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John Hogan – Dear “Skeptics,” Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More

Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a “celebration of science and critical thinking” held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically. I originally titled my talk “Skepticism: Hard Versus Soft Targets.” The references …

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THICH NHAT HANH – The World We Have

Only when we combine our concern for the planet with spiritual practice will we have the tools to make the profound personal transformations necessary to address the coming environmental crisis. Thich Nhat Hanh offers us the guiding principles for a new ecospirituality of mindful living. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether …

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SAM LITTLEFAIR WALLACE – How did a Buddha statue land in Viking hands?

In March of 2015, Sweden Post released a stamp that depicts the Buddha sitting in a lotus as part of a series commemorating the Era of Vikings. The illustration is of a small, bronze statuette of the Buddha, which was uncovered by archaeologists in a small Swedish town in 1954. The archaeologists dated the statue to the 5th century, likely coming …

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Nalika Gajaweera – Religious, Spiritual, and “None of the Above”: How Did Mindfulness Get So Big?

Marguerite Agniel in a Buddha position with her legs crossed Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Photograph by J. de Mirjian, ca.1929. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons The ever-growing popularity of mindfulness—from corporate boardrooms to inner-city schools—has finally made my academic interest a conversation-starter at dinner parties. “Ah, the Buddha was talking about cognitive science 2,500 years ago!” as someone exclaimed after learning about …

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Michael Welton – Can Buddhism Save the World?

The topic of socially engaged Buddhism is complex and very important to the future of the dharma in our troubled, fast-moving and intensely competitive global world. Buddhist scholar Stephen Batchelor says that phrase “socially engaged Buddhism” was coined in the 1930s when some monks opposed France’s occupation in Viet Nam. In his lucid historical study, The Awakening of the West: …

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Vandana Shiva – The Dharma of Food

Dharma” is a unique Indian concept, a gift of Indian civilisation to humanity. It has provided the compass for right action and right livelihood. There is no equivalent word in Western languages. The concept of dharma is not limited to religion — as has often been erroneously done — dharma is a concept that runs through the many spiritual threads …