Science

  1. Buddha Mind, Buddha Body

    Buddha Mind, Buddha Body expands upon the themes in Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Understanding Our Mind. It opens with the question: Is free will possible? This concept becomes a leitmotif as the author considers how the mind functions and how we can work with it to cultivate more freedom and understanding, how to be in closer touch with reality, and how to create the conditions for our own happiness. Nhat Hanh discusses the connection between psychology, neuroscience, and meditation.

  2. The Making of Buddhist Modernism

    A great deal of Buddhist literature and scholarly writing about Buddhism of the past 150 years reflects, and indeed constructs, a historically unique modern Buddhism, even while purporting to represent ancient tradition, timeless teaching, or the "essentials" of Buddhism. This literature, Asian as well as Western, weaves together the strands of different traditions to create a novel hybrid that brings Buddhism into alignment with many of the ideologies and sensibilities of the post-Enlightenment West.

  3. Selfless Insight

    When neurology researcher James Austin began Zen training, he found that his medical education was inadequate. During the past three decades, he has been at the cutting edge of both Zen and neuroscience, constantly discovering new examples of how these two large fields each illuminate the other. Now, in Selfless Insight, Austin arrives at a fresh synthesis, one that invokes the latest brain research to explain the basis for meditative states and clarifies what Zen awakening implies for our understanding of consciousness. Austin, author of the widely read Zen and the Brain, reminds us why Zen meditation is not only mindfully attentive but evolves to become increasingly selfless and intuitive. Meditators are gradually learning how to replace over-emotionality with calm, clear, objective comprehension.

  4. Into the Jaws of Yama, Lord of Death

    This book explores the Buddhist view of death and its implications for contemporary bioethics. Writing primarily from within the Tibetan tradition, author Karma Lekshe Tsomo discusses Buddhist notions of human consciousness and personal identity and how these figure in the Buddhist view of death. Beliefs about death and enlightenment and states between life and death are also discussed. Tsomo goes on to examine such hot-button topics as cloning, abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, organ donation, genetic engineering, and stem-cell research within a Buddhist context, introducing new ways of thinking about these highly controversial issues.

  5. Analytical Buddhism

    We spend our lives protecting an elusive self - but does the self actually exist? Drawing on literature from Western philosophy, neuroscience and Buddhism (interpreted), the author argues that there is no self. The self - as unified owner and thinker of thoughts - is an illusion created by two tiers. A tier of naturally unified consciousness (notably absent in standard bundle-theory accounts) merges with a tier of desire-driven thoughts and emotions to yield the impression of a self. So while the self, if real, would think up the thoughts, the thoughts, in reality, think up the self.

  6. Mind Science

    What is the subtle relationship between mind and body? What can today's scientists learn about this relationship from masters of Buddhist thought? Is it possible that by combining Western and Eastern approaches, we can reach a new understanding of the nature of the mind, the human potential for growth, the possibilities for mental and physical health? MindScience explores these and other questions as it documents the beginning of an historic dialogue between modern science and Buddhism, based on a day-long Harvard Medical School symposium in which The Harvard Mind Science Symposium brought together the Dalai Lama and authorities from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, and education. Here, they examine myriad questions concerning the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body.

  7. Critical Review of the Book: Buddhism and Science

    The great Marxist sinologist Joseph Needham blamed Buddhism for stifling science and technology in China while they flourished in Europe. In claiming that everything is an illusion, Buddhism ‘played a part in strangling the development of Chinese science’. Zen Buddhism, in ‘rejecting all philosophy’ was also unfavourable to a scientific view. Since the Buddha refused to speculate, Buddhism discouraged scientific research. Above all, its main object is to escape from this world, not to try to understand it. A ‘despairing’ and ‘perverse’ philosophy, he concludes.

  8. The New Physics and Cosmology

    This book is the carefully edited record of the fascinating discussions at a Mind & Life conference in which five leading physicists and a historian (David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Arthur Zajonc, Anton Zeilinger, and Tu Weiming) discussed with the Dalai Lama current thought in theoretical quantum physics, in the context of Buddhist philosophy. A contribution to the science-religion interface, and a useful explanation of our basic understanding of quantum reality, couched at a level that intelligent readers without a deep involvement in science can grasp.