Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dalai Lama Says "We are One Family"

One - We are One Family

Tokyo, Japan - This morning, under bright sunshine and a high blue sky scattered with thin clouds, His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Yokohama. He drove directly to the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo, a ninety year old theatre surrounded by trees. Half the 2800 strong audience sat in the sun, the other half in the shade.

The event was presented as an opportunity for young Japanese to get to know His Holiness better and to hear what he has to say. Two other special guests were introduced. Actor, film director and event producer Kenji Kohashi told the audience how moved he had been by a visit to Tibet. It compelled him to visit Dharamsala and meet His Holiness. He declared that he feels he must have been a Tibetan in a previous life.

Ai Tominaga started her career as a model at the age of 17 in New York and worked there for the next ten years. She returned to Tokyo and participates in activities that contribute to social welfare and convey the traditional culture of Japan. She has visited Mongolia. She told the audience how struck she had been by His Holiness’s warmth.

“Brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began, “it’s a great honour for me to have the opportunity to share my views and experiences with you. Wherever I go I emphasize that all 7 billion human beings are physically, mentally and emotionally the same. Everybody wants to live a happy life free from problems. Even insects, birds and animals want to be happy.

“What distinguishes us human beings is our intelligence. However, there are occasions when we use it improperly, as, for example, when we use it to design weapons. Animals like lions and tigers that live by attacking and eating other animals have sharp teeth and claws, but human beings’ nature and teeth are more like those of a deer. We use our intelligence to fulfil our desires, to which, compared to those of other animals, there seems to be no limit.

“Right here and now we are sitting together in peace and pleasure, but at this very moment, in other parts of the world people are killing each other.

“As I said, devising ever more lethal arms is a poor use of human intelligence and the worst are nuclear weapons. You Japanese have actually been victims of nuclear attack and know what the consequent suffering is like. I’ve been to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On my first visit to Hiroshima I met a woman who had been through it and survived and I saw the watch in the museum that had stopped at the instant of the explosion and was half melted by the heat. So, instead of using our intelligence to create joy, the result has sometimes been fear.

“Here in the 21st century we should make an effort not to repeat the errors of the last century with its endless series of wars. Historians suggest that 200 million people died of violence during this period. It’s time to say, ‘Enough’. Let’s make the 21st a century of peace and compassion on the basis of the oneness of all 7 billion human beings alive today.

“Over-emphasizing difference of nationality, religion or race culminates in feelings of ‘us’ and ‘them’—division. We must remind ourselves that at a deeper level all human beings are the same. We all want to live a happy life and to be happy is our right. Throughout the universe are sentient beings seeking peace and happiness. What distinguishes the human beings on our planet is that we can communicate with each other—we can convey a sense of the oneness of humanity. If we develop peace of mind within ourselves, I believe we can make the 21st century an era of peace. We must heed the ways of achieving inner peace.

“There are no natural boundaries between human beings on this earth, we are one family. At a time of increasing natural disasters, climate change and global warming affect us all. We have to learn to live together, to work together and to share what we have together. The way we make problems for ourselves is senseless. We will achieve genuine peace in the world if we pursue demilitarization, but we need a sense of inner disarmament, a reduction of hostility and anger, to start with.

“A mother gave birth to each one of us and lavished us with care and affection, but once we go to school our education system fails to nurture this sense of loving-kindness. It’s aimed instead at fulfilling material goals. We need to re-introduce to education such inner values as warm-heartedness. If we could be more warm-hearted we’d be happier as individuals, contributing to happier families and wider communities too.

“Human beings are social animals. What brings us together is love and affection—anger drives us apart. Just as we employ physical hygiene to protect our health, we need emotional hygiene, the means to tackle our destructive emotions, if we are to achieve peace of mind.

“I belong to the 20th century, an era that is past. But this is what I want to share with you young people—if you start to collect the causes now, you’ll live to see a happier, more peaceful world. Don’t be content with the present circumstances, take a more far-sighted view.”

