Mindfulness & Science - Guest: Antonino Raffone
European Buddha Podcast Nr.17

Influenced by the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist scholars, a dialogue between Buddhism and science has developed in recent decades. Representative of these fruitful encounters are Adam Engle, Francisco Varela, Alan Wallace , Mathieu Ricard and many other.

"Dealing with the insights of science does not mean that one doubts Buddhism, but that one perceives it in a new light."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

"I think that striving to transcend opposites, to arrive at a synthesis of rational understanding and mystical experience of unity, is the basic myth of our age that everyone is consciously or unconsciously searching for."
Werner Heisenberg (1974)

In this episode we met Prof. Antonino Raffone. He completed BSc, MSc and Ph.D. programmes in Psychology at Sapienza University of Rome, and the European Diploma in Cognitive and Brain Sciences. He holds a position of Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology of Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. He has previously had positions of Lecturer at University of Sunderland (UK), of Senior Researcher at Leiden University (Netherlands), of Visiting Researcher at RIKEN Bran Science Institute (Japan), and of Visiting Professor at Allahabad University (India). Both research and teaching of Dr. Raffone have interdisciplinary and multi-method bases, and are mainly focused on consciousness, mindfulness meditation, attention and wellbeing.


The Buddha is the greatest psychologist of all time! Buddhism can offer insights to science in many ways - for example offering a very refined 1st person investigation on how our self & our consciousness are constructed. Prof. Raffone stated that we should not fall in the trap to reduce our consciousness to brain activity alone. Representatives of Neurophenomenology such as Francisco Varela emphasize the complex dynamics of the brain-network in this regard. With the help of buddhism and science we can discover valuable insights like the difference between pleasure and happiness - a difference that can help us to lead a more compassionate and content life.

Further Readings:

  • Buddha´s´s Brain. The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom by Rick Hanson & Richard Mendius
  • The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science by Shaun Gallagher
  • The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism meet by Matthieu Ricard & Trinh Xuan Thuan

The "European Buddha podcast" inquires how the wisdom of buddhism is lived and practiced in the „West“. Every last Friday of the month, Emilia Raunio and Martin Landschein welcome guests from various traditions on different topics. See more

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