Science

Current scientific research affirms, and challenges, traditional Buddhist teachings
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    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 »
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    I Feel Your Brain Paid Member

    In his latest book, Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, author of the best-seller Emotional Intelligence, illustrates how new clinical results in the fields of neuroscience and biology show that humans are in fact wired for empathy—that without any conscious effort, we feel the joy, pain, anger, and other emotions of the people around us. Sharon Salzberg, co-founder and teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, spoke to Goleman this summer about the emerging field of social neuroscience and its implications for the principles and practices of Buddhism. More »
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    This is Your Brain on Buddhism Paid Member

    SOMETIME IN THE 1980S while residing at a meditation center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I heard of Tibetan yogis being tested with rectal thermometers for increased body temperature, a side effect of the meditation called tumo, the inner heat that burns up subtle obscurations. The yogis, apparently, were uncomfortable with the experiment; someone told me one of them had died not long after returning to India and that the pool of tumo practitioners willing to participate in Western research had dried up for several years as a result. These were merely rumors, yet they revealed the beliefs and prejudices of both sides, as rumors tend to do, making the Westerners sound crude and ruthless, the yogis ignorant and superstitious. More »
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    Sentient Questions Paid Member

    ♦ On the level of sub-atomic particles, is there really any fundamental distinction between totally inert or inanimate things like rocks as opposed to that which goes into flesh? ♦ A proton may last for seventeen billion years, but on a momentary basis is it not subject to change? ♦ Would you consider a one-celled creature like an amoeba a sentient being? ♦ Does a one-celled creature like an amoeba have the whole range of cognitive events, such as desire, sexual desire, feeling, and so on? More »