The Buddha’s Brain

Krista Tippett, Richard Davidson and Matthieu Ricard. Photo: Jon Gross

The Buddha's Brain: What Modern Science Is Revealing About the Ancient Practice of Meditation was the theme of an enlightening evening with Dr. Richard Davidson and Matthieu Ricard, moderated by Krista Tippett. The event was held at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota on Friday, October 12, 2012 where it played to a packed house of over eleven hundred people.

For thousands of years, contemplatives and mystics the world over, have experienced the power of meditation first hand. In the present day, a remarkable collaboration between some of the world’s leading neuroscientists and advanced meditators is beginning to shed new light on this ancient practice.

In the recording of this special event (below), moderated by Krista Tippett, host of American Public Media's On Being, we hear two of the world’s leading experts on the science of meditation discuss how mental training can help us recondition the mind and rewire the brain to experience wellbeing, compassion, and insight. Longtime friends and collaborators Dr. Richard Davidson and Matthieu Ricard discuss their groundbreaking work, which illuminates how reconditioning the mind through meditation brings lasting changes in the structure and functioning of the brain.

Richard Davidson and Matthieu Ricard. Photo: Jon Gross

Dr. Richard Davidson is one of the world's foremost brain scientists. Director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Davidson specializes in research on brain function, especially regarding positive emotions and meditation. In addition to being listed as one of Time Magazine’s one hundred most influential people in the world, he has also received the most prestigious award given by the American Psychological Association for lifetime achievement. He has published more than 150 articles, twelve books, and many chapters and reviews. He is a member of the board of the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to collaborative research between scientists and Buddhist scholars and meditators.

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author, translator, and photographer. In 1972, Matthieu earned a Ph.D. in cell genetics at the renowned Institute Pasteur under the French Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob. After traveling to India to study Tibetan Buddhism, he left his life as a scientist and ordained as Buddhist monk. Matthieu has published many books and served as the interpreter for the Dalai Lama. He is actively engaged, as a research subject and advisor, in the studies at various universities around the world on the effects mind training and meditation have on the brain. He is also an active member of the Mind and Life Institute.

Krista Tippett and Richard Davidson. Photo: Jon Gross

Krista Tippett is a journalist, author and broadcaster. She was a Fulbright scholar and has a Masters of Divinity from Yale University. She currently hosts and produces of On Being, American Public Media’s radio program about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit. Krista started the program in 2001 to address what she saw as a lack of intelligent conversation about religion and spirituality. Since that time, she has become one of the leading voices exploring the place of spirituality in the modern world.

As you can imagine the conversation and the question and answer session that followed were riveting. Thanks to the Tergar Community you can listen in free of charge.

The Buddha's Brain. 80 Minutes

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November 27, 2012

6 responses on "The Buddha's Brain"

  1. I was fortunate to have been able to attend this. It was wonderful and I’m grateful to Tergar Minneapolis for their sponsorship of the event. A fascinating evening.

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