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The Dalai Lama and top scientists gather in Mundgod for Mind and Life conference
Phayul[Wednesday, January 16, 2013 02:27]
DHARAMSHALA, January 16: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to take part in extensive discussions beginning tomorrow with some of the world’s top scientists and philosophers on topics ranging from quantum physics to neuroscience to Buddhist and Western understanding of consciousness.

The Dalai Lama arrived in south India today from New Delhi to take part in the Mind and Life XXVI: Mind, Brain and Matter - Critical Conversations Between Buddhist Thought and Science to be held from January 17-22 at the Drepung Lachi Monastery in Mundgod Tibetan settlement, Karnataka state.

The six-day event will bring together 20 of the world’s foremost scientists and philosophers with His Holiness and other senior Tibetan scholars in the attendance of several thousand monks and nuns from numerous Tibetan monastic centers of learning.

According to the organisers, the conference will engage in important questions of mutual interest and challenge such as the fundamental nature of our physical world, the problem of consciousness, the nature and workings of our mind, and the interface of contemplative practice and scientific research.

With two sessions each day, scientific and the classical Buddhist philosophical methods of inquiry will be studied, in addition to selected topics in quantum physics, neuroscience, and Buddhist and contemporary Western views of consciousness.

The conference also aims to offer an educational forum, whereby the monastic students can learn about the historical development of science, and how science has come to shape the way we understand our world.

Science studies have been very recently introduced in the highest examinations conducted by the Gelukpa University.

Monks studying in the final four years of the regular monastic study programme and the first two years of the Geshe Lharampa degree curriculum, which is equivalent to doctorate of Philosophy, are now required to appear for science examinations over a spread of six years, beginning 2014.

The conference is being jointly organised by Mind and Life Institute, Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Live Webcasts of the conference from January 17-22 from 9 am - 11:30 am IST and 1 pm - 3:30pm IST will be available here.

Article re-edited on January 19, 2013 at 11:44 IST.
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