Monday, December 2, 2013

Dalai Lama Chats with Scientists in Tokyo

DHARAMSHALA, November 18: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is currently in Japan took part in a dialogue with Japanese scientists on ‘Universe, Life and Education’ in Tokyo. The Tibetan leader was escorted into the hall by the Abbot of Koyasan, headquarters of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism.

The Tibetan leader said that everybody has the capability to attain what Buddha has achieved but that we must bring it to fruition through our own efforts. "Buddha nature is our subtle mind and mind is perfected by employing the mind.

He also said that in order to understand the way our brains behave, we have to study our emotions and their effects.

“In the past, it seemed as though science and spirituality were opposed to each other. However, it’s not a useful division to maintain, because the one tradition deals with knowledge of the material world and the other with the inner world of the mind; we need to know about both,” he added.

The 78-year-old Tibetan Nobel laureate further noted that the Buddha’s advice to his followers not to accept what he said at face value, but to experiment with it, to examine and investigate it, contains a healthy skepticism in common with a scientific approach.

Asked how His Holiness would summarize Buddhism, he answered, “All major religions carry the same message about seeking to live a happy life. What is unique about Buddhism is that not only is there no concept of a creator, but also no concept of an inherently existent self. Its basic philosophical view is that all things are interdependent, that they come about in dependence on other factors, and its conduct, non-violence, is of universal benefit.”

Scientists present at the dialogue also spoke on various topics and gave their presentations. Moriya Okano, Director of the Samgraha Institute for Educational, Psychological and Spiritual Studies spoke about cosmos therapy; Susumu Sakurai, a Master of Science at Tokyo Institute of Technology gave a presentation about Mathematics in relation to humanity; Akiko Katsumata, Assistant Professor at Suzuka spoke on the importance and educational value of putting yourself in someone else’s place.

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