Fall 2017 CSC Speaker Series: Jim Austin - The Art and Science of Zen Meditation



Fall 2017 CSC Speaker Series: Jim Austin - The Art and Science of Zen Meditation


Thu., Nov 2 2017 - 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM


NAU Hall Rm 101

Please join Jim Austin for a talk about meditation and its relationship to "brief awakening experiences," and how neuroscience helps us understand the various issues therein. This talk will be followed by a book signing.
Registration recommended here.
No words express the inexpressible. Therefore, Asian artists have created many visual metaphors of Zen. Examples of their art through the ages hint at the extraordinary qualities of distinctive states of consciousness that can arise in the brain during long-term meditative training. A scientific approach to Zen training begins with the ways it can enhance both our top-down focused attentiveness and our bottom-up global awareness. Simultaneously, the brain starts to drop off its prior maladaptive self-referential over-conditioning. This deconditioning enables the brain’s innate other-referential capacities to emerge and be retrained toward more selfless modes of genuine compassion. Samples of recent neuroscience research provide a perspective that can help clarify how these transforming processes evolve.
James H. Austin is Emeritus Professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine. His early research was in clinical neurology, neuropathology, and neurochemistry. In 1974, during a neuropharmacology sabbatical in Kyoto, Japan he began Zen meditative training with Kobori-Roshi, an English-speaking Rinzai Zen master. As a Zen practitioner, he has since explored the neural basis for the ways that long-term meditation can transform consciousness.
His MIT press books began with Zen and the Brain (1998). They include Chase, Chance and Creativity (2003), Zen-Brain Reflections (2006), Selfless Insight (2009), Meditating Selflessly (2011), Zen-Brain Horizons (2014), and Living Zen Remindfully (2016). 
This event is co-sponsored by Compassionate Care Initiative.