Education & Events

Pure Experience: Psychology, Buddhism and Neuroscience in Conversation

This event has passed.

To learn about upcoming events, visit the Events page or the calendar.

Pure Experience: Psychology, Buddhism and Neuroscience in Conversation

Saturday, November 10, 2018 10:00am to 3:30pm
Nalanda West
3902 Woodland Park Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Sponsored by: 
Nalanda West

This is a third in a series of conversations with Dr. Maxine K. Anderson, Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl and Dr. Christof Koch, and moderated by Dr. Don J. Ross.

Pure experience is the name that the philosopher William James gave “to the immediate flux of life which furnishes the material to our later reflection with its conceptual categories.” It is experience as it is actually lived and not an idealization of experience. Pure experience refers to experience before it is conceptualized or retrospectively analyzed.


Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl, Senior Teacher, Nalandabodhi

Karl was originally trained, and worked, as a physician in Germany. Since 1988, he received his Buddhist and Tibetan language training mainly at Marpa Institute For Translators in Kathmandu, Nepal (director: Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche) and also studied Tibetology, Buddhology, and Sanskrit at Hamburg University, Germany. Since 1989, Karl served as a translator, interpreter, and Buddhist teacher mainly in Europe, India, and Nepal.

Mitra Karl is one of the senior translators and teachers at Nalandabodhi and Nitartha Institute (director: Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche) in North America, Asia, and Europe. In addition, he regularly taught at Gampo Abbey’s Vidyadhara Institute from 2000–2007. He is the author of over a dozen books on Buddhism, such as The Center of the Sunlit Sky, Straight from the Heart, When the Clouds Part, and The Heart Attack Sutra. Karl lives in Seattle and mainly works as a translator of Tibetan and Sanskrit texts.

Learn more about Karl here.

Christof Koch, PhD., Chief Scientist & President, Allen Institute for Brain Science

Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. His research interests include elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying neural computation, understanding the mechanisms and purpose of visual attention, and uncovering the neural basis of consciousness and the subjective mind. Koch’s research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach.

Koch has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretial, computational and experimental neuroscience. His most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, blends science and memoir to explore topics in discovering the roots of consciousness.

Learn more about Christof here.

Maxine K. Anderson, MD

Maxine K. Anderson, MD, is a founding member of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and a Training and Supervising Analyst at several psychoanalytic institutes in North America and Canada.  In addition, she is a full member of the British Psychoanalytic Society.

Her current thinking and writing interests focus on the forces for and against thought and growth, the ongoing tension between symbolic and a-symbolic functioning, and more widely on the nature of reality. Her most recent explorations into the nature of reality attempt to bridge the disciplines of psychoanalysis, neuroscience and   philosophy.  She has written several articles publishing in the JAPA, and the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis.    Her most recent book is The Wisdom of Lived Experience: Views from Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Metaphysics.

Don Ross, MD

Dr. Don Ross has been in clinical practice for over three decades. His clinical experiences have been broad. They include work in Bellevue Hospital surgical trauma and Pittsburgh emergency room, psychosomatic medicine in Parkland Hospital, family medicine in Vermont and private practice of psychiatry in Seattle.

After completing psychoanalytic training and a personal psychoanalysis at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society, he received further certification as a Training and Consulting Psychoanalyst.

He currently serves on the faculties of Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society and the Northwest Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He has written on the obstacles to play, psychosis and the mental activities in support of intimacy.
Connecting his medical experience with public health, Dr. Ross helped initiate and, with Acharya Tashi Wangchuk and Susan Kirchoff, RN, MA, helps oversee two medical clinics, one in Sikkim, India, the other in eastern Tibet.

Browse our list of classes and find one that best fits your needs
Ongoing development of a new generation of clinicians
Specifically designed for students and those in their first decade of practice
Aids to help you with your classes