Meditation, positive thinking, and ethics are just a few of the topics enriched for both the monastics and the scientists in these programs described in "Monastics Turn Their Minds Toward Science" (Monterey Herald).
Tibetan monks and nuns spend their lives studying the inner world of the mind rather than the physical world of matter. Yet for one month this spring, a group of 91 monastics devoted themselves to the corporeal realm of science.
Instead of delving into Buddhist texts on karma and emptiness, they learned about Galileo's law of accelerated motion, chromosomes, neurons and the Big Bang, among other far-ranging topics.
To add to the challenge, some monastics have limited English and relied on Tibetan translators to absorb the four-week crash course in physics, biology, neuroscience and math and logic taught by teachers from Emory University in Atlanta.
But the monastics put morning-to-evening lectures into action. At a Buddhist college campus here in Dharamsala, the exile home of the Dalai Lama in northern India, red-robed monks and nuns