Ji Ko Ji Jikoji Retreat Center, 12100 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033, phone: (408) 741-9562


Science and Buddhism Discussion Group

See also Winter Practice Period (Ango)

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!

Schedule: One Possible Sequence of Topics

The following tentative schedule may change, depending on the Group's preferences.
  1. Feb 23: Modern Stress, and Dukkha
  2. March 2: Psychology: Ego, and Anatta
  3. March 9: Consciousness and Anicca
  4. March 16: Truth and Other Ideals, and the Unknowable
  5. March 23: Cosmology and Buddhist Theology
  6. March 30: Biology: Life, and our Future
  7. April 6: Modern Developments in Science and Religions: Paradigms, Methods, Practices

Suggested Readings, and Talks

Many web sites are dedicated to materials on Science and Religion; see Counterbalance

Copies of most books and articles are on the coffee table in the living room of Jikoji's community building.

Feb 23: Stress, and Dukkha

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.

March 2: Psychology: Ego, and Anatta

March 9: Consciousness and Anicca

March 16: Truth and the Unknowable in Science, Math and Religions

No advance reading is necessary, however web searches provide many intriguing insights, particularly on Platonic Ideals and Aristotle. For physics and metamathematical perspectives, see Aleksahdar I Zecevic's Books: Truth, Beauty, and the Limites of Knowledge; A Path from Science to Religion, and The Unknowable and the Counterintuitive, The Suprising Insights of Modern Science.

March 23: Cosmology and Buddhism

Check out the new TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth MacFarlane, Sundays at 9 pm on Fox TV.

March 30: Biology: Life, Nanotechnology, and our Future

Suggestions for consideration and searching: What is Life?, Nature vs natural, Evolution, Species, Sentient, Competition vs Compassion, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology in Biology, Genetics, Epigenetics. See also Foreign Affairs magazine, Nov.-Dec 2013 article "Biology's Brave New World".

Following the Dalai Lama, discussions likely will focus on sentient beings, us, and the future.

April 6: Modern Developments in Science and Religions: Paradigms, Methods, Practice

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."

Further Thoughts, Alternate Topics


Jikoji website updated January 2014 —Technical questions, suggestions, or problems with the site? email: webmaster@jikoji.org/**