His Holiness added that when the heart is closed it leads to fear, stress and anger. Nurturing the idea of the oneness of humanity has the effect of opening the heart. When you think of all other human beings as your brothers and sisters it’s easy to communicate with them all. It makes it easier to smile, to be warm and friendly. He said this is what he tries to do. For him, whether they are beggars or leaders, all human beings are the same. If he tells himself he’s a Buddhist, a Tibetan, the Dalai Lama, it just increases his sense of isolation.

He observed that Japan has historically been a Buddhist country, yet all religions convey a message of love, compassion and self-discipline. Their philosophical differences arose to suit people of different dispositions, at different times and in different places and conditions. The fundamental message of love remains the same. Buddhism, especially the Nalanda Tradition, with its emphasis on reasoned investigation, takes a realistic stance that accords with the approach of science. His Holiness recommended that to become a 21st century Buddhist, simply having faith and reciting the sutras is not enough, far more important is understanding and implementing what the Buddha taught.

Ai Tominaga told His Holiness that in her experience young people today have a desire for fashion, but it’s in the context of a concern for freedom, human rights and protecting the environment. She thanked him for giving encouraging advice to the next generation.

Kenji Kohashi told him that when he plans musical and other events he wants young people to develop greater self-awareness. “We have to take the initiative to connect with each other, otherwise we remain apart. For me, a near death experience while mountain climbing and meditation have been a source of inspiration.”

A young man who works for a NGO caring for orphans asked His Holiness to comment on leadership and optimism.

“According to my observation,” His Holiness replied, “NGOs are sometimes more effective than governments agencies, so I appreciate their contribution. Since our existing culture tends to be materialistic, we look to external sources for fulfilment. But that can change. Look at how popular attitudes to war have changed. In the early 20th century if a nation declared war, people joined up proudly without question. Compare that to resistance in America to the Vietnam War or to the millions of people around the world who marched to protest against going to war with Iraq.

“Certainly I’m optimistic, because giving in to pessimism leads to defeat. I’m committed to trying to revive interest in what ancient Indian knowledge has to tell us about the workings of our minds and emotions—the goal is to achieve peace of mind.”

As words of thanks were pronounced, the organizers of the event from Sherab Kyetsel Ling Institute presented bouquets of flowers to His Holiness and the other guests. A member of the audience ran to the front of the stage and offered His Holiness a knitted hat resembling a sunflower. With a look of amusement he put it on.

Tomorrow, he will visit Sherab Kyetsel Ling Institute where he will teach the ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’.

link & photos: https://www.dalailama.com/news/2018/one-we-are-one-family

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Dalai Lama is Interviewed in Yokohama, Japan

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Interviewed in Yokohama

Yokohama, Japan - His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Yokohama from India yesterday on his 25th visit to Japan. Although the views over the bay from his hotel window were grey, His Holiness was bright and refreshed by a good night’s sleep after his journey. He opened his conversation with Rina Yamasawa of NHK with a recollection of his first visit in 1967. His elder brother, Taktser Rinpoche, was here and over lunch teased His Holiness, who had become a vegetarian, that he had the tastier bowl of udon noodles.

His Holiness answered a first question about how he sees the situation in Tibet today by reviewing his three commitments.

“First I consider myself just one among 7 billion human beings. While we pray for the welfare of all sentient beings, there’s nothing we can do but pray for those in other galaxies. On this planet there are countless animals, birds, fish and insects, but they have no language so we can’t really communicate with them. On a practical level, it’s our fellow human beings who we can do something for. In a materialistic world where many don’t know the value of peace of mind, I try to help them become happier by showing them how to find inner peace.

“I’m also a Buddhist and it saddens me to see conflict in the name of religion. In India, where different religions live together side by side, we see that religious harmony is possible.

“Thirdly, I’m a Tibetan and, although since 2001 I have retired from political responsibility, I remain concerned about Tibet’s natural environment. What’s also important is the preservation of our culture and the knowledge we obtained from India.

