The discussion group will meet on Sunday from 2 to 4 pm, from February 23 to April 6. Everyone is welcome, for all or part.
The moderator or the designated expert will introduce the topic, followed by questions and open discussion. An optional short period of zazen and a potluck or leftovers supper will follow.
The first meeting will start where we are, and where Buddha began his teachings, addressing stress and Dukkha (suffering?) in our lives. Interim meetings may address psychology and ego in relation to Buddhism's "no-self", biology and life considering also technology, our limits in knowing and being, reality and physics from cosmology to quantum mechanics, and modern developments. The last meeting will relate the origins of western philosophy (proto-western-religions) and science in relation to Buddhism. Each meeting will conclude with a selection of the following week’s topic, and the invitation of one or more “experts” within each topic. Suggested readings include the comparative parallel explorations of science, theologies and Buddhist thought. Please join us!
Dharma Talk at Jikoji by Dr. James Hutt, psychologist, with Shoho Michael Newhall, Stress, January 19 2014.
Surviving Anxiety is a recent "coming out" article on Stress by the editor of Atlantic magazine, Scott Stossel. Also note This Is Anxiety, another editor's selections from about 40 poignant responses from Stossel's readers. Louis Menand's "The Prisoner of Stress" is a review of Stossel's book, in the New Yorker magazine, January 27 2014, pp. 64-68. If time permits, also read Stossel's book "My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread and the Search for Peace of Mind", Knopf, 2014.
Searching the web, e.g., "Stress", "Dukkha" "Stress Reduction" and/or "Stress Dukkha" is an interesting exercise, with thousands of recent links to puruse.
The book "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, implies our dominant irrational tendencies. Kahneman's "remembered self" and "experiencing self" are contrasted in his later experiments in assessing happiness. The remembered self wins; in fact the experienced self is not remembered even though it is more closely related to reality and experience. For more, see Thinking, Self, and Reality.
Book: Daniel Goleman, FOCUS, The Hidden Driver of Excellence, HarperCollins (Publishers, 2013). "Daniel Goleman has surpassed himself in the breadth, depth, and readability of this fascinating meditation on what is most important for human, organization, and panetary flourishing. Focus not only makes the case, but it also shows us how to go about paying attention in all the ways that really mamatter." Jon Kabat-Zenn, founder of Mindfulness-Base Stress Reduction.
Book: James Hillman, The Soul's Code; In Search of Character and Calling, Grand Central Publishing, 1997. Hillman is a psychologist, professor, prolific author, and father of post-Jungian "archetypal psychology".
Web searches on consciousness, science and Buddhism provide many intriguing insights. See e.g., an essay on Consciousness: Buddhism vs the West. (Physics will not be seriously considered except to provide perspectives and understanding of the current paradigms in cosmology and quantum physics.)
Book: HH the Dalai Lama, The Universe in a Single Atom, the convergence of science and spirituality, Three Rivers Press (Random House), 2005. See particularly Chapters 6, 7 and 8, all related to consciousness.
Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Book: Qunatum Enigma, Physics Encounters Consciousness, Oxford University Press, 2006. "A remarkable and readable presentation of the basic mysteries of science, our universe, and human life. Critically important problems in our understanding are interestingly discussed with perception, depth, and careful objectivity."
Aleksahdar I Zecevic, Book: Truth, Beauty, and the Limites of Knowledge; A Path from Science to Religion, and Book: The Unknowable and the Counterintuitive, The Suprising Insights of Modern Science.
Fritof Capra and David Steindl-Rast, with Thomas Matus, Book: Belonging to the Universe, Harper Publishers, San Francisco, and particular its first chapter, Science and Theology. "The trailblazer of new science and a contemporary Thomas Merton investigate the parallels between new paradigm thinking in science and religion that together off er a remarkably compatible view of the universe."
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