Evan Thompson: Buddhism and the brain

Here is an interview with Thompson on Buddhism and the Brain. It starts with defining consciousness as awareness, its changing contents and how both then identify as a self in changing contexts. “Consciousness is something we live, not something we have.”

I also like using the metaphor of dance for the process of self. Both are in the enaction of the process, not a thing apart from that process.

He also goes into how mindfulness in our culture has turned into McMindfulness, how we might learn to pay attention non-judgmentally but then fail to  judge how the work we do might be harming others and the environment. It’s taken out of context with the entire Buddhist ethical framework.

There’s more in the interview with an embedded link to the full interview.

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Brent
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Brent

I appreciate his insight about the inextricable link between consciousness and the body, “When you look for consciousness it never shows up apart from some context of the body. At the same time, the body always shows up in our field of awareness.” His following statement resonates, “Mindfulness is always an ethical notion.” He goes on to say “I’m very concerned with what I would call a decontextualized — or maybe the proper word would be recontextualized — consumerist notion of mindfulness, where mindfulness is about paying attention non-judgmentally in the present moment. That gets framed in terms of paying… Read more »