The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation

The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation

The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation

The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation


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By inviting the Dalai Lama and leading researchers in medicine, psychology, and neuroscience to join in conversation, the Mind & Life Institute set the stage for a fascinating exploration of the healing potential of the human mind. The Mind’s Own Physician presents in its entirety the thirteenth Mind and Life dialogue, a discussion addressing a range of vital questions concerning the science and clinical applications of meditation: How do meditative practices influence pain and human suffering? What role does the brain play in emotional well-being and health? To what extent can our minds actually influence physical disease? Are there important synergies here for transforming health care, and for understanding our own evolutionary limitations as a species?

Edited by world-renowned researchers Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard J. Davidson, this book presents this remarkably dynamic interchange along with intriguing research findings that shed light on the nature of the mind, its capacity to refine itself through training, and its role in physical and emotional health.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608829927
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 09/01/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and author of numerous books, including Full Catastrophe Living, Arriving at Your Own Door, and Coming to Our Senses.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

A Confluence of Streams and a Flowering of Possibilities

Session 1 Meditation-Based Clinical Interventions: Science, Practice, and Implementation 21

How Buddhist Meditative Practices Can Inform Our Understanding of Pain and Suffering, the Potential for Healing, the Relief of Suffering, and the Underlying Nature of the Human Mind and Body Ajahn Amaro 27

Some Clinical Applications of Mindfulness Meditation in Medicine and Psychiatry: The Case of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Jon Kabat-Zinn 35

Mind-Brain-Body Interaction and Meditation Richard J. Davidson 47

Session 1 Dialogue 55

Session 2 Possible Biological Substrates of Meditation 65

Synchronization of Brain Rhythms as a Possible Mechanism for the Unification of Distributed Mental Processes Wolf Singer 66

The Neurobiology of the Adaptive and Deleterious Features of Stress Robert Sapolsky 76

Session 2 Dialogue 81

Session 3 Clinical Research 1: Meditation and Mental Health 99

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and the Prevention of Relapse in Recurrent Depression Zindel Segal 102

Paths to Recovery: Neural Substrates of Cognitive and Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Depression Helen Mayberg 110

Session 3 Dialogue 117

Interlude Preceding Session 4 135

The Buddhist Science of Human Flourishing Alan Wallace 136

Interlude Dialogue 144

Session 4 Clinical Research 2: Meditation and Physical Health 151

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Cardiovascular Disease David Sheps 152

Neural-Immune Interaction John Sheridan 155

Session 4 Dialogue 159

Session 5 Integration and Final Reflections 173

Meditation and the Future of Health Care Ralph Snyderman 178

Some Reflections on the Evolution and Nature of Mind and Self and Their Implications for Humanity Wolf Singer 185

Session 5 Dialogue 192

Epilogue 207

Acknowledgments 223

Notes 225

Contributors 239

About the Mind and Life Institute 255

Index 259

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