Thanks for the comments and link. I found Ani-la's article particularly helpful Sonny.
I did a google search and discovered there is a recent Dharma Wheel thread on this subject. It seems I'm not the only person asking this question
Although most of the discussion is too academic for my deluded mind I did like Pegembara's contribution:
"Mind and brain are not one and the same nor totally different. They are co dependent like sheaves of reeds. Without brain there cannot be mind but without mind the brain cannot be known."
There is also a useful discussion here http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/15786 ... past-lives
, particularly the analogy:
"The relationship between the mind and the physical brain may be compared to a radio which interprets the incoming audio waves. Just as the radio is a tool by which the audio waves are heard and understood, so is the physical brain a tool by which the information contained in the mind is heard and understood."
As alway His Holiness the Dalai Lama has something important to say:
"But within the category of mind there are also gross levels, such as our sensory perceptions, which cannot function or even come into being without depending on physical organs like our senses. And within the category of the sixth consciousness, the mental consciousness, there are various divisions, or types of mental consciousness that are heavily dependent upon the physiological basis, our brain, for their arising. These types of mind cannot be understood in isolation from their physiological bases." (http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=417
I have come across all these concepts before but clearly have not understood them thoroughly. I guess if I reread this article a few hundred times I may develop a better understanding.
Any other contributions would be gratefully received.
See equality between praise and criticism, between approval and disapproval, between the good and the bad reputation, since they are simply illusions or dreams and have no true existence. Learn to tolerate them as if they were mere echoes. ~ Longchenpa