Matthieu Ricard trained as a molecular biologist, working in the lab of a Nobel prize—winning scientist, but when he read some Buddhist philosophy, he became drawn to Buddhism. Eventually he left his life in science to study with Tibetan teachers, and he is now a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, living in the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. Trinh Thuan was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam but became intrigued by the explosion of discoveries in astronomy during the 1960s. He made his way to the prestigious California Institute of Technology to study with some of the biggest names in the field and is now an acclaimed astrophysicist and specialist on how the galaxies formed. When Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Thuan met at an academic conference in the summer of 1997, they began discussing the many remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and the findings of recent science. That conversation grew into an astonishing correspondence exploring a series of fascinating questions. Did the universe have a beginning? Or is our universe one in a series of infinite universes with no end and no beginning? Is the concept of a beginning of time fundamentally flawed? Might our perception of time in fact be an illusion, a phenomenon created in our brains that has no ultimate reality? Is the stunning fine-tuning of the universe, which has produced just the right conditions for life to evolve, a sign that a “principle of creation” is at work in our world? If such a principle of creation undergirds the workings of the universe, what does that tell us about whether or not there is a divine Creator? How does the radical interpretation of reality offered by quantum physics conform to and yet differ from the Buddhist conception of reality? What is consciousness and how did it evolve? Can consciousness exist apart from a brain generating it? The stimulating journey of discovery the authors traveled in their discussions is re-created beautifully in The Quantum and the Lotus, written in the style of a lively dialogue between friends. Both the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the discoveries of contemporary science are introduced with great clarity, and the reader will be profoundly impressed by the many correspondences between the two streams of thought and revelation. Through the course of their dialogue, the authors reach a remarkable meeting of minds, ultimately offering a vital new understanding of the many ways in which science and Buddhism confirm and complement each other and of the ways in which, as Matthieu Ricard writes, “knowledge of our spirits and knowledge of the world are mutually enlightening and empowering.” From the Hardcover edition.
Religion and science are arguably the two most powerful social forces in the world today. But where religion and science were once held to be compatible, most people now perceive them to be in conflict. This unique book provides the best available introduction to the burning debates in this controversial field. Examining the defining questions and controversies, renowned expert Philip Clayton presents the arguments from both sides, asking readers to decide for themselves where they stand: science or religion, or science and religion? Intelligent Design vs. New Atheism the role of scientific and religious ethics – designer drugs, AI and stem cell research the future of science vs. the future of religion. Viewpoints from a range of world religions and different scientific perspectives are explored, making this book essential reading for all those wishing to come to their own understanding of some of the most important debates of our day.
Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge addresses the complex issues of dialogue and collaboration between Buddhism and science, revealing connections and differences between the two. While assuming no technical background in Buddhism or physics, this book strongly responds to the Dalai Lama’s “heartfelt plea” for genuine collaboration between science and Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has written a foreword to the book and the Office of His Holiness will translate it into both Chinese and Tibetan.In a clear and engaging way, this book shows how the principle of emptiness, the philosophic heart of Tibetan Buddhism, connects intimately to quantum nonlocality and other foundational features of quantum mechanics. Detailed connections between emptiness, modern relativity, and the nature of time are also explored. For Tibetan Buddhists, the profound interconnectedness implied by emptiness demands the practice of universal compassion. Because of the powerful connections between emptiness and modern physics, the book argues that the interconnected worldview of modern physics also encourages universal compassion. Along with these harmonies, the book explores a significant conflict between quantum mechanics and Tibetan Buddhism concerning the role of causality.The book concludes with a response to the question: "How does this expedition through the heart of modern physics and Tibetan Buddhism—from quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology, to emptiness, compassion, and disintegratedness—apply to today's painfully polarized world?" Despite differences and questions raised, the book's central message is that there is a solid basis for uniting these worldviews. From this basis, the message of universal compassion can accompany the spread of the scientific worldview, stimulating compassionate action in the light of deep understanding—a true union of love and knowledge.Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics will appeal to a broad audience that includes general readers and undergraduate and graduate students in science and religion courses.
Today’s greatest health challenges, the so-called diseases of civilization—depression, trauma, obesity, cancer—are now known in large part to reflect our inability to tame stress reflexes gone wild and to empower instead the peaceful, healing and sociable part of our nature that adapts us to civilized life. The same can be said of the economic challenges posed by the stress-reactive cycles of boom and bust, driven by addictive greed and compulsive panic. As current research opens up new horizons of stress-cessation, empathic intelligence, peak performance, and shared happiness, it has also encountered Asian methods of self-healing and interdependence more effective and teachable than any known in the West. Sustainable Happiness is the first book to make Asia’s most rigorous and complete system of contemplative living, hidden for centuries in Tibet, accessible to help us all on our shared journey towards sustainable well-being, altruism, inspiration and happiness.
Presents the keynote addresses of a unique meeting organized by the Vatican Observatory, which aimed to facilitate dialogue between science and religion among philosophers, theologians, and scientists.
This book considers social scientific topics such as identity, community, sexual difference, self, and ecology from a microbial perspective. Harnessing research and evidence from earth systems science and microbiology, and particularly focusing on symbiosis and symbiogenesis, the book argues for the development of a microontology of life.
"The Buddhist Experience in America explores how the world's fourth-largest religion came to America and flourished. This book provides an accessible introduction to the religion, as well as to how Buddhists follow their beliefs in the United States." "Just as the teachings of Jesus gave birth to Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and hundreds of different Protestant sects, the teachings of the historical Buddha developed into many different traditions. The Buddhist Experience in America examines how these traditions are practiced. The book also includes a discussion of the historical Buddha and an examination of how contemporary Buddhism has responded to current issues and concerns. Appendices include a glossary, a "who's who" of Buddhism, a timeline, and a list of resources for further information."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved