Science

Current scientific research affirms, and challenges, traditional Buddhist teachings
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    Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; The Spirit of Evolution Paid Member

    Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of EvolutionKen WilberShambhala: Boston & London, 1995.831 pp., $40.00 (cloth). Ken Wilber has written a big book. Although different from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, this book is also designed to help us sober up. Wilber wants us to sober up from the reductionistic, shortsighted, antisacred, antispiritual, greedy, materialistic way of thinking that has ruled Western culture for the last two or three thousand years. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality is the first of three volumes. More »
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    Under One Umbrella Paid Member

    It is likely that few English-speaking admirers of the Dalai Lama recognize Thupten Jinpa Langri’s face, even though they may well attribute to him an almost revered status. We who attend the Dalai Lama’s public appearances know Jinpa, His Holiness’s translator and interpreter, mainly by his voice. His job is to be an invisible conduit, and he keeps a low profile. So it was an unusual event—and the first time I had heard him address his own thoughts to an audience—when he took center stage at the Kalachakra Initiation in Washington, DC, in 2011 to deliver a talk entitled “Under the Umbrella of Buddhism: Do Religion, Science, and Secularism All Fit?” Jinpa began apologetically. When he prepared his talk, he had understood he would be addressing an audience of people from Himalayan regions, like Tibetans and Mongolians. Instead, several hundred Westerners showed up. More »
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    The Science Delusion Paid Member

    Curtis White pulls no punches. To readers who see in Buddhism little room for spirited debate, White’s unapologetic bluntness may seem unexpected or even jarring. But for White—Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Illinois State University, novelist, and author of several works of criticism including the 2003 international bestseller The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think for Themselves—there is too much at stake in our current intellectual climate to indulge in timid discussion. More »
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    A Life Too Long Paid Member

    On an autumn day in 2007, while I was visiting from northern California, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She’d just poured me a cup of tea from her Japanese teapot; beyond the kitchen window, two cardinals splashed in her birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. She put a hand on my arm. “Please help me get your father’s pacemaker turned off,” she said. I met her eyes, and my heart knocked.  More »
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    A Question of Faith Paid Member

    Buddhism has always engaged the traditions of the cultures it has come into contact with, and spoken through them. In the case of Western Buddhism, much of this engagement has been through science. Dharma in the West has seen the refashioning of the Buddha and his doctrine in terms of scientific and therapeutic principles as a “science of mind.” But while Buddhism is immediately recognizable as a belief system with its own distinctive axioms, the current ideological premises of science are rarely cast in the same light. Scientist Rupert Sheldrake has dedicated his latest book, Science Set Free, to questioning unexamined assumptions that go hand-in-hand with science. Sheldrake distinguishes the method of scientific inquiry from the materialist worldview with which it is often conflated. Unlike most religious believers, people who put their faith in scientific materialism are often unaware that their beliefs are just that—a matter of faith. More »