Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness

Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness

Paperback

By (author) Dalai Lama XIV

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  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 254 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 20mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Somerville
  • ISBN 10: 0861711238
  • ISBN 13: 9780861711239
  • Sales rank: 104,890

Product description

This book is the account of a historic dialogue between leading Western scientists and one of the foremost representatives of Buddhism today, the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Revolving around the three key moments of consciousness of sleep, dreams, and death - what internationally acclaimed neuroscientist Francisco Varela calls the ego's shadow zones - the conversations recorded here took place at the fourth Mind and Life Conference in Dharamsala, India. With contributions from acclaimed voices such as philosopher Charles Taylor, psychoanalyst Joyce McDougall, psychologist Jayne Gackenbach, cultural ecologist Joan Halifax, and neuroscientist Jerome Engel, the book is both engrossing and highly readable. Whether the topic is lucid dreaming, near death experiences, or the very structure of consciousness itself, the participants in this unique exchange continually surprise and delight us with their discoveries of convergences and divergences between their respective traditions.

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Author information

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives. His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works. Francisco Javier Varela Garcia (1946-2001) was a Chilean biologist, philosopher, and neuroscientist who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology, and for co-founding the Mind and Life Institute to promote dialog between science and Buddhism.