Religions5 3; doi: His reading of Buddhist theory and practice remains largely uncontested, obscuring some of the tensions it entails. For a well-rounded discussion of his interaction with Western scientists within Mind and Life must involve not merely what the Dalai Lama says or writes, but also how he thinks.
The Dalai Lama regularly exhorts the Tibetan monastic community to recognize that a working knowledge of fundamental scientific principles has added value in propounding Buddhist thought. On his view, Tibetan Buddhist thinkers ought to engage scientific thought on their own terms, breaking into their own traditional rhetorical and epistemicological repertoire. Leading by confident example, the Dalai Lama himself occasionally deflects—and even reverses—the probative burden through the application of an age-old Tibetan Buddhist caveat.
Appreciating that a lack of scientific evidence for certain Buddhist beliefs does not their validity per se —the said proviso—seems straightforward enough. The thrust of the Dalai Lama's argument, however, may go beyond hypothesizing what can or cannot be thought to be scientifically established.
Scientific progress ought to be subservient to the well-being of sentient life, the Dalai Lama believes. Therefore, besides their scientific tenability, the new realities that scientific discoveries create—positive and negative—ought to be considered.
Likewise, Geshe thupten jinpa wife sexual dysfunction their cogency and merit, the soteriological efficacy of Buddhist doctrines such as rebirth ought to be factored into the appraisal of scientific findings. Thus, seemingly obvious fits between Buddhist and scientific views serve as a marker for patterns of innovation, as well as attempts to nourish and sustain Buddhist thought in terra incognita.
Reinventing Buddhism, as it were, the Dalai Lama himself—a scholastic pur sang—must continuously strike a balance between the different inclinations and talents that his intellectual biography attests to. This, in turn, helps demonstrate that, in his case, openness and defensiveness are not communicating vessels.
On this view, the reciprocal exchange of ideas between the Dalai Lama and scientists is governed as much by rhetoric, contestation and ethics as by empiricism and logic.
Some forty years ago, out of a personal interest in technology and science, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14 th Dalai Lama b. Since then, he has deepened and widened "Geshe thupten jinpa wife sexual dysfunction" interest through recurrent conversations with expert scientists in areas promising a constructive exchange with Buddhist understandings. In the privacy of his own surroundings, away from the media, the Dalai Lama, assisted by a dedicated team of translators, engages selected scientists in informal, in-depth conversations on topics of mutual interest.
Rather, the scientists should learn from Buddhism through personal interaction with the Dalai Lama and by collaborating with other Buddhist contemplatives.
Founder and long-time scientific coordinator Francisco Varela d. Geshe thupten jinpa wife sexual dysfunction first would be the unification of subjective and objective perspectives on conscious experience. In effect, this amounts to the integration of first-person, experiential findings derived from Buddhist meditative practice with third-person, empirical data of cognitive and affective neuroscience.
Such integration, Varela thought, would provide researchers with a new, improved frame of reference to interpret and test their observations. Varela felt that the meeting of Buddhism and Science holds a great promise of fundamental, constructive changes in the way scientists conceive of long-standing problems.
At a fundamental level, he wrote, Buddhist thought affords a view of the material universe that has no counterpart in the philosophical heritage of the West. As a second contribution, therefore, a sustained exchange with the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist contemplatives on the foundations of physics would have scientists rethink their logical and epistemological repertoire.
This should help overcome the conundrums that confront, for instance, theoretical physicists involved in the attempt to describe all physical forces in a single, unified theory [ 4 ]. Buddhism should stand to gain as well. This would invigorate his campaign to introduce science education into the centuries-old curricula of Tibetan monastic colleges in India.
With these objectives the Mind and Life Institute embarked on a complex mission. From its inception, dedicated coordinators and translators took great care in helping the participants negotiate the linguistic and conceptual hurdles that tend to hamper any cross-cultural dialogue. Pre-empting scepticism within the wider academic community, the Institute made a conscious effort to involve authoritative scientists and leading contemplatives at all levels of discussion. It aspires, ideally, to have each and every Mind and Life event exhibit the competence, rigor and finesse that are thought to be distinguishing characteristics of science.
Individual participants meet considerable challenges: All of this in real-time, across daunting linguistic, cultural, religious, and philosophical barriers.
These complexities determine the range of views taken by any one participant, and his or her perception of the issues at stake. It helps define and track the onus of proof, the responsibility to provide sufficient warrant for a position taken. Naturally, the Dalai Lama shares certain beliefs with other Buddhists. They all recognize fundamental principles such as the Four Noble Truths. The Buddhist history of ideas presents us with common denominators such as the philosophy of emptiness.
Doctrines like karma and dependent origination are widespread among Buddhists everywhere, as are the practice of meditation, prostration, and circumambulation.