Science

Current scientific research affirms, and challenges, traditional Buddhist teachings
  • The Religion of Science Paid Member

    The Gospel of Buddha is a relatively small volume of passages culled from the Buddhist canon and arranged, like the biblical gospels, into “chapter and verse.” First published in 1894, by the turn of the century this collection was probably the single most popular Buddhist catechism in the world. By 1915 it was in its thirteenth English edition, with versions having appeared in Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Urdu. Its broad acceptance among Asian Buddhist leaders of the time was unprecedented: the Zen Master Shaku Soyen wrote that the Gospel which was then being used as a reader at Tokyo Imperial University, served the needs of Japanese students of Buddhism better than did the Buddhist scriptures themselves. More »
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    The Heartbeat Sutra Paid Member

    The first time I talked with “Dr. Chaos” about Buddhism was one twilit night a couple of years ago in a California January. We were sitting on the deck of a friend’s house in Big Sur, two hundred feet above the Pacific. It’s a place where you can both hear and see the waves break. As we listened and watched, the water stretching out like a vast mirror to the horizon, there, in glorious magenta light, the winter sun slowly set: metallic, then amber, then scarlet—one of those natural scenes so far beyond the viewer, so much grander and deeper, that a kind of vertigo swept over us. “You know, I have never watched a sunset before in my life, not to that final moment,” said Dr. Chaos as the darkness rose up out of the ocean and covered us. More »
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    In the Light of Truth Paid Member

    THE DEBATE BETWEEN science and religion, usually set on a slow burn of simmering antagonism, has once again flared into the domain of cultural warfare. Traditional theological-based skirmishes pit scripture against cosmology, and advocates of intelligent design and biological evolution fight for control of school curriculums in much-publicized court cases. Meanwhile, claims that Buddhist worldviews are confirmed at the frontiers of quantum physics also generate press and controversy. More »
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    The Solace of Surrender Paid Member

    IN THE WEST we grow up with the sense that we must learn to take control of our lives. Little is left to the workings of fate. By the time we are adults, we must be able to make decisions and take responsibility for the direction of our lives. We must become self-sufficient individuals in a society that is ever more competitive and demanding. Central to this entire process is the ego. Having a competent, effective, and confident ego is crucial to success in the world. More »
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    Trust Through Reason Paid Member

    Born in Nepal in 1975, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is the youngest son of the eminent meditation master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and received the same kind of rigorous training associated with previous generations of Tibetan adepts. In his new book, The Joy of Living (Harmony Books), Mingyur Rinpoche recounts how he used meditation to outgrow a childhood beset by fears and extreme panic attacks. From a very young age, he also displayed a keen interest in science; he has pursued this curiosity and how it relates to Buddhist teachings on the nature of mind through countless conversations with neurologists, physicists, and psychologists. In 2002, he participated in experiments at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior in Wisconsin, to investigate whether long-term meditation practice enhances the brain's capacity for positive emotions. More »
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    Immaterial Evidence Paid Member

    ALL THE GREAT REVOLUTIONS in science have been catalyzed by sophisticated observations of natural phenomena. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, decades of empirical studies of celestial and terrestrial physical phenomena by Tycho Brahe and Galileo laid the foundation for Newton’s discovery of the laws of classical mechanics. In the nineteenth century, Darwin’s decades of painstaking empirical observations of biological phenomena enabled him to formulate his theory of evolution. In the early twentieth century, physics underwent a second revolution in quantum mechanics and relativity theory that was also based on increasingly precise and sophisticated observations of physical phenomena. More »