Grateful to all those who have invited me to speak and share my passion
& for all kind feedback from readers.
Praise for keynotes & webinars
“Professor Laureys is a phenomenal speaker eager to share his scientific insights to help all of us to find happiness. He makes it a mission to debunk misguided views while sharing the latest insights on neurology and mindfulness in clear language. He engages with the audience using a variety of tools.”
Reinout De Bock, International Monetary Fund, London
“Steven Laureys is passionate about meditation and the benefits it has on anyone’s daily life, and he knows how to grab your attention and engage an audience when talking about it. I say ‘anyone’s’ here as Laureys can literally inspire anyone with his very clear, knowledgeable, and approachable presentations on how meditation works in your brain and what effect it has. We booked him for two events with different target groups, and he easily got everyone enthusiastic on and marveled about the effects of meditation. You want to try out meditation after his presentation, even if you’re not into it. “
Sanne Helbers, Studium Generale at Delft University
"Steven is a world-class speaker with the rare ability to grab people's attention and keeping them engaged. His remarkable talent and skill are self-evident. And did he deliver! Not only was he selected as the best out of ten speakers, his high-energy presentation was also well-crafted, thought provoking and exceeded our expectations. I have never seen anyone deliver such a powerful speech around this fascinating topic. His message will impact you in ways you would never have expected and motivate you to start practicing mindfulness in several areas of your life. I highly recommend Steven as a speaker for your next event."
Jonathan Bossaer, Positively Alive
“Passionate & beautifully connected with the message. We were very happy with the inspiring keynote.”
Jen Bertels, Mindfulness Association Belgium
“Steven is a passionate speaker who can easily captivate an audience with his stories. We asked him to speak at our big outdoor science festival and the place was packed during his presentation. Rightly so! The audience came out of his presentation enthusiastic and full of energy.”
Toon Verlinden, Sound of Science
“We can highly recommend prof Laureys for your next event - no matter what kind of experience level the audience has. Steven is an electrifying speaker. His passion for the subject is taking the audience smoothly into the secret world of human consciousness. In just one hour, attendees gain a fresh perspective on the topic. Many attendees have requested printed text or presentations from Prof Laureys’ keynote speeches - more than for any other speaker. His presentations are packed with illuminating anecdotes, surprising paradoxes, telling statistics, and a refreshing dose of good humor.”
Sarah Perneel, Arseus Medical
“Steven has a unique combination of skills. He is a world-class researcher, a renowned neurologist, and a talented speaker. His lectures shed light on one of humanity's most complex and fascinating questions, consciousness.”
Laurent Hermoye, Imagilys
“With his impressive background and unique persuasiveness, dr. Steven Laureys delivers a message with potentially life-changing impact. Why cling on to old ideas about mind-body separation, when so much is known about our brain and the positive effects of meditation and altruism? This speaker brings stories first-hand and evidence-based in a balanced and natural style, captivating your attention for every single minute. Totally recommended!”
Wouter Rogiest, LM Plus, health insurance fund
“Dr Steven Laureys combines scientific research with hands-on exercises and testimonials. He is an extra-ordinary guide in the discovery of the wonderful world of our brain. Steven illustrates the power of meditation on our mind through diverse evidence-based stories that convince the most doubtful. Rooted in real life, he offers a path to everybody to experience it. His passion and longtime dedication to this field make him an enthusiastic and convincing speaker. Highly recommended.”
Camille Gillon, Belfius Bank & Insurance
“Dr. Steven Laureys' enthusiasm for the field of neuroscience is palpable. Steven condenses years of research into digestible, enjoyable and practical forms that opens the door into the science of meditation and the effects of music on the brain. I believe this comes from a personal investment in improving the lives of people.”
