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Buddhism Science

Author: Ed. B. Alan Wallac
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishe
ISBN: 9788120820258
Size: 63.35 MB
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Reflecting its wide variety of topics, Buddhism and science is comprised of three sections. The first presents two historical overviews of the engagements between Buddhism and modern science or rather how Buddhism and modern science have definced, rivaled and complemented one another. The second describes the ways Buddhism and the cognitive sciences inform each other, the third address point of intersection between Buddhsim and the physical sciences. On the broadest level this work illuminates how different ways of exploring the nature of human identity the mind, and the universe at large can enrich and enlighten one another.

Contemplative Science

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231138352
Size: 24.17 MB
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B. Alan Wallace, renowned Buddhist scholar, integrates the contemplative methodologies of Buddhism and Western science into a single discipline: contemplative science. The science of consciousness investigates the mind through Buddhist contemplative techniques, such as shamatha, an organized, detailed system of training the attention. Just as scientists make observations and conduct experiments with the aid of technology, contemplatives have long tested their theories with the help of highly developed meditative skills of observation and experimentation. Contemplative science allows for a deeper knowledge of mental phenomena, and its emphasis on strict mental discipline counteracts the effects of conative (intention and desire), attentional, cognitive, and affective imbalances. Just as behaviorism, psychology, and neuroscience shed light on the cognitive processes enabling us to survive and flourish, contemplative science offers a groundbreaking perspective for expanding our capacity to realize genuine well-being. It also forges a link between the material world and the realm of the subconscious, transcending a traditional science-based understanding of the self.

Hidden Dimensions

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231141513
Size: 23.67 MB
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B. Alan Wallace introduces a natural theory of human consciousness that has its roots in contemporary physics and Buddhism. Wallace's "special theory of ontological relativity" suggests that mental phenomena are conditioned by the brain, but do not emerge from it. Rather, the entire natural world of mind and matter, subjects and objects, arises from a unitary dimension of reality. Wallace employs the Buddhist meditative practice of samatha to test his hypothesis, creating a kind of telescope to examine the space of the mind. He then proposes a more general theory in which the participatory nature of reality is envisioned as a self-excited circuit.In comparing these ideas to the Buddhist theory known as the Middle Way philosophy, Wallace explores further aspects of his "general theory of ontological relativity," which can be investigated through vipasyana, or insight, meditation. He then focuses on the theme of symmetry in quantum cosmology and the "problem of frozen time," relating these issues to the theory and practices of the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism. He concludes with a discussion of complementarity as it relates to science and religion.

Mind In The Balance

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519702
Size: 24.40 MB
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By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world. Wallace begins by exploring the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a sequence of meditations the reader can undertake, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness. From this convergence Wallace then connects the approaches of contemporary cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the mind. He links Buddhist and Christian views to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly incorporates the work of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete analysis of conceptions of consciousness with a guide to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative practice, Wallace takes the scientific and intellectual mapping of the mind in exciting new directions.

The Science Of Chinese Buddhism

Author: Erik J. Hammerstrom
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231539584
Size: 80.44 MB
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Kexue, or science, captured the Chinese imagination in the early twentieth century, promising new knowledge about the world and a dynamic path to prosperity. Chinese Buddhists embraced scientific language and ideas to carve out a place for their religion within a rapidly modernizing society. Examining dozens of previously unstudied writings from the Chinese Buddhist press, this book maps Buddhists' efforts to rethink their traditions through science in the initial decades of the twentieth century. Buddhists believed science offered an exciting, alternative route to knowledge grounded in empirical thought, much like their own. They encouraged young scholars to study subatomic and relativistic physics while still maintaining Buddhism's vital illumination of human nature and its crucial support of an ethical system rooted in radical egalitarianism. Showcasing the rich and progressive steps Chinese religious scholars took in adapting to science's rising authority, this volume offers a key perspective on how a major Eastern power transitioned to modernity in the twentieth century and how its intellectuals anticipated many of the ideas debated by scholars of science and Buddhism today.

Meditations Of A Buddhist Skeptic

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231158343
Size: 58.59 MB
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A renowned Buddhist philosopher identifies the power of traditional Buddhist meditations to clarify the mind's role in the natural world, explaining the value of skepticism in Buddhism while exploring the radical empiricism of William James and how it can be applied to the four schools of Indian Buddhist philosophy.

