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Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his expe

Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his expe

Postby Monk Rob on Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:09 am

Came across this interview of a Rinzai Zen practitioner/neurologist discuss his experiences as a Zen practitioner from a neurologist perspective. Found it to be an interesting video. Anyone read his book 'Zen and The Brain'? Worth reading?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc9F8ZOHAKY
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby partofit22 on Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:37 pm

I watched this last night, haven't read the book but the subject is fascinating- We do have to maintain a certain amount of fear to cross the street, what do you think of that? It's what he said in so many words-
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:50 pm

partofit22 wrote:I watched this last night, haven't read the book but the subject is fascinating- We do have to maintain a certain amount of fear to cross the street, what do you think of that? It's what he said in so many words-


Dunno if fear is the right word, I only need "discrimination" (body,street,car) to cross the street.

Not afraid to get run over, but it isn't handy also.
Same applies to the 'traffic of mind' one can carefully navigate between the traffic without bumping into every ghostly character.
Some folks get hit by thoughts/feelings and attempt spiritual practises to empty their road and call it "peace of mind", silliness.
It doesn't make the path any clearer :heya:
Differences are never in opposition.
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby TigerDuck on Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:34 pm

'Some folks get hit by thoughts/feelings..."

Nice word.

I get hit all time.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:24 pm

I've had the book since before its release (a reviewer's copy).

I'd say it's a mixed bag of nearly random reflections by a PhD-level neurophysiologist who happens also to be a Kindergarten-level Zen Buddhist practitioner.

The book is nearly unreadable if you mean to try to read through it. A saving-grace, though, is that it has an Index, and you can thus look up topics that might arise from time to time. It's not a useful book, but if you have it on the shelf, you might, every five years or so, think of a topic to look up in the Index, and see what Dr. Austin has (had) to say about it. Is it helpful to a practitioner? No.

I have a second book of his, pretty similarly titled (with the add'n of the word "Reflections") and I'd say it's a continuation.

The word "Zen" used in the title(s) is just specious, I'd say. It has no real referent.

BTW, more has been said at this forum about the Dr., and the book(s). This board's "Search" function can be used to find those discussions.

best,

--Joe
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby Monk Rob on Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:13 am

Thank you for your responses fellas.

-Rob
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby noorcasta on Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:27 am

I also read "Zen and the Brain", "Zen-Brain Reflections" and "Meditating Selflessly". I found the descriptions of his own internal absorptions and "kensho" profoundly inspiring. The classifications of various states also.

As for the "brain" part - it is a very difficult read, and boring, so i just skipped most of it.

In the long term, I do from time to time take a peek at the notes I made, to elucidate some details of what i am thinking/experiencing. It is brilliant in many passages.

From nothing all beings as beings come to be. (Heidegger)
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Re: Neurologist Jim Austin's investigation into Zen and his

Postby Monk Rob on Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:33 am

noorcasta wrote:I also read "Zen and the Brain", "Zen-Brain Reflections" and "Meditating Selflessly". I found the descriptions of his own internal absorptions and "kensho" profoundly inspiring. The classifications of various states also.

As for the "brain" part - it is a very difficult read, and boring, so i just skipped most of it.

In the long term, I do from time to time take a peek at the notes I made, to elucidate some details of what i am thinking/experiencing. It is brilliant in many passages.



Ahh thank you for sharing Noorcasta

-Rob
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