“Since 1974 we haven’t been seeking independence for Tibet, being prepared instead to remain within the People’s Republic of China. Much has changed in China over the last 40 years. The number of Buddhists has grown to more than 300 million, many with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism. Meanwhile, even hardliners among the officials are in a dilemma about how to deal with Tibet. They see that 70 years of suppression and attempted brainwashing haven’t diminished the Tibetan spirit.

“Instead of independence we are seeking mutual benefit. The Chinese can help us with infrastructural development and we can help them with Buddhist psychology. So, our Middle Way Approach is an attempt to reach mutual agreement for mutual improvement. Some Tibetans exercise their freedom to remain set on independence such as we enjoyed in 7th, 8th and 9th centuries. However, I am a great admirer of the spirit of the European Union that places the common interest of all its members above individual nation’s concerns. India too is a federation of states with different languages, cultures and religious traditions that are part of a union. I venture to imagine some kind of future union prevailing between India, China and Japan.”

His Holiness went on to clarify that Tibetans in what were historically the three provinces of Tibet have a right, according to the Chinese constitution, to a high degree of autonomy. That would allow them to preserve their language and culture. He pointed out that his own birthplace and that of Je Tsongkhapa are now part of Qinghai. He looked forward to genuine autonomy being granted in Uighur, Mongol and Tibetan regions.

Ms Yamasawa asked His Holiness how his successor would be chosen. He explained that as far back as 1969 he had made it clear that the choice of whether another Dalai Lama would be recognised rested with the Tibetan people. That choice precedes any decision about how a successor may be chosen. It could be that the traditional way of identifying a reincarnation will be followed, but there have also been cases of Lamas nominating an already living person as their successor.

He noted that at the end of this month a convening of Tibet’s spiritual leaders will take place, primarily focussed on raising the quality of Buddhist knowledge and practice. The question of a future Dalai Lama may also be on the agenda.

His Holiness observed that when he was recently in Europe a group of women met him to complain about the sexual misconduct of some Tibetan spiritual teachers. He told them that when such complaints were first brought to his attention he asked if such individuals had disregard for the rules the Buddha laid down, why they would listen to anything he had to say. He’d suggested that the shame of publicity might be more effective. He advised the group to forward their complaints to the meeting of spiritual leaders in a letter.

When Yamasawa steered the conversation back to the topic of his successor, His Holiness told her that some years ago, faced with similar questions from a journalist in New York he had taken off his glasses, as he did again today, and asked playfully, “Look at my face, is the need to address the question of my reincarnation urgent?” He told her that what happens after his death is of little interest to him compared to being a good Buddhist practitioner here and now. He repeated for her Shantideva’s verse, which he takes as his motivating prayer: ‘For as long as space endures and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world.’

In his additional replies, His Holiness stressed that he advises followers of the Buddha today to be 21st century Buddhists, which he defines as driven by knowledge and understanding of what the Buddha taught rather than blind faith. He also discussed his admiration for democracy, his attempts to introduce reform in Tibet and his determination to do so once he and 80,000 Tibetans came into exile.

A second interview with Ms Yoshiko Sakurai, president of the think tank known as the Japan Institute of National Fundamentals, touched on several similar themes. As to how Tibetan traditions had been preserved, His Holiness emphasized how generous the government of India and Prime Minister Nehru had been in their support. It was Nehru who personally encouraged efforts to educate Tibetan children in separate Tibetan schools and to re-establish the monastic seats of learning. As a result of the latter, there are now more than 10,000 monks and 1000 nuns well-trained in the Nalanda Tradition.

Referring to education in the wider world, His Holiness noted that it tends to have materialistic goals, whereas it would be better if it addressed the needs of both the heart and the brain. Specifically he recommended teaching people how to tackle their destructive emotions.

When Ms Sakurai lamented that the Chinese authorities seem to be doing little for Tibetans and Uighurs, His Holiness replied that he saw the past 70 years in terms of four eras affected by Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Xi Jinping. Although the same party remained in power, guided by the same constitution, nevertheless great changes had taken place. He noted that there still remained room for further change. He also remarked that 1.2 billion Chinese have a right to know what is really going on and when they know that, he expressed confidence in their ability to judge what’s right from what’s wrong.

