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  • [ Music ]

  • >> Stanford University.

  • [ Noise ]

  • >> Good morning.

  • I'm Garry Steinberg director

  • of the Stanford Neuroscience Institute known as SINTN

  • and chairman of the department of neurosurgery and I'd

  • like to welcome His Holiness and thank him

  • for visiting us again at Stanford.

  • We very much enjoyed your public lectures yesterday as well

  • as the more intimate interactions we had with you.

  • I'd also like to welcome everyone in the audience today

  • and we hope you enjoy the symposium.

  • So before we start I'd like to remind everyone these are

  • key issues.

  • Keep your ticket with you at all times, be prepared to show it

  • at the lunch distribution which is offsite,

  • and the tickets are going to be required for reentry

  • to the building after lunch and anytime during the conference.

  • Emergency exits are located in the rear and the front sides.

  • Silence your cellphones, silence your pagers

  • and if you must answer a call go out to the lobby.

  • [ Pause ]

  • >> The goal of our Stanford Institute for Neural Innovation

  • and Translational Neuroscience is

  • to rapidly advance our understanding of the healthy

  • and the diseased brain and spinal cord at all levels

  • from molecules to cells to neuro circuits to behavior.

  • We aim to pioneer new techniques and tools to probe

  • and manipulate the nervous system

  • and translate these discoveries into improved quality of life

  • for patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

  • And importantly we hope to translate these discoveries

  • and make a difference in outcome over the next 5 to 10 years.

  • So this is an aggressive program.

  • And to accomplish this we are fostering collaboration

  • between about 150 very talented basic translational

  • and clinical neuroscientists at Stanford.

  • We've got a number of broad initiatives in our institute

  • and you could see them here such as neuroplasticity and repair,

  • neurodegeneration and regeneration, cognitive

  • and developmental disorders and neuroengineering.

  • And we're focused on certain diseases like pain

  • and addiction, Parkinson's, spinal cord injury, blindness,

  • autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome,

  • as well as a neuroengineering initiative.

  • We're taking advantage of Stanford's expertise

  • in these areas both to dissect mechanisms

  • and to repair the nervous system.

  • However, one of the most important platforms

  • and initiative in our institute is what we call neuroscience

  • and society.

  • Initially there was significant resistance from some

  • of the scientists at Stanford to include this platform

  • in our institute since it's not using molecular biology

  • or synaptic physiology techniques.

  • It doesn't investigate a specific disease

  • of the nervous system.

  • However, I feel this is really an essential platform.

  • In the last two decades advances in neuroscience research

  • and clinical therapies have already had a profound impact

  • on society and I predict they will have an even greater impact

  • in the future.

  • The center for compassion, research, education,

  • known as CCARE is the centerpiece of our neuroscience

  • in society initiative.

  • CCARE aims to use rigorous scientific methods to understand

  • and delineate the neural and psychological basis

  • for altruistic and compassionate behavior.

  • And now using Novel Technologies

  • like Functional MR brain scanning

  • and innovative approaches

  • like neuroeconomics, this is possible.

  • CCARE has been supporting the research you're going to hear

  • about in this symposium.

  • We wish to become the premier center in the world

  • for pursuing this kind of study.

  • We also hope to develop new methods

  • for instilling compassionate behavior in people

  • without necessarily spending 20 years meditating as a monk.

  • And I know this is also an important ambition

  • of His Holiness.

  • Although I'm not a Buddhist, one aspect of Buddhism

  • that I do admire is that Buddhism like science believes

  • in searching for truth through observation of empiric facts.

  • And if the observed facts refute,

  • even long standing Buddhist beliefs then they are discarded

  • for better theories, very much like science.

  • This point also has been made by His Holiness

  • on numerous occasions in his writings and actually yesterday.

  • His Holiness has been a great supporter

  • of neuroscience research and scientific inquiry in general.

  • During the symposium you will learn among other things why

  • brain activity in certain areas on functional MR scan

  • in the brain is increased

  • in some individuals during acts of charitable giving.

  • You'll learn that it's possible to enhance prosocial behavior

  • in mice using light stimulation

  • of specific neuro circuits in the brain.

  • You'll learn what motivates certain individuals

  • to put their own life in jeopardy in order

  • to save another person and you'll also learn

  • about the positive effect of CCARE's compassion,

  • cultivation training program

  • on promoting compassionate behavior.

  • CCARE is the brain child of Jim Doty who's sitting right here

  • and is going to say a few words shortly.

  • Jim is a neurosurgeon, a Stanford professor.

  • He's an entrepreneur and a philanthropist.

  • He's the founder and director of CCARE

  • and it was his idea to form the center.

  • Jim is one of the main reasons His Holiness, the Dalai Lama,

  • is spending today exploring the scientific basis for compassion

  • and altruism with a group

  • of international scientists whose work was funded by CCARE.

  • Jim will tell you some more about CCARE

  • and the research projects.

  • Please enjoy the symposium and thank your attention.

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> How are you?

  • We're great.

  • Yeah! [Applause] Thank you for spending your day

  • with us and my friends.

