Zen and the Brain

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Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness
Author James H. Austin
Country United States
Language English
Subject neuroscience, zen
Publisher MIT Press
Publication date
6 February 1998
Media type Print (trade paperback)
Pages 844
ISBN 978-0-262-01164-8
OCLC 37187487
294.3/422
LC Class BQ9288.A96
Followed by Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty

Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness is a book authored by James H. Austin. First published in 1998, the book's aim is to establish links between the neurological workings of the human brain and meditation. The eventual goal would be to establish mechanisms by which meditation induces changes in the activity of the brain, which in turn induces a state of mental clarity. For example Austin presents evidence from EEG scans that deep relaxed breathing reduces brain activity.

The publishers described their book as a "Comprehensive text on the evidence from neuroscience that helps to clarify which brain mechanisms underlie the subjective states of Zen, and employs Zen to 'illuminate' how the brain works in various states of consciousness". The book starts with a discussion of Zen Buddhism, its goals, and practices. Having laid this groundwork, the book then turns to explore the neurological basis of consciousness. While the book stops short of conclusive theories, it does provide many testable hypotheses that could validate the discussion in the book.

Austin is a neurologist and has also practiced Zen over many years. Later Austin wrote a follow-up, Zen-Brain Reflections.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • James H. Austin, Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness. Reprint edition July 2, 1999. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-51109-6
  • James H. Austin, Zen-Brain Reflections. First edition February 14, 2006. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-01223-5


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