A Better Life through Development of Wisdom－Mind & Life Institute Visits Dharma Drum Buddhist College
Mind & Life Institute (MLI), based in the US, focuses on the integration and application of meditation with ethics. On 10 November, MLI made a special 3 day visit to Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC) with hopes of deepening their understanding of the nature of Chan Buddhism. MLI scholars presented a lecture on “26 years of Study and Research on Meditation”. The lecture lasted nearly 2 hours and was well received by an enthusiastic and interactive audience.
Arthur Zajonc, President of MLI, demonstrated the effect of meditation with images of practitioners’ brain activity while conducting meditation. MLI’s goal of reconciling mankind’s spiritual dilemma has been driven by seeing mankind’s suffering and helplessness. By emphasizing social interaction through the integration of Eastern and Western philosophies, Zajonc’s ideal has attracted scientists from diverse fields and localities.
MLI’s speech delivered in DDBC was the only English speech delivered in Asia this year. The speech presented numerous examples and research on the effects of practicing compassion and physical changes in the brain in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology and biology. Mr Liang Wu-Chao said a speech on the importance of cultivating wisdom covers a subject matter that is rarely broached in Taiwan. With the high degree of interest from the audience, it is surprising that Liang’s speech was the only one covering this topic during MLI’s visit.
Before the speeches started, DDBC took advantage of this rare event to invite DDBC teachers, students and this group of prominent neuroscientists, physicists, religious and social studies scholars to conduct an exchange of ideas across the diverse fields. DDBC Dean, Venerable Abbot Hui Min, personally guided the MLI delegate of 12 persons through the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education (DDMWCBE). The scholars who have delved into the minds of eminent monks were particularly impressed by the Chan Hall and full of praise for the rich spiritual environment.
Zajonc expressed that DDM’s Chan Hall has a beauty that is hard to describe. Finding himself in such a Buddhist structure in this present day and age, and having contact with people with such deep spiritual experiences is a vision he has pursued for the last 26 years. He was very happy that MLI’s researchers were able to come together here at DDM, Taiwan and share this experience with the public.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)