Beyond the Self. Dialogues between a Neuroscientist and a Buddhist Monk
Original title: Cerveau et Méditation. Dialogue entre le bouddhisme et les neurosciences
A book that will undoubtedly make even the most skeptical think. — Le journal de Montréal
This collection of eight years of exchanges conceals treasures. — Sciences et Avenir
Matthieu Ricard’s rare combination of a background in science and a lifetime of practicing Tibetan Buddhism makes him an ideal partner for this thoughtful conversation about the mind, meditation, free will, values, and the nature of consciousness with neuroscientist Wolf Singer. A book for anyone interested in an open-minded exploration of these topics. —Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University; author of Animal Liberation and The Most Good You Can Do
Wisdom, relevant to how we can best lead our lives, is the core of this very readable, accessible, and even entertaining book. To be savored, enjoyed, and enlightened, in a thoroughly enjoyable book. —Paul Ekman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, San Francisco; author of Emotions Revealed and Telling Lies
A dialogue between Buddhism and neuroscience to unravel the mysteries of the human mind.
Matthieu Ricard has been a Buddhist monk for forty years. Often invited to universities all over the world to take part in brain studies, he is one of the world’s most experienced meditators.
A neurobiologist and the emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Wolf Singer is one of the world’s leading brain specialists.
For eight years they have been sharing their knowledge and together interrogating how the mind works. Does meditation affect neural circuits? Where do emotions come from? What are the various altered states of consciousness? What is the self? Is there free will? What can be said about the nature of consciousness?
On each point, Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer confront two schools of thought. Buddhist philosophy is a first person knowledge, the result of the practices of Tibetan monks over thousands of years. Neuroscience is a third person knowledge, coming out of laboratory experiments. Radically different, the two approaches often lead to the same conclusions. To develop a true ’science of the mind’, they must be brought together.
This text proposes an in-depth dialogue between the contemplative and modern sciences, to unravel the mysteries of the human mind.
- Preface by best-selling author Christophe André
- Over 30,000 copies sold