Teaching Science to Monks
Here are some examples of ways you can get involved with the global community of people who care about teaching Western science to Tibetan monks.
SCIENCE FOR MONKS
Science for Monks was established in 2001 as a partnership between Sager Family Foundation, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Its mission is to grow and sustain science learning that engages Tibetan Buddhism with science, with an emphasis on cosmology, neuroscience, and scientific inquiry, and to disseminate the monastics' unique perspective on science and spirituality.
Please participate in our growing community by liking Science for Monks on Facebook.
THE LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES
The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives supports learning and dialogue that bridges Western scientific ideas with Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist science. It regularly publishes scientific publications in the Tibetan language to bring science to the Tibetan community, including a Tibet Science Journal where monks can publish scholarly articles related to Western science and Buddhism, as well as a Tibetan-language science newsletter.
SAGER SCIENCE LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
Sager Science Leadership Institute creates and supports enduring indigenous science leadership by training Tibetan monks and nuns to be the leaders of science education in their monasteries. Program participants form local leadership groups within their respective monasteries and nunneries across the exiled Tibetan population in India.
MONASTIC GRADUATES PROJECT
Monastic Graduates Project is a partnership launched in 2011 by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and the Exploratorium, funded by John Templeton Foundation with support by Sager Family Foundation. It provides science training to Tibetan monks and nuns who have completed their formal monastic training including Geshes, Khenpos, and Lopons.
The Exploratorium, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, and Sager Family Foundation helps Tibetan monks and nuns to create science exhibitions, including World of Your Senses, which compares the Tibetan Buddhist and Western scientific understanding of the human senses. In May 2012, eight monks and nuns travelled to San Francisco to present World of Your Senses at the Exploratorium and to engage in dialogue.
THE MIND & LIFE INSTITUTE
The Mind & Life Institute whose mission is to promote rigorous, multi-disciplinary scientific investigation of the mind, brings together Western scientists and Tibetan monks for dialogue and collaborative research. Mind & Life Institute offers conferences, dialogues, and publications that share the insights coming out of these dialogues.
EMORY UNIVERSITY'S EMORY-TIBET SCIENCE INITIATIVE "ETSI"
ETSI implements a comprehensive science curriculum for Tibetan monastics. It sends science faculty to India each year to offer month-long intensive science workshops for monks and nuns. ETSI also brings Tibetan monks to the United States to study science at Emory alongside Western students.
SCIENCE MEETS DHARMA
Science Meets Dharma, a project of the Tibet Institute Rikon in Switzerland, has offered science education to monks and nuns in Tibetan monasteries in India. From 2012 onwards, this education is organized by the monasteries themselves. Science Meets Dharma supports the monasteries by coaching the local teachers, creating new syllabi, and preparing teaching material.
THE DALAI LAMA CENTER FOR ETHICS AND TRANSFORMATIVE VALUES AT MIT
The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT promotes the Dalai Lama's vision of a better world by sponsoring interdisciplinary programs and deliberations on ethics. In partnership with Sager Family Foundation, it is launching an initiative that sends M.I.T. business and engineering students to India to collaborate with Tibetan monks to manage social impact projects in the lay communities surrounding the monasteries.
COLLABORATIONS WITH NEUROSCIENCE
Over the past 20 years, pioneering research in collaboration with Buddhist scholars and contemplative practitioners has emerged. These investigations explore relationships between various forms of meditation (attention focus, loving-kindness, compassion) and Western psychological constructs like cognition, emotion, health, and well-being. Some of the inspiring leaders in this field include:
- Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts led by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Center for Healthy Minds at The University of Wisconsin led by Richard Davidson and Matthieu Ricard
- Shamatha Project at UC Davis led by Cliff Saron and Alan Wallace
- Emory Mind-Body Program led by Charles Raison and Lobsang Negi
- Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Educationled by James Doty and Thupten Jinpa
TIBET HOUSE US
Tibet House US is dedicated to preserving Tibet's unique culture at a time when it is confronted with extinction on its own soil. By presenting Tibetan civilization and its profound wisdom, beauty, and special art of freedom to the people of the world, Tibet House US hopes to inspire others to join the effort to protect and save it.
THE RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART
The Rubin Museum of Art in New York is the premier museum of Himalayan art in the Western world. The Rubin Museum presents the beauty, complexity and vitality of art from the Himalayas, including Tibet, Nepal, India, China, Bhutan and Mongolia.