The interplay between our understandings of science and of the dharma forms the theme for this issue of Inquiring Mind. We speak with scientists who are also explorers into the spiritual: of interconnection and our need for a new mythos with Brian Swimme and Joanna Macy; of the riddle of consciousness with Francisco Varela; of the nature and flow of life with Fritjof Capra. Jeff Greenwald and the Dalai Lama “beam us up” into the wonders of the universe, while Jourdan Arenson brings us back to Earth and our prehistoric, instinctual minds. Finally, a visit to the First Church of Science puts things into divine perspective.
Beyond the realm of science, Tibetan monk Matthieu Ricard describes his meditative findings. We then present the reflections from two sangha members who recently explored more formal aspects of a Buddhist life. Tanya Shaffer shares her experience of “taking the precepts” at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village; and Diana Winston gives us a glimpse into her year as a nun in Burma. The renowned Zen teacher, Tofu Roshi, offers some helpful hints on battling depression.
On our poetry pages, we include the works of renowned Beat poet Michael McClure and acclaimed Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, alongside poems by sangha member G. P. Skratz. On the Practice Page, American-born monk Ajahn Sumedho imparts some of the wisdom he’s gained over more than thirty years of ordained life.