Center for Contemplative Research – CCR

An Optimal Environment For Contemplative Training

CCR – The Center for Contemplative Research ~ the ‘Tuscany Project’ ~ is a project that is dedicated to contemplative and scientific research addressing the nature of human existence: – ‘What is the nature of genuine well-being’? & ‘What is the nature of human consciousness?’ And ‘What happens at death’?

The Center for Contemplative Research is currently under development outside the town of Castellina Marittima in Tuscany: the land and a villa have already been purchased – Stage 1 is complete and the project now enters its second phase of fund raising to build 18 eco-pods for long term contemplatives.

This is a Project of The Santa Barbara Institute founded by International Buddhist teacher and Scholar Dr B. Alan Wallace,

CCN – the Contemplative Consciousness Network – and Alan Wallace’s students worldwide are supporting this project and are actively fund-raising to materialise Stage 2, for which $2.8 million are required.

Please follow the links below to learn more about the project and ways in which you can contribute and donate to the realisation of this significant development.

Thank you for your consideration

Shamatha At The CCR:

Shamatha, literally meaning “quiescence”, is the specific meditative discipline that will be the primary, initial focus of such research. For this endeavor, the center will provide an optimal setting for highly qualified individuals to devote themselves full-time to meditative practice under the close direction of Dr. B. Alan Wallace and other qualified instructors.

The CCR is committed to training individuals in the practices of shamatha in collaboration with cognitive scientists. The impact of such unprecedented contemplative and scientific collaboration could trigger a paradigm-shift in humanity’s understanding of the nature of genuine well-being and consciousness itself.

An Ecological Village:

The ideal site for the Center for Contemplative Research was found in the coastal hills of Tuscany, between Florence and Pisa. The 5-hectare parcel is adjacent to the tranquil village of Castellina Marittima.

The entire facility, called Miyo Samten Ling (Center of Unwavering Meditation) by H.H. the Dalai Lama, will be an ecological village with organic gardens and orchards. Crops will be watered from a water well in the property, and the cabins will be powered with solar energy. 18 cabins, designed specifically to support meditators in long-term retreat will be built in the grounds of the property.

They feature sustainably sourced and energy-efficient wood frame construction in a compact layout providing comfortable and healthy conditions for months and years of solitary practice.

The main house, with its 13 rooms, will serve as an administrative headquarters. Scientists will use a scientific laboratory to be created in the premises. This building will also provide accommodations for staff, visiting scientists and teachers. A limited number of rooms will also be made available for guests to engage in their own personal meditation retreats, for relatively brief periods.

About: B. Alan Wallace, President of the Santa Barbara Institute and the Center for Contemplative Research:

Alan Wallace is a prominent voice in the emerging discussion between contemporary Buddhist thinkers and scientists, who question the materialistic presumptions of their 20th-century paradigms. He left his college studies in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India, to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine and language.

He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, and over fourteen years as a monk, he studied with and translated for several of the generation’s greatest lamas. In 1984 he resumed his Western education at Amherst College, where he studied physics and philosophy of science. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford, on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy.

Since 1987 he has been a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists and has written and translated more than 40 books. Along with his scholarly work, he is regarded as one of the West’s prominent meditation teachers and retreat guides.

He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, and the motivating force behind the development of the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany, Italy.

We’re Moving Fast In The Next Few Months:

  • APR 24, 2019 – Purchase agreement for the property finalized
  • APR 30, 2019 – Project’s executive plan submitted to Castellina Marittima’s council
  • MAY 29, 2019 – Acquisition of project’s headquarter (Pellati house)
  • SUMMER 2019 – Castellina Marittima’s council project adoption
  • FALL 2019 – Construction permits issued and beginning of construction works
  • SPRING 2020 – Construction of first cabins begins
  • DURING 2021 – Inauguration: meditators take their seats

Phase One Completed! We’re On Our Way!

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of large and small donors we’ve met our Phase One goal of the $1,295,952 required to purchase 5 hectares of land and the adjacent villa that will house CCR’s headquarters. A heart-felt thank you to all of those who contributed to our Phase One success!

Phase Two – Please Help Us Bring CCR’s Vision To Life By:

  • Making a recurring monthly donation for 12 months (Please click here to donate). Regardless of the amount you can share, these donations allow for optimal financial planning and helps us progress towards a stable financial situation. We aim to reach 1.000 monthly donation subscribers, with a fundraising goal of $ 500,000.
  • Sponsoring the construction of one of the 18 cabins. The cost of the complete structure, including roof covering, full insulation and floorings, inside doors and windows is $ 67,000. For a turnkey cabin, including also electrical and plumbing systems and appliances, the cost is $ 75.000.
  • You can group your donation with other donors from your country and CCR will name the cabin with the name of your country, or the name of a single donor.
  • Cabin number 12 will be Lama Alan’s cabin, it would be wonderful if it could be sponsored by a group of his students.
  • Offering an art object, an antique piece or jewelry for an online auction that is being planned to happen early February 2020. You can e-mail the description of your item, including pictures and the approximate commercial value (not less than $ 2.000) to:

For further information, please contact: or your Regional Advocate
(Please click here to find your Regional Advocate).

CCN Supports The CCR Project

The Contemplative Consciousness Network (CCN) supports and promotes Dr Alan Wallace’s project to build a Center for Contemplative Research (CCR) near the town of  Castellina Marittima in Tuscany, Italy.  The perfect setting for this groundbreaking work and study.

The CCR is also very close to the world-famous Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, a leading Buddhist centre and international school for studies in Buddhist philosophy and psychology.

Alan’s dream is now coming to fruition near the town of The programme will build on the results of the Shamatha Project and will be guided by a stellar Scientific Advisory Board that includes:

  • Nobel Prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn (Director, Salk Institute),
  • Neuroscientist and clinical psychologist David Presti (UC Berkeley),
  • Theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser (Director of the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth College), and
  • Philosopher Michel Bitbol (Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).
  • Cognitive scientists at the University of Pisa, the University of Trent, and the Sculoa Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa are also committed to conducting research in collaboration with the CCR.

Things are going very well, however the CCR team still need your support. Please join them ~ and us ~ to make this vision a reality.

Please Support The CCR Project In Tuscany:


To donate in UK £ please click donate below, and please remember to tick the gift aid box if you are a UK taxpayer:


To visit The Santa Barbara Institute website for more information and to donate in US Dollars – please click here.