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Buddhism as a "Science of the Mind"

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Published on Sep 21, 2012

Kadam Morten Clausen is a Buddhist teacher in the New Kadampa tradition, a modern, worldwide tradition founded by Buddhist master Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. He is the Resident Teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center NYC as well as the Vajra Light Buddhist Center in Hartsdale, NY.

Transcript -- The whole sort of atheist critique of religion doesn't really address Buddhism insofar as Buddhism is established really as a science of the mind.  It's based on observation of the mind.  And everything that Buddha taught can be empirically verified through your own experience.  In other words, you can test it.  Actually, I think it's a very interesting science because you're the scientist.  You're not just reading about what other scientists have done and, you know, confirmed and so forth like that, but you, yourself, are the experimenter.  You experiment with your own mind.

What Buddha basically said is that we can understand through our own experience that happiness comes from inner peace.  And we can explore that in our own experiences and see, well, that's true, happiness does come from inner peace.  And maybe even more importantly, we can also then establish, I have the capacity for inner peace in my own mind.  In fact, we might even say that through training of the mind, through practicing meditation, you can see that it's actually not difficult.  All we need to do is learn to let go of our unhappy thoughts, and our mind automatically becomes peaceful.

So in other words, you don't have to, like, make your mind peaceful, you just have to let go of your unhappy thoughts, your angry thoughts or your anxious thoughts.  
And what happens through that is that you then begin to experience a sense of peace, a deep inner peace.  And you can verify that through your own experience.  And through that, you get in touch then with your own potential for peace or other virtuous minds, like love or compassion or joy or kindness, generosity.  In other words, you can verify it through your own experimentation that that is the case. 

What we then discover is that the mind has this incredible capacity for profound peace or, we might say, for limitless love, for limitless kindness.  That's where I find some fault with the -- you know, as you're calling it, the "new atheism."  Simply because I don't think they are paying enough attention to the science of the mind through which we can establish, so to speak, an alternative science, but it's equally, empirically verifiable that there is a spiritual dimension to our being that you can discover through your own practice, in fact, that there is this, yeah, you might say a divine element to our nature because we discover that the mind has this capacity for limitless love, limitless compassion, limitless joy.  

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

http://bigthink.com/

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Comments • 1,570

はるこあずみ
I thought this video is watching by someone who think big. But down below comments seems peoples are close minded...
Todiras Ioan Radu
Don't worry sweetheart, we are here and we are many. We are just not as loud as the people you speak about.
Richard MacLeod
For the most part, I think the big thinkers who check out these videos just don't want to get drug into really drawn out conversations with negative thinkers. Don't worry, they're around!
sk8ingthemystery
As an atheist this is the only "religion" that i would accept. Its more of a way of mind like he said.
Rohit Pathak
The whole problem is putting a tag of 'Religion' on 'Buddhism'. Remove that tag and one immediately observes ALL propositions are completely falsifiable. To limit science as observations made under ONLY the current sets of tools is foolishness. The theories proposed by the Buddha are subtler and much more refined and generalized than current theories in neuroscience (which seems to have fancy terms for every observed phenomena - a sign that it is highly underdeveloped). So to call Buddhism neuroscience is insulting Buddhism. For matters pertaining to the mind, I'd rather take the word of the Buddha than a neuroscientist/psychologist/cognitive scientist. And I am an atheist.
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alhaleem
Even though I'm an atheist, I really dig the way the Buddha taught us to live a happy life through kindness, empathy, love. They just don't give a shit about supernatural beings because the only one who takes control of yourself is you. Your mind is another universe you need to explore. And the amazing part is you have the ability control it. Peace.
First Martian
alhaleem if you love to know more, you can google "Kalama sutta" Very interesting for this era.
VY Canis Majoris
@MisterNickOtine You're a fucking idiot... You clearly know nothing of Buddhism if you think Buddha is a fat fuck. 1. That man was in china and was before Buddhism was founded. His name is Buddie, or something like this. 2. You are also a 'Buddha', just not awake. 3. The Jesus of Buddhism, or r rather the founder, is Siddhartha, who was skinny. Because of the trails he did. Please, learn what you are talking about first. Use Wiki, because that helps people who know nothing of a subject.
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liton barua
VY Canis Majoris sorry to say but u're an idiot
Bishamonten
+Collin Berend Like the debate regarding free-will.
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Tatvavihara
For the benefit of commentators below. There are three overall traditions in Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana (later Mahayana). Buddhas original teachings are preserved in Theravada. Mahayana (widespread) and Vajrayana (esoteric) are later developments. Lamas are part of Vajrayana. Kundalini is not part of Buddhas teachings. Buddha taught reincarnation. Reincarnation is an essential reason to follow the path to liberation otherwise you will be trapped for eternity. The calming of the mind (Vipassana) is only the first step and will not lead to lasting liberation in itself. Mahayana which includes Zen, and many others see Buddha as a godlike (or beyond that) being, but original teaching do not support this and the Buddha never claimed to be. Gods/their existence - are viewed as irrelevant as they cannot be verified.  
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Bishamonten
+Xavier Gamer Black holes and other universes cannot be verified as of now either, therefore they must also be nonsense. Though I agree with you regarding zen, and hey, the Dalai Lama said, straight from the horses mouth mind you, that if science PROVES something wrong in Buddhism, then they must abandon that claim. Now, there is a strict difference between hypothetical wrong and actual wrong.  Actual wrong needs decisive evidence.
Steven Him
+Gieszkanne my senses is not synonymous with reality. My senses is illusionary, they are just neuro impulse interpreted by the brain.
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Alin Lor
That are ways of the livings...  Atheist is also a living person.  Acutally what separtate buddhism and Atheism is that the target of practice.  Atheism do not have practice or any specific that different person can have different target of their living.  On the other hand, goal of all Buddhism should be to end suffering.   So that they just do what they want to do... no fault, no right, no wrong. Ultimately Athiest is just more like some one how came out of the forest but not yet found a way home. They not yet found their ultimate goal in life.
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Alin Lor
 ^ ^ Good day!
Guro Jose
+Alin Lor well , at least I try to live day by day when I can....and that makes me surely very happy. cheers to you:)
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Tashi Tsenkyap
Omg is this a guy from Kadampa Meditation Center !??
VY Canis Majoris
+MisterNickOtine Because the believe that upon enlightenment, you pass to Nirvana and into Buddha hood out of the Cycle. Also Buddhism does not really believe in Reincarnation, that is the Hindu aspect taken that Siddhartha believed as he was Hindu. Take for one, Jin in Japan, does not believe in reincarnation, but Tibetans do, because of the influence. However, In the reincarnation aspect, he would based on belief, entered Buddha Hood and out of the cycle. If this makes sense,
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Ayeshmantha Illangasinghe
you should know basics of buddhism. Thrividya (three sciences) 1. Anithya (changing) 2. Dhukkha (sadness) 3. Anathma (no soul) in hinduism, they believe after death same soul goes to another birth, but in buddhism there is no such thing as soul, only thing is ever changing thoughts. so next life is not the same you, but it will depend on the things you have done and thought in this life and early lives also. this is what i think as true according to my understanding
Nikhil sanade
okk its ok u think m telling he is god its okk really m not telling that. u win in this useless dissucion.
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thinklogicly1st
I'm guessing this guy has never heard of Sam F***ing Harris. One the most visible atheist and a proponent of all this mindfulness stuff. He wrote a book about it called 'Waking up' for goodness sake.
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