This is an absorbing account of a dialogue between leading Western scientists and the foremost representative of Buddhism today, the Dalai Lama of Tibet. For modern science, the transitional states of consciousness lie at the forefront of research in many fields. For a Buddhist practitioner these same states present crucial opportunities to explore and transform consciousness itself. This book is the account of a historic dialogue between leading Western scientists and the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Revolving around three key moments of consciousness--sleep, dreams, and death--the conversations recorded here are both engrossing and highly readable. Whether the topic is lucid dreaming, near-death experiences, or the very structure of consciousness itself, the reader is continually surprised and delighted. Narrated by Francisco Varela, an internationally recognized neuroscientist, the book begins with insightful remarks on the notion of personal identity by noted philosopher Charles Taylor, author of the acclaimed Sources of Self. This sets the stage for Dr. Jerome Engel, Dr. Joyce MacDougal, and others to engage in extraordinary exchanges with the Dalai Lama on topics ranging from the neurology of sleep to the yoga of dreams. Remarkable convergences between the Western scientific tradition and the Buddhist contemplative sciences are revealed. Dr. Jayne Gackenbach's discussion of lucid dreaming, for example, prompts a detailed and fascinating response from the Dalai Lama on the manipulation of dreams by Buddhist meditators. The conversations also reveal provocative divergences of opinion, as when the Dalai Lama expresses skepticism about "Near-Death Experiences" as presented by Joan Halifax. The conversations are engrossing and highly readable. Any reader interested in psychology, neuroscience, Buddhism, or the alternative worlds of dreams will surely enjoy Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying.
Wisdom for Everyday Life from the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Author: Rob Nairn
Pubpsher: Shambhala Publications
The Tibetan Book of the Dead is one of the best-known Tibetan Buddhist texts. It is also one of the most difficult texts for Westerners to understand. In Living, Dreaming, Dying, Rob Nairn presents the first interpretation of this classic text using a modern Western perspective, avoiding arcane religious terminology, keeping his explanations grounded in everyday language. Nairn explores the concepts used in this highly revered work and brings out their meaning and significance for our daily life. He shows readers how the Tibetan Book of the Dead can help us understand life and self as well as the dying process. Living, Dreaming, Dying helps readers to "live deliberately"—and confront death deliberately. One thing that prevents us from doing that, according to Nairn, is our tendency to react fearfully whenever change occurs. But if we confront our fear of change and the unknown, we can learn to flow gracefully with the unfolding circumstances of life rather than be at their mercy. Of course, change occurs throughout our life, but a period of transition also occurs as we pass from the waking state into sleep, and likewise as we pass into death. Therefore the author's teachings apply equally to living as well as to dreaming and dying. Through meditation instructions and practical exercises, the author explains how to: • Explore the mind through the cultivation of deep meditation states and expanded consciousness • Develop awareness of negative tendencies • Use deep sleep states and lucid dreaming to increase self-understanding as well as to "train" oneself in how to die so that one is prepared for when the time comes • Confront and liberate oneself from fear of death and the unknown
Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy
Author: Evan Thompson
Pubpsher: Columbia University Press
A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate—either in the waking state or in a lucid dream—we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self. Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.
Buddhist Inspirations for Sleeping, Dreaming, and Waking Up
Author: Josh Bartok,Gustavo Szpilman Cutz
Pubpsher: Simon and Schuster
An ideal companion to the popular Daily Wisdom series, Nightly Wisdom mines a rich vein of Buddhist teachings on such topics as lucid dreaming, Tibetan ?dream yoga” ? the art of extending meditation into the boundless world of dreams ? and relaxing into restful sleep. Featuring poetry and prose from sources modern and ancient (including the Buddha himself), Nightly Wisdom is a bedside keepsake to be read last thing in the evening so that, as per the Buddha's advice, one's sleep may be infused with a virtue that can be renewed in the morning and carried on throughout the day. The book is perfect for anyone who has dreamed of waking up to the entirety of life or wondered how to best suffuse this wisdom into that third of our lives we spend in bed.
What if you could dream 24 hours a day, even while awake? According to innovative psychotherapist Arnold Mindell, Ph.D., we already do. The seeds of dreaming arise in every moment of the day, in body symptoms, problems, relationships, subtile feelings, interactions, random thoughts, and fantasies. We're getting countless little cues from the unconscious every minute. All are signs from the world of dreaming. And, according to Mindell, we can be in this state of lucid dreaming all day long. In Dreaming While Awake, Mindell shows how to become aware of these "flirts" from the dreamworld and how to interpret their message. The goal, he says, is to be wide awake and lucid 24 hours a day in the midst of this unending dreamfield of information. Practicing 24-hour lucid dreaming:Helps you solve personal, physical, and emotional problemsServes as a preventive medicine for relationships and health, helping you catch the earliest warning signs before they turn into problemsHelps resolve conflicts in relationships, families, large groups, corporations, even politics Dreaming is the mystical source of reality, says Mindell. "My goal is to make the Dreaming roots of reality so accessible, so visceral, that your conscious mind will give you back your right to dream."
