Dr. Daniel Brown has been a clinical and forensic psychologist for almost 50 years. He has been at Harvard Medical School for almost 40 years. He has been a student of, translator for, and meditation master in the Indo-Tibetan and Bon meditation tradition for almost 50 years. He has the only Western neuroscience study identifying the brain changes in the shift from ordinary mind to awakened mind.
Pointing Out the Great Way: The Stages of Meditation in the Mahamudra Tradition
Transformations of Consciousness: Conventional and Contemplative Perspectives On Development (New Science Library)
Self-Arising Three-fold Embodiment of Enlightenment: [of Bon Great Completion Meditation]
Main points discussed in this interview:
Whether enlightenment is correlated with ethical behavior. Enlightenment is a holistic development, where all lines of development have flourished.
An explanation of the four clouds of the Heart Sutra.
Establishing neurophysiological correlates of enlightenment.
What does it mean to see the world as sacred?
Development of multiple bodies serving different functions simultaneously (as a result of enlightenment). Has the Dalai Lama done this?
A baseball player who trained by having tennis balls fired in a batting cage at 200mph. A discussion of the relative speeds of thinking, attention, and awareness.
Is there a personal self or entity which reincarnates?
An enlightened person can choose an incarnation rather than being mandated to a particular life by existing “memory traces”.
Detailed discussion on the rainbow body and relics found in the cremation ashes of enlightened beings who have mastered rainbow bodies.
The potential pitfalls of silent retreats.
Not mistaking preliminary stages for more advanced stages.
The only true test of realization is conduct, how you live your life, and how you treat other people.
The difference between ordinary and awakened awareness. Integrating awakened awareness into all other activity.
Stages in the development of concentration.
The process of releasing memory traces.
What practices are good for a beginner? Eligibility requirements for different stages of instruction.
Discussion of the Padmasambhava quote, “Although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour.” The importance of continuing vigilance after enlightenment.
Do enlightened people all experience a universal, ultimate reality in the same way, or do different spiritual paths and personal tendencies result in enlightenment being different for different people?
Can you do anything to get to non-doing?
Conspiracies and cult mentality. The importance of cultivating discernment on the spiritual path.
The importance of enlightened leaders. Can they be effective without an enlightened populace?
Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.
Interview recorded January 10, 2021
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.