The Buddha said that "everything we need to know about life can be found inside this fathom-long body." Then why is most people's spirituality--whether Buddhist, Christian, or Jewish--completely cut off from their body? In this provocative and groundbreaking book, you'll discover that enlightenment comes not from "out there," but from a deep understanding of our own personal biology. Using the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, a traditional Buddhist meditation, Nisker shows how cutting-edge science is proving the tenets first offered by the Buddha.
And he provides a practical program, complete with meditations and exercises, that enables readers to become mindful of the origins of emotions, desires, and thoughts. One of the great synthesizers of East and West, Nisker shows how to incorporate the traditional understanding of the Buddha with the latest scientific discoveries while on our spiritual journey. He shows that we are not separate from nature and the evolving universe. The way to enlightenment lies within our very biology.
Most important, Nisker offers a practical program--complete with meditations and exercises--so readers can take their own evolutionary journey into their bodies to find the origins of emotions, desires, and thoughts. Nisker provides a liberating way for each of us to incorporate into our lives the understanding, proven by the latest scientific evidence and foretold in the great traditional teachings of the Buddha, that we are not separate from nature and the evolving universe. Our biology is not our destiny, but our way to enlightenment.
At first glance, Nisker's book is a beginner's guide to Buddhism. It simply and clearly lays out, in a series of straightforward how-to steps, different Buddhist meditation techniques. At a deeper level, however, the book is not so simple. Nisker combines the practices and principles of Buddhist meditation with current breakthroughs in cosmology, evolution and molecular genetics. For instance, he argues that, in meditating on the body, one can pass through the cells into their evolutionary origins. While Nisker's remarks on Buddhism are informed by careful study, his exploration of science is less successful. Nisker often chooses scientific viewpoints that are outside the mainstream, and he presents them, often out of context, to justify his idiosyncratic points. Moreover, Nisker's rambling prose, which reads more like a disjointed diary than a refined, considered personal reflection, results in a flat, joyless book. The author's interpretations of the Buddhist view on the lack of God, the self and consciousness fall like afterthoughts in the last few pages.