Buddhism and neuroscience have parallel but quite distinct traditions for examining consciousness and its relation to the body. These traditions go back at least 2,500 years to the Buddha and Hippocrates. While both disciplines place great emphasis on experience and reason, their methods of research and verification are radically different. While neuroscience examines mind-brain processes largely objectively, using increasingly sophisticated technology, Buddhism pursues its research chiefly by enhancing stability and clarity of subjective awareness, and directs that awareness toward the exploration of cognitive events and other phenomena. Each discipline has its own clearly prescribed techniques for testing hypotheses. However, due to their radically different methodologies and isolation from one another, their views have remained quite disparate and incommensurable all these centuries. This Dialogue confronts the question: Are these disciplines simply incompatible, or might they rather be regarded as complementary? Are there scientific ways of testing Buddhist theories and Buddhist ways of testing Western science?

LOCATION: Newport Beach, California


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