The Buddha Diaries recently reviewed Alan Wallace’s Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the review:
Exploring, first, the long history of religious meditation practice in both East and West from its ancient origins, Wallace then turns his attention to the attempts of scientists and philosophers, in more recent centuries, to describe the workings of the mind through the lens of a rational, empirical methodology—attempts that have consistently run up against the rocks of the seemingly impenetrable subjective/objective divide.
The main body of his book is devoted to Wallace’s own attempt to break through that obstacle, in a series of alternating chapters that “balance” theory and practice in ever-deepening and more carefully refined stages of awareness, awareness of awareness, and observing the awareness of awareness. Following him along with his work is akin to watching the most skilled of surgeons with his scalpel, separating out intricate tissues and pausing to examine each of them under the microscope of consciousness. It’s fascinating, intense, and infinitely detailed mind-work.