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B. Alan Wallace PhD on Lucid Dreaming, Including “What Does it Mean to Say Reality is a Dream?

Joing Alan Wallace in this discussion of the meditations of shamatha and vipashyana, to the dream yoga practice of vipashyana, and Madhyamaka (Middle Way School) and Dzogchen.

Join Andrew in this interview with B. Alan Wallace PhD for a truly remarkable conversation. Dr. Wallace is renowned for his incisive clarity and rigorous intellect, and this is fully evident as he cascades over a tremendous amount of material. The discussion begins with a deep dive into the central meditations of shamatha and vipashyana, and how both of these practices are integral to lucid dreaming. Alan goes so far as to say that dream yoga is the practice of vipashyana, and further situates dream yoga within the Madhyamaka (Middle Way School) and Dzogchen. The discussion then addresses the key question: what does it mean to say reality is a dream? In answering this, Dr. Wallace levels a strong attack against materialism, and the perverted science that supports this wrong view. Insights from psychology, philosophy of mind, physics, cosmology, and many schools of Buddhism are delivered with high-velocity and humor (offering neologisms like cognoscopy – “to scope the mind”), illuminating vast swaths of terrain. Alan speaks of the importance of “authentic Buddhism,” the need to honor tradition, and criticizes the popular but misguided new school of “Secular Buddhism.” Because of Alan’s encyclopedic knowledge, this interview lets him loose, with Andrew allowing him the space to run free. The result is an absolute feast of wisdom, supported by a lifetime of extensive scholarship and deep spiritual practice.

About B. Alan Wallace

B. 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 Alan Wallace 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 Wallace 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 Consciousness Studies and is the motivating force behind the develop of the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany, Italy.

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