Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

MindScience - Contributors

An East-West Dialogue

Speakers

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, is internationally recognized as a spokesman for peace, nonviolence, and understanding among different cultures and religions. He has resided in exile in India since 1959, when China forcefully occupied Tibet. He heads the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, India, and has worked to establish educational, cultural, and religious institutions to preserve the Tibetan culture. In 1989, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibetan struggle for liberty.

Herbert Benson, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine at the New England Deaconess Hospital, and President of the Mind/Body Medical Institute, Boston. Dr. Benson is a pioneer in the field of behavioral medicine, having devoted more than twentyfive years to researching the mind’s impact on the body’s health. His research led to the first published description of the relaxation response, an innate physiologic response that counteracts the harmful effects of stress, described in his best-selling book, The Relaxation Response. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Robert A.F. Thurman, PhD, is Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, New York. Widely recognized as a Buddhist studies scholar and writer, and highly acclaimed as one of the foremost lecturers on Tibetan Buddhism. His initial interest in Eastern religion and culture was enhanced by living several years as a monk in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. As President of the American Institute for Buddhist Studies, he convened the First Inner  Science  Conference  with  His  Holiness  the  Dalai  Lama  at Amherst College in 1984. He is also a founding trustee of Tibet House New York.

Howard E. Gardner, PhD, is a research psychologist who investigates human cognitive capacities, particularly those central to the arts, in normal children, gifted children, and brain-damaged children. He currently serves as Professor of Education and Co-Director of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Research Psychologist at the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine. He is the author of over 250 articles in professional journals and periodicals and of ten books.

Daniel Goleman, PhD, is a psychologist and award-winning journalist, who reports on behavioral sciences for the New York Times. His areas of research and commentary include Asian psychological systems and relaxation techniques, meditation, and stress. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Mind/Body Medical Institute and a Tibet House New York committee member. He is also a founding member of the Mind and Life Research Network.

Panelists

David M. Bear, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at  the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston. He is interested in the neurological basis of human emotions, specifically the structures within the human brain that regulate emotions such as anger, fear, and sexual desire. During a Harvard University Fellowship, he studied differing perspectives on the mind/body connection in such diverse cultures as Japan, India, Israel, and the Soviet Union.

Diana L. Eck, PhD, is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University, and an authority on Indian culture and religion. She lectures worldwide and has received numerous grants and awards for her research and writing on South Asian religious beliefs and practices. Among her activities promoting understanding between different religious groups, she chairs the American Academy of Religion Section on Religion in South Asia and the World Council of Churches Working Group on Dialogue with People of Living Faiths.

Thupten Jinpa, one of the principal translators to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, studied Buddhist philosophy, epistemology, and logic at Shartse College of Ganden University in India, receiving his Geshe degree in 1989. He is presently studying at Kings College, Cambridge University, in England.

Steven W. Matthysse, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and a psychobiologist at McLean Hospital. He is known nationally for his efforts to apply mathematical models to brain biology and to normal and abnormal psychology. Dr. Matthysse has been very involved in the search for genes that may contribute to mental illness. Recently, he has been developing mathematical equations to describe the continually changing electrical patterns of the nervous system, which he believes provide an important link between the brain and conscious experience.

David D. Potter, PhD, is Robert Winthrop Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard University, and known for his work in neurobiology. His research led to the discovery that nerve cells can communicate via electrical as well as chemical signals. He also helped develop a culture medium in which a single nerve cell can be grown—a finding that has prompted researchers to study detailed nerve cell activity. Among his current interests are the biological factors that contribute to addiction and psychosis.

Joseph J. Schildkraut, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and recognized internationally for his research on biochemical factors in depressive illnesses. His current research focuses on the biochemistry of depression and schizophrenia, and the ways in which antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs interact with the brain. He also studies mood disorders and spirituality in visual artists. Dr. Schildkraut is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mind/Body Medical Institute and chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board.

Carl E. Schwartz, MD, is an Instructor in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School whose research has focused on affective and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, and the biological correlates of personality. His other interests include psychiatric epidemiology, the philosophy of psychiatry, and the interaction between psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Recently he received a five-year grant from the National Institute for Mental Health to study the relationships between behavior and physiology in children as they mature.