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Sangharakshita on the Sciences within Triratna

On Tue, 17 July, 2012 - 14:56
Candradasa's picture
As part of a Q & A with Sangharakshita at Aryaloka Retreat Center in New Hampshire, USA, Sangharakshita was asked about the place of the Sciences in the Triratna Buddhist Community. Interesting listening from a man with such a strong penchant for the Arts! Note the one book he references having read!
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scottjoh's picture
I was delighted to see this posted; it was actually my question. And how appropriate that the following FBA talk discussing neuroscience came up as I searched for this video: The Five Niyamas and the Evolution of the Human Brain by Vaddhaka

Something very helpful I came across recently, to follow Bhante’s words about the importance of taking account of scientific discoveries that illustrate the teachings of the Buddha, is from Paramananda’s book The Art of Meditation: The Body, p 116-118.
If we are embodied, we are also ‘emworlded’, that is we are part of the world in which we live. This is one of the main insights of many spiritual traditions, and one that modern science is recently coming to appreciate through its theories on emergence, which suggest not only that an organism adapts to its environment, but that the environment adapts to tthe organism.

A little later he helpfs us to face world issues:

The teaching of Indra’s Net is a well known metaphor for this: we are asked to imagine that reality is like a vast net of jewels, and that every jewel is reflected in every other jewel. If the teachings of Buddhism and modern science are right, the implications are immense. If we felt this intimate sense of being in and of the world, our lives would be transformed. It is hard to see how we are going to face up to the global problems that now confront us, unless there is such a fundamental change in the way we understand our place in the world. But the teaching of Indra’s Net also offers us hope, because it implies that we can influence the world around us. More than taht, it teaches us that our way of being in the world affects the world, just as the world affects us.