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.
The front cover features Marianne Kolb’s painting, There is Nothing You Can Hold for Very Long. Kolb is a Swiss artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes, “What I look for in my work is that edge, the place that really brings us to what we are all about.” More of her work accompanies articles throughout this issue.
For budgetary reasons, we are focusing on archiving Inquiring Mind’s original articles, interviews and poetry. For the most part, we are leaving out anything that was adapted or excerpted from a book or other publication.
“Star Trekking with the Dalai Lama” by Jeff Greenwald, adapted from Future Perfect: How Star Trek Conquered Planet Earth (Viking Penguin, 1998)
“The Art & Wit of Mari,” featuring cartoons by Mari Gayatri Stein with a foreward by Sylvia Boorstein, excepted from The Buddha Smiles (White Cloud Press, 1999)
“Experiencing the Experiment” by Matthieu Ricard, excerpted from The Monk and the Philosopher (Schocken Books, 1998).
“Homage to the Top Quark” by Wes Nisker, excerpted from Crazy Wisdom (Ten Speed Press, 1998)
“The Posture Itself is the Substance” and “The Left Hand in the Right” by Michael McClure, excerpted from Touching the Edge (Shambhala Publications, 1999)
“Morning Coffee Gatha” and “Ignorance Sutra” by G.P. Skratz, from fun (Philos Press, 2006)
“I Don’t Want My Brain” and “When I Banged My Head on the Door” by Yehuda Amichai, from Open Closed Open (Harcourt, 2000) and Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (University of California Press, 1996)