Three Dimensions of Consciousness: A Buddhist Phenomenology of Mind

Three Dimensions of Consciousness: A Buddhist Phenomenology of Mind


The Buddhist path entails an integrated pursuit of virtue, genuine happiness, and truth, and the exploration and transformation of mind is central to this endeavor. Just as Galileo refined and used the telescope to examine celestial phenomena and van Leeuwenhoek refined and used the microscope to examine minute organisms, so did Gautama the Buddha refine and use focused, balanced attention as the instrument for examining mental phenomena. Among the three dimensions of consciousness, the first is the psyche, second is the substrate consciousness, and third is primordial consciousness. Each of these will be explained, together with means for exploring them experientially. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of the role of empiricism and skepticism in science and Buddhism.

  • SRI 1
    4 sessions
  • June 22, 2004
    Garrison, New York
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B. Alan Wallace

B. Alan Wallace is president of The Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the ahilosophy of science, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in religious Studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, 13 authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.