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Telo Tulku Rinpoche, Buddhism as a Philosophy and Science

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Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 


His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentions that Buddhism can be divided into three categories. One – Buddhism as a faith and religion. Two – Buddhism simply as a philosophy. Three – Buddhism as a science. I totally agree with this. Here in the West Buddhism has become popular beyond anybody's expectation. Now people ask, ‘Is Buddhism growing as a religion or is it growing as a philosophy or is it growing as a science?’ In my belief, there is a growing interest in Buddhism because of its philosophy, its approach to life, its explanation of life and the reality of our existence. Buddhism is a science of the mind. We are facing many challenges in the world that touch upon the human intellect and the human brain. Stress is a very popular topic to many neural scientists as well as psychologists. What is the best method to tackle issues such as stress and so on? This is where Buddhist psychology or Buddhist meditation comes into play. It is effective for patients and individuals who use techniques of Buddhist meditation - their stress levels are reduced. There are a lot of studies done with the participation of Buddhists and neural scientists as well as psychologists to further our understanding of how the human mind works and of how the human brain works and what effects it has on a mental level if we cultivate compassion, love, kindness, and so on. Everybody wants peace, everybody wants to be loved, to have compassion, kindness and so on. But if you look at the subjects taught in schools, universities, educational institutions, there is not a single subject that teaches students how to cultivate compassion, how to be kind towards others. The subjects that we learn are more or less concentrated on the external, material development. Therefore, we face many challenges in today's time, because our efforts are more about external development. By losing touch with our inner qualities we become distant and when we become distant this is when stress kicks in, we become stressed, we do not know how to deal with it. And there has been a lot of studies and collaboration between scientists and Buddhists to study how to tackle these issues. Buddhism has played a very important role not only as a religion, but also as a science. In this regard, the Dalai Lama says that he has been a spokesperson promoting secular ethics. When we talk about secular ethics, this is not based on any religious belief or religious tradition. This is simply based on secularism. For us compassion is important. It needs to be cultivated and spread for the betterment of humanity and society. Today we have so much hatred, negativity, discrimination based on gender, colour, religion, and so on. I think in today's world we do not need all that. We should be mature enough and have learnt from our past experiences. It is very important for us to learn a new way of how to tackle these challenges. This is where Buddhism can really make a difference. And again, Buddhism not as a religion, but as a philosophy and science.



Buddhism, philosophy, science

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin