TALK: “Contemplation and the Sciences in Dialogue”

Dr. Sheehy presented at the Science and Spirituality Conference. The Medicine of Mind: Healing Physical and Emotional Pain. Ligmincha International. Serenity Ridge, VA. October 2017.

Contemplation and the Sciences in Dialogue: On the Horizon of New Ways of Knowing

With an understanding that pain is perhaps the most salient and undeniable indicator of consciousness, this talk provides a framework for Buddhist responses to physical and existential pain, and explores the interface of contemplative and scientific perspectives on the nature of knowing experience. We discuss contemplative practice and the science of contemplation as methods for understanding the mind so that we can discern the sources of pain, their patterns of emergence and re-occurrence, and means for the amelioration of pain. In so doing, we discuss the nature of the dialogue between first-person modes of inquiry and science, particularly neurophenomenology. We conclude with reflections from the Tibetan contemplative traditions about how the shared ethos of being human recognizes multiple modes of knowing.