Mapping Altered States of Consciousness

Lucid dreaming seems far closer to waking than to deep sleep but what does this mean? Could we ever map states of consciousness and understand the relationships between them?

Does Your Baby Like Music?

Do you know what music your baby likes best? Can you even find out? We invented a way to let our babies choose music for themselves and it even helped them sleep better.

Queen of Consciousness

I was “Queen of consciousness” in this month’s PT magazine, talking about out-of-body experiences, hallucinogenic drugs, anorexia and the future of technology.

The Eyes of the Treme Machine?

Is artificial intelligence as scary and dangerous as Stephen Hawking thinks? It could well be, and a new evolutionary approach explains why. Look out for those drones!

Rewiring for Happiness?

This extraordinary theory might potentially tie together such esoteric phenomena as kundalini and jhana meditation with the modern science of neurotransmitters and hormones – with no need for invisible ‘energies’ and other fanciful inventions.

The First Jhana

I described how I came to attend a jhanas retreat with Leigh Brasington, and how I learned to focus attention narrowly and firmly on my breath entering and leaving my nose.

From Jhanas to Joy

Last autumn, 2013, I went on a retreat quite different from any I have attended before and it had a profound effect on me. I am still marvelling at the way I seem to have changed – at the way happiness and joy seem to spring up unbidden in a way they never did before.

"I Am Offended, I Won’t Listen"

Are you open-minded? Can you listen to ideas you disagree with? When believers started walking out of my lecture on memes I wanted to know why.

Memory: The Building Blocks of Our Existence

Man with no memories has been identified at last.

Who Am I Without My Memories?

How would you feel if you lost all your memories? Would you still be the same person? This happened to a man found last week, wandering in a park in Peterborough in England. So who is he? Indeed who are you?

Risk and the Paranormal

Do you believe in the paranormal? Are you a good judge of risk? My guess is that if you answered ‘yes’ to the first question you should answer ‘no’ to the second.

Debating Deepak Chopra

When I debated with 'spiritual guru' Deepak Chopra, I was shocked by some of his 'spiritual' claims.

Awe without superstition

Here's a little song by scientists who feel awe, delight, and a sense of mystery when contemplating the universe - without any hint of gods, religions, or any other superstitions. 

Test your risk intelligence

Take a test to assess your risk intelligence.

An opposite view on those precepts

Read about those vows from someone who took them. He found himself "sustained and strengthened  ... to continue what may"

The horrors of pride

Pride stops us seeing the truth. Pride drives all that rubbish in my meditating mind. How extraordainry is the effect of seeing that!

What was I conscious of a moment ago?

If I become conscious only when I ask whether I am (if the fridge light comes on only when I open the door) then what was going on just before I asked? Was I conscious then? And if, of what?

Are you conscious now?

 It seems obvious that I'm conscious now - but is that just because I'm asking myself the question? What about the rest of the time? I tried to find out - and you can too.

Asking the Zen Questions

 How do you deal with the big questions "Who am I?", "What's it all about?", "What am I doing and why?". In my book Ten Zen Questions I describe my own attempts - here we begin the journey with how I set about asking the questions.

Do you want to meditate but find it too hard?

Author and Psychologst Susan Blackmore gives advice to those wishing to meditate.

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