Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness

By: Austin, James H.

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Winner of the Scientific and Medical Network Book Prize for 1998

Aldous Huxley called humankind's basic trend toward spiritual growth the "perennial philosophy." In the view of James Austin, the trend implies a "perennial psychophysiology" -- because awakening, or enlightenment, occurs only when the human brain undergoes substantial changes. What are the peak experiences of enlightenment? How could these states profoundly enhance, and yet simplify, the workings of the brain? "Zen and the Brain "presents the latest evidence. In this book Zen Buddhism becomes the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness. In order to understand which brain mechanisms produce Zen states, one needs some understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain. Austin, both a neurologist and a Zen practitioner, interweaves the most recent brain research with the personal narrative of his Zen experiences. The science is both inclusive and rigorous; the Zen sections are clear and evocative. Along the way, Austin examines such topics as similar states in other disciplines and religions, sleep and dreams, mental illness, consciousness-altering drugs, and the social consequences of the advanced stage of ongoing enlightenment.

Title: Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness

Author: Austin, James H.

Categories: Science, Life, Eastern Religion, Anatomy,

Publisher: London, The MIT Press: 1999

ISBN Number: 0262511096

ISBN Number 13: 9780262511094

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: 138840

Description: A clean, unmarked book with a tight binding. 844 pages. Crease on spine.