Alan Wallace has taken a prominent role in dialogues and research between Buddhists and scientists and is an outspoken critic of the detrimental limitations placed on science by the unquestioned beliefs of materialism. This dogmatism is just as crippling to science as fundamentalism is to religion, and the solution is to adopt a spirit of radical empiricism to break down the barriers of the past.
Alan discontinued his university studies in ecology and philosophy in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, and language. He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama two years later, and over fourteen years as a monk, he studied with and translated for many of the generation’s greatest lamas, including the Dalai Lama. In 1984, he resumed his Western education at Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy, with a focus on the contemplative cultivation of attention, mindfulness, and introspection.
Since 1987, he has been a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists and philosophers, and he has written and translated more than 40 books. Along with his scholarly work, Alan is regarded as one of the West’s preeminent Buddhist meditation teachers and retreat guides. He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and of the Centers for Contemplative Research in Castellina Marittima in Tuscany and in Crestone, Colorado.