Science

Current scientific research affirms, and challenges, traditional Buddhist teachings
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    Emotional Bandwidth Paid Member

    A FIRST-RATE DEMONSTRATION of the World Wide Web—which shows instantaneous global access to information about any conceivable subject—presents a dizzying realm of connective possibility. For some, the Net embodies a way to physically wire together human consciousness into All-Embracing Mind, the culmination of human evolution elaborated by the French Jesuit and mystic Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man. Yet actual experience quickly dashes the promise of reaching Teilhard’s Omega Point of converging consciousness. The wealth of information that lies out there seems poorly organized and largely inaccessible. Much of the conversation on the Net seems inane, confused, or just plain rude and hostile. The frequency of angry outbursts of flame wars suggests failure to communicate rather than an ideal communications medium. More »
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    The Science of Enlightenment Paid Member

    My introduction to Tibetan psychotherapy (lojong) occurred during an encounter with the late Serkhong Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's philosophy tutor. Serkhong's brow wrinkled up in a smile that made him seem like a giant, red-faced Yoda, the gnome-like teacher in The Empire Strikes Back. When I brought him home to meet my family, the Rinpoche was visibly moved upon meeting my mother, who greeted us at the door. When he lifted her outstretched hand up to his cheek, tears filled his eyes as if she were a long-lost child. For years I’d been inspired by the Buddhist teaching of recognizing every living thing as kin, but what had seemed a great idea suddenly hit home as a profound way of being. More »
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    Genetic Engineering: A Buddhist Assessment Paid Member

    What will it be like to be a Buddhist in a future world where your life starts with your parents designing your genes? In addition to screening for unwanted genetic diseases, they select for sex, height, eye, hair, and skin color, and, if your parents are Buddhists, maybe even genes that allow you to sit easily in the full lotus position. Pressured by current social fads, they may also choose genes whose overall functions are not clearly understood, but are rumored to be connected with temperament, intelligence, mindfulness, and, perhaps, psychic powers. There is no longer any need to search for tulkus. They now clone themselves and are reborn in their own clones. More »
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    The Merry Greis Paid Member

    He studied music with Pablo Casals, discovered the universal brainwave patterns of human emotions, and coined the term cyborg: a profile of Dr. Manfred Clynes More »
  • 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 »