His Holiness mentioned that in Tibet, even as suppression has increased, Tibetans have continued to pursue non-violence. He highlighted the cases of the more than 150 people who have committed self-immolation as examples, saying that they were very sad on the one hand, but on the other were worthy of admiration because they remained non-violent, at least in relation to others.

Asked how Japanese and Tibetans can contribute to the welfare of humanity His Holiness expressed his admiration for the Shinto Tradition due to its appreciation of the natural environment. He commended the possibility of combining technological development with a deep understanding of the workings of the mind to enable more people to find inner peace. He also expressed the hope that Japan, as the one country that has been subject to nuclear attack, will not let up on its leadership of the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.

He reiterated that his cherished goals of a world not only free of nuclear weapons, but also demilitarized in general, will only come about when more people have achieved a sense of inner disarmament in their own hearts and minds. This, he suggested, is something to which Japanese brothers and sisters can contribute.

original link & photos: https://www.dalailama.com/news/2018/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-interviewed-in-yokohama

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Salvation in Roman Catholicism and Bible: Short Summary

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

I love my Roman Catholic (RC) friends, and I was raised RC, and it is because of my love that I earnestly desire to share this information. Teaching on this subject has not changed since Vatican 2—and it cannot change because it was made an irreformable, de fide dogma at Council of Trent in 1500’s.

Let met state clearly that many Roman Catholics have saving faith, but it is in spite of the teaching of their church and not because of it. The true gospel was ‘anthatamized’ at the Council of Trent. And so I would urge all Catholics to consider leaving their church and to attend a loving, bible believing church. I also have a segment on Mary and the Rosary. Please see video list.

This will be a very brief summary of Roman Catholic teaching on salvation (justification) versus what God says—(I did a more in-depth study earlier). I am using justification and salvation as synonyms, but biblically, justification is more precise term. I have a video of this if you prefer to listen while driving, etc.           
In RC, salvation is mediated through the sacraments of the church—particularly Baptism and Penance.

Baptism begins the justification/salvation process. They believe in baptismal regeneration in which baptism erases Original sin and infuses the grace of justification in the person’s soul. The baptized person is immediately infused with the righteousness of Christ, or justifying grace, and God sees that person as being inherently or personally righteous inside themselves. Thus, they are justified/saved in His sight. To maintain this justification/salvation is a lifelong process. (in bible, justification is instantaneous, irreversible and is a legal declaration outside of us…where ungodly are DECLARED righteous—see Romans 4). 5 And to the one who does not work but believes ina him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, (Rom. 4:5)

As the child grows older they will go through the sacrament of Confirmation, which is like a spiritual booster shot. It confirms and strengthens the grace of justification (salvation) in the soul.

Throughout life, two things are absolutely needed to be remain justified/saved: they have to continue to have faith in Christ and live a holy life in submission to Mother Church. The latter (holy life) consists of two things: regular involvement in sacraments of church, especially Mass/Confession; and adherence to Ten Commandments. So, you can see that though faith is a necessary condition for salvation, it is not a sufficient condition for salvation—they have to add their good works. This is the error so severely condemned in Galatians 1:6ff. For RC   faith + good works = salvation/justification—bible teaches: faith alone in Christ = salvation/justification  (good works flow naturally from a genuine faith as expression of love and gratitude).

In RC there are two kinds of sin: venial and mortal sin. Venial sin is ‘regular sin’ but mortal sin, as the name suggests, kills the grace of justification in the soul. It un-saves the person, and if they died in this state they would go to hell. Things like adultery, murder, missing Mass, Ten Commandments, etc., are examples of this kind of mortal sin, but the list is vague.

