Mind and Life Institute

Linked on our blogs with Change your Mind Change your Brain.

  • The Mind & Life Institute is a non-profit organization that seeks to understand the human mind and the benefits of contemplative practices through an integrated mode of knowing that combines first person knowledge from the world’s contemplative traditions with methods and findings from contemporary scientific inquiry. Ultimately, our goal is to relieve human suffering and advance well-being … (full text Values, Vision, Mission & Strategy).
  • See also on fr.wikipedia, and on en.wikipedia.

Researches; Dialogues; Grants; International; Collaborators; Publications; Newsletter; Support us;
Address: Mind & Life Institute, 7007 Winchester Cir., Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301, USA;
Contact online.

Dalai Lama and Mind and Life: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, a spiritual leader revered worldwide, and (he was until recently) the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile.  

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 13th 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 & 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. (full text).

A complete biography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is available on the Private Office’s official website.

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