Monday, May 13, 2013

Tibetan monks learn about science and 'riding shotgun'

Among the more than 4,200 graduates at Emory’s commencement were six Tibetan monks – the first group of monastics to complete a curriculum of modern science training at the behest of the Dalai Lama.

The Emory-Tibet Science Initiative aims to bring the best of Western science to the monastics, while sharing insights from Tibetan meditative practices with the Western world.

When they arrived on the Emory campus three years ago, the monks had little or no scientific training and limited English. Now the monks are returning to their monasteries in Dharamsala, India, to help teach other monks and nuns about biology, neuroscience, physics and math.

“We have a huge responsibility because we are the first to do this,” Lodoe Sangpo told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We must do as much as we can because this is His Holiness’ vision.”

Watch the video, above, to hear the monks describe their time at Emory, and some of their new favorite English words and phrases, like “riding shotgun.”

A new cohort of monks arrives at Emory in August for the ongoing program, which includes the creation of modern science textbooks in the Tibetan language.

The Dalai Lama himself returns to Emory in October. In addition to on-campus teaching and conversations with students, he will give two public talks at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Monks + scientists = new body of thought
Where science meets spirituality
Are hugs the new drugs?

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