How is justification/salvation restored? Through the sacrament of Penance (RC has 7 sacraments instead of 2). RC states that: “Penance is the second plank of justification for those who have made shipwreck of their souls.” (Council of Trent) After confessing ones mortal sin, and going trough prescribed steps, the ‘shipwrecked’ believer then has saving grace re-infused back into their soul. Thus going to Confession is a vital part of a pious Roman Catholic believers lifestyle.

This is the RC system of salvation/justification. Assurance of salvation is actually deemed a sin or frowned upon—I was told it led to presumption. So, we see that salvation in RC a lifelong mediating of God’s grace through the church, and the sacrament of Penance. The vast majority of believers will die with the stain of sin on their souls, and will need to spend some time in Purgatory having their sins purged until they are ready to enter holy heaven.

To sum up summary, in RC the grace of justification is INFUSED into the soul where the person actually IS righteous enough in themselves for God to deem them as justified/saved. God deems righteous what actually IS righteous. But all that can be lost in an instant, over and over again.

In reality, whoever gets to that point of personal righteousness? Certainly not me—all I can see is the massive amount of indwelling left residing inside of me. So, this ‘gospel’ is horrible news for someone like me who is keenly aware of my sinfulness.

Thank God, the bible says that saving/justifying grace is IMPUTED to us; It is a legal declaration which happens outside of us. It is the only aspect of salvation which occurs totally outside of us. Many Protestants have never heard this from the pulpit. If you were in a courtroom and judge declared you ‘not guilty,’ it would change your legal status but would it change your character? No, not at all. Justification is God as Judge declaring people who are personally ungodly, to be ‘not guilty and righteous’ in His holy eyes—but it does not affect us internally. Sanctification instantaneously follows justification, which does begin the inside/out change of our character by the indwelling Holy Spirit. But we MUST distinguish (not separate) justification from sanctification or we will slip into error of RC. Justification in RC is inside…… but the bible sees justification as outside of us.

Hence, Romans 4 says that ‘God justifies the ungodly.’ RC confuses justification with sanctification. In biblical justification there is a double transfer: our sins are transferred to Christ, and His perfect righteousness is imputed to us. (2 Cor. 5:21) Jesus garments of His holiness cover us, so that the Father sees Jesus’ righteousness and not our sinfulness. We are simultaneously saved and sinful—THAT is good news! The BEST news!

Hence, we are simultaneously justified and sinful. ‘Simul Justus et peccator’ as Luther said. By experience, we know that to be true, and if I have to wait until I am inherently righteous enough for God to declare me righteous, then I will NEVER be righteous enough to be declared justified—too much indwelling sin remains in us. Praise God for CHRIST'S righteousness, which is in heaven—and our union with Christ unites us with all He is and has done! He sees us as perfect, in Christ!

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1; 8:1)

Though outside of us, justification brings deep internal healing and peace of mind. Praise God!

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Dalai Lama Discusses Quantum Effects with Chinese Scientists

Dialogue with Chinese Scientists about Quantum Effects - First Day

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, India - The first discussions between Chinese, mostly Taiwanese, scientists and His Holiness the Dalai Lama took place in the Tsuglagkhang, the Main Tibetan Temple adjacent to his residence today. His Holiness walked to the temple, greeting members of the public who were waiting to see him in the yard. Once he reached the temple he acknowledged the assembled monks and paid his respects before the statue of the Buddha. After warmly greeting the nine Chinese presenters, he made a point of reaching out to old friends among the assembled guests. He then joined the presenters seated around a long table.

Among the monks at the head of the temple were six Tibetan presenters, graduates of the Emory Science program, who will participate in discussions with the Chinese scientists in the afternoons. Approximately fifty guests sat in the back of the temple, including many who came with the Taiwanese group. About 270 Tibetans joined the audience: researchers from His Holiness’s office, as well as students from the Men-tsee-khang, the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah, the Tibetan Children’s Village and neighbouring schools. The meeting was conducted in English with simultaneous translation into Chinese and Tibetan being made available over FM radio. Proceedings were web-cast live.

