Zen and the Brain

  • Title: Zen and the Brain
  • Author: James H. Austin
  • ISBN: 9780262511094
  • Page: 270
  • Format: Paperback
  • Zen and the Brain A neuroscientist and Zen practitioner interweaves the latest research on the brain with his personal narrative of Zen Aldous Huxley called humankind s basic trend toward spiritual growth the perennial
    A neuroscientist and Zen practitioner interweaves the latest research on the brain with his personal narrative of Zen.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 undergoesA neuroscientist and Zen practitioner interweaves the latest research on the brain with his personal narrative of Zen.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.

    • Best Read [James H. Austin] ☆ Zen and the Brain || [History Book] PDF ✓
      270 James H. Austin
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      Posted by:James H. Austin
      Published :2019-03-02T23:06:19+00:00

    About James H. Austin


    1. James H. Austin Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Zen and the Brain book, this is one of the most wanted James H. Austin author readers around the world.


    248 Comments


    1. This work is baffling, too large to approach in one go. It batters the reader with citations (over a hundred pages of footnotes alone!), hypotheses, studies, physiologies. It integrates broad categories of knowledge and experience. Ultimately, Zen is examined not in and of itself, but in light of its interrelationship with neurophysiology (Austin being both a student of Zen and an M.D.) - that is, what do these bodies of knowledge have to say to each other?In fact, these two fields practically d [...]

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    2. I had no idea what to expect from this book, other than a friend was reading it and it had something to do w/ zen and the brain, both of which I have interests in.I knew next to nothing about neuroscience at the start, and can now say I know a bit more than that. The book pieces together the relevant areas from neuroscience to compose new hypothesis to test regarding the changes in the brain that occur during zen meditation. I found this to be one of the more valuable topics of the book. There s [...]

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    3. Brain Bible. Awesome book. I've been reading it, off and on, since grad school in 2002-2003 - first of a library copy in Durham, then in Asheville, then a used copy I finally got for myself in 2005. Just getting through this opus is an accomplishment and the reward is that you learn A LOT. (It's also a great resource if you're writing .on anything having to do with philosophy of mind in almost any tradition, but certainly in comparing Eastern and Western general views on the mind and the brain.) [...]

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    4. Dr. Austin’s 900-page book looks at what the brain does during (and as a result of) the practice of Zen, and is a great resource for those interested in the science of meditative practices. It’s easy to sum up the strength and weakness of this book. With respect to the book’s greatest strength, it’s that the author—like the book—straddles two widely divergent worlds. He is at once a scientist and a practitioner of Zen. This gives him rare insight into both halves of the equation. Thi [...]

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    5. This is a very large, very dry, very dense book. (even with the much needed breaks for the author's personal anecdotes of his Zen practice and experiences) It took me nearly a year to get through it. It works well as an overview of not only the physiology of the brain, but an introduction to theories of consciousness. If you are interested in kensho as well as glutamate pathways, this one is for you.

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    6. Read this book in a Neuroscience class about Zen @ UCSD. How lucky and thankful for it I have been ever since. I can not describe in words the perspective it provided. The vista is something like a Peruvian jungle with a backdrop of a majestic lake shimmering in the equatorial sun just enough to have all your senses enamoured. Read the latest version of this book as it has more up-to-date research from the field.

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    7. "Zen and the Brain" is one of the books in the primary bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism. "The greatest achievement in life" at suprarational/gail2012.pdf has been reviewed on .James Austin is a medical doctor and psychiatrist who have several books on the psychology of Buddhism on .

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    8. This is the most comprehensive book I've read on the neuro/biological/psych effects of meditation. Although the focus is on zazen, other meditations are included in some of the quoted studies. Highly recommended if you are curious about meditation's more concrete and measurable effects on humans.

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    9. It will probably take me about three years to finish this, but it's pretty interesting so far--the parts that I comprehend.

