using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 48 notion of a solar system was a foreign concept to him, but he made up for lost time, engaging leading scientists and philosophers such as David Bohm and Karl Popper in deep and lasting discussion. He started with physics and cosmology, but eventually his major focus, particularly in the Mind & Life dialogues that began in 1987, became the mind and brain, the area where he thought Buddhist insights had the most to offer to the West. The Mind & Life dialogue in Atlanta, the fifteenth in the series, was called “Mindfulness, Compassion, and the Treat- ment of Depression.” A panel of scientists semi-circled the Dalai Lama, giving and listening to presentations and then discussing their implications. The presenting scientist sat next to His Holiness and essentially tutored him on the topic at hand, aided by sophisticated visual aids, while thousands in the audience looked on. It lasted for a day, and it was real science. I had trouble following it all, and my attention waxed and waned. Fortunately, as I was reeling from too many long, Latinate words, I befriended an Atlanta psychiatrist and researcher who is also a Buddhist, Dr. Craig Johnson. He talked me through the proceedings and gave me an insider’s view of things. Like almost all scientists, he was skeptical about hype and thought some of the research concerning advanced meditators missed the point. “What matters to me and why I am here,” he said, “is not to marvel at what very advanced practitioners of mindfulness and compassion can do. I’m interested in how we can help all the people I see with debilitating brain disease. Some of these re- searchers are showing that even a little bit of meditation can help with that.” It became clear that the Dalai Lama’s in- terest in science sprang not only from his in- satiable appetite for inquiry—as evidenced by the pointed questions he asked—but also from deep caring. Buddhism offers science a spirit of inquiry married to deep ethical concerns. He believes that science, in concert with what he calls “secular ethics,” can help to make a better life, but it can ruin us as well. That’s partly why he wants Buddhist monks to receive modern scientific education, and during this visit Emory presented him with a textbook in Tibetan and English—years in the making—that offers a basic science curriculum for monks. He wants them to be conversant with the Western worldview and the opportunities and pitfalls of science. To be relevant, they must speak the language of the West, and an important part of that language is science. What impressed Craig Johnson was the Dalai Lama’s courage in diving into science with an open mind. “So many of my fellow Buddhists are afraid of the brain and the Western approaches to it,” he told me. “The specter of determinism scares them to death. His Holiness has no fear of determinism, so he has no fear of the brain. He can take it on face value, as part of the causes and conditions. I wish I could say that about many of my fel- low practitioners, who seem not to like evidence and are willing to get by on imaginary notions too much of the time.” Indeed, when the Dalai Lama looked at detailed images of the brain, he knew exactly what he was looking at—and what he wasn’t. As voice of peace: Calling for “inner disarmament” at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. PHOTOBYERICS.LESSER MAR 42-49.indd 48 MAR 42-49.indd 48 12/19/07 2:13:09 PM 12/19/07 2:13:09 PM