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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama asks Japanese priests to produce Buddhist scientists

June 22, 2010

By Tsering Tsomo
June 21, 2010

Nagano (Japan), June 20 -- At an informal
discussion with over 200 Buddhist priests, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama said Japan with its
highly developed scientific knowledge combined
with its ancient Buddhist tradition can produce Buddhist scientists.

He said Japanese Buddhist practitioners should
engage in dialogues with scientists to explore
areas where science and religion can find a
common ground i understanding universal values
like compassion and kindness. In the last few
years, secular dialogues between Tibetan
Buddhists and Western scientists have attracted
attention to the role of meditation in creating
balance between mind and body. Research has shown
that a calm mind reduces stress and blood
pressure. Quoting another scientific study, he
said when one develops anger, things looks very
negative and 90% of that negativity is just one’s
own mental projection which is just illusion and unrealistic.

He said while modern science has made
unprecedented contribution to material
development, Buddhist science of training an
agitated mind through meditation and
warmheartedness is far more advanced than the former.

"Meditation is a healthy way to develop a calm
mind. You don’t have to use injections or drugs
to achieve peace of mind," he said. Interests in
Buddhist science, which has little to do with
abstract and esoteric notions of religion like
after-life, has grown over the past years as
scientific findings increasingly point to the
inherent connection between physical and
emotional well-being. He said Buddhism can be divided into three

In the United States, universities of Stanford,
Wisconsin, and Emory have already established
programs to study the development of a peaceful
life. Tibetan monks in India now study modern
science in addition to regular Buddhist
curriculum. All western scientists interested in
Tibetan Buddhism were either Jews, Christians or
non-believers, he said, but Japan with its
background in Nalanda tradition of Buddhism that
emphasizes logic and investigation in reaching
the ultimate reality has the potential contribute
a lot in such secular dialogues.

According to Ven. Yukai Shimizu, an official with
Zenkoji Temple, this exchange of ideas between
His Holiness and Japanese priests on Buddhism
which was held at the convention hall of Kokusai
Hotel is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity"
because not many Japanese priests get such forums
to discuss and debate. “It’s a great opportunity
for them to learn from His Holiness,” he said.

The event was organized by four major Buddhist
associations in Japan: All Japan Buddhism
Association, Nagano Prefecture Buddhist
Association, Nagano City Buddhist Association,
and the National Zenkoji Association. The
Nagano-based Zenkoji Temple has 200 branch temples all over Japan.
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