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Fewer Jews, Christians, and Moslems, And More Buddhists, Please
There is one religious leader more interested in seeking truth than squashing it. The Dalai Lama writes:

If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.

For many years now, on my own and through the Mind and Life Institute, which I helped found, I have had the opportunity to meet with scientists to discuss their work. World-class scientists have generously coached me in subatomic physics, cosmology, psychology, biology. Our discussions of neuroscience have proved particularly important. From these exchanges a vigorous research initiative has emerged, a collaboration between monks and neuroscientists, to explore how meditation might alter brain function.

The goal here is not to prove Buddhism right or wrong but rather to take these methods out of the traditional context, study their potential benefits, and share the findings with anyone who might find them helpful. After all, if practices from my own tradition can be brought together with scientific methods, then we may be able to take another small step toward alleviating human suffering.

Posted by aalkon at November 13, 2005 11:25 AM

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All very well and good, except that I recall hearing recently that the Dalai Lama's constructive thinking about science has its own blind spot: he is apparently unwilling to entertain any ideas that contradict Buddhist reincarnation doctrine. Close, but no cigar...

Posted by: Michael House at November 13, 2005 6:59 PM

AFAIC, the Dalai Lama gets a cigar for his work in the world. Lifetime supply, in fact. He didn't say it was easy to change long-held views in the light of truth, just that it must be done.

Posted by: Joe at November 14, 2005 5:51 AM

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