Wisdom Dharma Chats | Lama Alan Wallace

In this Wisdom Dharma Chat, host Daniel Aitken interviews Lama Alan Wallace, author, scholar, president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, and contemplative director of the Center for Contemplative Research. He has edited, translated, written, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.

Lama Alan begins the discussion by answering timely questions related to the benefits of inner and outer solitude. He offers advice on how to not feel like a victim of circumstances, but instead reframe periods of involuntary solitude as opportunities to slow down, practice cultivating the mind and reassess both personal and societal trajectories. Lama Alan also emphasizes the link between samadhi and an ethical life, explaining that in the act of turning inwards and practicing concentration, we are able to heighten our awareness as we again face outwards, thus becoming more attentive to our interactions and their impacts on the external world. 

On a broader scale, Lama Alan urges us to consider the idea of sustainability, not only in terms of the environment, economics, and other systems in which we are embedded, but also in terms of being able to sustain the states of mind that are cultivated with contemplation, such that we can translate them into practice. During the Q&A session, Lama Alan goes into further detail on these topics and also fields questions regarding dzogchen, inversion of awareness and his hopes to organize inter-contemplative dialogues so that those who study and practice contemplation within different faith traditions are able to learn from each other.

The giveaway mentioned in the recording has closed, but please visit the Introduction to Dzogchen website to learn more about this online course as well as Lama Alan’s other Wisdom Academy courses. You can also find a wealth of information and resources by checking out Lama Alan’s books and additional podcast interviews, available through Wisdom.

Please visit our article The Center for Contemplative Research to learn more about the new the center and view images.

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