David Perlman grew up with an intense interest in knowledge and meaning. Pursuing physics at Caltech for the fabled "theory of everything", he became disillusioned upon failing to experience the fulfillment of meaning he had been seeking. After working in the computer industry in Seattle for some years he realized that meaning is in the domain of the mind. He became fascinated by neuroscience by reading Oliver Sacks, and also began practicing and teaching yoga and Tibetan Buddhist meditation since 2002. This combination led him to return to science in 2006 in the laboratory of Richie Davidson, which he considers the current best home for his pursuits. He hopes that his current focus on self-identification will help deepen the field of contemplative neuroscience and the dialog between East and West that Dr. Davidson has pioneered. David began as Richie's grad student in 2007, working with brain scans of meditators responding to pain. His work with advanced meditators, monks, and yogis has taken him to India a number of times. This has given him the wonderful opportunity to learn Tibetan Buddhist practice and scholarship under the close guidance of Younge Khachab Rinpoche.