Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity

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Columbia University Press, Mar 22, 2009 - Religion - 264 pages
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By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world.

Wallace begins by exploring the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a sequence of meditations the reader can undertake, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness.

From this convergence Wallace then connects the approaches of contemporary cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the mind. He links Buddhist and Christian views to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly incorporates the work of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete analysis of conceptions of consciousness with a guide to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative practice, Wallace takes the scientific and intellectual mapping of the mind in exciting new directions.

 

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User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

I've given this book three stars because I find it difficult to rate. There are two parts to this book: the lesser part on Wallace's discontents with science, and the greater on Buddhism. Wallace also ... Read full review

Review: Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, & Christianity (Columbia Series in Science and Religion)

User Review  - Bob - Goodreads

this is a really good book Read full review

Contents

Who Am I?
3
The Origins of Contemplation
7
The Scientific Externalization of Meditation
15
Scientific Studies of Meditation
27
MEDITATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
37
Practice Attending to the Breath of Life
39
Theory Coming to Our Senses
41
Practice The Union of Stillness and Motion
47
Practice Resting in the Stillness of Awareness
119
Theory Worlds of Skepticism
121
Practice The Emptiness of Mind
137
Theory The Participatory Worlds of Buddhism
139
Practice The Emptiness of Matter
151
Theory The Participatory Worlds of Philosophy and Science
153
Practice Resting in Timeless Consciousness
167
Theory The Luminous Space of Pristine Awareness
169

Theory Knowing and Healing the Mind
53
Practice Behold the Light of Consciousness
71
Theory Exploring the Nature of the Observer
75
Practice Probing the Nature of the Observer
87
Theory The Ground State of Consciousness
89
Practice Oscillating Awareness
97
Theory Consciousness Without Beginning or End
99
Practice Meditation in Action
187
Theory The Universe as a Whole
189
What Shall We Become?
197
Notes
201
Bibliography
221
Index
233
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About the author (2009)

B. Alan Wallace spent fourteen years as a Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama. He then earned his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College, and his doctorate in religious studies from Stanford University. His Columbia University Press books are Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness, Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge, and Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground (editor). A prolific writer who has translated numerous Tibetan Buddhist texts, he is the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies (http://www.sbinstitute.com).

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