By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 12: His Holiness the Dalai Lama chaired the XXXIII Mind and Life Conference which opened today at the Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala.
Two hundred well-known scientists, educational specialists, Buddhist scholars and philosophers from numerous disciplines are attending the XXXIII Mind and Life conference titled ‘Reimagining Human Flourishing’. The conference being held in Dharamsala for the 13th time will run from March 12-16 and His Holiness will attend every morning session.
Gracing the conference, the Tibetan spiritual leader reaffirmed his commitment to serve humanity. “So long as space remains, so long as sentient beings remain, May I too remain, to dispel the sufferings of the world,” His Holiness said in his prayers.
Recounting on his fascination for science during his childhood, the Tibetan Nobel Laureate called for a deeper level of combining the study of science and Buddhism.
“We are most privileged to meet here in this extraordinary setting, to explore over the next five days how we can educate our children to be compassionate, caring citizens committed to the common good. If we are to truly to reimagine human flourishing, it needs to be with the youngest amongst us and the values and attitudes they hold towards each other and the world as local and global citizens,” Susan Bauer-Wu, the President of Mind and Life Institute said as she opened the conference.
The president further expressed her gratitude to everyone gathered for the mind and life dialogue. To His Holiness the Dalai Lama, she said, “I thank you for your dedication to the Mind and Life Institute, for being a curious scientist, for being a leader of secular ethics and bringing compassion and wellbeing through the world.”
Renowned neuroscientist, Dr Richard Davidson spoke in awe about the Dalai Lama during his presentation at the conference. Dr Richard recalled his conversations with the Dalai Lama back in the 80’s when the Dalai Lama had emphasised on efforts to form a nexus of science and Buddhism on modern day issues that plague our society.
The five-day program will focus on education in light of His Holiness’ longstanding priority and deep commitment to secular ethics education initiatives. It also gives attention to social-emotional education and how compassion, ethics and attention training can be more fully integrated into existing educational frameworks.