Beyond the Self: Conversations between Buddhism and Neuroscience
Matthieu in dialogue with Wolf Singer, MIT Press

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Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically; it has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation. In this book, Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist -- close friends, continuing an ongoing dialogue -- offer their perspectives on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, epistemology, meditation, and neuroplasticity.


Move humanity forward

By Matthieu Ricard on November 15, 2017

Maria Shriver :  How do you feel that compassion can change the world we live in today? Do we need compassion now more than ever? MR : One of the main problems in this current era is how to reconcile the demands of the economy, the search for happiness, and respecting the environment. These imperatives correspond to three time scales: the...

On the Nature of the Unconscious

By Matthieu Ricard on November 07, 2017

What is the unconscious? For the Buddhist, the most profound aspect of consciousness is alert presence. For him, what psychoanalysis calls the unconscious only represents the random mists of mental fabrications. For the neuroscientist, precise criteria distinguish between conscious and unconscious processes, and it is important to identify e...

Beyond Species-ism

By Matthieu Ricard on October 08, 2017

In the twentieth century, at the end of the 1960s and in the 1970s, a new animal movement arose, the effects of which have continued to grow down to the present day. This movement has set the stage for a major change in the attitude toward animals in Western societies. A half century after the publication of Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle...

This week

Thought of the week

Generosity free from expectation is like the confidence of a sower:
Whatever needs to grow will grow, and nothing will be lost.
Thus extract the quintessence of your gifts:
That is my advice from the heart.

Dondrup Chögyal (don grub chos rgyal, 1668-1718), the incarnation of Rigdzin Chokyi Trakpa), extract snying gtam gces bsdus, p. 207.


Happiness as Human Flourishing

Published on July 20, 2017

A French-born Tibetan Buddhist monk and a central figure in the Dalai Lama’s dialogue with scientists, Matthieu Ricard was dubbed “The Happiest Man in the World” after his brain was imaged. But he...

Contemplating happiness with Matthieu Ricard

Published on July 02, 2017

Scientific studies have shown that you can train your brain to be more compassionate; and coupling compassion with altruism can generate a positive outlook in individuals and society. French Buddh...

Right now in Karuna-Shechen

Welcoming Women out of the Shadows

Published on November 14, 2017

The inequality and oppression of women in the Himalayas has caused enormous suffering. A main priority in Karuna-Shechen’s work and mission is to encourage women to come out of the cultural and econ...

Big Change for Villagers in India

Published on November 14, 2017

Last April, people in the village of Manjhagawan gathered to meet our India director, Shamsul Akhtar to decide how to irrigate their fields in the dry season. They decided that we should construct ...