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The Dalai Lama at MIT

The Dalai Lama at MIT

Edited by Anne Harrington and Arthur Zajonc

ISBN 9780674027336

Publication date: 04/30/2008

Their meeting captured headlines; the waiting list for tickets was nearly 2000 names long. If you were unable to attend, this book will take you there. Including both the papers given at the conference, and the animated discussion and debate that followed, The Dalai Lama at MIT reveals scientists and monks reaching across a cultural divide, to share insights, studies, and enduring questions.

Is there any substance to monks’ claims that meditation can provide astonishing memories for words and images? Is there any neuroscientific evidence that meditation will help you pay attention, think better, control and even eliminate negative emotions? Are Buddhists right to make compassion a fundamental human emotion, and Western scientists wrong to have neglected it?

The Dalai Lama at MIT shows scientists finding startling support for some Buddhist claims, Buddhists eager to participate in neuroscientific experiments, as well as misunderstandings and laughter. Those in white coats and those in orange robes agree that joining forces could bring new light to the study of human minds.


  • A cornucopia of riches for anyone interested in what is known and yet to know about the nature of the mind. The dialogues weave a compelling tapestry of perspectives, insights, good-natured banter, and ideas for new studies that will fascinate not only scientists, but anyone interested in meditation and mind-body interactions.

    —Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and Vice Chair, Mind and Life Institute


  • Anne Harrington is Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.
  • Arthur Zajonc is Professor of Physics at Amherst College.

Book Details

  • 304 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press