Are Angels Real? Do Miracles Happen?

* This article first appeared in Awareness Magazine, Nov-Dec Issue, 2016. Used with Permission. As a young neuroscience professor, I had a spiritual awakening—an inner event that inspired me to spend the last thirty years exploring any understanding that might connect the exceedingly different worlds of science and spirituality. Angels and miracles are two concepts,…

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The Nature Of Consciousness: Resonance Between Ancient Philosophies And Current Science

*This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Science Section, Used with Permission, 2016. What is consciousness?  Is it an essentially human characteristic or a fundamental characteristic of the universe?  Questions about consciousness have intrigued philosophers and scientists for thousands of years.  Neuroscientists, like myself, are asking questions about the essential characteristics of consciousness, and…

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Does the Brain Filter Out a Wider Awareness?

*This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Science Section, Used with Permission, 2016. The human brain has amazing capacities. It contains billions of neurons, allowing it to process vast quantities of information so that we can function effectively. But can we have too much information? Yes, and, in fact, filtering information, is one of…

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Hypnosis: Does it Work?

*This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Science Section. Used with Permission, 2016 In recent years, hypnosis has become an accepted medical therapy to address a variety of conditions, including childbirth pain and weight loss, which are concerns for many women. This increased popularity is probably due to research that shows hypnosis can produce…

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Science and Meditation: Integrating a First-Person Experience into the Scientific Process

*This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Science Section. Used with Permission, 2016 As a long time meditator and neuroscientist, my interest in the effect of meditation on brain function is both personal and professional. The benefits meditation has brought to my life mirror first-person accounts of other meditation practitioners–basically, a sense of greater…

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The Placebo Effect: Harnessing the Healing Power of the Mind

*This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Health Living Section. Used with permission, 2015.  Having performed research for a number of years on the healing effects of both Western medicine and complementary therapies such as Tai Chi and meditation, I’m intrigued by the question of which factors actually contribute to improvements in health. Do…

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Art and Meditation: Can One Help You Access the Other?

Artistic inspiration is something that most scientists—at least most neuroscientists—refuse even to consider in the laboratory. How can you measure what’s truly inspired and what isn’t? There is, however, a subjective experience that comes with inspiration, and this I’d had tastes of myself before I ever studied neuroscience. Though I grew up as a musician…

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A Scientist Steps Beyond the Material World

Is it possible that there is a scientific basis for the mystical experiences people, including myself, often have in meditation? This is one of the key questions I address in my forthcoming book, Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind. The answer that most scientists would give is a resounding no, but in my…

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Questions on Mind, Meditation, and Awareness

Is human consciousness simply a product of brain activity? Most neuroscientists say that you must have an active brain in order to have conscious experience, yet there is much research evidence that suggests otherwise. In the area of near-death experience (NDE) during cardiac arrest, I have seen compelling evidence to support the premise that human…

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