Discussions, Science and Buddhism

Buddhism and Therapies, May 25

The discussion group meets on the last Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 pm. Everyone is welcome, for all or part.

The group first selects a moderator and recognizes "experts" or practitioners within Buddhism or Therapies who are present. They then introduces the topic, followed by questions and moderated open discussion.

Each meeting concludes with a selection of the following month's topic. An optional short period of zazen and a potluck or leftovers supper may follow.

Suggested Readings, and Talks


Suggested readings include the comparative parallel explorations of therapies, theologies and Buddhist thought. Searching the web is an interesting exercise, with thousands of recent links to peruse. The topics above can be used as keywords or modifiers for searching. Many web sites dedicated to materials on Science and Religion are linked by Counterbalance

See also Getting to the Bottom of Stress by John Daido Loori, Zazen as a therapy for stress.

Copies of recommend books and articles may be on the coffee table in the living room of Jikoji's community building.

Please join us!


Prior Topics Discussions

Audio recordings of the discussions are posted on Jikoji's Audio Dharma Talks Site

  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

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. Thoreau's "Most men live lives of quiet desparation" comes to mind in connection with Stress, and Dhukka.

March 2: Psychology: Ego, and Anatta

  • Search on relations between Self and Ego, Buddhist perspectives on (no?) Self and on Ego re Freud, Jung, modern psychologies, etc.?

    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".

March 9: Consciousness and Anicca

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."

    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