Session 2


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November 21, 2010

2:00pm – 4:00pm

Foundation for Scientific Understanding of Contemplative Practices
State of Research; Buddhism and Science

Despite its youth, the emerging field of Contemplative Science has advanced considerably in the last decade, and many of these advancements are linked to progress in neuroscience as a whole. In this session, prominent scientists in various fields will present and discuss specific findings on the nature of contemplative practices, and they will likewise discuss larger issues within neuroscience that have been critical to understanding such practices. The main focus of this session will be at the intersection of Buddhist practices and science. Questions about neuroplasticity and the effects of mental training will be considered, and implications concerning the relationship between mind and body will be explored. As discussants, contemplative scholars will seek to clarify how scientific researchers can collaborate fruitfully with contemplative traditions, and the best methodological approaches for studying contemplative practices will likewise be discussed.

Presenters and Panelists

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
  • Matthieu Ricard
  • Richard J. Davidson
  • Wolf Singer
  • John Dunne
  • Rajesh Kasturirangan
  • Daniel Goleman (Moderator)
  • Thupten Jinpa (Interpreter)