Friday, August 28, 2009

Upaya Dharma Podcasts - Yoga, Science & Selflessness

Nice two-part podcast from a while back.

Yoga, Science & Selflessness 1

Speakers: Roshi Joan Halifax, David Riley, MD & Richard Freeman

In Buddhism as in yoga, states Roshi Joan, it is essential to actualize direct practice realization. We can’t completely understand yoga or Zen Buddhism from a book; these things must be directly experienced to have any deep value. Buddhism also emphasizes the realization of the absence of an inherent self. In meditation or asana practice, it is impossible to find any one center because the center is everywhere. Dr. David Riley picks up the “not-knowing” thread by discussing the practice of science itself, including scientists’ biases and beliefs and how scientists test hypotheses. Then David shares his research findings on yoga practice, with discussion from the participants, and Richard discusses healing, the placebo effect, and yoga as a therapeutic tool.

icon for podpress [Play] Yoga, Science & Selflessness 1 [105:33m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download [Play]

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Yoga, Science & Selflessness 2

Speakers: Roshi Joan Halifax, Richard Freeman, & David Riley, MD

How do we know what we know? Thus starts this evening’s talk with the teachers and participants. Roshi points out how science is now “proving” what meditators and yogis have know for millennia. However, to get these helpful practices into conventional settings that could really benefit from them – such as in medical centers, end-of-life care, schools or prisons – we can use research findings as support for meditation or yoga’s effectiveness. Richard speaks of the deep wisdom of the yoga sutras, including ways of knowing the world, which all too often take us away from direct perception. David adds that the scientific method is designed to challenge our perception of the direct experience. He asks the participants what research they would like to see in yoga – whether it is in physical health or mental health or in spirituality. A lively discussion ensues.

icon for podpress [Play] Yoga, Science & Selflessness 2 [86:08m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download [Play]

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