  • And thank you Dr. Steinberg, colleagues, guests,

  • and those who were visiting with us on the web.

  • Before we begin though, I would like to acknowledge

  • and thank all of those individuals who have helped

  • in organizing this wonderful visit by His Holiness

  • to Stanford and all

  • of the associated activities including our incredible

  • volunteer corps, many of who have been helping you today

  • and I thank them so much because without you people,

  • none of this possible, so thank you.

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> It's been a remarkable three years

  • since what was originally begun as an informal dialogue

  • with some of my colleagues based on my own interest

  • in understanding the complex human qualities of compassion

  • and altruism from the creation of CCARE.

  • More remarkable still is that not only is His Holiness

  • with us today, but that he is a passionate supporter

  • of this work, having given the largest personal donation he's

  • given to a non-Tibetan cause to support the work of CCARE.

  • And fundamentally, without his support of his initiative,

  • CCARE would not exist.

  • So thank you again, Your Holiness.

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> As many of you know and as Dr. Steinberg has eluded,

  • His Holiness has had an interest in neuroscience

  • for over two decades and has maintained an ongoing dialogue

  • with those who have sought

  • to understand how contemplative practices affect the brain

  • and its function.

  • This dialogue has led to extraordinary insights

  • and has been fundamentally responsible, I believe,

  • for the amazing interest among scientists throughout the world

  • in this new emerging field.

  • While His Holiness has always had an interest in neuroscience

  • and science of the mind, his fundamental message

  • that he has carried to the ends of the earth is the importance

  • of cultivating compassion if our species is to survive.

  • Our dialogue today will focus on this topic.

  • Before I begin though, I would

  • like to tell you a bit of a story.

  • And this was a story that Richie Davidson told me.

  • >> And Ritchie, some of you may know, is one of the pioneers

  • in the field of contemplative neuroscience

  • who has maintained this dialog with His Holiness

  • for greater than two decades.

  • And when they first went to India to begin this work,

  • the tool at that time that they were using to measure activity

  • in the brain was the electroencephalogram,

  • which I think most of you know what that is.

  • And that iteration of that device that they used

  • at that time was actually like a shower cap that you would put

  • on the head and it had all these electrodes coming out of it.

  • So imagine what that would look like to these group of monks

  • who they're going to test

  • who have never seen anything like this before.

  • So when this cap was put on, they all started laughing

  • because it had been explained to them that this was going to test

  • and examine emotions and how the brain works and some

  • of this complex things potential like compassion

  • and things of this nature.

  • And the scientist of course made the assumption

  • that the laughing was because they thought the sight

  • of this was funny.

  • What they were laughing at, in fact, was the naivete

  • of the scientist [laughter] because they knew

  • that it's not here it's here.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> When His Holiness speaks sometimes,

  • he talks about afflictions of the heart.

  • I would suggest to you that each of us has wounds to our heart

  • that most oftentimes heal very quickly.

  • But for most of us, I think, there are wounds to our hearts

  • that last with us a lifetime.

  • But it's not the wounds that we have, it is our [inaudible]

  • and it's what makes as human.

  • It is what we do when we feel the pain of these wounds

  • that defines our humanity.

  • And ultimately, will define and determine the fate

  • of our collective humanity.

  • The chain of causation that has resulted

  • in ecologic catastrophe, global warming, poverty, war,

  • these are not external events, external to ourselves.

  • I submit to you that they are problems of the human heart.

  • While science and technology offer great hope for many things

  • and told us technology is focused on afflictions

  • of the heart, I do not believe

  • that there is hope for our species.

  • Our interest at CCARE has, as Gary has said,

  • is to use the remarkable tools available today

  • to understand these complex qualities

  • of compassion and altruism.

  • And today, I'm honored to present

  • to you the initial efforts at Stanford of this work.

  • Our conversation today will be moderated by Arthur Zajonc,

  • the Andrew Mellon professor of physics

  • and interdisciplinary studies at Amherst.

  • In addition to being a visiting professor at a number

  • of the leading academic institutions

  • in the world regarding his work on parody violation in atoms

  • and the experimental foundations for quantum physics,

  • neither things I have any idea what they are exactly.

  • [Laughter] He has lectured extensively--

  • He has lectured extensively on the relationship,

  • more importantly, between the sciences,

  • humanities, and meditation.

  • He's the author of the book Catching the Light and co-author

  • of the book The Quantum Challenge

  • and Goethe's Way of Science.

  • Since 1977, he has served the scientific coordinator

  • of the Mind and Life Institute Dialogues

  • and on contemplative neuroscience

  • of which His Holiness has participated

  • in multiple occasions.

  • Before I give you Arthur Zajonc,

  • I would like to give His Holiness a baseball cap

  • from CCARE.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> And now I'll give you Arthur.

  • Thank you again so much.

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> Allow me to add my welcome to this conference today during

  • which we'll explore together this science

  • of compassion and altruism.

  • And also hear about the creation of a training program intended

  • to cultivate compassion.

  • Each of us knows first hand the real significance of these two