Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism

Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism

Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism

Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism

Synopsis

This book addresses some of the most fundamental and troublesome questions that have driven a wedge between the realms of Western science and religion for centuries.

Excerpt

On the morning of October 5, 1989, history intruded unexpectedly into a private meeting between His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet and a small group of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. Leaders in their fields, they had come together to explore what insights the Western sciences of the mind and Buddhism might offer to each other. the second Mind and Life Conference was gathered at the Newport Beach home of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Heinz, when a predawn phone call from Oslo announced that His Holiness had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Considering how public awareness of the situation in Tibet has grown in the West in recent years, it is easy to forget how significant the Dalai Lama's Nobel Prize was at the time. After decades of international neglect, the award was an important turning point for the Tibetan cause, recognizing the Tibetan people's long struggle against Chinese oppression as well as the Dalai Lama's commitment to a nonviolent resolution of the continuing conflict.

Shortly after the first phone call, other calls began coming in from the television networks. By seven o'clock, His Holiness had made the decision to continue with the conference as scheduled, and two hours later the group convened. By the time His Holiness entered the living room, which had been rearranged for the conference, and took his seat in the circle, an extraordinary sense of joy and excite-

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