Being Human In A Buddhist World

Author: Janet Gyatso
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231164963
Size: 43.65 MB
Format: PDF
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Critically exploring scientific thought and its relation to religion in traditional Tibetan medicine, Being Human expands our sense of Tibetan cultural history, unpacking the intersection of early modern sensibilities and religious ideals during the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Studying the adaptation of Buddhist concepts and values to medical concerns, the book also advances an appreciation of BuddhismÕs role in the development of Asian and global civilization. Through its unique focus and sophisticated reading of source materials, Being Human captures the religious character of medicine in Tibet during a period when it facilitated a singular involvement in issues associated with modernity and empirical science, all without discernible influence from the European Enlightenment. The book opens with the bold achievements of medical illustration, commentary, and institution building, then looks back to the work of earlier thinkers, tracing a subtle dialectic between scriptural and empirical authority on questions of history and the nature of human anatomy. It follows key differences between medicine and Buddhism in attitudes toward gender and sex, and the shaping of medical ethics to serve both the physician and the patientÕs well-being. Being Human ultimately finds that Tibetan medical scholars absorbed ethical and epistemological categories from Buddhism yet shied away from ideal system and absolutes, embracing instead the imperfectability of the human condition.

The Pariah Problem

Author: Rupa Viswanath
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537506
Size: 52.58 MB
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Once known as "Pariahs," Dalits are primarily descendants of unfree agrarian laborers. They belong to India's most subordinated castes, face overwhelming poverty and discrimination, and provoke public anxiety. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped sources, this book follows the conception and evolution of the "Pariah Problem" in public consciousness in the 1890s. It shows how high-caste landlords, state officials, and well-intentioned missionaries conceived of Dalit oppression, and effectively foreclosed the emergence of substantive solutions to the "Problem"—with consequences that continue to be felt today. Rupa Viswanath begins with a description of the everyday lives of Dalit laborers in the 1890s and highlights the systematic efforts made by the state and Indian elites to protect Indian slavery from public scrutiny. Protestant missionaries were the first non-Dalits to draw attention to their plight. The missionaries' vision of the Pariahs' suffering as being a result of Hindu religious prejudice, however, obscured the fact that the entire agrarian political–economic system depended on unfree Pariah labor. Both the Indian public and colonial officials came to share a view compatible with missionary explanations, which meant all subsequent welfare efforts directed at Dalits focused on religious and social transformation rather than on structural reform. Methodologically, theoretically, and empirically, this book breaks new ground to demonstrate how events in the early decades of state-sponsored welfare directed at Dalits laid the groundwork for the present day, where the postcolonial state and well-meaning social and religious reformers continue to downplay Dalits' landlessness, violent suppression, and political subordination.

Religion Medicine And The Human Embryo In Tibet

Author: Frances Garrett
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134068921
Size: 54.42 MB
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This book explores the cultural history of embryology in Tibet, in culture, religion, art and literature, and what this reveals about its medicine and religion. Filling a significant gap in the literature this is the first in-depth exploration of Tibetan medical history in the English language. It reveals the prevalence of descriptions of the development of the human body – from conception to birth – found in all forms of Tibetan religious literature, as well as in medical texts and in art. By analysing stories of embryology, Frances Garrett explores questions of cultural transmission and adaptation: How did Tibetan writers adapt ideas inherited from India and China for their own purposes? What original views did they develop on the body, on gender, on creation, and on life itself? The transformations of embryological narratives over several centuries illuminate key turning points in Tibetan medical history, and its relationship with religious doctrine and practice. Embryology was a site for both religious and medical theorists to contemplate profound questions of being and becoming, where topics such as pharmacology and nosology were left to shape secular medicine. The author argues that, in terms of religion, stories of human development comment on embodiment, gender, socio-political hierarchy, religious ontology, and spiritual progress. Through the lens of embryology, this book examines how these concerns shift as Tibetan history moves through the formative 'renaissance' period of the twelfth through to the seventeenth centuries.

Mind In The Balance

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519702
Size: 65.72 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 1139
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By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world. Wallace begins by exploring the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a sequence of meditations the reader can undertake, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness. From this convergence Wallace then connects the approaches of contemporary cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the mind. He links Buddhist and Christian views to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly incorporates the work of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete analysis of conceptions of consciousness with a guide to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative practice, Wallace takes the scientific and intellectual mapping of the mind in exciting new directions.