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Lions Roar : March 2006
A NEW DEER PARK >-< p::: p::: ÇQ ...... .....:i o E--< o ::r: p., u Z ...... u V) --- z u In your article "Two Sciences of Mind" (September 2005), you mentioned the Mind and Life Dialogue being held in Washington, D.C., "The Science and Clin- ical Applications of Meditation." I had the good fortune to attend, and once again Buddhism validated my belief in science. On the first day of the dialogue, Pro- fessor Wolf Singer, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, spoke on the "synchronization of brain rhythms as a possible mechanism for the unification of distributed mental processes." He outlined briefly how our brain is organized and indicated there is no convergence center, no coordinator. From the standpoint of neuroscience there is no real "1." In this case, science has accurately restated Buddhist doctrine. No matter how you dissect the brain's mass, there is no "Ghost in the Machine." The brain is rather an Indra's Net through which discrete neurons communicate along divergent pathways. Professor Wolf also hypothesized that meditation should en- hance brain function synchronization. On the final day, His Holiness the Dalai Lama made the explicit connection be- tween the "no-self" doctrine and Profes- sor Singer's work, noting its significance and promise. In that moment, scientists, monastics, and laypersons had a sense of what it must have been like several thou- sand years ago in Deer Park and Vulture Peak. Kevin McLaughlin Palm City, Florida MY NEW ORLEANS HOME I am writing from New Orleans, where I've lived for the last ten years. I would like to share my recent experience in the after- math of Hurricane Katrina with my fellow Shambhala Sun readers. I visit Dharamsala, India, every year for about three months to attend teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to study and practice with my own teacher. I love my city world and my dharma world in equal measure, which has created a double life. I always joked that if a hurricane came and wiped away my be- loved city, the choice of where to be would be easier. But now that it has happened, the result has been quite unexpected. My home was destroyed, as were the surrounding homes. Although the houses will be rebuilt, the process of dealing with the loss has just begun. The city is much smaller now. The places left to rent are quite expensive. But leaving feels impos- sible. Not just because I love it here, but also because this whole thing has given me a new perspective. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 13