Science

Current scientific research affirms, and challenges, traditional Buddhist teachings
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    The Body After Death Paid Member

    Methods of caring for the body after death vary from culture to culture. What follows are some suggestions that come from my experience as a Buddhist and a caregiver of dying people. IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH Keep the atmosphere around the deceased simple and peaceful. If possible, do not disturb or touch the body immediately after death. If the body must be touched, do so very gently. Pray for peace and freedom for the one who has died. If appropriate, read sacred texts or conduct any practices or death rituals from the deceased's tradition. BEFORE THE ONSET OF RIGOR MORTIS More »
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    In Light Of Death Paid Member

    Rick Fields, poet, writer, student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and other teachers in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1995. Currently editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal and a contributing editor to Tricycle, Fields lives in Fairfax, California, with his partner, Marcia Cohen. He is the author of several books including How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America (Shambhala) and Code of the Warrior (Tarcher). This interview was conducted by Helen Tworkov in California, in May 1997.TRICYCLE: When you were first told that you had cancer, what did you do? More »
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    Death: As Common As Life Paid Member

    At least half the organic matter you see on a walk in the forest is dead: dead leaves, deadwood, dead weeds, insect carcasses, maybe even the stinking corpse of some higher animal if you're lucky. There are massive die-outs: suddenly the cicadas are silent, and the husks of their bodies litter the trail. Great plagues sweep across the vegetable kingdom: plagues of viruses, plagues of herbivores, plagues of invading plants, as the monastery's gardeners know only too well. And then all this carnage is brought to an abrupt halt by that biggest mass murderer of all, the first hard frost. The katydid's song grinds to a halt, the dainty jewelweed shrivels and collapses into putrid slime, the birds get out while the going's good. Autumn's splendid tragedy unfolds, and we have the beauty of a dying world. The spectacle makes us pensive: we think of our own demise, our approaching winter. More »
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    Time and Now Paid Member

    How could it be that the Buddha's enlightenment occurred simultaneously with all beings? Didn't this event happen a long time ago? And if it already happened, where is it now? Doesn't "all beings" include us? More »
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    What Does Being A Buddhist Mean To You? Paid Member

    Ravi RavindraProfessor of Comparative Religion and Physics at Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, Canada In a certain way, psychologically and socially, we humans clone ourselves. Look at teenagers, they all wish to be the same way, to imitate each other. That to me is a more serious issue—how our propaganda, our social-psychological manipulation through the media, actually makes people behave as if they were clones. Work in this field can't really be stopped. This research will be carried on underground—in much the same way that chemical warfare technology and nuclear research have been. There are people with enough knowledge to do this all over the world. Enough knowledge, but maybe not enough conscience. Like the Buddha himself said, we are all driven by fear and desire. More »
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    Reading the Mountain Paid Member

    I take a level course along a steep north-facing slope, the bag of acorns tied to my belt slapping against my outer thigh. Every three strides, I jam the shovel down through ash, open a crack in the brown loam, and push in an acorn. Then I press the soil down with my boot and walk on. Someday, I imagine, these slopes will be forested in fire-resistant oaks and a new chapter in the ecological history of Lama Mountain will begin. I switchback up to the ridgeline, planting the entire hillside in an hour. Then I head north to repeat the process on another ridge. More »