Sep 18, 2020

Esteemed scientists/academics Menas C. Kafatos and David E. Presti join host Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in a discussion of mind and reality, from the perspective of both Western science and Tibetan Buddhism. 61 minutes.

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About the Panelists


Menas C. Kafatos is The Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. He is a quantum physicist, cosmologist, climate change researcher and works extensively on consciousness, quantum theory, brain science, philosophy, and the above fields. After postdoctoral work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he joined George Mason University and was University Professor of Interdisciplinary Sciences from 1984-2008, where he also served as Dean of the School of Computational Sciences and Director of the Center for Earth Observing and Space Research. Served as Founding Dean of the Schmid College of Science, and Vice Chancellor, Chapman University (2009 – 2012). He has 39 years of experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research, in Earth systems science, natural hazards and climate change, remote sensing and data information systems, physics, computational and theoretical astrophysics, astronomy, foundations of quantum theory, and most importantly, consciousness and the nature of reality. He has published or co-authored numerous books, including The Nonlocal Universe (and) The Conscious Universe; as well as more than 275 journal articles and book chapters.
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David E. Presti is a neurobiologist, psychologist, and cognitive scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1991. From 1990 and 2000 he worked as a clinical psychologist in the treatment of addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. Dr. Presti received his doctorate in molecular biology and biophysics from the California Institute of Technology and in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. For 10 years (1999-2010) he served as a core faculty member in the California School of Professional Psychology (Alliant University) graduate program in psychopharmacology, providing training to clinical psychologists interested in prescribing psychotropic medications. Since 2004 he has been teaching neuroscience to Tibetan monks and nuns in India and (more recently) Bhutan, as part of a dialogue between science and religion initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His areas of expertise include human neurobiology and neurochemistry, the effects of drugs on the brain and the mind, the treatment of addiction, and the scientific study of the mind and consciousness. More about Dr. Presti


Geshe Tenzin Wangyal (host) was born in India in 1961, following his parents’ journey from Tibet to India in 1959. At age 11 he began formal studies as a monk at Menri Monastery near Dolanji, India, where he completed an 11-year course of traditional studies at the Bön Dialectic School. He was awarded his geshe degree in 1986. He now lives as a householder, and has been living and teaching in the West for more than 30 years. An accomplished scholar in all aspects of sutra, tantra and dzogchen, Rinpoche is an acclaimed author and a respected teacher of students worldwide. As the founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha International, he has established numerous centers and institutes of learning in the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe and India. Fluent in English, Rinpoche regularly offers online teachings in the form of live webcasts, online workshops and YouTube videos. He is renowned for his depth of wisdom; his clear, engaging teaching style; and his dedication to making the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners.
More about Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche