Project Background

Project Background & Science Workshops (2000 – 2007)

earlier_programs_bannerThe Library of Tibetan Works & Archives (Tibetan Library) monastic science initiative began in 1999 through the instruction of His Holiness the Dalai Lama View to former director, Achok Rinpoche. Although the Tibetan Library had almost no expertise in science at the time, their capacity as a center of learning serving all the major Tibetan Buddhist traditions was well suited for launching the initiative.

In the first year of the project, the Tibetan Library set-up a team of 3 translators to translate various educational scientific writing into Tibetan and at the same time planed a 4-week science course for a select group of scholarly monks. In 2000, a group of 50 monk scholars with a deep understanding of Buddhist philosophy were selected to participate in the first 4-week science workshop.

In 2001, the Sager Family Foundation created a partnership with the Tibetan Library to grow and sustain the Library’s historic undertaking – Science for Monks. Since 2001, Science for Monks has brought Western scientists to India to implement workshops designed to share salient concepts of Western science with Tibetan monastics in exile. Sparked by the interests and directives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the program has sought to introduce science education and dialogue to major Buddhist monastic centers of higher learning within the exiled community.

The Science Workshops were an historic pilot program and represent the first formal teachings of science within the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Overcoming a multitude of challenges of finding qualified teachers, translators and the daunting but vital task of coordinating participants from several monasteries and teachers from around the world, nine 4-week intensive science workshops were successfully implemented between 2000 and 2007. A major outcome of these workshops was an overwhelming demand for science education within the monastic institutions.

2000 Sera Monastery

Bylakuppe, India
February 15 to March 3, 2000

Western Faculty:
Earl Carlyon
David Crismond, Ph.D.

2001 Gaden Monastery

Mundgod, India
March 7 to March 30, 2001

2002 Drepung Monastery

Mundgod, India
February 19 to March 12, 2002

2003 TCV-Upper

Dharamshala, India
December 17, 2002, to January 10, 2003

2004 TCV Golapur

Dharamshala, India
December 15, 2003, to January 10, 2004

2005 TCV – Selakui

Dehradun, India
December 21, 2004 to January 14, 2005

2006 TCV – Selakui

Dehradun, India
December 19, 2005 to January 6, 2006

2007 Sera Monastery

Bylakuppe, India
January 14 to February 3, 2007

2007 Deer Park Institute

Bylakuppe, India
June 14 to July 5, 2007