Realizing Awakened Consciousness: Interviews with Buddhist Teachers and a New Perspective on the…

Paperback | June 2, 2015

byRichard P. Boyle

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If, as Buddhism claims, the potential for awakening exists in all human beings, we should be able to map the phenomenon with the same science we apply to other forms of consciousness. A student of cognitive social science and a Zen practitioner for more than forty years, Richard P. Boyle brings his sophisticated perspective to bear on the development of a theoretical model for both ordinary and awakened consciousness.

Boyle conducts probing interviews with eleven prominent Western Buddhist teachers (Shinzen Young, John Tarrant, Ken McLeod, Ajahn Amaro, Martine Batchelor, Shaila Catherine, Gil Fronsdal, Stephen Batchelor, Pat Enkyo O'Hara, Bernie Glassman, and Joseph Goldstein) and one scientist (James Austin) who have experienced awakening. From the paths they traveled to enlightenment and their descriptions of the experience, he derives three fundamental properties of awakened consciousness. He then constructs an overarching model that explains how Buddhist practices help free the mind from attachments to reality and the self and make possible the three properties of awakening. Specifically, these teachers describe how they worked to control attention and quiet the mind, detach from ideas and habits, and open themselves to compassion. Boyle's account incorporates current theories of consciousness, sociological insights, and research in neuroscience to advance the study of awakened consciousness and help an even greater number of people to realize it.

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From the Publisher

If, as Buddhism claims, the potential for awakening exists in all human beings, we should be able to map the phenomenon with the same science we apply to other forms of consciousness. A student of cognitive social science and a Zen practitioner for more than forty years, Richard P. Boyle brings his sophisticated perspective to bear on...

Richard P. Boyle was an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, until 1972, when he left to pursue his studies in Buddhism in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Some years later, he moved to Albuquerque and worked as a senior research scientist at the University of New Mexico's Institute for S...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 2, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231170750

ISBN - 13:9780231170758

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Interview with Shinzen Young2. Interview with John Tarrant3. Interview with Ken McLeod4. Interview with Ajahn Amaro5. Interview with Martine Batchelor6. Interview with Shaila Catherine7. Interview with Gil Fronsdal8. Interview with Stephen Batchelor9. Interview with Pat Enkyo O'Hara10. Interview with Bernie Glassman11. Interview with Joseph Goldstein12. Developing Capacities Necessary for Awakening13. Properties of Awakening Experiences14. Evolution of Ordinary and Awakened Consciousness15. The Awakened Baby?16. The Human Condition and How We Got Into It17. Modeling Consciousness, Awakened and OrdinaryAppendix: Interview with James Austin, NeuroscientistNotesGlossary of Buddhist TermsReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

More than any book I have read, it left me optimistic that awakened consciousness is not some myth but an attainable human potential.