Buddhism and Neuroscience: a Discussion on Attention, Mental Flexibility and Compassion
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was unable to attend this May 2, 2011, symposium as planned, due to ill health. In his stead, Geshe Thupten Jinpa, a principal English translator for His Holiness and Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Cambridge University) and Robert Thurman, Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, joined the discussion with four UCLA neuroscientists.
Tibetan Buddhism and Western neurosciences offer distinctive but complementary perspectives on the importance of attention, mental flexibility, compassion and creativity. How do these capacities enrich our professional competence, mental health and quality of life? What can we do to improve them? In a two-hour symposium in Royce Hall, scholars discuss the effects of Buddhist meditative practices on the power of concentration and, in turn, on suppleness of mind, creativity and compassion.