Sir John Templeton founded the Templeton Prize forty years ago to honor “entrepreneurs of the spirit”. The prize is worth about $1.7 million and is the largest prize given to an individual.
This year, the Dalai Lama wins the Templeton Prize and gives it away! He received the prize for progress in religion. $200,000 of the prize money was instantly donated to the Mind and Life Institute. The disposition of the balance of the prize money was not specified.
The Mind and Life Institute was co-founded by the Dalai Lama and is “dedicated to building a scientific understanding of the mind to reduce suffering and promote well-being and … creating a powerful working collaboration and research partnership between modern science and Buddhism.” Much brain research is conducted in the name of the institute.
The Dalai Lama said in his acceptance speech,
…His Holiness explained his gift to Mind and Life by noting that the 21st century should be a century of peace and compassion. “That will not materialize through prayer and meditation,” he said, “but through education . . . [we have to] educate [young people] holistically. For many decades my special friends have been scientists, brain specialists. Many scientists find warm-heartedness, really bring inner peace. This is not just words: they carry out experiments, they convince through the training of the mind, through awareness of different sorts of values. A person’s mental state changes, their blood pressure reduces, stress also reduces. We are not talking about the next life; we are not talking about heaven. We are simply talking about how to build a healthy body through a healthy mind. Scientific research is immensely helpful.”
The Dalai Lama Wins the Templeton Prize and Gives It Away!
The Dalai Lama’s book, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, was a direct result of Mind and Life conferences with the Dalai Lama and his collaborators. This is my second favorite book on Buddhism out of the countless books I have read or listened to.
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