Cosmology & Consciousness

A series of dialogues between Buddhist scholars, Indian scientists, and Western scientists.

Cosmology & Consciousness IV – Quantum Mechanics & Buddhist Emptiness
October 7 to 9, 2015
Document (English)

Cosmology & Consciousness III – Harmony & Happiness
November 3-5, 2014
Brochure (PDF – Tibetan and English)

Cosmology & Consciousness II – Knowing & Action
November 15-17, 2013
Press Release (PDF)
Brochure (PDF – Tibetan and English)

Cosmology & Consciousness I – Mind & Matter
December 16-18, 2011
Press Release (PDF)
Brochure (PDF – Tibetan and English)
Complete Conference Proceedings (PDF)

In 2000, His Holiness the Dalai Lama provided a vision and directive for the exiled Tibetan monastic community in India to engage science, and to initiate science trainings that would eventually support new learning at the frontiers of science and Buddhism.

Our understanding of both cosmology and neuroscience has progressed substantially in recent years as the result of technological advances. A universe that stretches thousands times further than we can see, the possibilities of the multiverse, exoplanets and for life afar, all emerged as real scientific possibilities in recent decades. At our inner frontiers, the findings of neuroscience bring new light to the notions of consciousness and moral sensibility. These two strands, cosmos and consciousness, are closer linked than they may first appear. The role of the brain may be paramount for understanding the universe, the universe within, and how we shape our actions as individuals and as a species.

About the Conference

The partners in organizing this conference include the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (in Dharamsala, India), the Exploratorium (in San Francisco, USA), and made possible from a grant from the Templeton Foundation, and the ongoing generous support of the Sager Family Foundation.

Conference Organizers

Geshe Lhakdor

Geshe Lhakdor is the director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India. A distinguished Buddhist scholar, he was the English translator for His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, from 1989 to 2005. He has co-translated and co-produced several books by the Dalai Lama. From 1976 to 1986, Lhakdor studied specialized Buddhist philosophy in the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala and received the Master of Prajnaparamita in 1982. He also received the Master of Madhyamika in 1989 and the Master of Philosophy from the University of Delhi. Since 2002, Geshe Lhakdor has been an Honorary Professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. In 2008, he was also conferred an Honorary Professorship by the University of Delhi, Department of Psychology.

Bryce Johnson

Dr. Bryce Johnson is a scientist-educator with a background in environmental science and a love of inquiry, hands-on learning, and teaching Tibetan monastics science. Bryce lived and worked in Dharamsala, India for two years from 1999-2001 where he helped the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives launch the Science for Monks program. He received a BS in 1997 and MS in 1999 from UC Santa Barbara, in Mechanical Engineering. In 2007, he completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Bryce has worked as a scientist for the California Environmental Protection Agency on water quality issues related to mercury contamination in Northern California. In 2008 and 2009 he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in a marine chemistry lab at Texas A&M University in Galveston. Bryce joined the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute in 2010. At the Exploratorium, Bryce has worked with teachers, artists, and exhibit developers on investigations into San Francisco Bay, with an emphasis on the connection between humans and their impact on aquatic environments. Bryce has 14-years of experience directing and implementing institutes, exhibitions, and teacher trainings for the Science for Monks program in India, and is currently a Staff Scientist at the Exploratorium.