Science has proved that meditation can improve quality of life: Buddhist master

by Seethalakshmi, TNN, Apr 16, 2017

BENGALURU, India -- He believes that it's up to us to live with a problem/situation in life or fight it. As an 8-year-old, Tibetan meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche suffered from anxiety disorder. But he conquered it through meditation. The millionaire monk, who founded the Tergar Meditation Centres across the globe, was in Bengaluru to lead a session at the Srishti School of Design and Technology.

He spoke to STOI about mind control, modern science and buddhism. Excerpts.

You have said the mind is like a crazy monkey... like stock market... uncontrollable with ups and downs every minute. But abandoning negativity is probably the toughest challenge in the times we live in. As a meditation master, what's your advice to people to stay positive?

It's all in the mind, isn't it? Everything is created there and ends there. When you look at the waves in the ocean, it's up to you---whether you can see the monsters or any other form. It's created in the mind. I know it's not easy to shut anxiety and emotions away. It took me five years to gain control through meditation. At the core of the Tergar meditation is the joy of living --- living with awareness. It's free and pure. It feels like space. Emotion is like a cloud. So meditating helps you connect with space and clear the cloud.

Neuro scientists have said brain function can be altered with continuous meditation. Can you explain?

Everyone has a baseline of happiness. It is difficult to change that. But neuro scientists have found that with meditation, the baseline can change. Money, fame and power do not change the baseline of happiness. You can win a lottery and feel happy for two years, but then the joy wanes away. You go back to feeling normal. Scientists have also disproved that if you are born unhappy, you will stay that way the rest of your life. But now, they have found that meditation can change that.

You have said there's not much difference between modern science and Buddhism...

Science is looking for truth and reality, and so is Buddhism. But the difference is, after discovering that, they don't know what to do with their discovery. But Buddhism has answers even after the discovery. One of them is meditation. Scientists today say time, atom and space. .. are all impermanent. We said that 2,500 years ago.

Tell us about the most unique experience you had during your wandering retreat.

I had no plan. I just left the Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, India, one day. I wanted to train myself to leave behind all my connections. But the days were not easy. I thought I would die. For three days, I just sat in a railway station before I went to Kushinagar; I was becoming sick and my body was giving up. I was feeling paralyzed. On the fifth day, after I left Bodhgaya, I just sat for five hours and meditated. I cannot explain the awareness I got during those hours. My mind had opened. There was new awareness in me. I felt so good. That was the most wonderful experience.

Do you see more people leaning towards spirituality and meditation today than probably what it was, say 10 or 15 years ago?

Yes, there are more people today than before due to many reasons. Science has also helped us achieve this. Science has proved that meditation and spirituality will go a long way in bringing inner peace and improve your quality of life.

Switch off mind for 5 minutes every day

Rinpoche says it's not easy to shut the mind off and meditate. "We can't do that and we need to accept it. It is best to start with a five-minute shutdown every day. Do it for 30 days. You will slowly start gaining control over the mind. The urge to go and pick up that mobile phone will slowly go."
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: