Upaya Zen Center recently hosted another Zen Brain series (all twelve parts are below). This years speakers were Evan Thompson, John Dunne, Rebecca Todd, Al Kaszniak, Richie Davidson, George Chrousos, and Joan Halifax. This year's topic is Emotions, Equanimity, and the Embodied Mind.
I have included the audio player for the first two segments, then all of the rest are linked back to the Upaya Zen Center podcast page. I have been listening as these were posted - and enjoying them a lot. Evan Thompson and Richie Davidson are among my favorite people in this realm, and the topic is embodied mind, one of my favorite topics.
Evan Thompson & John Dunne & Rebecca Todd & Al Kaszniak & Richie Davidson & George Chrousos & Joan Halifax: 01-12-12: Zen Brain: Emotions, Equanimity, and the Embodied Mind (Part 1)Speakers: Evan Thompson & John Dunne & Rebecca Todd & Al Kaszniak & Richie Davidson & George Chrousos & Joan HalifaxRecorded: Friday Jan 13, 2012In this opening session of the Zen Brain Retreat, the presenters introduce themselves and the presentations they will make in the coming days.SERIES DESCRIPTION
In recent years, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience have contributed new observations and insights into the brain and bodily processes involved in those states we call emotions and their relationships to our perceptions and actions. These observations support the conclusion that bodily changes and the experience of the body are inextricable aspects of emotions, and of most other aspects of mind. These disciplines have also provided frameworks for understanding how emotions are initiated and regulated in the mind/brain/body that are resonant with Buddhist perspectives and practices.
Well known scientists and scholars will explore emotions, equanimity, and the embodied mind from the perspectives of Buddhist theory and practice, neuroscience/
neuroendocrinology, psychology, and philosophy of mind. Special consideration will be given to recent studies of emotion response and regulation in meditation practitioners.
Evan Thompson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He received his B.A. from Amherst College in Asian Studies, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. He is the author of Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2007), and the co-editor (with P. Zelazo and M. Moscovitch) of The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, 2007) He is also the co-author with F.J. Varela and E. Rosch of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1991) and the author of Color Vision: A Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception (Routledge Press, 1995). He is currently working on a new book, titled Waking, Dreaming, Being: New Revelations about the Self from Neuroscience and Meditation.
John Dunne is an associate professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University, where he is Co-Director of the Encyclopedia of Contemplative Practices and the Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies. He was educated at the Amherst College and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. from the Committee on the Study of Religion in 1999. His work focuses on various aspects of Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice. In Foundations of Dharmakirti’s Philosophy (2004), he examines the most prominent Buddhist theories of perception, language, inference and justification. His current research includes an inquiry into the notion of “mindfulness” in both classical Buddhist and contemporary contexts, and he is also engaged in a study of Candrakirti’s “Prasannapada”, a major Buddhist philosophical work on the metaphysics of “emptiness” and “selflessness.” His recently published work includes an essay on neuroscience and meditation co-authored with Richard J. Davidson and Antoine Lutz. He frequently serves as a translator for Tibetan scholars, and as a consultant, he appears on the roster of several ongoing scientific studies of Buddhist contemplative practices.
Rebecca Todd received her Ph.D. in Developmental Science and Neuroscience from the University of Toronto Her doctoral work focused on mapping neural activation patterns underlying affective processing as well as cognition/emotion interactions associated with individual differences and normative development of self-regulation in childhood. Current research interests include investigating the effects of emotional arousal on the subjective experience of perceptual vividness and its link with memory vividness in healthy young adults and in post-traumatic stress disorder. She is also interested in the influence of emotional state on perceptual processing and higher-order cognitive processes, and the neural mechanisms underlying such influences.
Richie Davidson received his Ph.D. in Personality, Psychopathology, and Psychophysiology from Harvard University. He is currently Director for the Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience as well as the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research is focused on cortical and subcortical substrates of emotion and affective disorders, including depression and anxiety, using quantitative electrophysiology, positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to make inferences about patterns of regional brain function. A major focus of his current work is on interactions between prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in the regulation of emotion in both normal subjects and patients with affective and anxiety disorders.
Dr. George Chrousos has earned an esteemed reputation for his tireless research in not only pediatrics, but endocrinology, psychiatry, rheumatology, allergies, surgery, oncology, and reproductive medicine. According to his ISI, he is one of the world’s pre-eminent pediatric physicians and endocrinologists and is the UNESCO chair in adolescent care. His expertise in stress in large part can be linked to his work in endocrinology. The interrelationships between the nervous system and the endocrine systems have a significant impact on mood and sleep disorders, pain perception, and immune Dr. Chrousos is among the 250 most prominent clinical investigators in the world. In his illustrious career as a medical researcher and educator, he has authored more than 1100 scientific publications, has edited 26 books and his work has been cited over 52,000 times.
Al Kaszniak received his Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1976, and completed an internship in clinical neuropsychology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. He is currently Head of the Department of Psychology, Director of Clinical Neuropsychology, Director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium Education Core, and a professor in the departments of psychology, neurology, and psychiatry at The University of Arizona. His research, published in over 150 journal articles, chapters and books (including edited volumes on consciousness and science), has been supported by grants from the NIH, NIMH, and several private foundations. His work has focused on the neuropsychology of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurological disorders, memory self-monitoring, the biological bases of emotion, and emotion response and regulation in long-term Zen and mindfulness meditators.
Joan Halifax Roshi is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D in medical anthropology in 1973. She has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions, including Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Medical School, Georgetown Medical School, University of Virginia Medical School, Duke University Medical School, University of Connecticut Medical School, among many others.Speaker: Evan Thompson
Recorded: Friday Jan 13, 2012
Episode Description: In this presentation, Evan explores Life, Mind, Sociality and Empathy.For the Series Description and the Bio for the entire faculty please click Zen Brain Jan 2012 Series Part 1.
John Dunne & Evan Thompson: 01-13-12: Zen Brain: Emotions, Equanimity, and the Embodied Mind (Part 3)Recorded: Friday Jan 13, 2012
Episode Description: In his presentation, John discusses why we notice some things and not others, how we notice, affective frameworks and the connection to action. This is followed by a period of questions and answers with Evan and John and then a brief guided meditation.