While the dialogue between Buddhism and science—especially mind sciences—continues to expand, its reigning assumptions narrow its
potential for forging new ways to investigate questions of experience, meaning, and human values. This Institute will develop this untapped potential. Transdisciplinary at its core, it will bring together scientists, Buddhist and Christian scholars, and phenomenologists to challenge conventional disciplinary boundaries. It will focus on two big questions:
1) Can the encounter of scientists with Buddhist contemplative traditions—which emphasize close observation of first-person experience—expand the scope, design, and explanatory power of scientific investigation, which typically focuses on third-person measures?
2) Can foundational Buddhist ideas such as dependent arising, emptiness, and the constructed self enrich emerging theoretical and methodological approaches in the mind sciences that seek to move beyond subject-object dualism?
We expect this project will move the Buddhism/science dialogue beyond simple binary oppositions that either segregate science from
religion in toto or ignore substantive differences between them, generating outcomes that balance scientific rigor with contemplative and selfcritical reflection.
This intensive 10-day Institute will be attended by 20 leading scientists and scholars, along with 20 graduate students. It is not open to the public. However, there will be a public panel discussion to increase awareness of Institute themes.