Buddhist teachings strongly emphasize the importance of cultivating a meaningful motivation for all our endeavors, especially spiritual practice. This corresponds to the theme of “conative intelligence”: the faculty by which we are able to wisely embrace those aspirations, ideals, and intentions that will lead to the fulfillment of our fundamental wish to be free of suffering and to find an enduring sense of well-being.
In this lecture Dr. B. Alan Wallace will relate this topic to bringing about “four revolutions in outlook” that provide a foundation for engaging in authentic Buddhist practice.
These constitute meditations on (1) the rarity and preciousness of our human existence, (2) the significance of our own mortality and of impermanence in general, (3) the full extent of the reality of suffering, and (4) the nature of actions and their consequences within and beyond this life.
These four themes radically shift our view of reality and the meaning of life, and they are regarded as indispensable in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
About the Teacher - Dr Alan Wallace
Alan Wallace is a prominent voice in the emerging discussion between contemporary Buddhist thinkers and scientists who question the materialist presumptions of their 20th-century paradigms. He left his college studies in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine and language. He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, and over fourteen years as a monk he studied with and translated for several of the generation’s greatest lamas.
In 1984 he resumed his Western education at Amherst College where he studied physics and the philosophy of science. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy. Since 1987 he has been a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists, and he has written and translated more than 40 books.
Along with his scholarly work, Alan is regarded as one of the West’s preeminent meditation teachers and retreat guides. He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Conscious Studies and is the motivating force behind the develop of the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany, Italy.