His Holiness opened the conversation. “Firstly, I would like to welcome all of you here. This is the first time we’ve held discussions with mainly Chinese scientists. I’ve taken part in dialogues with scientists for more than 30 years, but they have mostly involved Western scientists, Americans and Europeans, as well as one or two meetings with Japanese and Indians.

“These meetings have two purposes. The first is to expand our knowledge. Until the late 20th century the focus of scientific research was mostly on external things. There was little interest in the mind, only investigations of the brain. The discovery of neuroplasticity, the recognition that changes can be seen in the brains of people who, for example, develop firm concentration, changed that way of thinking. Some scientists are now showing greater interest in the mind, even subtle consciousness.

“There are cases of people who are declared clinically dead—their hearts have stopped, circulation has ceased and their brains are dead—and yet their bodies remain fresh. This was the case with my own teacher, who remained in this state for 13 days. Others remain for anything up to two or three weeks. This is a something to investigate. In the Buddhist tradition we have an explanation that concerns subtle consciousness remaining in the body during this period, but scientists haven’t been able to explain it yet.

“So, one purpose of these meetings is to expand our knowledge, to include the mind as well as external phenomena, in order to achieve a fuller understanding. The second purpose of such discussions concerns the use to which knowledge is put. Despite the useful progress that has resulted from scientific research and technological advancement, there have also been destructive developments that provoke fear. Clear examples are nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Their development may have been a remarkable achievement, but their only purpose is to kill.

“Scientists have discovered that constant fear and anger are damaging to our health. They undermine our immune system. On the other hand, cultivating a more compassionate attitude brings peace of mind that reinforces our overall good health. Here’s a simple example: most people prefer a smile to a frown. It’s human nature. Even dogs respond with wagging tails to a smile and other shows of affection.

“Our major religious traditions convey a common message of love, forgiveness and tolerance, but today religious influence is declining. Consequently, in our education programs, in addition to advice about physical hygiene and its benefits for physical health, we need to teach about emotional hygiene—how to tackle our destructive emotions. It should be our aim to be both physically and mentally fit. Promoting inner values on the basis of religious belief has only a limited effect today. However, people are more responsive to evidence based on scientific research.”

His Holiness explained that all 7 billion human beings share a common experience—their mothers give birth to them and nurture them with affection. Consequently, young children care little about differences of nationality, religion or race; they play happily with others who respond with a smile. He observed that as we grow up our education is oriented towards materialistic goals with little time for inner values. He recommended that education should include advice on how to achieve peace of mind.

His Holiness mentioned that he had found his own Buddhist practice useful, but declared that he is no more able to say this or that religious tradition is the best, than he could say that this or that medicine is best in all cases. Just as the effectiveness of medicine depends on the need and condition of the patient, so different religious traditions with the different approaches are suitable for different people according to their disposition, culture and so forth. He suggested that at the present time ethics can be most effectively presented from a secular point of view on the basis of scientific findings. Looking over to Susan Bauer-Wu and Amy Cohen Varela, His Holiness praised the contributions the Mind & Life Institute has made in this direction.

“A few months ago I was teaching a group of Taiwanese Buddhists when a quantum physicist among them introduced himself to me. This meeting was convened as a result of our conversation. I’m very happy to be meeting with you, Chinese scientists, including this Nobel Laureate, Prof Yuan Tseh Lee.”

His Holiness mentioned that he sometimes feels a reluctance to discuss quantum physics with Westerners whose cultural background is based on Judeo-Christian in case it leads to a conflict of faith. He feels less difficulty in relation to Asians, particularly Chinese. He recalled that when the Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang came to India in the 7th century he studied at Nalanda University. He is reputed to have met Nagabodhi a direct disciple of Nagarjuna. Evidently, Chinese Buddhists are familiar with the name Nagarjuna and the Nalanda Tradition.

