Here's a link to the first foray by a major op-ed columnist into the convergence of science and Buddhism, from the New York Times. Plenty to quibble with here (which I won't b/c this is a rare & brief moment online), including Brooks' comment that cognitive neuroscience will "challenge faith in the Bible," but the fact that Brooks chose to write on this topic is pretty interesting.
The article's concluding paragraphs:
In their arguments with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, the faithful have been defending the existence of God. That was the easy debate. The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism.
In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other ... We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects.
Here's a link to the full article.
Selected books by the authors above:
The Mindful Brain
Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique
The Ethical Brain
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong
The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness
Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain
And a related book, while we're at it, by Tal Ben-Shahar, a professor who teaches the most popular undergrad course at Harvard: