Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity (Columbia Series in Science and Religion)

By B. Alan Wallace

By developing a discussion within which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity converse to the theories of contemporary philosophy and technology, B. Alan Wallace finds the theoretical similarities underlying those disparate disciplines and their unified method of making feel of the target global.

Wallace starts off by way of exploring the connection among Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a chain of meditations the reader can adopt, exhibiting that, although Buddhism and Christianity fluctuate of their trust platforms, their tools of cognitive inquiry supply comparable perception into the character and origins of cognizance.

From this convergence Wallace then connects the ways of latest cognitive technological know-how, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the brain. He hyperlinks Buddhist and Christian perspectives to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly comprises the paintings of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete research of conceptions of recognition with a consultant to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative perform, Wallace takes the clinical and highbrow mapping of the brain in intriguing new directions.

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Dudjom Rinpoche explains tips on how to determine the character of the brain, which we take to be internal:Without bringing something to brain, position your understanding in an uncontrived, cozy nation. along with your recognition directed inward, concentration thoroughly at the mind’s personal nature. via so doing, there'll come up a “self-clarity” that's with out item, freed from the extremes of conceptual embellishments, and freed from any feel of apprehender and apprehended, together with any viewer and seen, experiencer and skilled, and topic and item.

Can those causal interactions be understood internally—in phrases of these psychophysical approaches themselves—or do you spot facts that they're managed or stimulated by means of a separate self or ego that's autonomous of the physique and brain? on your interactions with people and the area round you, notice even if your feel of your self as an unchanging, unitary, self sustaining ego acts as a foundation for self-centered yearning and hostility. for instance, in case you negatively concentrate on somebody else’s faults, do you are feeling that you're basically enhanced to that individual, that his faults are intrinsic to his identification, simply as your superiority is intrinsic for your precise self?

Like Pythagoras and Socrates, Plotinus believed that exact souls reincarnate, experiencing the result of their moral and unethical habit from lifetime to lifetime until eventually ultimately they're totally purified and locate the top happiness born of contemplation. Over the centuries, Plotinus’s writings have encouraged Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Gnostic philosophers and contemplatives, probably the most influential of whom used to be Origen (c. 185-254). Born in Alexandria, he was once broadly seen because the maximum Christian theologian of his time.

There he validated a spiritual philosophical society within which he knowledgeable women and men to steer a lifestyles good balanced in physique and spirit whereas residing in a group of self-reliant communism. for you to purify their souls, they have been required to take care of excessive moral criteria, have interaction in physical exertion, perform celibacy, persist with a vegetarian nutrition, and have interaction in protracted classes of silence and numerous varieties of abstinence. Their formal schooling consisted of teaching in track, arithmetic, astronomy, and meditation.

Alan Wallace (Ithaca, N. Y. : Snow Lion, 1997), X:55. 34 Thich Nhat Hanh, residing Buddha, dwelling Christ (New York: Riverhead, 1997); H. H. the Dalai Lama, the nice center: A Buddhist point of view at the Teachings of Jesus, trans. Geshe Thupten Jinpa (Boston: knowledge, 1996). 35 Aṅgulimāla Sūtra, trans. Stephen Hodge; http://www. webspawner. com/users/tathagatagarbha16/index. html. 36 D. M. Paul, The Buddhist female Ideal—Queen Śrımāla and the Tathāgata-garbha (Missoula, Mont. : Scholar’s Press, 1980), ch. thirteen. 37 The Dhammapada, I:1.

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