December 3, 2013
Photo of NIDA Director, Nora Kolkow, M.D. with the Dalai Lama. NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., with the Dalai Lama at the Mind and Life Conference on Craving, Desire and Addiction in Dharamsala, India.

On October 30, NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., participated in Mind and Life XXVII: Craving, Desire, and Addiction, a conference of the Mind and Life Dialogues between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leading scientists and philosophers. The meeting, which took place at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s private residence in Dharamasala, India, brought together contemplative practitioners, Buddhist and Christian scholars, and leading scientific researchers to achieve new understandings that may ultimately lead to improved treatment of the root causes of craving, desire, and addiction. Since 1987, the Mind & Life Institute has organized annual dialogues between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and leading scientists and philosophers to incorporate two great investigative traditions: modern science and Buddhist philosophy.

An audience of about 200 included His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetan monastics, scientists, scholars, contemplatives, and Mind & Life Institute staff and special guests. Dr. Volkow gave an overview titled “The Role of Dopamine in the Addicted Human Brain,” which described addiction as a disease and detailed the latest in neuroscience.