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    A White Light Experience Paid Member

    Could lasers be more effective at developing concentration than meditation? The current issues of Nature and Neuron report advances in strengthening attention by inducing gamma waves in the brain with pulses of laser light. For his article on this topic for the New York Times this week, “Ear Plugs to Lasers: The Science of Concentration,” John Tierney spoke to Dr. More »
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    God-fearing Buddhists? Paid Member

    Do Buddhists believe in God? Last year, science writer and blogger Razib Khan wrote that they do—American Buddhists, anyway. He drew his conclusions from the Pew Forum's U.S. Religions Landscape Survey. Khan now contends that this is likely true of Buddhists worldwide, extrapolating from data supplied by the World Values Survey. In his April 15 post to Gene Expression, a Seed Media Group science blog, he takes a look at data from Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, and notes that Sri Lankans tend to fit into a similarly theistic pattern. More »
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    The Dalai Lama hosts Scientists in Dharamsala Paid Member

    Thanks to C4Chaos (@C4Chaos on Twitter) for this one: Every day this week in Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama will sit down with a group of psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers to discuss current western understanding of the mind and its possible connections to Buddhist theory and practice. More »
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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 »