While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In the “How God Works” podcast, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out – one that combines cutting edge neuroscience with ancient wisdom.
He’ll speak to leading scientists, spiritual teachers, and religious leaders to explore what we can learn from faith practices ranging from meditation and prayer to psychedelics and fire-walking. He’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs -- including none at all.
By working across boundaries that usually divide people – science versus religion, one faith versus another – we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.
Hate and prejudice based on ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation are all too common in our world. But are we doomed to be this way? Or is it possible to create a world where cooperation and peace are the norm?
Join Dave as he talks to NYU professor Jay van Bavel about the deeper mechanisms at work when it comes to group conflict (and how to avoid it), and with Zen Buddhism teacher Larry Ward about how the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Tradition can help all of us to heal and foster a more equitable and caring world.
Jay Van Bavel is co-author (with Dominic Packer) of The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony. Find out more about Jay’s work on his website.
Larry Ward is a co-founder of The Lotus Institute and host of the podcast Beyond the News, which explores current events through the lens of Buddhism and neuroscience. He is also the author of America’s Racial Karma: An Invitation to Heal.
The gathas heard in this episode are taken from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives. Dave also makes reference to the 14 mindfulness trainings, which can be found in the book Interbeing, 4th Edition: The 14 Mindfulness Trainings of Engaged Buddhism.