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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Scientists Bridle at Lecture Plan for Dalai Lama at Society for Neuroscience Meeting
As reported in the New York Times, the Dalai Lama is at the center of a scientific controversy. Long an enthusiastic collaborator in research on whether the intense meditation practiced by Buddhist monks can train the brain to generate compassion and positive thoughts, next month in Washington, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to speak about the research at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. But 544 brain researchers have signed a petition urging the society to cancel the lecture, because, according to the petition, "it will highlight a subject with largely unsubstantiated claims and compromised scientific rigor and objectivity."

The First Run/Icarus Films release MONTE GRANDE features the Dalai Lama and the late, eminent neuroscientist Francisco Varela. Varela's life long pursuit was the integration of Western science and Eastern philosophy in the area of neuroscience, and to that end he founded Mind & Life: A forum for scientists and the Dalai Lama to compare western research with Buddhist teachings, to pursue new directions for western research, and, on the other hand, to give new impulses to the Buddhist tradition.

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