Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 398 – The Great Perfection with B. Alan Wallace

B. Alan Wallace joins Raghu to reconcile science and spirituality within the context of Tibetan Buddhism's Great Perfection, reflecting on mindfulness, meditation, death, and impermanence.

B. Alan Wallace joins Raghu to reconcile science and spirituality within the context of Tibetan Buddhism’s Great Perfection.

B. Alan Wallace PhD is a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists and philosophers, and he has written and translated more than 40 books, including Minding Closely: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and of the Centers for Contemplative Research in Castellina Marittima in Tuscany and in Crestone, Colorado. For more info, please visit AlanWallace.org

Tibetan Buddhism: Science & Spirituality

Welcoming author, scientist, and Tibetan Buddhist scholar, B. Alan Wallace PhD, to the podcast, Raghu invites him to share on his colorful background, taking deep insightful interest in both science and religion from a young age. Intent on reconciling and merging these two generally dichotomous worldviews, he found his way to Tibetan Buddhism. Buying a one-way ticket to Dharamshala India, Alan immersed himself in Tibetan practice and culture.

“I came across my first book on Tibetan Buddhism, about Dzogchen and the Great Perfection. Intuitively, it called to me. It seemed to me it was addressing very deep facets of reality, and yet thoroughly permeated by meaning, by transcendence, by something profoundly and divinely good.” – B. Alan Wallace

Tap B. Alan Wallace’s inner wellspring of wisdom on Discovering Our Inner Wealth from our Awakened Heart Blog
Dzogchen: The Great Perfection (8:38)

Prompted by Raghu to plunge the proverbial depths of Dzogchen Buddhism and The Great Perfection, Alan outlines the inquiries of awareness which can help us move beyond the limited contexts of the human psyche, the human brain, and ideas of nothingness-after-death. Elucidating spirit through a scientific perspective, Alan illuminates deeper dimensions of consciousness, explaining emphatically how there is no scientific evidence for nothingness and no evidence that consciousness terminates when the brain dies.

“The Great Perfection plunges to the very depths of what it is to be aware. That is, what is the very nature of awareness? What are it’s origins? What are it’s potentials? Does it have multiple dimensions? What is the role of consciousness in reality as a whole? The Great Perfection is a way of viewing reality from a perspective that’s beyond the very limited context of the human psyche.” – B. Alan Wallace

“To simply think that we have some kind of a scientific knowledge that the mind comes from the brain, and when the brain dies, you become nothing—if people want to believe that, they’re perfectly happy to, but there’s no evidence for it. There’s a deeper dimension of consciousness. Consciousness doesn’t terminate.” – B. Alan Wallace

For more Raghu sharing on imagination, compassion, and the Lojong teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, tune to Ep. 288 of Mindrolling
Being Here Now: Meditation & Mindfulness (27:57)

After uncovering their in-India meditation-training connection of both formally learning Vipassana meditation from S.N. Goenka—Raghu sent by Neem Karoli Baba; Alan by HH the Dalai Lama—Alan explains his difficult and heartfelt decision in leaving his academic, intellectual, monastic training under HH the Dalai Lama, to further his direct insights and inquiry into meditation and mindfulness practice. After sharing his Ram Dass connection, Alan outlines The Four Immeasurables: Practices to Open the Heart

“Living each day such that if right now, today, if this turns out to be my last day…that I will look back on the day with no regret, and look back on the life with no regret. I’ve lived that way ever since I got that close to death. So, for me to spend this time with you today, this is the Great Perfection right now.” – B. Alan Wallace

Connect Ram Dass, India, & Buddhism with another longtime friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama—Dr. Robert Thurman, on Ep. 354 of Mindrolling


Photos via B. Alan Wallace & The Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies