Current scientific research affirms, and challenges, traditional Buddhist teachings
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    A Gray Matter Paid Member

    Participants in the dialogue between science and Buddhism have long modeled their discussion primarily on the idea of convergence, the premise that the most significant comparisons are those that reveal common ground. This is by no means the only model for comparative discussion, and I would argue that in the case of Buddhism and science it is deeply flawed. Instead, another model—one based on mutual challenge, in which the two sides are able to shed light on each other precisely because of their differences—offers what I see as a more potentially fruitful alternative. More »
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    The Millennium: A Bridge between the Relative and the Ultimate Paid Member

    One way of viewing the millennium is that the infinite would again take finite incarnation to benefit beings at a certain point in space and time. Although such an occurrence is always welcome, we should be aware that the infinite is always present and place our emphasis on recognizing that. Otherwise, we are always stuck in finite, relative reality, where the concepts of space and time constrain and solidify our experience. It is exactly beyond the relative reality in which the concepts of space and time exist that we contact the infinite, space and time being constructs co-emergent with our finite, incarnate mind-body system. More »
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    Time from the Point of View of a Slime Mold Paid Member

    As we get older we wonder at our impatience, when, as children, we had to wait in the station for the train to arrive. It is one of the many signs that time has very different meanings for us, even over our own life span. Time and life are intertwined in so many different ways, something biologists are acutely aware of. Consider a few extremes: A single-cell bacterium may live its entire life cycle in half an hour, but a generation for an elephant takes twelve years, and a giant sequoia generation takes sixty years. One reason I work with slime molds in the laboratory is that their generations are short, so that if I start an experiment on Monday, I will know the result by Wednesday or Thursday. This kind of biological time—life-cycle time—is at the middle of the time scale of living phenomena. More »
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    What's at Stake as the Dharma Goes Modern? Paid Member

    In the summer of 2010, I sat a Dzogchen retreat at Garrison Institute with my teacher, a well-known Tibetan lama. He gave teachings during the day and then in the evening handed the microphone over to several academic luminaries who were also attending. In the morning and afternoon we received instructions on attaining buddhahood; in the evenings we heard lectures on how Buddhism’s contact with the West was leading to cutting-edge advances in brain-science research, medicine, and psychology. More »
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    The Science of Enlightenment: The Buddha's Answer to Darwin and God Paid Member

    Why is Buddhism closer to science than other religions? The Buddha taught that everything has causes and that only understanding can yield spiritual freedom. Since the Buddha saw that nothing is unchanging, the “Supreme Scientist” rejected the idea of divine creation. He insisted that faith without knowledge cannot make one free and advised his students to examine everything, especially his own words; to rely on their own reason and experience, not on authorities; and to pursue happiness by practicing what they knew to be true. More »
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    In Namibia Paid Member

    We’re driving the Land Cruiser down a dry riverbed. All week we’ve been tracking rhinos, up in the heartless desert above, following the miracle of them, but today we have left their country—one of the driest places on earth, the Namib Desert, where only an inch or two of rain might fall each year—and we’re cruising the sand-wash beneath the cool shade of mopane trees, looking at elephants, giraffes, oryx. More »