creating science learning communities with tibetan buddhist monastics since 2001

Tibetan Monastic Science Leaders

Monk Science Corner

"Our main focus was on ethics with science, and especially with genetics and ethics"
"Studying science has had a great impact on me. Science is something that pervades its influence on every life and for me has created abroad or open outlook towards my Buddhist studies"

Group Members

Lhundrup GyaltsoLhundrup Gyaltso
Jime GyatsoJime Gyatso
Gelek GyaltsenGelek Gyaltsen
Geshe Ngawang NyingtopGeshe Ngawang Nyingtop
Tenzin ChoegyalTenzin Choegyal
Geshe Ngawang GyatsoGeshe Ngawang Gyatso
Geshe YeshiGeshe Yeshi
Sonam ChoephelSonam Choephel

Photo Gallery

Group Videos

Group Projects

Helping Younger Monks with Science Exhibition – Fall, 2009

Helping Monks with Science Exhbition

Members from the Monk Science Corner were requested to help young monks prepare science exhibition at their local monastery. They were specifically asked to help the monks preparing exhibits on cosmology and the planets. Future science exhibitions by the monks at Drepung Monastery are already being planned for 2010. The exhibit in 2009 was organized by students in class 4 and 5, and the upcoming exhibition will be created by monks in classes 6 to 8.

"Basically, all the drawings and explanations were done by the students, we provided guidance with problems and concepts"

Book Club – 2009

Book Group

When the book was first published in Tibetan language and reached the monasteries, "so many monks started buying this book and after a few days, we would meet other monks and they'd say, I don't understand the science subject, only the introduction part where he talks about how he got interested in science."

Working with the Nargajunas Modern Science Group, they formed a book club to discuss HHDL "The Universe in a Single Atom." Members of the group included monks from Science Meets Dharma and the Emory Tibet Science Initiative. The main focus of discussion was on ethics in science.

"Our main focus was on ethics with science, and especially with genetics and ethics"

One of the monks, Sherab Tenzin, was chosen by the extended group to lead the sessions and focus the conversations during their meeting. They chose Sherab Tenzin because of his experience as a school teacher, long-term participation in the science for monks program, plus he also had already finished reading the book. After the third meeting, the leaders asked the extended group if they wanted to continue discussing the book or stop. They unanimously agreed to continue discussing the book by selecting and focusing each meeting on a different topic/theme.

"We are planning to have more meetings and complete the book."

In future meetings they plan to invite Geshes (monastic PhD's) to contribute to their discussion.

"In this book, His Holiness talks about the embodiment of science and draws comparisons between Buddhism and science. By inviting the Geshes and introducing His Holiness the Dalai Lama's book to them, we're hoping to spread awareness of the dialogue with science."
"When we discuss this book with other people who don't understand science, they may have difficulty in understanding the meaning of some points. So since we know science a little bit better than them, we can explain some scientific terms and concepts."

Writing Projects with Monks

Sonam Teaches Writing Projects

Sonam Choephel started a writing group at his kangten (monk dorm). Each Monday night they meet and up to 70 students write together, and than share some of the writing. This model follows from the National Writing Project and was introduced to the monks in July 2008. Most of the writing was poems, poetry, stories, even novels, sometimes a topic is assigned, other times the topic was open. The monks like to write about ethics, philosophy, and their homeland, and writing and sharing as a group has been found to be a rewarding experience.

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