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Buddhism, Science, and Future 2019: A Woodenfish Forum

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 4:00 PM


Following the tremendous success of our second Buddhism, Science, and Future conference in Shenzhen, China, the third annual Buddhism, Science, and Future conference hosted by Woodenfish Foundation is set to be held this May on the beautiful campus of the University of Washington. Nestled in the intellectual heart of Seattle in the beautiful Kane Hall, progressive talks and demonstrations will be shared. This cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary conference will convene an international meeting of scholastic, philosophical, and practical minds to explore the intersections of Buddhism, Science, and the Future. This exploration will be accomplished through presentations from leading thinkers in the respective fields of Buddhist studies (philosophy, history, practice, application), the scientific study of the "mind" (neuroscience, biology, psychology) and comparative/ethical thinkers at the intersection of these two studies (ethicists, writers, comparative philosophers, etc.). These presentations will be broken into three sections based on the fields mentioned. (See conference agenda for descriptions of these panels). Following the presentations held on Saturday, we will devote Sunday to dialogue among these great minds. The floor will be open to receive questions from the audience in pursuance of greater clarity and implications of the presentation content moving into the future. We hope you join us for this important exploration! This is an independent conference run exclusively by Woodenfish Foundation without other affiliations. CONFERENCE DESCRIPTION: Neuroscience, genetics, artificial intelligence, and other new technologies are expanding the scope of our collective knowledge and revolutionizing our world. Meanwhile, these changes are shaping our personal and spiritual lives: our happiness, our well-being, our enlightenment. Buddhism’s long advocacy of “technologies of awareness” makes it instinctive to embrace these emerging technologies and incorporating them as an aid to attain greater wisdom. Indeed, the interchange among them—especially psychology, neuroscience, biotechnology—has gone from a trickle to a virtual flood. Beginning millennia ago when Śākyamuni Buddha developed meditation techniques to foster the awakening that he had sought—and that are today known throughout the world—this conversation is more important than ever in today’s turbulent world. Tantric practices, visualization exercises, aesthetic practices, and a vast number of other contemplative technologies have been continuously developed, refined, and practiced over the thousands of years of Buddhist history. Genetic sequencing, brain imaging, in vitro fertilization have physicalized the mystical code of life, yet controversies arise when humans are attempting to manipulate life—and the mind—with scientific methods. In other words, are we ready to think about the era of “meditating like a Zen master at the push of a button”? There are many products and plans that promise to duplicate the contemplative experiences, which Buddhists have been pursuing for millennia. We think that it will be interesting and even fun to think about these things a little more systematically. Is it really possible to skip the thirty years meditating in a cave? What are the risks and ethical implications of the “science of happiness,” the neurophysiology of the “lama in the lab”? If your genetics encoding for greater happiness and higher intelligence can be modified, would you go for it? To avoid suffering? Cyborgs to meditation apps to wearable computers to pharmaceuticals to genetics to ethics, all in the service of awakening. These are the topics for our symposium. Neuroscience or neuro-phrenology? Buddhism or Buddhism-lite? Hollywood? Business? Join us and find out. For more information, please contact wfusa@woodenfish.org FEATURED SPEAKERS Oren Etzioni, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, CEO Keynote Presenter Dr. Oren Etzioni has served as the Chief Executive

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buddhism-science-and-future-2019-a-woodenfish-forum-tickets-55939352108?aff=aff0eventful

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3800 Montlake Blvd. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105

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