This week TED has uploaded a talk enthusiastically endorsing meditation. TED and meditation, or ‘TEDitation’ -it’s a combination cynics are already dubbing an unsightly collision between facile pseudo-scientific hot air – and meditation. Seriously though, it’s been known for some time that technology and meditation is a match made in Nirvana- particularly in medicine. TED noted a few scientific reports into the effects of meditation that have been carried out in the last year, but I wanted to go back a bit further and simply summarise the key findings of those studies which came to light in my brief search. I’m not a scientist so I’m not going to explicate the primary sources. Read the rest of this entry
Sikhism and Jainism are two smaller but significant Indic religions, which like Buddhism split off from Hinduism. In addition to their shared cultural origins (including belief in the Karma, Rebirth, and Liberation of the soul) they also both put a particularly strong emphasis on universal love. In what follows I will summarise the most interesting things I’ve learned about Sikhism. Read the rest of this entry
Jainism and Sikhism are two smaller but significant Indic religions, which like Buddhism split off from Hinduism. In addition to their shared cultural origins (including belief in the Karma, Rebirth, and Liberation of the soul) they also both put a particularly strong emphasis on universal love. In this post I have a look at Jainism. Read the rest of this entry
In a previous post I observed that Hinduism shares many features at a fundamental level with Christianity. If this is so, then one would expect that Christianity also shares important features with Buddhism since that religion developed out of Hinduism and retains many Hindu characteristics. And indeed this is so, but this comparison is a more complex and nuanced one. Buddhism is very often likened to Christianity in terms of its ethics, its emphasis on altruism and peace. This is accurate, but superficial. My aim is to draw out some more specific contrasts in terms of the central formulae of Buddhism.
Thinking about religion it is easy to be impressed (if that’s the right word) by the wide diversity of religious traditions and beliefs. The most general categories we use for talking about religions are ‘western’ and ‘eastern’, and our most historically significant examples of each of these are provided by Christianity and Hinduism. It may be surprising then, just how similar the two monolithic systems of the supposedly divergent traditions are.