Milagro Elstak, Entrée - Amsterdam Concert Hall
“Professor Steven Laureys is without a doubt the most dynamic, entertaining, and engaging presenter I have ever had the pleasure to watch. From the moment he took the stage, his audience completely captivated. Best of all, he delivered valuable, important insights and ideas. He delivered – totally. He was dynamic and had a contagious enthusiasm that delivered ah-ha moments across the board; everyone walked away with something. Also, he was gracious enough to answer questions and provide feedback – even after the conference. Professor Steven Laureys is not just a speaker; he’s an experience.”
Praise for books
FOR THE MEDITATION BOOK
'Clear, lively, rigorous and authentic... The book we have been waiting for.'
Dr Ilios Kotsou, mindfulness and wellbeing expert
‘Steven Laureys’ book opens up exciting perspectives.’
Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk & translator of the Dalai Lama
‘Not reading this is self-defeating.’
Paul Witteman, Dutch journalist and TV presenter
‘Dr. Laureys provides an unusually cogent and compelling description of different forms of meditation and why we should care about them. The book is both a tutorial and a guide, and helps the reader understand large bodies of scientific work — and their implications for everyday life. This book gives new meaning to the idea of “mental exercise”, and I recommend it to all who seek to have more focused and directed behaviour and a deeper understanding of their place in the world.’
Stephen M. Kosslyn, President Emeritus, Harvard University Foundry College, President, Active Learning Sciences
‘I have known for some time that I should be meditating, but have always found some reason not to. This brilliant book has banished all those reasons. Laureys really does cut out all the nonsense and provides the clearest-yet description of meditation and its benefits. He will change (and save) lives.’
Trevor Harley, FBPsS, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Dundee, Scotland UK
‘By weaving the neuroscience of consciousness with the contemplative roots of compassion with easy-to-follow meditation instructions, into a personal story, this book pulls you in and might just change your life. The clarity and simplicity of Dr Laureys’ voice makes it feel like he is in the room with you and his humor and scepticism, about nearly everything, makes this book easy and delightful read.’
Nancy E. Oriol, MD, Faculty Associate Dean for Community Engagement in Medical Education, Harvard Medical School, Boston
‘In Steven Laureys’ beautiful and timely book, both hard-core scientists and contemplative practitioners will find inspiration and guidance ... The No-Nonsense Meditation Book is wonderful amalgamation of scientific rigor with touching, compassionate, and humble curiosity.’
Diego Hangartner, Co-Founder of Mind and Life Europe
‘This book, describing one Belgian neurologist’s journey from sceptic to advocate, provides an excellent overview of our current neuroscientific understanding of meditation, and its potential role in health and disease.’
Jerome Engel, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA, Los Angeles
‘With “No-Nonsense” Steven Laureys elucidates contemporary varieties of meditation research and applications. The science is captivating in itself, but even more so when rendered in Laureys’ candid, lively and empathetic voice. This story of ‘the brain on meditation’ comes alive when it is set in the context of Laureys’ personal history and in those of the renowned scientists
and scholars and contemplatives who inspire him.’
Amy Cohen Varela, Chair of Mind & Life Europe
‘This exciting book - to keep with you at all times - is a true gem, simple, inspiring and packed with solid scientific arguments. Professor Steven Laureys, neuroscientist and clinician, uncovers how the brains of mediators operate. Supported by clinical research and neuroimaging, this is an unmissable guide to find the meditation technique that is right for you.’
Laurence Lucas Skalli MD, psychiatrist and founder of the Medicine and Consciousness Foundation
‘I absolutely love this book by Prof. Steven Laureys because it explains meditation from all its angles: both the scientific as well as the practical way, how it impacted not only his but also other people’s lives and a handful of tips and tricks. My favorite? “You do what you can”. It would recommend this book to everyone interested in the topic, from beginners to experienced meditators.’
Stefanie Broes, PhD, Co-founder, Moonbird
‘With a solid scientific background, a sharp sense of observation and a lot of authenticity, this pleasant book helps making mindfulness accessible to everyone, including to skeptics. That makes a lot of sense!’
