What Buddhism and science can teach each other – and us – about the universe
by Chris Impey
June 16, 2020
These are trying times. A global recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, and widespread civil unrest, have created a combustible mix of angst – stressors that heighten the risk for long-term health woes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued guidelines to cope with this anxiety. Among them is meditation.
The Neuroethics Blog
Neuroethics with Tibetan Buddhist Monastics
by Laura Specker Sullivan
March 10, 2020
As I write this, I am sitting in my room at Jangchub Choeling, a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in Mundgod, India.
Inter-brain Synchronization in the Practice of Tibetan Monastic Debate
by Marieke K. van Vugt, Joshua Pollock, Bryce Johnson, Kalden Gyatso, Ngawang Norbu, Thabkhe Lodroe, Thupten Gyaltsen, Lobsang Phuntsok, Jampa Thakchoe, Jampa Khechok, Jampa Lobsang, Lobsang Tenzin, Jampa Gyaltsen, Amir Moye & David M. Fresco
February 21, 2020
Although mindfulness meditation is the familiar and researched form of mental training derived from Buddhism, it represents but one form of practice. Monastic debate is an interactive and dyadic analytical meditation practice that originates from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition where monastics seek to jointly deepen their understanding of complicated philosophical issues. To date, monastic debate and analytic meditation have yet to be examined in the context of scientific investigation.
A photo of the monastic science leaders that led the eclipse festivals appeared in many media outlets across the globe.
December 26, 2019
See Photo on Aljazeera
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Tibetan Monks Meet Science near the Roof of the World Astronomical and cosmological questions get an airing
by Christopher Impey
May 28, 2019
Astronomical and cosmological questions get an airing in India’s Sikkim province in a program started 20 years ago by the Dalai Lama.
Outlook Magazine (online)
‘Interplay Between Science And Dharma’: Buddhist Nuns Encounter Solar Eclipse In New Way
by Priyadarshi Sen
January 10, 2019
Remembering the solar eclipse as its lunar twin sweeps over India, a Buddhist nunnery is teaching itself to think of science while looking at a cosmic event.
Scientists and Buddhists Discuss Physics, Reality at Three-Day Conference
by Vasudevan Mukunth
October 10, 2018
It was on the back of this aspect of Buddhism, at least Tibetan Buddhism, that the ‘Science for Monks’ workshops and conferences have been organized, according to Bryce Johnson, the director of a California-based foundation of the same name and point-person for these events.
Have your momo’s and eat them, too
By Laura Ellen Specker Sullivan
January 19, 2018
Sitting at breakfast with a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks at a monastery in southern India. I am surprised to see a plate of chicken on the table. “Is vegetarianism not required at the monastery?”
Outlook Magazine (online)
Buddhist Monks Are Learning Science At A ‘Mini Cosmos’ Near Mysore
by Priyadarshini Sin
September 11, 2018
The science center encourages scholars to take on leadership roles and share their perspectives on topics salient to the intersection of Buddhism and modern science.
The Times of India
International conference on meditation held at Allahabad University
by Rajiv Mani
March 07, 2018
The group discussed how meditation can be used to study various mental processes and how it can also be used as a tool for the betterment of society…
Cal Poly Magazine
Science and the Spirit
by Stamatis Vokos
For many casual observers, the relationship between faith and science is a tense one at best, and an outright hostile one at worst.
A meeting of minds
by Chelsea Yates
March 05, 2018
Eric Chudler has traveled to India nearly every year since 2011 to teach neuroscience to Tibetan Buddhist monastics through the “Science for Monks” educational program.
New Paltz (SUNNY) News
Education professor brings Writing Project to Tibetan monks
March 07, 2018
Associate Professor Tom Meyer, who also serves as the director for the Hudson Valley Writing Project, traveled to Dharamsala, India last semester to work with the Science for Monks program…
What the West Can Learn from the East
by Vishnya Maudlin
October 30, 2017
Dr. Vishnya Maudlin of New York University reflects on teaching nuns about the philosophy of science.
The Times of India
Picking the brain of a monk: Where Buddhism claps its hands for science
by Seetha Lakshmi
August 14, 2017
US and European researchers working with a core team of monks from Sera Jey Monastery to investigate what happens in the brain during traditional Buddhist debate.
Buddhism Is Not Just Compatible with Modern Cosmology, It Welcomes It
by Chris Impey
Chris Impey, distinguished astronomer and Science for Monks veteran teacher, discusses some of the big ideas in cosmology and how they resonate with Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.
Two Weeks in Tibet, sort of: The Value of a Cultural Exchange between Science and Spirituality
by Scott Stambach
Scott Stambach, high-school science teacher and senior fellow with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) authors a wonderful article about his experiences in India working with Tibetan monks and nuns spearheading science education initiatives.
Humble Before the Void
“This book will provide readers with a greater awareness of the spirit of curiosity and inquiry that lies at the heart of the Buddhist tradition, as well as the fruitfulness of maintaining active communication between the Buddhist and scientific communities.” —from the Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
In a vivid and compelling narrative, Impey introduces us to a group of exiled Tibetan monks whose charm, tenacity and unbridled enthusiasm for learning are infectious. Impey marvels not only at their enthusiasm but at their tireless diligence that allows the monks to painstakingly build intricate sand mandalas—that can be swept away in an instant. He observes them as they meticulously count galaxies and notes how their enthusiasm and diligence stands in contrast to many American students who are frequently turned off by science’s inability to deliver easy, immediate payoffs. Because the Buddhist monks have had a limited science education, Impey must devise creative pedagogy. His new students immediately take to his inspired teaching methods, whether it’s the use of balloons to demonstrate the Hubble expansion or donning an Einstein mask to explain the theory of relativity.
Beyond the Robe
by Bobby Sager
Beyond the Robe tells the story of the Science for Monks program and what it reveals about the larger role Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns can play in their monasteries, in their communities, and in the world at large.
San Francisco Chronicle
Delving into 6 senses through visual art
by Meredith May
After a decade of study under top scientists from the Smithsonian and the Exploratorium museums, a group of Tibetan Buddhists are displaying their painting, which depict the five senses, at the Exploratorium.
The Washington Post
His Holiness the Dalai Lama wins Templeton Prize
by Chris Herlinger
New York, March 29, 2012
The Dalai Lama has been awarded the Templeton Prize, a 1.7 million dollar award for his work with science and religion. His Holiness will accept the award on May 14th in London, England.
Smithsonian has hand in Indian science exhibit planned by Tibetan monks
by Amy Yee
New Dehli, May 13, 2010
NEW DELHI – The northern Indian town of Bir was greeted with an unusual sight when Scott Schmidt carried six-foot-long plywood sheets on his head through the streets. Schmidt, who develops exhibits for the Smithsonian, had retrieved the wood from the village carpenter and toted it on his head to the Buddhist institute he was visiting. “I got impatient,” said Schmidt. “I probably broke every rule of how a Westerner is supposed to act in a village in India.”
Schmidt was helping a group of 30 Tibetan monks plan “The World of Your Senses,” a bilingual science exhibition displayed last month in New Delhi at the India Habitat Center, an arts and culture venue in India’s capital.
by Amy Yee
June 29, 2009
DHARAMSALA, India — Tibetan monks and nuns spend their lives studying the inner world of the mind rather than the physical world of matter. Yet for one month this spring a group of 91 monastics devoted themselves to the corporeal realm of science.
Instead of delving into Buddhist texts on karma and emptiness, they learned about Galileo’s law of accelerated motion, chromosomes, neurons, and the Big Bang, among other far-ranging topics.