Science

  • 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 »
  • Watch: Bhikkhu Bodhi on Buddhism for the Post-Modern Mind Paid Member

    "I've come to an understanding that the dharma, to be really living, vitally important, and to be a dharma that is alive and blows open the mind, has to be applied against the background of the period of history we're living in and directed not only to the great universal problems that all humans face but also to the special over-arching problems of this historical period in which we are living." -Bhikkhu Bodhi More »
  • “Forest bathing” keeps you healthy Paid Member

    Studies show that spending more time in natural settings—forests, parks, and places with trees—improves the immune system. According an article in the New York Times, this is due to both stress reduction and chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects called phytoncides. Exposure to phytoncides appears to lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and cortisol (a stress hormone), among other things. Many of these studies are taking place in Japan, where the practice of visiting nature parks for therapeutic effect is called Shinrin-yoku. More »
  • Buddhist meditation boosts concentration skills Paid Member

    According to a recent study published in the July 2010 issue of Psychological Science Buddhist meditation can boost concentration skills. The study, conducted by psychologist Katherine A. MacLean, PhD, and associate researchers from the University of California, Davis, focused on a group of 60 participants with an average age of 49. The participants were sent on three-month retreats where they studied meditation techniques with Buddhist scholar and co-researcher Alan Wallace, PhD, of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. All the participants had been on meditation retreats before, but this time they were taught to concentrate and asked to complete concentration tests. From WebMD: More »