This is an absorbing account of a dialogue between leading Western scientists and the foremost representative of Buddhism today, the Dalai Lama of Tibet.For modern science, the transitional states of consciousness lie at the forefront of research in many fields. For a Buddhist practitioner these same states present crucial opportunities to explore and transform consciousness itself. This book is the account of a historic dialogue between leading Western scientists and the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Revolving around three key moments of consciousness--sleep, dreams, and death--the conversations recorded here are both engrossing and highly readable. Whether the topic is lucid dreaming, near-death experiences, or the very structure of consciousness itself, the reader is continually surprised and delighted. Narrated by Francisco Varela, an internationally recognized neuroscientist, the book begins with insightful remarks on the notion of personal identity by noted philosopher Charles Taylor, author of the acclaimed Sources of Self. This sets the stage for Dr. Jerome Engel, Dr. Joyce MacDougal, and others to engage in extraordinary exchanges with the Dalai Lama on topics ranging from the neurology of sleep to the yoga of dreams. Remarkable convergences between the Western scientific tradition and the Buddhist contemplative sciences are revealed. Dr. Jayne Gackenbach's discussion of lucid dreaming, for example, prompts a detailed and fascinating response from the Dalai Lama on the manipulation of dreams by Buddhist meditators. The conversations also reveal provocative divergences of opinion, as when the Dalai Lama expresses skepticism about "Near-Death Experiences" as presented by Joan Halifax. The conversations are engrossing and highly readable. Any reader interested in psychology, neuroscience, Buddhism, or the alternative worlds of dreams will surely enjoy Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying.
Both a fascinating glimpse of the interaction between spiritual master and disciple and a lucid analysis of the Zen path of awareness, this book describes techniques for breathing, standing, walking, concentrating, moving the mind, overcoming ego, healing the body, and finally, opening a -window of opportunity- between stillness and motion that allows the expansion of time and consciousness.
--Los Angeles Times
We're talking about going from a caterpillar to a butterfly
We're talking about how to become a butterfly."
In March 1961, Professor Richard Alpert - later renamed Ram Dass - held appointments in four departments at Harvard University. He published books, drove a Mercedes and regularly vacationed in the Caribbean. By most societal standards, he had achieved great success... And yet he couldn't escape the feeling that something was missing. Psilocybin and LSD changed that. During a period of experimentation, Alpert peeled away each layer of his identity, disassociating from himself as a professor, a social cosmopolite, and lastly, as a physical being. Fear turned into exaltation upon the realization that at his truest, he was just his inner-self: a luminous being that he could trust indefinitely and love infinitely. And thus, a spiritual journey commenced. Alpert headed to India where his guru renamed him Baba Ram Dass - "servant of God." He was introduced to mindful breathing exercises, hatha yoga, and Eastern philosophy. If he found himself reminiscing or planning, he was reminded to "Be Here Now." He started upon the path of enlightenment, and has been journeying along it ever since. Be Here Now is a vehicle for sharing the true message, and a guide to self-determination. With over 150 pages of metaphysical illustrations, practical advice on how to implement a yogic regiment, and a chapter dedicated to quotes and book recommendations, Be Here Now is sure to enrich your emotional, physical, and spiritual life.
The two types of meditation that form the core of Buddhist spiritual practice are: tranquillity (samatha) meditation aims at stilling the mind, while insight (vipasyana) meditation produces clear vision or insight into the nature of all phenomena. With masterful scholarship, Rinpoche explains this unified system of meditation--what to do, what to avoid, and the stages of deepening meditation--so the practitioner can gauge progress. His teaching is a commentary on the eighth chapter of the Treasury of Knowledge by Jamgon Kongtrul.
In this companion volume to The Three Pillars of Zen, Kapleau establishes guidelines for Western practitioners of Zen Buddhism, offering appealing, simple answers to the questions Westerners most often ask. Among the topics discussed in this informative, user-friendly book: "Transcendental Meditation: Who Transcends What?", "Can I Practice Zen and Be a Good Jew (or Catholic)?", "Reading About Enlightenment Is Like Scratching an Itchy Foot Through Your Shoe," and "Meditation Is an Escape--What Are You Doing to Help Society?" Kapleau's eloquence, humor, and authority make this an indispensible handbook for understanding Zen in the Western world.
To stabilize the mind in one-pointed concentration is the basis of all forms of meditation. Gen Lamrimpa was a meditation master who lived in a meditation hut in Dharamsala and who had been called to teach by the Dalai Lama. He leads the meditator step-by-step through the stages of meditation and past the many obstacles that arise along the way. He discusses the qualities of mind that represent each of nine levels of attainment and the six mental powers.This book was previously titled Shamatha Meditation.
" Moore's] witty and candid 'regular guy' approach to these experiences is entertaining and comforting, and his conclusions are right on target."--Booklist