Thanks for the thoughtful response, BHD— completely agree. I’ve spent a lot of time the past few months in various Buddhist temples and communities across Thailand; the whole-package, or true meditation, is a way of life beyond sitting cross-legged for 15-minutes.
Still, I think one of meditation’s greatest virtues is that it does retain its value in a vacuum, and this is what the science suggests (albeit cautiously). Regardless of beliefs, meditation aids in detaching from our ego-centric notions of identity and carving out deeper foundations (probably lost a lot of agreement there…the neuroscience isn’t quite ready to confirm that). You don’t need to believe in Buddhist precepts for this to benefit your life, or the lives of others. I do agree that it’d be great to consider the array of Buddhism’s virtues in our industrial context, but this isn’t about Buddhism. Buddhism is an awesome example of a way of life fashioned around the wellspring of meditation, but I don’t see a Buddhist America taking shape anytime soon (though it’s interesting to imagine what that’d look like…).
Rather, it’d be exciting to hear mainstream debates on how to incorporate the value and teachings of belief-less meditation into our perhaps irreversibly industrialized society, forging our own “modernized” Middle-Way.
Maybe all we need to do is put Trump at a table with the Dalai Lama and they’ll strike a deal.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!