88 The Kind Revolution of Contemplative Science

19 Sep 2015

We go directly into the meditation: Balancing Earth & Wind, culminating in non-meditation. Afterwards, Alan resumes the oral transmission and commentary of the Mahamudra chapter from p.156. In the commentary, Alan recalls a few stories about people dwelling in deep samadhi and he also makes more comments on shamatha practice and its early signs of progress along the nine stages. Alan points out that this great scholar, teacher and practitioner, Karma Chagme, after the chapters on stage of generation, shamatha, vipashyana, identification and practice, he goes back to shamatha. Now some context from the 21st century: if we go to the great western universities and ask what is Buddhism, the overwhelming response would be that it is one of the world’s religions. That’s the can in which Buddhism has been placed. Then Alan recalls a talk he gave at Stanford to the faculty and graduate students, at a time in which he could have been granted an endowed chair. In that talk, he argued that scientific materialism has the hallmarks of religious dogmatism and that Buddhism has scientific, philosophical and religious aspects. Alan’s strong sense is that we need to get Buddhism out of the box. A collaboration is very close between highly trained contemplatives and scientists, so that finally we can make contemplative knowledge publicly known under the careful guidance of our teachers, HH the Karmapa, HH the Dalai Lama. An experiment Alan proposes is to get 5, 10, 15 people achieve shamatha within 5 years and ask these yogis to display clairvoyance, past-life recall, etc. Alan concludes by quoting William James: “In what manner do we espouse and hold fast to visions? By thinking a conception might be true somewhere, it may be true even here and now; it is fit to be true and it ought to be true; it must be true; it shall be true for me.”

Belief creates reality.

The meditation starts at: 0:17

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