emerging social changes that seek a balance between work and life, self and other. Thus, the practice of meditation has become the mediator between social conflicts, challenges and the most pressing problems that the world faces today.

4:10 pm - 4:30 pm
Meditation session | Counting the breath
Dr. Mauricio Conejo


4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Anchor 3
Marcela Henao, M.D.,Ph.D.

Médica, Magíster en Neurociencias y Biología del comportamiento, doctora en Neurociencias. Experiencia en el sector salud en programas de promoción y prevención, riesgo cardiovascular, consulta externa, atención prioritaria y medicina del estrés. Profesora en las áreas de semiología básica y clínica, neuroanatomía, neurofisiología y neuropatología en diferentes facultades de medicina de Medellín, Colombia. Con habilidades en el desarrollo de propuestas de investigación y su ejecución en el área de salud mental y medicina del estrés en poblaciones cardiovasculares, pacientes con fibromialgia y estudiantes universitarios. Profesora invitada para el apoyo en certificaciones en el área de neurociencias en Puerto Rico.

Mauricio Conejo2.jpg

He studied a Master's of Arts degree (MA) in Design at Nothrumbria University in England. His interest in neuroscience led him to complete a Master of Science (MSc) in Neuroscience at Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, Spain. He worked in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Schikorski at Caribbean Central University and completed his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Maimonides University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a professor at the Puerto Rico School of Fine Arts and Design where he is also the program's director and serves as executive director, Ad Honorem, at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

WhatsApp Image 2023-04-23 at 21.09.50.jpeg

He is a psychology doctor from Harvard University. Dr. Fulton is a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He is also a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard University. He has taught in various graduate programs at Harvard and other prestigious universities. He edited the book Meditación and Psychotherapy. He has served as the clinical director of a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts and for many years has directed the mental health program at Tuffs Health Plan, a mental health care organization in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Fulton is an international lecturer.

WhatsApp Image 2023-04-26 at 15.35.34.jpeg

She obtained a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aries, Argentina and has a Specialty in Clinical Psychology with Orientation in Neuropsychology. Dr. Iturry has been in charge of the Memory and Neuropsychology Laboratory at the Zubizarreta Hospital and also has served as the director for the Memory Stimulation and Dynamic Stress Management workshops. She is also the coordinator of the Allegri Institute. Dr. Iturry is a member of the Ethics Committee at Zubizarreta Hospital, the Argentine Neurological Society and the Argentine Neuropsychology Society. She is also a profesor at Maimónides University.

WhatsApp Image 2023-04-26 at 16.03.28.jpeg

He is a mindfulness teacher and a psychotherapist in private practice. He is co-founder of Morning Sun Mindfulness Center in Alstead, NH. Desmond is the author of several books, including Self Compassion in Psychotherapy. He provides training and consultation to therapists around the world, helping them integrate positive psychology and mindfulness practices into their work. His essays on mindfulness and positive psychology have appeared in the Psychotherapy Networker and Mindfulness Bell Magazine. He has studied Zen in the Vietnamese tradition with Thich Nhat Hanh.

Anchor 4

The Symposium will be held at the Penthouse of the Popular Center in Hato Rey. There is parking in the main building of the Popular Center and in the surrounding areas for a fixed economic rate per day.

Popular Center

By: Nory W. Rivera

Popular Center began the construction process in 1958 with the acquisition of four acres of land that belonged to the Puerto Rico Railroad Company (Martín Peña Station) at a cost of $400,000. 

The new bank tower, designed by the architectural firm Toro y Ferrer, with the collaboration of the North American firm Khan & Jacobs, became the tallest building on the Island, with 20 floors. Although the initial proposal contemplated a 30-story building.

Faced with the need to make adjustments to adapt to the times and taking advantage of the Bank's Centennial celebration in the 1990s Popular Center underwent a transformation. Among other modifications, it included remodeling of the commercial area, improvements to the east and west entrances to Ponce de León and Muñoz Rivera avenues.

With innovation as the guiding principle, at the beginning of the new century Banco Popular carried out an impressive remodeling of its headquarters, with an investment of approximately $200 million. This included the remodeling of its facades, the construction of the North Building, where today the Fine Arts Cinema Café facilities are located; new ramps for parking and the construction of new commercial areas that included spaces for a modern food court, a corporate meeting center and galleries on the Plaza level for artistic activities and exhibitions, among other innovations

Parking lot

The Popular Center has ample parking with a competitive rate. In the case of Symposium participants, there will be a fixed economy rate. In the Hato Rey area just blocks from the Popular Center, there are several parking lots at competitive prices. There is also the option of using the Urban Train. The Hato Rey station corresponds to the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum stop which is a few steps from the building.

Anchor 5
Vicente Simon | Interview in TVE2

VICENTE SIMÓN is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and professor of psychobiology. After a long teaching and research career, he has dedicated his time to the practice of mindfulness and the teaching of meditation and compassion internationally through online courses, conferences, in person workshops, courses and retreats.


He is a prolific author who has published many books some of which are: Learn to practice mindfulness, Initiation to mindfulness and Live mindfully.

Anchor 6
Anchor 7
bottom of page