International Conference on Science, Spirituality and Education. Gangtok, Sikkim December 20th – 23rd 2010
In December 2010, while the western hemisphere was engulfed in the worst snowstorms and lowest temperatures in living memory, Gangtok was enjoying relatively balmy daytime weather and for four days, at the invitation of the Sikkim Government, the Dalai Lama and a number of eminent meditation teachers, scientists, educators, politicians, sociologists, philosophers gathered for the first International Conference on Science, Spirituality and Education.
It was hosted by the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and the initiative was conceived in response to a growing concern for the future prospects of a younger generation of Sikkimese – many of whom are finding themselves aimless and disaffected as the country brings itself into line with the rest of the 21st century.
A team whose advisors included both the Venerable Ringu Tulku and H.E. Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche invited Western and Asian experts in the field to share expertise with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and debate on the problems that young people are facing as Sikkim is rapidly propelled into commercial prosperity. Continue reading
Background : In 1972 the North of Ireland had become a harrowing place as Catholic and Protestant civilians became more and more preoccupied with establishing territory and identity. As the unrest grew, so did the urgency for a peaceful resolution to a conflict stretching back into history. The conflict was resurrected during the 19th century during the Great Famine between 1845 -1852 and after, when Scots presbyterian families (the ‘planters’) were relocated to Ireland as a means of strengthening British occupation. Continue reading
THE OPEN ROAD – the Global Journey of the 14th Dalai Lama. Pico Iyer, 2008.
Vintage Departures, Random House, New York.
In 1959 the 23 year old Dalai Lama arrived into Delhi having safely escaped Tibet. The low profile news reached a Hindu Brahmin from Bombay who was then Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University in the UK, researching into Mohundas Ghandi. He lived with his wife, also a scholar from Bombay, and their small son, Pico. At the first possible moment Iyer senior boarded a boat and sailed to India to meet the young Dalai Lama, five years his junior, acutely aware that, ‘A great treasure had come out into the world for the first time really, in history’. The two men developed a strong friendship. At the age of 17 his son Pico was privileged with an introduction, and that friendship continues beyond the death of his father, until the present day. The relationship is clearly unique, Iyers speaks of their meetings over thirty years with a sense of intimate camaraderie, and he appears to have a rare ease of access to His Holiness. Continue reading