Science

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    Soren Gordhamer and Wisdom 2.0 Paid Member

    Stress-reduction expert Soren Gordhamer has a new book, Wisdom 2.0: Ancient Secrets for the Creative and Constantly Connected (available on Amazon.) He writes, and can't we all relate: More »
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    Guest Post: Astrophysicist Adam Frank on Science and the Future of Buddhism Paid Member

    Can Buddhism in the West survive into the next generation? After the initial burst of sangha-building by Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, will the Buddhist meme propagate into kids coming out of college now? Will this 2,500-year-old tradition finally complete its circumnavigation and build sustainable roots in the West? Over the last few years a series of articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers on the “graying” of American Buddhism and the risks to its continued survival. Of course Buddhism remains one the fastest growing religions (if that definition really fits) in the United States. This comes even at a time when participation in religion appears to be declining. There are real and serious issues that this line of discussion raises. How do Americans take a tradition with deep roots in contemplative practice and monasticism and broaden it for a society that will mainly be lay parishioners? How are families included? How are the communities of shared values and social action that are so much a part of American religious life to be included? All of these questions will have to be addressed if Buddhism is not only to take root but also to flourish and gain strength from its encounter with America and the Western perspective in general. In that regard, Buddhism’s’ relationship with science holds unique and uniquely hopeful possibilities. By now everyone has heard the Dalai Lama’s apocryphal quotation on Buddhism and science. When asked what would happen if science discovered something that was at odds with Buddhist belief, he replied, “We would change our beliefs.” While some have questioned exactly what the Dali Lama meant, there does appear to be a very different attitude toward science in Buddhism than in other American religions. This is an important distinction that bodes well for the Buddhist perspective. The future of all religious enterprise will, to some degree, hinge on its response to science. More »
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    You Are Not Your Brain Paid Member

    The Dalai Lama was taken to task when he suggested that there was more to consciousness than its neural components. Now, from a somewhat different point of view, UC Berkeley philosophy professor Alva Noe is arguing that three's more to consciousness than gray matter. In a Salon interview about his recent book Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, Noe lays out his argument. Unlike many Buddhists, though, he is not arguing for the immateriality of mind,  rather: More »
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    Lopez on Buddhism and Science, Padmasambhava on avoiding false teachers, Dogen on sitting Paid Member

    Danny Fisher points us to a piece by Buddhologist Donald S. Lopez, Jr. discussing his new book, Buddhism and Science, a cultural history of claims that Buddhism anticipated or is compatible with science, particularly the theories of Einstein. (Buddha and Einstein go way back.) More »
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    Who Believes in Evolution? Paid Member

    A Pew chart, courtesy The Daily Dish: (Off the chart: Jehovah's Witnesses at 8%.) More »
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    Dalai Lama to fund 'Neuroscience of Compassion' Paid Member

    Frequent Tricycle contributor Allan Hunt Badiner points us to this article on the Dalai Lama's latest: The Dalai Lama is teaming up with Stanford University and a multi-millionaire professor to launch a new research centre dedicated to compassion and altruism. "His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, provided $150,000 in seed money for the center -- the largest sum he has ever given for a scientific venture -- and has agreed to return to Stanford for a future visit," reads a Stanford press release. ... It seems the centre's goals involve not only investigating how the brain deals with compassion and altruism, but also leveraging those findings to improve people's lives. More »