Filed in Science

Science as Koan

Stem cell researcher and Zen student Dr. Neil Thiese discovers the synergy between dharma practice and scientific inquiry.

Dr. Neil Thiese

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When I first began to meditate, I considered the Buddhist approach to things to be completely separate from the scientific. But over time, that changed. At the beginning of my practice, I associated spirituality with transcendence. Eventually, though, I realized that meditation was about being right up against things, in an intimate way. This was a surprise; suddenly, both my scientific work and my Zen practice were aiming at the same sort of inquiry. That realization has propelled a lot of the stem cell research I've done in the last few years. When I ask, What is this body? What is its function? What are its limits? I am asking the same questions in my scientific work that I am in my sitting practice.

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