The last decade has seen a rapid rise in the engagement of scientific research with Buddhist thought and practice. This course will focus on the question of transformation with an emphasis on meditation and the brain. Through lectures and discussion, we will explore recent research findings, as well as a theoretical convergence between Buddhist ideas of karma and delusion on one hand, and neuro-scientific models of brain plasticity and concept formation on the other. This course is for non-scientists and scientists alike, and will also include elements of formal meditation practice.
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Karma and Delusion: Transformation and the Brain
Instructor(s): Wendy Hasenkamp
Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD, serves as senior scientific officer at the Mind & Life Institute. As a neuroscientist and a contemplative practitioner, she is interested in understanding how subjective experience is represented in the brain, and how the mind and brain can be transformed through experience and practice to enhance flourishing. Her research examines the neural correlates of meditation, with a focus on the shifts between mind wandering and attention. She has also contributed to neuroscience curriculum development, teaching, and textbook creation for the Emory University Tibet Science Initiative, which aims to integrate science into the Tibetan monastic education system in India.