Our Models of Consciousness: How They Shape Our Reality
Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. (Definitons.net). What determines the nature of our lived reality? It is determined by our experiences, our direct observations. Yet for the most part, we go through life with no awareness of how or why we…Read More
Extending Compassion to Ourselves and the Planet: Can Meditation Help?
This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, February 16, 2017. Used with Permission, 2017. We are at a critical point in our planetary history, and we’re polarized in our views about how to protect both ourselves and our environment. We may all agree that the time is critical, but there is no consensus on what…Read More
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,…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More