The Bridge of Quiescence: Experiencing Tibetan Buddhist Meditation

B. Alan Wallace
Open Court
cover of book

This challenging new work examines practical techniques for training the attention. It will be of interest to seasoned contemplatives, to general readers concerned with meditation, to philosophers of mind, and to cognitive scientists. The book includes a translation, with commentary, of Tsongkhapa's classic fifteenth-century discussion of methods for developing exceptionally high degrees of attentional stability and clarity. Such enhancement and refining of the attention is an indispensable prerequisite to rigorous, introspective inquiry into the nature of the mind. Insights gleaned from such inquiry are instrumental in identifying and eliminating the inner sources of anxiety, frustration, and discontent. To place this training in its traditional context, Wallace explains Tsongkhapa's methodology and presents an overview of Tsongkhapa's vision of reality.

The Bridge of Quiescence affords a bridge from Eastern meditative practice to Western philosophy, science, and religion. Wallace's discussion draws upon his knowledge of experimental psychology (such as sensory deprivation studies) and relates Tibetan meditation to discussions of consciousness by such Western thinkers as William James, William Christian, and John Searle.