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The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific…
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The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the…

by Jon Kabat-Zinn Ph.D.

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'The Mind's Own Physician' is a dialogue in five sessions between the Dalai Lama and a set of physicians and researchers before an audience at the Mind and Life Institute. If you would like more information about the past or future sessions, here is the web address:
http://www.mindandlife.org/

The dialogue in this book was aimed at finding meditation practices that could be incorporated in medicine. There are very many ways to meditate as HH Dalai Lama states. He didn’t have an educational background in medicine, biology so he needed more information about the terms or how things worked, he asked questions. He was asked to and gave a summary of the principle themes in Buddhism. That also helped to make sure that no one was getting lost when he was using terms common in Buddhism.
Since I don’t want to give too much away in the findings explored and the commonalities of Buddhist thought and modern neurobiology, I will just mention a little of what was discussed in Session One.

Pain was discussed. HH Dalai Lama explained there are two parts to pain (1) the pain itself and (2) the arrows around it or the feelings around it. We ask ourselves, will this ever end? It is killing me; will it ever get any better? Buddhist meditation can do nothing about the pain but it can change the added pain of thoughts about the pain. And that can help people feel better. That part of the burden can be lifted and the person with pain can feel freer.

A research study on psoriasis was given as an example of using mediation as a healing tool. Both the control group and the experimental group were given UVB or PUBA light treatments. But only the experimental group also listened to meditation tapes. But as illustrated in this book, the graphs showed that the group who listened to the tapes healed faster than those who just received the light treatment.

This book does still have a lot of religious and medical terminology that you need to learn in order to understand the concepts so it is not a book that you can read quickly. I recommend reading about one session and then letting the book sit for a while. That way, you can come up with your own questions and perhaps explore something in more detail that was brought up in a chapter.

I recommend this book to everyone interested in learning about the benefits and limitations of meditation to medical problems.

I received this book from the GoodReads program but that in no way influenced my review. ( )
  Carolee888 | Feb 5, 2012 |
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Draws on studies with leading neuroscience researchers and the Dalai Lama to examine the health benefits of meditation, in a transcript of a scientific conference at Washington, D.C.'s Mind and Life Institute that explores the mind's capacity for influencing physical disease.… (more)

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