MindScience: An East-West Dialogue by Dalai Lama, Daniel Goleman, Howard E. Gardner, Herbert

By Dalai Lama, Daniel Goleman, Howard E. Gardner, Herbert Benson, Robert A. F. Thurman

What's the refined dating among brain and physique? What can today's scientists find out about this courting from masters of Buddhist idea? Is it attainable that by means of combining Western and japanese methods, we will be able to achieve a brand new knowing of the character of the brain, the human strength for progress, the chances for psychological and actual health?

MindScience explores those and different questions because it files the start of a old discussion among glossy technology and Buddhism. The Harvard brain technology Symposium introduced jointly the Dalai Lama and gurus from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, and schooling. right here, they learn myriad questions about the nature of the brain and its courting to the physique.

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As the tendency to com­ pulsively enter thinking-mode diminishes, you no longer need to focus your attention in order to remain within thought-free aware­ ness. Attention becomes like a well-trained dog that obediently sits at its master’s feet awaiting the next direction to act. In most of the Buddhist teachings such as Zen and certain Tibetan tradi­ tions, this passive but vividly alert “resting and relaxing of atten­ tion within awareness” is the practice. It’s not enlightenment, but it is the context in which much deeper realizations and insights develop and arise spontaneously.

The difference between the two is only a thought away. To clarify, our sense of self is a product of our thoughts. So if our suffering and general discontent in life is caused by our false and imagined thoughts regarding our sense of self, then it would seem wise to fully understand the nature of thought and its power to benefit or harm our general sense of well-being. Indeed, the Eastern traditions came to the same conclusion more than three thousand years ago. The masters of the great traditions teach that the gateway to enlightenment begins with understanding the nature of thought.

So this mystical experience was not just the province of the Sufis. Little did I know that this was just a prelude to much deeper insights and illuminations that would arise as I began my Sufi meditation practices after arriving back in the United States. But before I returned to the United States, Qassim and I spent time together, which gave me the opportunity to ask more questions and clarify what I had already learned. He gave me a Sufi name, Latif Qadria. Latif means “the most subtle quality of God’s pres­ ence,” one of the ninety-nine names of God.

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