The nature of the human mind remains one of the most profound unresolved questions we face as a species. While the mind’s ultimate nature may forever elude us, we can nonetheless carefully study the mind’s characteristics, capabilities, and associated phenomena. We have mapped the human genome, the night sky and the fundamental particles of the physical universe, yet that which is closest to us – our mind – has still to be adequately mapped. An important missing element in the study of the mind is the failure of contemporary science to critically engage with the inherited wisdom of the contemplative traditions, for example, the many insights to be found in Buddhist philosophy concerning the mind. In this Mind & Life/Kokoro dialogue, we brought together experts from the Buddhist contemplative tradition, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, with experts from modern psychology, philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and other relevant disciplines from Japan and North America in order to comprehensively consider the nature, characteristics and operations of the mind.
LOCATION: Kyoto, Japan
Organized in collaboration with the Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Mind & Life Chief Scientific Advisor, Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin-Madison