Zen and the Brain

Google Tech Talk (more below)

November 8, 2010

Zen and the Brain

Presented by Dr James Austin


What has been learned about the brain that helps understand how selfless insight-wisdom can develop on the long-term meditative path? Recent brain-imaging research clarifies the relationships between two key issues: 1) How we use both top-down and bottom-up modes of attentive processing; and 2) How we constructed an egocentric Self so strong that it so often generates suffering.

Speaker Info: James H. Austin

James H. Austin is Emeritus Professor of Neurology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Austin is the author of his well known book Zen and the Brain, which aims to establish links between the neurological workings of the human brain and meditation. Austin has written two sequels to it: Zen-Brain Reflections (February, 2006), and Selfless Insight (2009). He was student of the late Rinzai roshi Kobori Nanrei Sohaku.


40 thoughts on “Zen and the Brain

  1. Paying attention and being mindful when operating machinery will greatly reduce the potential for lost fingers, and the same is true when operating a mind. The equivalent of losing fingers in the mind is developing neuroses.

  2. Irony is that this razor sharp technology has proved the excellence of ancient wisdom, which bare foot monk knew thousands of years ago. and today with this arsenal of technology we are trying to prove "they were right". materialist approach to learn spiritualism, not a bad idea after-all.

  3. He might be a brilliiant neurologist who's conducted some very thorough research into the relationship of Zen and the brain. But as an inspirational speaker, nope, no way! Simply too monotonous in his delivery.

  4. We can see and watching our world, our life by looking down from outer space in many videos right now.
    On the ground at the air bottom under sky and ozone layer. There are many people, countries, cultures and everything that we need. Why are we here? Because you are the earth's cell. This is human world.
    At the upper atmosphere the sun, the moon move around the earth. The moon moves slower than the sun 12 degrees. The moon is dropped herself 12 degrees everyday then we can see her at day time. Everything on the earth is happened by her power.
    She is electron of the earth. Look she can pull up Pacific and Atlantic oceans. She is the powerful in ovaries and cell.
    We are living in side the Universe Energy. You can see but cannot think. If you think, you will wrong. Humanity have a special brain system. It is automatically operation by stop or without thinking.
    Not angry, not hate anyone and anything in the world will be happiness.
    Incredible scientific that you can see outer space and think a lots. That is your brain system.
    What if you're wrong? There are a lot of atomic bombs all over the world now. What is it for? Who are your enemies?
    There are 3 cups of poison for human in the world that a drop they will die forever. 1. The Big Bang 2. Evolution 3. Spinning Earth
    Our world is look like a big white screen. You are watching the story of You are what you think.

  5. To achieve ultimate stillness you must get ride of the clutter of the mind. The mind was useful in our past to evolve in the condition we are know, but if we dont look out the mind is going to take over our whole being (meaning behaviour) Let your mind work as a servant of your ~Spirit~ and not control the ~Spirit~. *Overcome the mind by learning the {Truth of life}. Google *Truthcontest and read the Present it will set you free

  6. Very nice info for those interested in meditation AND the science of the brain and consciousness. For those others (who have commented below, lol), I do understand your frustration. But if you're interested in the topic in a direct way, the talk is actually RIVETING!

  7. A wonderful exemplar of the unification of neuroscience and the ancient Zen philosophy. The content was enthralling and the delivery allowed time for understanding.

  8. Not surprised by the comments here, considering our perpetually distracted society. This whole presentation, including the people in the audience, the noises, etc., is a lesson in zen. Pay attention.

  9. So much bad background noise. Very hard to listen to with all of the slamming and skreeching going on. But sitll very informative, if a bit dry for my taste. Much respect to the speaker.

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