Spreading the Word: A Buddhist And A Neuroscientist In Dialogue

What would a conversation between a Buddhist monk and a neuroscientist look like? And what would they agree and disagree on? In the following conversation, Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist, offer their perspectives on the unconscious and the role of meditation in resolving conflicts …

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Spreading the Word: Our Access To Reality

One of the oldest debates in the history of human quest for knowledge is whether we can access the objective reality at all. Some think there is no objective reality at all and that "it's all in our minds", others think there is nothing else besides it and that our knowledge directly represents that reality. …

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Don’t Discard Your Ideas

One of the practical things I have learned during my philosophy studies is that it is wise not to judge your ideas immediately when they come to you. There is a real risk of creating a habit of suppressing your creative thought. Our minds are adaptive and learn to respond to the environment. So, if …

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Spreading the Word: ‘No-mind’ Idea

In one week I will resume my studies and one of the courses I am very much looking forward to is philosophy of mind. In this light, it was a timely and pleasant surprise when I came across the following article recently published on Aeon: "The mind does not exist". A controversial and provocative title, …

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Do Not Think About The Polar Bear

When Leo Tolstoy was a mischievous young boy, there was one time after another mischief that his "grandfather told him to stand in the corner until he could stop thinking of 'the white elephant'... He tried very hard... The harder he tried to eliminate the thought and the more he desired to be free of …

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Thoughts on Ian McCrorie’s Book “A Lifetime Doing Nothing”

This short book by the Canadian author Ian McCrorie is a collection of personal stories, stories of others, and insights gained from experience, all of which centres around one skill - doing nothing. If that sounds like no skill at all, keep on reading. Doing nothing, understood in the way McCrorie explains it, might be …

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Spreading the Word: Why Human Affairs Are Unpredictable

This Friday I share with you an audio recording of a lecture on the unpredictability inherent to human affairs. This lecture was given in the 70s by philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. It is a 1 hour audio and will require focused attention, but it is well worth it. MacIntyre talks in a clear manner and throws …

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Spreading the Word: Creativity and Uncertainty

This Friday I share with you a short video on the relationship between creativity and uncertainty, and what neuroscience has to say about it. A lot of interesting and illuminating insights offered in a clear language by a neuroscientist Beau Lotto. What can feel more uncertain than the state of not knowing? And yet, "Creativity …

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Spreading the Word: Mind-Body Unity

This Friday I share with you a short video on the mind-body unity. It is a hugely important and vastly underestimated truth about us, humans - we are not simply minds in machines, our bodies are not just tools attached to the brain, we are, each of us, a complex unity of a constant mind-body …

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Spreading the Word: New Research on Emotions

This Friday I share with you a fascinating TED talk on emotions. In it, the neuroscientist and professor of psychology Lisa Feldman Barrett talks about the latest research and findings on the nature of our emotions. Where do they come from, what they are, to what extent we can control them, and more. Frankly, I …

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