Benjamin Blasco, Cofounder of Petit BamBou, leading European mindfulness app
‘A book that should convince everyone of the benefits of practicing meditation. It contains exercises and ingredients to tame stress and cultivate mental peace in today's challenging world.’
Hugues Cormier MD, psychiatrist, Professor of Human Ecology and Mindfulness, Center for Integrative Medicine, Sustainable Well-being and Health, University of Montreal
‘Full of pragmatic tips, this book will help anyone who is looking to learn how meditation works put it into practice for themselves.’
Judson Brewer MD PhD, Brown University Mindfulness Center, Author of Unwinding Anxiety and The Craving Mind
‘What we refer to as meditation is a longing for experiential realization of the inclusive nature of existence. Thank you, Steven, for sharing of your personal journey and this sincere, significant effort in bringing understanding and acceptance to this timeless, potent practice.’
Sadhguru, Indian yogi and author of Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy
‘A compelling read. A brilliant neurologist venturing into the world of meditation like a true scientist. This book will no doubt bring the beautiful meditation practice into many people's daily lives.’
Professor Bala Subramaniam MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Harvard Medical School
‘A distinguished specialist in altered states of consciousness, Steven Laureys guides us in a fascinating and clear investigation into meditation. He shows us that our brain is not an organ that determines our lives, but an instrument we can play freely, a potential for fulfillment that it is up to us to cultivate.’
Professor Michel Bitbol MD PhD, French National Centre for Scientific Research, author of Schrödinger’s Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
‘Steven Laureys is a world-wide expert for neuroscience and studied the human brain for many years with different techniques like EEG and fMRI. It is wonderful that a topic like meditation is explored by a scientist to objectively show the advantages and shortcomings.’
Christoph Guger, Founder & CEO, g.tec medical engineering, Austria
‘The No-Nonsense Meditation Book by Steven Laureys is an impeccable, incredible and compelling read! This book provides insight on the timeless message of meditation that helps to cultivate – mental lucidity; intellect and cognition; inner wisdom and higher virtues and wholesome behaviors. The scientific evidences and anecdotes are narrated flawlessly. And his natural way
of defining meditation – “a simple exercise in awareness” or “is brain fitness” makes the reader feel that anyone can practice meditation and praise for the no-nonsense meditation book and the training helps to attain wisdom and takes you forward. Thank you, Steve, for presenting us with such an insightful book on the science of meditation and its potentials to tap the infinite proficiencies of our brain and mind to attain wisdom.’
Bindu M. Kutty, Professor of Neurophysiology and Head of the Centre for Consciousness Studies, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
‘A practical workbook with credible – and accessible – explanations, this book augurs to become an instant classic by effectively connecting personal experience with scientific evidence. The journey of a sceptic is not only more sympathetic, it tends to be more believable. Steven Laureys has done a masterful job with this book. It is a highly welcome contribution to the literature on contemplative science.’
Cornelius Pietzner, Director of Mind & Life Europe
‘In this book, Steven Laureys, one of the most celebrated neuroscience researchers in the world, interweaves academic references with practical advice and personal experiences. He offers a unique view of meditation that will propel you towards your meditation cushion.’
Prof Arnaud Delorme PhD, Meditation Researcher, University of California San Diego
‘Did you think meditation was fuzzy? Did you think brain-science was boring? Steven Laureys brings together his expertise in meditation and science in an engaging no-nonsense book. A must-read for those who hate floatiness and boredom.’
Edel Maex MD, Zen teacher and psychiatrist, Antwerp University
FOR THE SLEEP BOOK
'Sleep is an essential pillar of good physical, cognitive and mental health. In this book, Professor Steven Laureys takes us on a fascinating exploration of sleep and its functions. It makes the connection between sleep and different states of consciousness and examines the primary role of the brain in achieving quality sleep. This book, accessible to all, presents a new perspective on the fascinating world of sleep.'
Prof Charles M. Morin, Past President of the World Sleep Society & Director of the Center for the Study of Sleep Disorders, CERVO Research Center, Laval University
'This book will change your nights forever.'
