Zen and the Brain
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
BACK COVER #This book uses Zen Buddhism as the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness. In order to understand the brain mechanisms that produce Zen states, one needs some understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain. Austin, a neuroscientist and Zen practitioner, interweaves his teachings of the brain with his teachings/personal narrative of Zen. The science, which contains the latest relevant developments in brain research, is both inclsive and rigorous; the Zen sections are clear and evocative. Along the way, Austin covers such topics as similar states in other disciplines and religions, sleep and dreams, mental illness, consciousness-altering drugs, and the social consequences of advanced stages of enlightenment.
BLURBS #"This is a book written with passion and seriousness."
-- Psychoanalytic Books
"Austin has done a beautiful job integrating neurology and mystical states."
-- Times Literary Supplement
"... richly textured, allusive... persuasive, fascinating prose."
-- David V. Feldman, Ph.D.
"This new book is surely THE most important Zen book of the decade..."
-- Zen Unbound
"Zen and the Brain is well worth reading by those interested in cognitive brain function, especially the mechanisms of consciousness. However it is far from a dry scientific text and would be enjoyable to someone more interested in the philosophical implications."
-- Journal of the American Medical Association