Saturday, March 18, 2017

EP 029 B Alan Wallace

Today, I talk with B. Alan Wallace about his multiple careers as Buddhist contemplative and teacher, physicist and cognitive scientist, writer and translator. We discuss his road to becoming a monk and returning to laity, the meditative practices of Dzogchen, how to tell a good teacher (by the quality of their students), the remarkable career of Dudjom Lingpa, and how Buddhist contemplatives and neuroscientists can collaborate to effect a revolution in our understanding of the mind.


Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind.

Dr. Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.

With his unique background, Alan brings deep experience and applied skills to the challenge of integrating traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with the modern world.

Follow-up Q&A

After the interview went live, I received some additional questions from listeners that Dr. Wallace was kind enough to respond to:

  1. When talking about Dudjom Lingpa you mentioned that a teacher’s level of realization is hard to determine and that you had to judge by the realization of the students. Wouldn’t that be equally hard to determine?You can tell a lot from the conduct of the students, and of course this applies to teachers as well.
  2. What is the best daily practice for a beginner at meditation or someone who can only do a little each day? Shamatha is a good start, then branch out to the four immeasurables and the four applications of mindfulness.
Show Notes

Alan Wallace's website

Thursday, March 02, 2017

La Fabrica

Architect Rocardo Bofill has been transforming an old cement factory, La Fabrica into a residence and workspace for the past 45 years. Spoiler: It's gorgeous.

(via Carl Wykaert)