Upaya Dharma Talks Feature - Introduction to 2020 Varela International Symposium

July 02, 2020

The Varela Symposium brings together a remarkable faculty to explore cutting edge areas of science, philosophy, and Buddhism. Today, we are in an epoch changing era. In the opening session of this Symposium,Dr. Schooler is featured alongside other leading scientists like John Dunne and Kalina Christoff give an overview of the topics to be covered: can we be aware without there being any object or content of awareness? How is it that we can be aware of being aware, that is, experience meta-awareness? What is mind-wandering and how does it impact our sensory and cognitive experience? How does the activity of the “default network” affect awareness? What about so-called unusual mental states and mystical experiences? How do we regulate our physical and mental reactivity (including fear and anger) in order to reduce suffering? What happens to awareness in states of “unconsciousness?” How does awareness function in sleep, during anesthesia, in coma, in states of cognitive decline, at the time of death?

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