Prof Manuel Schabus, Head of Sleep Laboratory, University of Salzburg
'A wonderful blend of scientific rigor, personal anecdotes and clinical experience, this book inspires you to dream and sleep more.'
Prof Claudio Bassetti, former President of the European Society for Sleep Research, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Bern
'Read it and then fall asleep pleasantly…'
Prof Arnaud Delorme, University of California, San Diego
'In this well-written and enjoyable book, Dr. Laureys makes us think about the importance of sleep while sharing his solid scientific knowledge, clinical expertise and various practical solutions. Far from being insane and yet so important for our well-being!'
Benjamin Blasco, Co-founder of Petit Bambou
Steven Laureys, a seasoned “mountaineer” of the neurosciences of consciousness and the unconscious, has tackled two powerful mid-altitude passes here: Awakening and Sleep. He gives us a book rich in his broadest experience. This will guide us, with safety, on the most current scientific tracks, and at the same time, on daily stages of our existence. Such a book opens the mind, encourages in-depth, as well as enlightened reflection, will help everyone to find answers, or even to adopt the most appropriate behavior for themselves. It is a valuable and accessible guide to the mountains of science.'
Prof Robert Poirrier, Founder of the Sleep Center of the University Hospital of Liège
'A good night's sleep is the very foundation of a good day, and vice versa. This book explains why, but above all how we can work on it, in a scientifically based way.'
Stefanie Broes, Co-founder of Moonbird
'Indispensable on your bedside table.'
Evi Hanssen, TV presenter
FOR THE CONSCIOUSNESS BOOKS (SCIENCE AUDIENCE)
'Consciousness is the appearance of a world. In its absence there is no self, no environment, no pain, no joy; there is simply nothing at all. Understanding the boundaries of consciousness is therefore of the highest clinical and ethical importance. The new enterprise of 'coma science' is at the very forefront of this mission, and the present book represents an essential and timely contribution.'
Prof Anil Seth, University of Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science
"An outstandingly unique book reassembling the most recent data of the rising science of consciousness."
Prof Jean-Pierre Changeux, College de France
'Here, at last, is a survey of the way that damage to the brain alters consciousness. This book is a well-equipped hardware shop with most of the pieces that are needed to build a state-of the-art model of how the brain performs its most magical function, the creation of a self that sees, perceives, knows that it does so, and dares to ask how.'
Prof Allan Hobson, Harvard Medical School, Boston
'Laureys and contributors have taken up the task to link biocognitive theories, functional neuroimaging, and clinical descriptions of known comatose states, and the result is impressive. The authors have mined this complex and disputatious field and its entire consolidated work is very readable... It is probably one of the most ambitious books in this field...'
Prof. Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, U.S.A.
'How astonishing that we can now use brain imaging to study consciousness! What an incredible hope do brain-computer interfaces represent for people no longer able to control their environment! And how exciting is the possibility that deep-brain stimulation might offer a therapy for disorders of consciousness. These developments, at the border between clinical and fundamental neuroscience, were almost unthinkable just a few years ago. Crucially, such developments have both clinical and fundamental import. "Coma science" is only beginning, and this volume will no doubt be remembered as its starting point.'
Prof Axel Cleeremans, Center for Research in Cognition & Neurosciences, University of Brussels
'The distinguished panel of philosophers, modelers, psychologists, physicians, and neuroscientists assembled here provides an accessible, yet in-depth perspective on many of those fields of research. Rarely has such a diversity of points of view been made available in a single volume. Browsing through them provides an exciting window into the forefront of consciousness research, as well as the associated philosophical, ethical and clinical issues.. Cautiousness remains deeply needed as we begin to converge on a set of methodologies for studying consciousness, and of theories with which to assess the results. The present book, by confronting many points of view in the field, is likely to serve as an important landmark on the way to this ultimate goal.'
Prof. Stanislas Dehaene, INSERM, Orsay, France