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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    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 »