In this issue of Inquiring Mind we live up to our name, inquiring not only into the mind, but also into various methods that humans have devised for that inquiry. What are the differences (and similarities) between Western psychology and Buddhist meditation, either in focus or technique? Is the advice dispensed by Thai meditation masters a more enlightened form of “therapy”? How can the new neuroscience be used in the service of liberation? Will scientists be able to determine which meditation practice is best suited to each individual’s brain chemistry? These are some of the questions raised in this issue, which includes: an interview with Jack Kornfield comparing Western and Buddhist psychologies, the theme of his forthcoming book, The Wise Heart; an interview with emotions expert Paul Ekman on his explorations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in developing their joint book; and articles by psychologist Ronna Kabatznick and the team of psychologist Richard Hanson and neurologist Rick Mendius.
Writer Lynn Crawford shares the tale of her lifelong journey of letting go and of wanting a “better ending” to the early loss of her mother. A pair of articles address the theme of dana, or generosity. David Foucke challenges our community to explore the “all-dana” model for financing vipassana centers and supporting teachers, and Ajahn Pasanno teaches us the value of bringing the practice of generosity into the center of our lives. In our Practice column, author Sylvia Boorstein encourages us to choose happiness as we face what life brings us.
This issue’s installments from Inquiring Mind coeditors are classic Barbara and Wes. Barbara Gates brings her gift of finding Dharma in everyday life out onto the clothesline in “Meditations on Laundry.” Wes Nisker opens his journals to share his pithy and insightful musings on why “I Love Science.”
As an expression of our heartache over our world at war, we offer a tribute to “Cambodia’s Gandhi,” the late Maha Ghosananda. This is followed by “Poetry Saves,” featuring the writing of other veterans of war and peace. These writings, along with additional poems we couldn’t fit in the journal, are also featured here on our website. May these poems serve our collective healing.