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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:33 AM

'Beyond the Robe': New Generation of Buddhist Monks Embraces Science

Posted: 01/09/2013 7:42 am
Bobby Sager
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Photographer

"Seeing the tremendous importance of science and recognizing its inevitable dominance in the modern world fundamentally changed my attitude to it from curiosity to a kind of urgent engagement. I wanted to understand science because it gave me a new area to explore in my personal quest to understand the nature of reality. I also wanted to learn about it because I recognized in it a compelling way to communicate insights gleaned from my own spiritual tradition." -- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Twelve years ago, the Dalai Lama's private office partnered with my family foundation (Sager Family Foundation) and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives to create a groundbreaking program called Science for Monks to teach Western science to Tibetan monks and nuns. It represents the first time in the approximately 1,500-year history of Tibetan Buddhism that Western science is being taught in the monasteries.

Recently, the Dalai Lama addressed a luncheon gathering at my home in Boston and announced a decision by the leaders of the monasteries to make the study of Western science part of the core curriculum required of all monastic scholars in the Gelug tradition. His Holiness further commented that the decision to include Western science was the most significant change to the monastic curriculum in centuries.

The Science for Monks program isn't an attempt to inject science into the monks' religious thought. It isn't, for example, about how the study of the human genome might affect someone's belief in reincarnation. Their study of science is meant to add additional scholarly insight and to provide another touch point for a two-way discussion on the nature of reality and an exploration of how Western science and Buddhism can help each other to best serve humanity. We hope that having a more complete worldview gives greater voice to the monks' centuries-old wisdom.

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bobby-sager/beyond-the-robe-buddhist-monks-science-education_b_2425315.html

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Reply 'Beyond the Robe': New Generation of Buddhist Monks Embraces Science (Original post)
ellisonz Jan 2013 OP
libodem Jan 2013 #1

Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:56 AM

1. Very interesting


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