What happens when the Dalai Lama meets with leading physicists and a historian? This book is the carefully edited record of the fascinating discussions at a Mind and Life conference in which five leading physicists and a historian (David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Arthur Zajonc, Anton Zeilinger, and Tu Weiming) discussed with the Dalai Lama current thought in theoretical quantum physics, in the context of Buddhist philosophy. A contribution to the science-religion interface, and a useful explanation of our basic understanding of quantum reality, couched at a level that intelligent readers without a deep involvement in science can grasp. In the tradition of other popular books on resonances between modern quantum physics and Zen or Buddhist mystical traditions--notably The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Tao of Physics, this book gives a clear and useful update of the genuine correspondences between these two rather disparate approaches to understanding the nature of reality.
It is estimated that some 54 million people in the U.S. act as informal caregivers for ill or disabled loved ones. We can add to these countless workers in the fields of health and human service, and yet there is still not enough help to go around: as many as three fourths of our informal caregivers report "going it alone." It's no wonder that "caregiver burnout" and depression afflict so many. Sure to be welcomed by caregivers of all types, the groundbreaking new Medicine and Compassion can help anyone reconnect with the true spirit of their caregiving task. In a clear and very modern voice, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Dr. David R. Shlim use the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy to present practical tools for revitalizing the caring spirit. Readers, in turn, will find their patience, kindness, and effectiveness re-energized. Offering practical advice on dealing with people who are angry at their medical conditions or their care providers, people who are dying, or the families of those who are critically ill, Medicine and Compassion will strike resonant cords with medical professionals, hospice workers, teachers and parents of children with special needs, and those caring for aging and infirm loved ones.
This book gives detailed instructions for dream yoga, including foundational practices done during the day. In the Tibetan tradition, the ability to dream lucidly is not an end in itself, rather it provides an additional context in which one can engage in advanced and effective practices to achieve liberation.
An enriched view of personal reality drawing from medical and theoretical sciences as well as the esoteric, combining modern experimental science with ancient wisdom which provide keys to the physiology of happiness: Anatomy and Physiology of Mind-Body concepts and the Body Energy Spectrum, Consciousness and the Mind, Dimensional reality, personal reality and time, Spiritual evolution and the soul, Happiness as a self-regulated mind and physiology. A reading experience with an open perspective from human life and mind -- to matter and energies. The book describes for a layman or a professional the weaving of metaphors, exercises and scientific procedures which promote joy in life and the realization of inner freedom. Comprehensive references of both scientific research and empirical experience are provided. Experience proven approaches to joy of well-being of body and mind: subtle energies and Energy Psychology, Meridian physiology in Eastern & Western health practices; Understanding the self, personal direction, goals, and change; Psychology of success, intention, High Will, imagery, inspiration and motivation. Learn leadership qualities, communication skills, assertiveness, and Responsible Open Self-Expression used in managing personal relationships. This is the only book that amalgamates scientific technology with ancient wisdom practices in an integrated system of self-transformation going beyond intellectual and philosophical information alone. More information: www.JourneyToAwareness.org -OR- www.InnerKeys.info
Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality
Author: Pier Luigi Luisi
Pubpsher: Columbia University Press
For over a decade, a small group of scientists and philosophers members of the Mind and Life Institute have met regularly to explore the intersection between science and the spirit. At one of these meetings, the themes discussed were both fundamental and profound: can physics, chemistry, and biology explain the mystery of life? How do our philosophical assumptions influence science and the ethics we bring to biotechnology? And how does an ancient spiritual tradition throw new light on these questions? Pier Luigi Luisi not only reproduces this dramatic, cross-cultural dialogue, in which world-class scientists, philosophers, and Buddhist scholars develop a holistic approach to the scientific exploration of reality, but also adds scientific background to their presentations, as well as supplementary discussions with prominent participants and attendees. Interviews with His Holiness the Karmapa, the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and the actor and longtime human rights advocate Richard Gere take the proceedings into new directions, enriching the material with personal viewpoints and lively conversation about such topics as the origin of matter, the properties of cells, the nature of evolution, the ethics of genetic manipulation, and the question of consciousness and ethics. A keen study of character, Luisi incorporates his own amusing observations into this fascinating dialogue, painting a very human portrait of some of our greatest and most intimidating thinkers. Deeply textured and cleverly crafted, Mind and Life is an excellent opportunity for any reader to join in the debate surrounding this cutting-edge field of inquiry.