What’s New

The 3rd Cosmology and Consciousness Conference
Dehradun, Nov 3-5, 2014

CosmologyConsciousnessConference2014_banner“Cosmology and Consciousness III – Harmony and Happiness” is the third conference in a four part series made possible by the generous funding of the Templeton Foundation. The conference series convenes Buddhist scholars, and western and Indian scientists in a 3-day dialogue to promote the integration of spiritual values and scientific investigations. The first conference, “Cosmology and Consciousness – a Dialogue a Dialogue between Buddhist Scholars and Scientists on Mind and Matter” was held in Dharamsala, in December, 2011, and was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and our second conference on “Knowing and Action” was held at the Songtsen Library in Dehradun in 2013.

Graduation of Second Cohort of Sager Science Leaders!

cohort2_sliV_banner_smallWe are pleased to announce the graduation of our second cohort of Sager Science Leaders! These dedicated monks and nuns representing over a dozen monasteries and nunneries in India and Nepal will help develop and implement science educational programs and dialogue at their respective monastic institutions. The second cohort began training in 2010 and has completed over 500 hours of professional development training distributed over four intensive 3-week workshops. These leaders have spearheaded a variety of activities that drive science education forward – sharing the science they have learned by teaching classes large and small, organizing science exhibitions, publishing articles on science and Buddhism, and most recently launching science centers within the monasteries and nunneries. Congratulations!

3-Day public dialogue
Dehradun, Nov 15-17, 2013

235cmX200cmENThe three-day meeting, titled ‘Cosmology and Consciousness II – Knowing and Action’ will be held at the Songtsen Library, Dehradun, from 15 to 17 November, 9am to 5pm. Themes under discussion will be How Do We Know, How Do We Extend Our Knowing, and How Do We Know How to Act? Participants from diverse backgrounds and experiences will discuss how best to advance investigations at the intersection of science and spirituality. The conference is an exploration of how science, technology and wisdom come together to address the challenges of the future.

Announcing: Tibetan Buddhist Leaders Science Network
July 2013

We are pleased to announce “Tibetan Buddhist Leaders Science Network” a 3-year project made possible by a generous grant from the Templeton Foundation. The project will involve 75 monastic graduates – geshes and equivalent degree holders (25 per year). Each year, the program will consist of a 4-week intensive introductory science course and conclude with a 3-day public program that positions the monastic participants into dialogue and critical conversations with Indian and Western scientist. The monastic graduates will also team-up with more junior monastic science leaders that are leading science education initiatives, and help shape the future of science learning at their respective monasteries and nunneries. The first program is scheduled in October, 2013. The program is a continuation of our 1-year pilot project, “Engaging Tibetan Buddhist Leaders in Science,” that took place in 2011. Read more about our pilot year……

International Conference on Cosmology & Consciousness
Dharamsala, Dec 16-18, 2011

CosmologyConsciousnessConference2011We are delighted to announce the funding of a new grant with the Templeton Foundation. The 1-year pilot project will introduce science to Geshes (and other monastic graduates) who shape religious and higher education, so that the monastic community can itself continue to explore connections between the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and Western science. The project will immerse 25 monastic graduates in 150 hours of science training and discourse that is schedule to take place from November 20 to December 14, 2011 at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics Sarah Campus in Dharamsala, India. This workshop will build-up to a 3-day public conference and dialogue (December 16 to 18, 2011), among Geshes, other Tibetan scholars, and Indian and U.S. scientists. The monastics writings and conference proceedings will be published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and posted on this site, and also on the Web Sites of our partners. The proposed project adds value to our ongoing efforts and expands the opportunities and vision for future cross-cultural exchanges. The grant will be administered by The Exploratorium in partnership with Library of Tibetan Works & Archives and the Science for Monks project. We are very excited by the new direction and opportunity to engage the Geshes and monastic graduates. In the coming weeks and months we will be adding pages to this site sharing the development and progression of this work.

Engaging Tibetan Buddhist Leaders in Science
October, 2011

TempletonFoundationLogoNTLWe are delighted to announce the funding of a new grant with the Templeton Foundation. The 1-year pilot project will introduce science to Geshes (and other monastic graduates) who shape religious and higher education, so that the monastic community can itself continue to explore connections between the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and Western science. The project will immerse 25 monastic graduates in 150 hours of science training and discourse that is schedule to take place from November 20 to December 14, 2011 at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics Sarah Campus in Dharamsala, India. This workshop will build-up to a 3-day public conference and dialogue (December 16 to 18, 2011), among Geshes, other Tibetan scholars, and Indian and U.S. scientists. The monastics writings and conference proceedings will be published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and posted on this site, and also on the Web Sites of our partners. The proposed project adds value to our ongoing efforts and expands the opportunities and vision for future cross-cultural exchanges. The grant will be administered by The Exploratorium in partnership with Library of Tibetan Works & Archives and the Science for Monks project. We are very excited by the new direction and opportunity to engage the Geshes and monastic graduates. In the coming weeks and months we will be adding pages to this site sharing the development and progression of this work.

Graduation of the First Cohort of Monastic Science Leaders
Deer Park Institute, Bir, India
May 13, 2010

news_SLI_GraduationWe are exceptionally pleased to announce the graduation of the first cohort of the Sager Science Leadership Institute for Monks! This is a significant historic achievement, and for the first time in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan monastics, 30 of them, will be deployed as teachers and leaders of science education to several major monastic institutions that include; Sera, Gaden, Drepung, Sakya, and Bon (Tashi Menri) Monastery. These five institutions are home to approximately 15,000 monks, many eager to learn science!

The new graduates will bring back to their home monasteries a variety of teaching strategies and educational materials, from cosmology to neuroscience, developed through support of the Sager Family Foundation that include; hands-on activities, translated articles, writing assignments, and fully translated and dubbed educational science videos. In addition to teaching other monks science, the science leaders will publish articles on Buddhism and science, conduct science exhibition, organize dialogues on the interface of science and spirituality, and help develop the vision and materials that grow opportunities for monastics to engage with science at their home monastic institutions.

Since 2001, the Sager Family Foundation has been working in partnership with the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) in Dharamsala, India, to provide opportunities for Tibetan Buddhist monks exiled in India to study science. Through the Science for Monks program, a critical mass of monks with sufficient knowledge and interest in sharing science, as well as substantial demand for science education, was created through annual intensive 4-week science education workshops, for 50 monks, organized from 2001 to 2007. A major outcome of this work was the launch of the Science Leadership Institute in 2008, through which, thirty of these monastics were trained to teach and lead science education. The Science Leadership Institute organized local monastic leadership groups supported through bi-annual 2-week workshops implemented by expert teachers from major education institutions, including the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Arizona, Tucson.

In addition to continued support of the 1st cohort, a second cohort of 30 monastics will be recruited in 2011, expanding the study groups and science centers to new traditions of Tibetan Buddhism both in India and Nepal. The new cohort will also include a strong representation of nuns! There are hundreds of monastic institutions eager to engage with science, and the Sager Family Foundation is committed to partnering with this historic initiative for many years to come.

LTWA has also developed collaboration with many other educational institutes in the west including Emory University which is now supporting the creation of a comprehensive science curriculum for all the monasteries. The primary responsibility of the monastic science education is led by the science department at the LTWA headed by Director Geshe Lhakdor. The science department undertakes many of science educational programs including the organization of annual science workshops, scientific terminology translation seminars, popular science book translations, and short science courses. The department also publishes a quarterly science newsletter and bi-annual science journals in Tibetan.