The Dalai Lama on the science of meditation

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Dalai Lama discusses the relationship between scientific and Buddhist ideas about meditation:

A Buddhist who embraces science and research, the Dalai Lama has long held that there are neurological and medical benefits to meditation. He has held a series of dialogues with the Mind & Life Institute of Colorado to discuss investigations of the mind with scientists and philosophers, and to promote well-being. He also has a longstanding relationship with scientist Richard Davidson, author of the new book, “The Emotional Life of Your Brain.”

Here’s an excerpt from our interview with the Dalai Lama that focuses on meditation.

WSJ: If science can prove the benefits of meditation on the brain, how would this advance our society?

DL: Now, scientists, they are seeking truth. Science is just a method to seek reality. So now, many scientists, especially medical scientists, many of them recognize peace of mind, calm mind is very important factor for good health, and also a preventive measure. Even illness. Full of enthusiasm or calm mind: much faster recovery. Medical science already knows. So, very very helpful. Unless you touch human emotions and mind, you can’t explain brain activities 100%. Impossible. So far, many scientists believe brain movement can explain emotion. Yes, to some extent, yes.

But the deeper, deeper, real controller of the brain is the mind. That’s why now, a number of scientists already accepted meditation can change our brain. So mind is acting like the controller of brain activities. Of course, grosser level of emotion is very much related to brain. But subtle level of mind is more or less independent.

Read more here.

photo by: Serjao Carvalho