Noting that relations between Chinese and Tibetans are thousands of years old, he conceded that they have sometimes quarrelled. At other times, such as in the 7th century, their ruling families have intermarried. Since 1974, it was decided not to seek independence for Tibet, provided Tibetans were granted all the rights they are entitled to under the Chinese constitution, including the preservation of their language and culture, as well as the protection of Tibet’s environment. His Holiness remarked that Tibetans can benefit from Chinese help in terms of material development, while Tibetans can share their knowledge of the Nalanda Tradition with Chinese Buddhists.

On behalf of the group of presenters Prof Yuan Tseh Lee thanked His Holiness for inviting them. He described science as a language to communicate with nature, a language that we need to learn. Science is based on evidence. He added that since human population and consumption of resources are growing, causing us to recognise that we live in a finite system, science also has a social responsibility. He told His Holiness they would like to hear from him how science, religion, humanity and nature should interact. His Holiness replied that when he first expressed interest in science, an American Buddhist friend warned that science is a killer of religion. He considered this and decided that since science is a method for coming to terms with reality, it is not a threat to the Buddha’s teachings.

Dr Shih Chang Lee opened the scientific presentations with an explanation of space-time symmetry and quantum physics. He talked about Newton’s law of inertia and Einstein’s observation that massless particles move with the velocity of light, leading to his conclusion that velocity is relative, which is described as special relativity.

Dr Chii Dong Chen opened his account of the entangled world by asking what we learn from nature and showing a video clip that compared the activities of foraging ants with a robot vacuum cleaner. He went on to discuss how birds navigate with particular reference to the Bar-tailed Godwit that flies across the Pacific Ocean to breed. He suggested that unique features of quantum mechanics, superimposition and entanglement, can help us understand birds use of magnetoreception. He introduced the contrast between a conventional computer that calculates serially and a quantum computer that can conduct a series of calculations simultaneously.

Dr Chen’s pointing out that things look different from different angles prompted His Holiness to observe that from a Madhyamaka standpoint there is a difference between our perception of the world and its reality. He mentioned the quantum physicist from China who told him that in his experience some of his colleagues with deep understanding of quantum physics were less subject to emotional disturbance. He also recalled American founder of cognitive therapy, Aaron Beck’s description of an angry peoples’ sense that the object of their rage is completely negative as 90% mental projection. Dr Chen agreed that the observer is important because he or she is part of the perception.

Dr Yueh-Nan Chen’s presentation was entitled ‘From Quantum Physics to Quantum Biology’. He discussed Schrodinger’s cat and jokingly reported that when he tried to explain it to his wife she asked why he wanted to kill a cat when to do so would be completely against Buddhist precepts. Everyone laughed. He also discussed the Leggett-Garg inequality which defies our intuition on macrorealism.

Finally, Dr Shawn Y Lin described a modern photonic revolution. He observed that sunlight is the engine of life on earth. Max Planck postulated that light was only emitted in quantized form, an insight that has contributed to powerful lasers, LEDs and solar panels. He described ongoing research to improve solar panels to maximize their absorption and predicted that the next generation will be super thin, super absorptive and super effective. Nano-technology will allow for a film that is 98% absorptive of sunlight and only 10 microns thick.

Invited to offer concluding remarks His Holiness described what he had heard as really wonderful, praising the depth of research. “However, we also need further research into how to reduce anger. At present in the world the role of anger seems to be stronger than that of compassion. In day to day life our emotions cause us trouble. We are at peace here, but elsewhere in the world human beings are being killed or dying of starvation—some of them innocent children. So, in addition to physical discoveries we need to consider how to build a happier humanity.”

Concluding the morning’s discussions Prof Yuan Tseh Lee remarked that teachers encourage creativity and innovation, but such qualities derive from simple curiosity.

His Holiness left the temple to return to his residence, interacting with people who lined the way. Lunch was offered to everyone attending the proceedings in the temple yard. In the afternoon, there were discussions between Tibetan monastics who have received scientific training and the visiting scientists. The dialogue will resume tomorrow morning.

Original link & photos: https://www.dalailama.com/news/2018/dialogue-with-chinese-scientists-about-quantum-effects-first-day