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Resource Library


A selection of scholarly and scientific articles and clinical research written by Dr. Joe Loizzo, Director of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science.

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Scholarly Articles

The Subtle Body: An Interoceptive Map of Central Nervous
System Function and Meditative Mind–Brain–Body Integration

Meditation research has begun to clarify the brain effects and mechanisms of contemplative practices while generating a range of typologies and explanatory models to guide further study. This comparative review explores a neglected area relevant to current research: the validity of a traditional central nervous system (CNS) model that coevolved with the practices most studied today and that provides the first comprehensive neural-based typology and mechanistic framework of contemplative practices. From The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016. (pdf, 705k)

Buddhist Perspectives on Psychiatric Ethics

This chapter surveys an interface of growing interest to clinicians and patients, from four points of view. First, it explores the growing dialogue between Buddhism and modern psychology. Second, it shines light on the distinctiveness between Buddhist and modern psychology. Third, it reviews key areas of potential conflict, where clinicians may helpfully challenge Buddhist patients to reconsider their understanding and practice of Buddhism. Fourth, it surveys key areas of potential contribution, where mental health researchers, clinicians, and patients may benefit from studying Buddhist theories or applying Buddhist methods. From The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics, Volume 1, 2014. (pdf, 147k)

A Review of Donald Lopez' Buddhism and Science

A brief review of Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Buddhist Scholar Donald Lopez, published in The Journal of Religion. (pdf, 56k)

Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibetan Perspective: A Spiritual Science of Civilized Happiness

A draft of an article from the forthcoming Routledge Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophy.

The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet as a living paradigm of contemplative science and civilization and the final synthesis of the Nalanda scientific tradition. (pdf, 368k)

Personal Agency Across Generations: Evolutionary Psychology or Religious Belief?

Paper presented at the Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy and the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association and published in the Sophia Journal.

This view of karma as a theory of intergenerational agency integrates Western views of personality as a narrative construct continued across generations with the Buddhist Centrist view of the person as a consensual linguistic construction made in reference to mental and physical systems and elements conserved and transformed across lifetimes. (pdf, 291k)

Kalachakra and the Nalanda Tradition: Science, Religion, and Objectivity in Buddhism and the West

A chapter from the Snow Lion volume, As Long as Space Endures: Essays on the Kalachakra Tantra in Honor of H. H. the Dalai Lama.

A presentation of the Kalachakra as the final synthesis of the Nalanda tradition of contemplative science. (pdf, 380k)

Meditation, Self-Correction and Learning: Contemplative Science in Global Perspective

Presented at the Mind and Reality Conference convened by the Columbia University Center for the Study of Science and Religion, February 2006.

Reflections on comparative history and philosophy, Western brain science and Buddhist mind science. (pdf, 260k)

Recovering the Nalanda Tradition: Towards A Second Renaissance of Buddhist Science

Presented at the International Conference on the Heritage of Nalanda Convened by Ashoka House at Baragon, India, February, 2006.

Defines the nature and potential of the classical Buddhist scientific tradition developed at Nalanda University. (pdf, 360k)

Shri-Nalanda Mahavihara: Ivory Tower of Ancient India

In Candrakirti and the Moon-Flower of Nalanda, 2001.

Doctoral dissertation chapter offers a glimpse into the life of the seventh century Nalanda University. (pdf, 516k)

The Science of Enlightenment

Columns written for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. (pdf, 644k)

Meditation and the Self-Regulation of Learning: A Link Between Health Science and Religion?

An overview of medititation's potential role role in medicine. Audio recording of lecture given in the series of Cummings and Fetzer Lectures on "Meditative and Contemplative States" at the Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University, October 2001.

Right-click or control-click to download. (mp3, 14 MB)


Scientific Articles and Clinical Research

Contemplative Self Healing in Women Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study in Underserved Minority Women Shows Improvement in Quality of Life and Reduced Stress

Mary E Charlson, Joseph Loizzo, Alyson Moadel, Miles Neale, Chayim Newman, Erin Olivo, Emily Wolf and Janey C Peterson. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014), 14:349.

Breast cancer forces women to face life’s impermanence, as well as its meaning and purpose. This BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine study shows that a 20 week Contemplative Self-Healing Program developed by Nalanda Institute's Drs. Joe Loizzo, Emily Wolf, and Miles Neale can improve quality of life and help reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms. (pdf, 279k)

Meditation Research, Past, Present, and Future: Perspectives from the Nalanda Contemplative Science Tradition

From the special "Advances in Meditation Research: Neuroscience and Clinical Applications" issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2013).

This article presents an overview of meditation research: its history, recent developments, and future directions. It explores the Nalanda tradition developed in India and preserved in Tibet that may help bridge the gulf between science and other contemplative traditions. The article introduces the Indic map of the central nervous system and suggests that the multimodal Nalanda approach to contemplative learning is as well received as more familiar approaches, while showing promise of being more effective.

The intergenerational transmission, neurolinguistic construction and contemplative transformation of character: an evolutionary approach to using the core Buddhist psychological theories of active development (karma—phala) and selflessness (anatmata) in contemplative psychotherapy.

In this poster presentation, presented at the 2012 International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Dr. Loizzo shares his research and clinical experience integrating the the cognitive psychology of selflessness and the behavioral psychology of karma into his practice of contemplative therapy with Buddhist and non-Buddhist clients. (pdf, 90KB)

A Program in Contemplative Self-Healing: Stress, Allostasis and Learning in the Indo-Tibetan Tradition.

Longevity, Regeneration and Optimal Health: Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives, edited by Nalanda faculty W. Bushell, E. Olivo and N. Thiese. 2009. New York Academy of Sciences.

A review of current research on mind/body health and introduction of a new research intervention based on the Indo-Tibetan tradition of contemplative self-healing. (pdf, 3.6MB)

The Effect of a Contemplative Self-Healing Program...

This article summarizes the beneficial effects on quality of life of a twenty week contemplative self-healing program based on the Tibetan gradual path tradition offered to women recovering from breast cancer and other gynecologic cancers. From Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2010. (pdf, 2MB)

Tibetan Medicine: A Complementary Science of Optimal Health (pdf, 143k)

Longevity, Regeneration and Optimal Health: Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives, edited by Nalanda faculty W. Bushell, E. Olivo and N. Thiese. 2009. New York Academy of Sciences.

A critical review of the literature on Tibetan medicine, highlighting its potential contributions to integrative medicine, mind/body medicine, natural medicine and positive health. (pdf, 143k)

Optimizing Learning and Quality of Life Throughout the Lifespan: A Global Framework for Research and Application

Longevity, Regeneration and Optimal Health: Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives, edited by Nalanda faculty W. Bushell, E. Olivo and N. Thiese. 2009. New York Academy of Sciences.

An exploration of the new optimism about the aging mind-brain, including research in stress-reduction, learning enrichment and quality of life. (pdf, 139k)

Meditation and Psychotherapy

Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Psychiatry, Phillip Muskin (ed.). American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

A review of meditation research offering a systematic approach to the integration of meditation and psychotherapy based on the Indo-Tibetan tradition. (pdf, 2.3MB)

Traditional Alternatives as Complementary Sciences: The Case of
Indo-Tibetan Medicine

Leslie Blackhall, MD, co-author. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1999.

A proposal for the Western integration of Indo-Tibetan medicine, especially in the areas of Mind/Body Medicine and Self-Healing. (pdf, 788k)


Mother of Wisdom, Prajnaparamita