Science

  • Meet the doctor who wants to measure your consciousness Paid Member

    Dr. Giulio Tononi has devoted his life's work to developing a theory of consciousness. A distinguished chair in consciousness science at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Tononi's interest in consciousness began when he was a teenager. According to a recent profile published in the New York Times, Dr. Tononi was "initially interested in ethics, but he decided that questions of personal responsibility depended on our consciousness of our own actions. So he would have to figure out consciousness first. 'I’ve been stuck with this thing for most of my life,' he said." More »
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    Buddhism's crumbling past Paid Member

    Not to be an alarmist, but preserving Buddhism's past is an increasingly challenging endeavor. And while the truth of impermanence is fundamental to the Buddhist teachiings, no one said it's easy. Bamiyan was a heartbreaker, and recent news that the Chinese may blow up the ancient ruins of a newly discovered monastery in order to mine for copper raised another alarm. Now, an SOS to Unesco from Buddhist Art News: More »
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    Daily Dharma: The Presence of the Present Paid Member

    Time can only disclose or unfold itself in our "now," and as it does, all of time and all the world unfolds too. They cannot be separated. We stand in the center of what Dogen calls “arraying ourselves” as simultaneous observers, participants, and creators. Fields, grass, flowers, and wind always appear in the “now” that is ever one and ever renewing. Dogen has a word for this unity: being-time, or uji. To be is to be time. “As the time right now is all there is,” Dogen writes, “each being-time is without exception entire time.” In the context of Dogen and, perhaps, much of Buddhist understanding, the presence of the present is the only time you have. - Adam Frank, "Time & Again" Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel's Tricycle Retreat starts in five days on Tricycle.com! More »
  • 25% of Americans believe in reincarnation Paid Member

    In "Remembrances of Lives Past," an article that appeared in the New York Times this weekend, Newsweek's religion editor Lisa Miller takes a look at our nation's growing belief in reincarnation. According to data released by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans believe in reincarnation (interestingly, according to the Times piece, women are more likely to believe in reincarnation than men, and democrats are more likely to believe than republicans). This emerging belief in reincarnation is a steep departure from the traditional Judaeo-Christian narrative that most Americans are familiar with: More »
  • Could Transhumanism Make Buddhism Obsolete? Paid Member

    In our Summer 2010 issue, there is an interview with transhumanist, bioethicist, and former Buddhist monk James Hughes. More »
  • The Indian-Chinese Rivalry Paid Member

    China's "assertiveness" in regional disputes, particularly Tibet, is causing disquiet among the member nations of ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations). ASEAN is now looking into territorial disputes in the South China Sea: Although Tibet was never mentioned as part of the dispute in the South China Sea, and the Chinese position over its sovereignty is both very clear and undisputed by all attending ASEAN nations and observers, it is obvious that China’s 60 year old assertiveness towards regional disputes has reached a plateau. Buddhism is still a strong influence in many ASEAN member countries and the plight of the Dalai Lama, while not officially recognized or discussed, still causes regional discomfort. Add to that skirmishes with Vietnam in 1979, and still ongoing border disputes over Tibetan territorial claims with India, and China’s position as asserting more regional sovereignty is now starting to be questioned. Neither India nor China is a member of ASEAN, but the two countries are wrestling for influence in southeast and central Asia and are the elephants in the room at ASEAN discussions. More »