Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and by B. Alan Wallace

By B. Alan Wallace

By means of setting up a discussion within which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity communicate to the theories of recent philosophy and technological know-how, B. Alan Wallace unearths the theoretical similarities underlying those disparate disciplines and their unified method of making experience of the target world.

Wallace starts off through exploring the connection among Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a series of meditations the reader can adopt, exhibiting that, even though Buddhism and Christianity vary of their trust platforms, their equipment of cognitive inquiry supply comparable perception into the character and origins of consciousness.

From this convergence Wallace then connects the methods of latest cognitive technological know-how, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the brain. He hyperlinks Buddhist and Christian perspectives to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly comprises the paintings of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete research of conceptions of realization with a advisor to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative perform, Wallace takes the clinical and highbrow mapping of the brain in fascinating new instructions.

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By B. Alan Wallace

By means of setting up a discussion within which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity communicate to the theories of recent philosophy and technological know-how, B. Alan Wallace unearths the theoretical similarities underlying those disparate disciplines and their unified method of making experience of the target world.

Wallace starts off through exploring the connection among Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a series of meditations the reader can adopt, exhibiting that, even though Buddhism and Christianity vary of their trust platforms, their equipment of cognitive inquiry supply comparable perception into the character and origins of consciousness.

From this convergence Wallace then connects the methods of latest cognitive technological know-how, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the brain. He hyperlinks Buddhist and Christian perspectives to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly comprises the paintings of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete research of conceptions of realization with a advisor to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative perform, Wallace takes the clinical and highbrow mapping of the brain in fascinating new instructions.

Show description

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Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity (Columbia Series in Science and Religion)

By means of setting up a discussion during which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity converse to the theories of contemporary philosophy and technology, B. Alan Wallace finds the theoretical similarities underlying those disparate disciplines and their unified method of making feel of the target international.

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Additional resources for Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity (Columbia Series in Science and Religion)

Example text

This will help to stabilize your mind and enable you to focus your attention with greater continuity. If you’re sitting on a chair or cross-legged, slightly raise your sternum and keep your abdominal muscles soft and relaxed, so that when you breathe in, you feel the sensations of the breath go right down to your belly. If your breath is shallow, you’ll feel just the abdomen expand. If you inhale more deeply, first the abdomen, then the diaphragm will expand. And if you take a very deep breath, first the belly, then the diaphragm, and finally the chest will expand.

Those of us who have encountered such extraordinary people are bound to ask: were they born that way, or can their exceptional qualities of wisdom and compassion be cultivated through training? 21 Each year he travels worldwide, teaching meditative practices that draw on 2,500 years of experience from the Buddhist tradition, as well as his own personal experience. A rapidly growing number of cognitive scientists, especially ones who are just beginning their professional careers, are expressing an interest in combining the scientific methods of psychology and neuroscience with the contemplative approaches of Buddhism and other traditions.

This ability to create new connections generally declines with age, but it can be enhanced by living in an “enriched environment,” in which we encounter interesting, new, and challenging things to do and experience. This enriched environment can also include the world of our imagination and all the activities we do with our minds. Therefore, meditation may be one of the most effective ways of rejuvenating our brains and minds. Recent discoveries by scientists at McGill University in Montreal challenge the view that human beings are slaves to their genes, their neurotransmitters, and their brain wiring.

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