Selfless Insight: Zen and the Meditative Transformations of Consciousness

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Overview

When neurology researcher James Austin began Zen training, he found that his medical education was inadequate. During the past three decades, he has been at the cutting edge of both Zen and neuroscience, constantly discovering new examples of how these two large fields each illuminate the other. Now, in Selfless Insight, Austin arrives at a fresh synthesis, one that invokes the latest brain research to explain the basis for meditative states and clarifies what Zen awakening implies for our understanding of consciousness. Austin, author of the widely read Zen and the Brain,
reminds us why Zen meditation is not only mindfully attentive but evolves to become increasingly selfless and intuitive. Meditators are gradually learning how to replace over-emotionality with calm, clear objective comprehension. In this new book, Austin discusses how meditation trains our attention, reprogramming it toward subtle forms of awareness that are more openly mindful. He explains how our maladaptive notions of self are rooted in interactive brain functions. And he describes how, after the extraordinary, deep states of kensho-satori strike off the roots of the self, a flash of transforming insight-wisdom leads toward ways of living more harmoniously and selflessly. Selfless Insight is the capstone to Austin's journey both as a creative neuroscientist and as a Zen practitioner. His quest has spanned an era of unprecedented progress in brain research and has helped define the exciting new field of contemplative neuroscience.

The MIT Press

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"Analytic philosophy of mind sees persons as much less substantial and ego centered than Cartesian rationalism, which posits that my essence is my immutable self, my soul. Neuroscience finds no soul, no central headquarters that is me. And Zen teaches how to flourish in a world where you are nothing rather than something. Austin's Selfless Insight takes us on an insightful tour of a certain postmodern space where we meet the Heraclitean processes that we are."--Owen Flanagan, James
B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University and author of The Really Hard Problem

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262012591
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/23/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James H. Austin, a clinical neurologist, researcher, and Zen practitioner for more than three decades, is Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and
Visiting Professor of Neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He is the author of Zen and the Brain, Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty, Zen-Brain
Reflections
, and Selfless Insight, all published by the MIT
Press.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Abnegation

    Alright. Just wanted to say: Choosing Ceremony this yr at Candor at truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Susan

    *inclines head* thank you

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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