[ExI] The Mind And Life Institute
citta437 at aol.com
citta437 at aol.com
Sat Dec 22 16:54:28 UTC 2007
Below is an excerpt from googling about the founder of the institute.
""With the ever growing impact of science on our lives, religion and
spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity.
There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable
insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha
tell us of the fundamental unity of all things." -- The Dalai Lama
His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama is the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the
head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, and a spiritual leader revered
worldwide. He was born on July 6, 1935 in a small village called
Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness
was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition,
as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the XIIIth Dalai Lama. The
Dalai Lamas are manifestations of the Buddha of Compassion, who choose
to reincarnate for the purpose of relieving suffering. Winner of the
Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989, he is universally respected as a
spokesman for the compassionate and non-violent resolution of human
conflict. His Holiness has traveled extensively, speaking on subjects
including universal responsibility, compassion, and kindness.
The Dalai Lama's Interest in Science
The Dalai Lama has always shown a strong mechanical aptitude and a keen
personal interest in the sciences. He has said that if he were not a
monk, he would have liked to have been an engineer. As a youth in Lhasa
he taught himself to fix broken machinery, from clocks to movie
projectors to cars. A highlight of his first trip to the west in 1973
was a visit to the University Observatory at the Institute of Astronomy
in Cambridge England.
Over the years he has enjoyed relationships with many scientists,
including long friendships with the late renowned philosopher of
science Sir Karl Popper, and physicists Carl von Weizsäcker and the
late David Bohm. He has participated in many conferences on science and
spirituality. It was at one such conference, the Alpbach Symposia on
Consciousness in 1983, that His Holiness met Dr. Francisco Varela who,
in partnership with Adam Engle, later created the unique form of
in-depth dialogue between Buddhism and science that has grown into the
Mind and Life Institute. Since the first Mind and Life meeting in 1987,
His Holiness has regularly dedicated a full week of his busy schedule
to these biennial meetings.
An Ongoing Dialogue with Western Science
Along with his vigorous interest in learning about the newest
developments in science, His Holiness brings to bear both a voice for
the humanistic implications of the findings, and a high degree of
intuitive methodological sophistication. As well as engaging personally
in dialogue with Western scientists and promoting scientific research
into Buddhist meditative practices, he has led a campaign to introduce
basic science education in Tibetan Buddhist monastic colleges and
academic centers, and has encouraged Tibetan scholars to engage with
science as a way of revitalizing the Tibetan philosophical tradition.
His Holiness believes that science and Buddhism share a common
objective: to serve humanity and create a better understanding of the
world. He feels that science offers powerful tools for understanding
the interconnectedness of all life, and that such understanding
provides an essential rationale for ethical behavior and the protection
of the environment.
A complete biography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is available on
the website of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
© Copyright 2007 Mind and Life Institute, Boulder, CO
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