Is Buddhism Scientific or Religious?

Monk Mathieu Ricard prepares for an MRI at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on June 4, 2008 under the supervision of technician Michael Anderle (left) and principal investigators Richard J. Davidson (center) and Antoine Lutz (right). | Photo by Jeff Miller ©UW-Madison University Communications A Buddhist scholar examines the assertion that Buddhism is more like a science of the mind than a religion. By John Dunne The following article is excerpted from one of the final talks in our upcoming online course, Buddhism for Beginners, which starts on January 14. John Dunne, a Buddhist scholar and practitioner, introduces the origins, teachings, and … Continue reading Is Buddhism Scientific or Religious?

The blind spot

Photo by Andia/UIG via Getty Images It’s tempting to think science gives a God’s-eye view of reality. But we forget the place of human experience at our peril Adam Frank is professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester in New York. He is the author of several books, the latest being Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth(2018). Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he is the Appleton professor of natural philosophy and professor of physics and astronomy, and the director of the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement (ICE). He is … Continue reading The blind spot


What happens when a person is simultaneously lost and found? BY SARA BATKIE Before Corrine’s husband abandoned her in Berlin, he liked to say that her name reminded him of the word “corrupt.” But ending in a twist rather than a split. Her last name was the French word for “swimsuit” but he never mentioned that. This seemed strange now that he was gone, as many of his behaviors did. Kind of like how the best view of a city is when you’re leaving it. They were in Germany on his business, which was diplomatic in nature and disclosure. It … Continue reading Echos

Hermann Hesse on Solitude, the Value of Hardship, the Courage to Be Yourself, and How to Find Your Destiny

Photograph by Maria Popova “Solitude is not chosen, any more than destiny is chosen. Solitude comes to us if we have within us the magic stone that attracts destiny.” BY MARIA POPOVA “No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life,” the young Nietzsche wrote as he contemplated what it takes to find oneself. Somehow, this man of stark contradiction, cycling between nihilistic despondency and electric buoyancyalong the rim of madness, has managed to inspire some of humanity’s most surefooted spirits — among them, the great German poet, novelist, painter, and Nobel laureate Hermann … Continue reading Hermann Hesse on Solitude, the Value of Hardship, the Courage to Be Yourself, and How to Find Your Destiny

Ten to Zen by Owen O’Kane – digested read

image edited by F. Kaskais  Illustration: Matthew Blease for the Guardian ‘Slow down your thinking. Feel the serenity that comes from finding out you are the bore you’ve always thought’ by John Crace Hi. It’s me, Owen, and I want you to know that I’m here for you. Thank you for picking up my book. It means a lot that you have chosen to put your trust in me. I’m guessing that, since you have managed to read this far, you are probably feeling something has been missing from your life. That something has been me. With my workout you … Continue reading Ten to Zen by Owen O’Kane – digested read

Wittgenstein and religion

Words of God. Father Lequeux, priest of Buc, Île-de-France, and his puzzled congregation photographed in 1958. Photo by Edouard Boubat/Gamma-Rapho/Getty In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve? by Stephen Law is the editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy journal THINK. He researches primarily in the philosophy of religion. His books include The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking (2003) and A Very Short Introduction to Humanism (2011). He lives in Oxford. Edited by Nigel Warburton When contemporary atheists criticise religious beliefs, they usually criticise beliefs that only crude religious thinkers embrace. Or so … Continue reading Wittgenstein and religion

“Dracula” Author Bram Stoker’s Extraordinary Love Letter to Walt Whitman

One of Margaret C. Cook’s illustrations for a stunning rare edition of Leaves of Grass. “How sweet a thing it is for a strong healthy man with a woman’s eye and a child’s wishes to feel that he can speak to a man who can be if he wishes father, and brother and wife to his soul.” BY MARIA POPOVA A quarter century before his now-classic epistolary novel Dracula catapulted Abraham “Bram” Stoker(November 8, 1847–April 20, 1912) into literary celebrity, the twenty-four-year-old aspiring author used the epistolary form for a masterpiece of a different order. Still months away from his first published short story, he … Continue reading “Dracula” Author Bram Stoker’s Extraordinary Love Letter to Walt Whitman