The Science of Mind: A Practical Inquiry Into the Nature of Mind Through Traditional Buddhist Meditation
B. Alan Wallace
August 2–9, 2020
Like all other branches of science, the science of mind must be primarily based on the rigorous observation of natural phenomena. Much as astronomers rely on the telescope, so do contemplatives rely on the power of samadhi to explore the nature and potentials of the mind. During this retreat, we will develop shamatha (“serene presence of mind”) drawn from multiple traditions of Buddhism to develop an inner sense of ease, stillness, and clarity of attention. These are the indispensable foundation for vipashyana (“insight meditation”) and all other meditative practices. While satisfaction can never be found outside in such things as wealth, status, and power, this inner meditative discipline is a direct route to genuine well-being.
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B. Alan Wallace is a prominent voice in the emerging discussion between contemporary Buddhist thinkers and scientists who question the materialist presumptions of their 20th-century paradigms. He left his college studies in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine and language. He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, and over fourteen years as a monk he studied with and translated for several of the generation’s greatest lamas. In 1984 he resumed his Western education at Amherst College where he studied physics and the philosophy of science. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy. Since 1987 he has been a frequent translator and contributor at the “Mind and Life” conferences at which the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists exchange views, and he has written and translated more than 40 books. Along with his scholarly work, Alan is regarded as one of the West’s preeminent meditation teachers and retreat guides. He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Conscious Studies and is the motivating force behind the develop of the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany, Italy.