KYOTO, Japan: His Holiness the Dalai Lama participated in a two-day conference on Mapping the Mind: A Dialogue between modern science and Buddhist science in Kyoto in Japan from 11-12 April. The conference was organised by Kotoro Research Center of Kyoto University and the US-based Mind & Life Institute.
The conference brought together experts from the Buddhist contemplative tradition, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with experts from modern psychology, philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and other relevant disciplines.
The symposium was aimed at garnering a greater understanding of the various aspects of the human mind and its potential, which will not only lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the mind and promotion of positive human values like the sense of oneness of humanity, said the organisers.
Speaking at the symposium, His Holiness said engaging in a such a meeting for the last more than forty years is part of his efforts to promote a sense of oneness of humanity among the 7 billion human being as everyone aspires for happiness and do not want suffering.
“I am extremely happy to attend this meeting in Japan. Since the inception of Mind & Life Institution, I was keen that this kind of meeting should take place in an Asian country, where the native people follow Buddhism is their own traditional religion. But always emphasise that people should keep their own religious faiths,” he added.
He said collaboration between modern science and Buddhist science will lay the foundation for study and promotion of inner values such as love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and contentment, which are the basis for a happier world and happier century. “Modern science, with its stand in carrying out unbiased experiment and objective understanding of matters, and Buddhist science which provides a detailed explanation about mind and emotions are very helpful in understanding the whole system of mind.”
His Holiness said problems we are facing today such as killing, huge gap between rich and poor, hypocrisy, corruption, bullying, exploitation and hatred are ultimately related with mind and not created by the machines. Machines make us work easy, he said, adding, unless we pay more attention to our mind, knowledge and intelligence will create more problems.
“When we deal with mind about the practice of emotions like tolerance, forgiveness and compassion, we have to know about the whole system of mind. The Buddhist scriptures offer a detailed explanation about the mind. Last over 30 years, our meeting has yielded immense benefit to us with much knowledge about matters, cosmology and particularly quantum physics which was very helpful in understanding what we Buddhists call dependent origination. These results make us rethink some of assumptions. For scientists, they get detailed explanation about the mind,” he added.
His Holiness recalled a person asking him during his visit to northeastern India last year, that what is lacking in modern education in terms of fulfilling the human aspirations for happiness. “I responded that existing modern education system is not adequate about mind and inner world but it is very oriented towards material values. There are many educated people, but they are also the ones who are expert in how to manipulate and cheat people. So material development alone is not the solution to happier world and happier century.”
“In order to pay attention on and raise awareness about inner values, genuine scientists are truly the eyes of the world. Genuine scientists are opener of our mind. Over the decades, they carry experiment how much helpful you train your mind and mainly deeper values of compassion and mindfulness. They found immense effect. Therefore I felt the collaboration with scientists on how to bring happy world and happy century. The seven billion human beings, irrespective of believer and non-believer, wish for happy life and so there will be no basis of violence, including war, which entirely results from divisive attitude of “we” and “they”. Once we develop a genuine sense of oneness of humanity there is not ground of “we” and “they”. As much as you love one self, love others also. Then there will be no basis of killing and cheating.” (Watch video)
Scientists from Japan and the US and Buddhist scholars then gave their presentations.