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Title: Consciousness at the crossroads : conversations with the Dalai Lama on brainscience and Buddhism
Editor: B. Alan Wallace
Zara Houshmand
Robert B. Livingston
One Sentence Summary: An edited and narrated account of the the Dalai Lama's meeting with Western psychiatrists, philosophers, and neuroscientists in 1989.


Consciousness at the Crossroads is a record of the Dalai Lama's meeting with Western psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and philosophers in October of 1989. This was the second formal conference between the Dalai Lama and Western scientists organized by the Mind and Life Institute--the purpose of which was to investigate Buddhist and scientific perspectives on consciousness and the brain.

A particularly pronounced theme is a discussion of the methodological and metaphysical presuppositions of science. Scientists present to the Dalai Lama experimental evidence for how the brain is related mental processes of memory, sleeping, dreaming, language, perception, as well as mental disorders such as amnesia, autism, depression, schizophrenia, and manic-depression (bipolar disorder).

In turn, the Dalai Lama discusses Buddhist perspectives on the relation between the mind and body, including the Buddhist theory of reincarnation and the body's subtle energies as they are found in Buddhist tantric literature.

Buddhists will have to accept, the Dalai Lama says, any scientific discoveries which incontrovertibly show Buddhist views to be wrong. In turn, the Dalai Lama asked that scientists share in this spirit of intellectual honesty regarding their own unquestioned biases.

Editor B. Alan Wallace augments the book's dialogue with additional chapters further elaborating upon basic Buddhist concepts touched upon only briefly during the conference (Zach Rowinski 2006-02-13)

Translator: Geshé Tupten Jinpa (dge bshes thub bstan sbyin pa)
B. Alan Wallace
Contributor: B. Alan Wallace
Bstan-'dzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, 1935-
Geshé Tupten Jinpa (dge bshes thub bstan sbyin pa)
Patricia Smith Churchland
Antonio R. Damasio
Larry R. Squire
J. Allan Hobson, 1933-
Lewis L. Judd
Publisher Place: Ithaca, NY
Publisher: Snow Lion Publications
Normalized publisher place: Ithaca, New York
Publisher country: United States
Publisher URL: http://snowlionpub.com/
Published Date: 1999
URL: http://snowlionpub.com/search.php?in_item_id=1165
Extent: 183 p. ; 23 cm.
Subject: Dalai Lama
B. Alan Wallace
Buddhist philosophy
Lucid dreaming
Buddhist psychology
Vajrayāna Buddhism
Brain activity
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Subtle energies
Ethics in science
Bio-medical research
Subtle-body physiology
Brain damage
Cartesian dualism
Scientific method
Kālacakra tantra
Classification: Buddhism and Science -- Buddhism -- Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Neuroscience
Buddhism and Science -- Medicine -- International Medicine -- Psychiatry
Cultural Coverage: Tibet
United States
Temporal coverage: 20th century CE
Language: English

Table of Contents: Opening remarks: brain science as a path to world peace -- Toward a natural science of the mind -- A Buddhist response -- The spectrum of consciousness: from gross to subtle -- Mapping brain functions: the evidence of damage to specific brain regions -- Subliminal awareness and memory from previous lives -- Steps toward an anatomy of memory -- Brain control of sleeping and dreaming states -- Manifestations of subtle consciousness -- What constitutes scientific evidence? -- Psychiatric illnesses and psychopharmacology -- The limits of intervention -- A Buddhist deconstruction of the mind's self -- In conclusion: building bridges -- Afterword: Buddhist reflections by B. Alan Wallace -- Appendix: about the Mind and Life Institute -- Notes

ISBN/ISSN: 1559391278

Associated Information: For more information on this conference, see the Mind and Life Institute's conference website: 1989: Dialogues between Buddhism & the Neurosciences.

Format: Print media (print or manuscript, including PDFs)
Resource Type: Conference Proceedings
Release Flag: OK for viewing
Date Of Record Creation: 2005-01-09 18:28:10
Date Record Checked: 2005-01-09
Date Last Modified: 2006-02-13 09:39:39
Cumulative Rating: this resource has a 1 star rating
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