The Conversation
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.

Read the full article on The Conversation

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.

Read the full article on The Neuroethics Blog

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.

Read the full article Mindfulness

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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Scientific American
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.

Read the full article Scientific American

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.

Read the full article Outlook Magazine

The Wire
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.

Read the full article The Wire

Science Magazine
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?”

Read the full article Science Magazine

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.

Read the full article Outlook Magazine

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…

Read the full article on The Times of India

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.

Read the full article on Cal Poly Magazine

Washington University
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.

Read the full article on College of Engineering (Washington University)

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…

Read the full article on New Paltz

Speaking Tree
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.

Read the full article on Speaking Tree

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.

Read the full article on The Times of India

Buddhism Is Not Just Compatible with Modern Cosmology, It Welcomes It

by Chris Impey
January 2017

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.

Read the full article on Nautilus

Two Weeks in Tibet, sort of: The Value of a Cultural Exchange between Science and Spirituality

by Scott Stambach
Spring, 2016

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.

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Read full article online at KSTF

Templeton Press
Humble Before the Void

by Chris ImpeyHumble_Void
June, 2014

“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.

Print and digital editions

powerHouse Books
Beyond the Robe

by Bobby Sager
November 2012

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.

Link to book’s website

San Francisco Chronicle
Delving into 6 senses through visual art

by Meredith May
May 2012

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.

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Read full article online

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.

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Read full article in the Washington Post

Washington PostDSC_0243
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.

Read full article in the Washington Post

New York Timesnews_NYT_2009_ScienceForMonks
Tibetan Monks and Nuns Turn Their Minds Toward Science

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.

Read full article in the New York Times