This interview was recorded on October 9, 2020, as part of an online conference on “Living and Dying” offered by the Science and Nonduality Conference. The conference has finished, but you may sign up to access all of its content.
He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He loves wilderness and taking a break from emails.
Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He occasionally gives lectures in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University and has served on doctoral dissertation committees at Saybrook University and CIIS. His original career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For three decades he has been engaged in frontiers research on the nature of consciousness. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, Interval Research Corporation, and SRI International.
In 2010, he spent a month lecturing in India as the National Visiting Professor of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, a program sponsored by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. In 2013 and 2014, he gave invited lectures in Kuala Lumpur at the International Center for Leadership and Governance, an organization supported by the Central Bank of Malaysia. In 2015 he spoke at the Australian Leadership Retreat, a confidential program of briefings and discussions for Australian government, business, education, and military leaders.
Swami Sarvapriyananda has been Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Vedanta Society of New York since January 2017. He was a Nagral Fellow at Harvard Divinity School during the 2019-20 academic year. Prior to this, he served as assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 13 months. Swami joined the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1994 and received Sannyas in 2004. Before coming to serve in the US, he served as an acharya (teacher) of the monastic probationers’ training center at Belur Math in West Bengal, India (the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa). He has served the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in various capacities including being the Vice Principal of the Deoghar Vidyapith Higher Secondary School, Principal of the Shikshana Mandira Teacher Education College at Belur Math, and the first Registrar of the Vivekananda University at Belur Math.
This conversation hosted by the Association for Spiritual Integrity explores the profound interconnections between ethics and Advaita Vedanta. An ethical life is foundational to the spiritual quest, a non-negotiable sine qua non to any real spiritual development. One can be good without being particularly “spiritual”, but there is no spirituality without goodness. But it is also true that ethics are a consequence of nonduality. For as long as thinkers have pondered ethics, they have searched for a foundation, a grounding, for ethics. Why should one be good and do good? The various answers thinkers have come up with through the ages – utilitarianism, deontology, and so forth – have all been found seriously wanting. Nonduality claims to provide a deep foundation for ethics. In this talk and Q&A, Swami Sarvapriyananda explores the philosophical and practical, as well as the individual and social dimensions of ethics in nondual spirituality.