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Appearance & Reality: Quantum Physics meets Buddhist Philosophy

October 23 @ 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event
eventbrite Science and Wisdom Live

About the event

  • 1.00 – 3.00 PM (BST): Mind & Life Europe with Dr. Michel Bitbol and Prof. John Dunne
  • 16.00 – 18.00 PM (BST) | Interdependence in Physics and Buddhist Philosophy: a dialogue with Prof. Carlo Rovelli and Geshe Tenzin Namdak.

How can the insights arising from meditation and contemplation complement our scientific understanding of reality? Prof. Carlo Rovelli, world-renowned theoretical physicist and author, will explore this question with Geshe Tenzin Namdak during this dialogue on quantum mechanics and Buddhist philosophy. Prof. Rovelli and Geshe Namdak will discuss the connections between science and Buddhist philosophy, comparing modern scientific ideas with the view of ancient Buddhist contemplatives, such as Nagarjuna. Join them to discover how novel interpretations of quantum mechanics relate to the Buddhist theories of emptiness and interdependence.

  • 19.00 – 21.00 PM (BST) | How Things Exist: Experiential Meditation Workshop with Scott Snibbe of A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment

Objects around us ordinarily appear as if they are solid, singular, and separate from us. However, both science and the Buddhist understanding of reality show us that as we examine things more closely, things exist far more subtly and richly than they appear. This workshop guides us in meditation to analyze the objects around us according to the Buddhist logic of dependent origination, showing us the interdependence of objects’ myriad parts, the causes that bring them together, and our minds that label these collections of parts as singular objects. Though this meditative analysis is more than a thousand years old, it’s more relevant than ever as we gain deeper insights into the flickering probabilities of quantum mechanics that underly the illusion of reality as it appears.

About our speakers

Prof. Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist known for his work in quantum gravity. Born in Italy he has worked in the United States, France and Canada. He has founded the Quantum Gravity group at Aix-Marseille University. He is also a member of the Institute Universitaire de France, honorary professor of the Beijing Normal University, Honoris Causa Laureate of the Universidad de San Martin, Buenos Aires, and a member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences. In 1995 he has been awarded the Xanthopoulos Award for “the best relativist worldwide under forty”. Prof. Rovelli has written several global best sellers among which are Seven Brief Lesson on Physics, which was translated in 44 languages, The Order of Time, and the recent Helgoland on quantum theory. He has been included by the Foreign Policy magazine in the 2019 list of the 100 most influential global thinkers.

Geshe Tenzin Namdak first worked as an environmental researcher having graduated in hydrology from Van Hall Larenstein University, The Netherlands. He started studying Buddhism at Maitreya Institute in 1993 and took ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama before engaging in his formal studies in Buddhist philosophy and psychology at Sera Jey Monastic University, South India, in 1997. He completed the entire twenty-year Geshe program at Sera Jey in 2017 and the traditional one year Vajrayana study program at Gyume Tantric College in January 2019, the first Westerner to do so. Because of his deep interest and background in science and as a member of Sera Jey’s Education Department he spoke on and organized various dialogues and conferences on contemporary science and ancient contemplative wisdom of the mind and its philosophy. Currently, he is the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, and teaches worldwide.

Scott Snibbe is a pioneering interactive artist and augmented reality entrepreneur, is the host of the meditation podcast A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment. Snibbe is a twenty-year student of Tibetan Buddhism whose teachers include Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, Choden Rinpoche, Ven. Rene Feusi, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inspired by his teachers, he leads meditations that infuse the pure lineage of the great Buddhist masters with science, humor, and the realities of the modern world. Over the course of a career as a digital artist and entrepreneur, Snibbe has created bestselling art, music, and social apps, and collaborated with musicians and filmmakers including Björk, James Cameron, and Philip Glass. His interactive exhibits have been collected by both science and art museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

How to join

The second Science Day is a collaboration between Mind & Life Europe, A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment, Jamyang London Buddhist Centre, and Science & Wisdom LIVE.


October 23
1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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