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    10. This is an academic textbook, and is probably by now a bit dated. I'm not rating it with stars because I'm not a student with enough background to really judge it for what it's for.However, there's plenty of information in well-organised chapters of interest to a curious/interested layman interested in Zen, or neurology, or both.

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    11. A review from a reader at :By K.S.Ziegler (Seattle) This very detailed and voluminous book delves into two subjects, which at times appear very different and not easily connected. On the one hand, the author provides an excellent description of his experience with Zen Buddhism. He describes how Zen is a very rigorous practice and recounts his own progress. Perhaps the strongest aspect of the book is the careful use of terms. Concepts such as "emptiness" and "suchness" are explained in detail. Th [...]

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    12. At its core, this book is supposed to be about the examination of what impact meditation has on consciousness, and what various empirical methodologies for observing that impact can tell us (and equally if not more important), and what they cannot.Unfortunately, the author, who is a neurologist by trade and a practitioner of meditation, makes multiple forays into areas that go beyond the scope of his expertise (mysticism, religion, cultural history, etc.), which results in a sprawling and often [...]

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    13. A huge book that frustrated me in the end despite all of its many insights, learnings and vast erudition. The author relays an enormouse amount of Western learning about the brain, and deep insight into Zen and his own Zen meditation. But all too often the book seemed to possess two warring vocabularies that never really talked to one another. We can learn all about the chemical pathways of the brain. Or, we can learn that Zen meditation quiets the mind and allows it to experience reality direct [...]

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    14. Whether you are training to be a Yoga teacher, studying medicine, want to know more about the brain and how the brains of some enlightened zen masters work, this is what you have to read. Don't be scared by the amount of pages, you will devour it and flick back to read some sections again. Austin has a lifetime of practice not only in medicine but also in meditation. And the combination of accumulated research and wisdom are outstanding and unprecedented. I would make the book a mandatory read f [...]

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    15. An enlightening journey into the brain and consciousness. Part III was quite a challenge for me, as I've never gotten that closely into the physiology of the brain, so it was lots of new information and lots of it is already forgotten. It was still however extremely interesting to find out how meditation works in the brain and eventually changes it, even if I didn't get all the little details. And it was also nice to read the author's own experiences of meditation and zen, without which this boo [...]

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    16. I've not completed the book but I've finished as much as I care to read. I quite enjoyed the introductory chapters on the history and philosophy of Zen, and the art of meditation, which offered an interesting perspective from one who's been trained in Western medicine and studied in Japan. However, about a third of the way into the book the neurophysiology became a bit too deep to hold my interest.

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    17. Excellent book on Zen and neurology. Both the expert and the amateur neurologist can read this since he lets us amateur skip technical passages and still understand. Some awesome topics covered are: how finding a quarter makes us more altruistic, the 'bump' on Buddha statue heads is actually a neurological growth, and what happens when you give someone intravenous LSD when they are asleep!

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    18. to say that I've read this cover to cover would be untrue; it is not really structured to be read in that way. Most likely, it is a book I will read throughout my life and intend to keep it on my shelf always. Quite fascinating, and most helpful.

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    19. Not for everyone! Very technical in the neuroscience parts and very tedious in the zen meditation parts, but I am preparing for a talk on the effects of meditation on the brain, so it's got all the information in it.

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    20. An awesome scientific take on meditation without the woo. Written by a neuroscientist.

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    21. Brilliant ideas, but this is a textbook not a light read.

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    22. insightful from the mechanistic sense but not the other - James needs more journey yet.

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    23. This is definitely a must read for someone interested in the connections between neuroscience and zen meditation.

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    24. Overly academic with not much interesting information on Zen itself. A hard slog.

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    25. A great resource for both zen and and science. It's a huge book (over 800 pages), but worth the read (I'm half-way through.)

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    26. God, this book was hard.

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    27. all i can say is i hope everyone in the world reads this book im waiting !!!

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    28. Read a small part of this book as reference for workshops I'm developing

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