Tibetan Buddhist practices have often been shown to work, once science has developed the technology to test them. Thong Len, a meditative technique developed almost 800 years before the discovery of anesthesia, works by imagining someone else’s pain, and drawing it into yourself. As you take the pain from others, your own hurt disappears too, replacing the negative with the positive. “I was amazed a couple of years ago when I discovered Thong Len. I had a burnt hand, and (when I used) that technique, it was like an anesthetic had been injected into my arm,” says Jack Pettigrew. “You can explain what might be happening when you anesthetize your own arm. But people in a room with a Thong Len practitioner have also said they feel better. How do you explain that?”
In a recent experiment, subjects watched a video of two teams passing a ball back and forth. One team wore white shirts, and one black, and subjects were asked to count how many times players in white shirts passed the ball to each other. None of the subjects noticed the man in a gorilla suit who walked on, waved at the audience, then walked off again, proving that we only see what we?re looking for, not what?s actually there. Buddhists figured this out 2,000 years ago, the same way they discovered many scientific facts?by careful observation. They also have many techniques that still baffle scientists, but seem to work, like Thong Len.
Researcher Max Bennett says, “We know by the year about 2020, the greatest disabling phenomenon for the health of the human race will be depression. Not cancer, not heart disease, but depression.”
Pettigrew believes Tibetans have the solution. “If you go to Dharamsala (in India, home of the Tibetan government in exile), you go up through the fog in midwinter and you come out in the bright sunshine, it’s like going to heaven. What strikes you immediately is the happy, smiling faces of the Tibetans, who don’t have much, have been terribly deprived, and yet they are happy. Well, why are they happy? They work at it!? This work is based on meditative practices that have been developed over thousands of years.
The Dalai Lama has an intense interest in science, and believes there are similarities between the East and the West in cosmology, neuroscience, physics, quantum physics, and modern psychology. He has opened a school of science at his monastery in India. “I feel it is basically the Buddhist tradition to try to see reality,? he says. ?Science has a different method of investigation. One relies on mathematics; Buddhists work mainly through meditation. So different approaches and different methods, but both science and Buddhism are trying to see reality.
“When I meet with scientists, it has nothing to do with religious faith. It’s just theory or the experience of experiment?I’m not trying to convert scientists to Buddhism, and they are not trying to convert me into a radical materialist!”
Whitley Strieber put everything he?s learned?and practiced?for 30 years and put it into his new book ?The Path,? with easy-to-follow descriptions that anyone can understand, click here and scroll down.
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