meaning of the absolute to the finite and the relative, from the

Dharmakaya, in other words, to the Nirmanakaya?


One of the many ways in which the example of His Holiness

the Dalai Lama has inspired me has been in his unfailing

curiosity about, and openness to, all the various facets and discoveries

of modern science. 4 Buddhism, after all, is often called

"a science of the mind," and as I contemplate the bardo teachings,

it is their precision and vast, sober clarity that move me

again and again to awe and gratitude. If Buddhism is a science

of the mind, then for me Dzogchen and the bardo teachings

represent the heart essence of that science, the innermost

visionary and practical seed, out of which a vast tree of interconnected

realizations has flowered and will go on to flower

in ways that cannot now be imagined, as humanity continues

to evolve.

Over the years and over many meetings with scientists of

all kinds, I have become increasingly struck by the richness of

the parallels between the teachings of Buddha and the discoveries

of modern physics. Fortunately many of the major philosophical

and scientific pioneers of the West have also become

aware of these parallels and are exploring them with tact and

verve and a sense that from the dialogue between mysticism,

the science of mind and consciousness, and the various sciences

of matter, a new vision of the universe and our responsibility

to it could very well emerge. I have been more and

more convinced that the bardo teachings themselves, with

their threefold process of unfoldment, have a unique contribution

to make to this dialogue.

From all the possible alternatives, I would like to focus here

on one particular scientific vision, one that has especially

absorbed me—that of the physicist David Bohm. Bohm has

imagined a new approach to reality that, while being controversial,

has inspired a great sympathetic response from

researchers in all sorts of different disciplines: physics itself,

medicine, biology, mathematics, neuroscience, psychiatry, and

among artists and philosophers. David Bohm has conceived a

new scientific approach to reality based, as the bardo teachings

are, on an understanding of the totality and oneness of

existence as an unbroken and seamless whole.

The multidimensional, dynamic order he sees at work in

the universe has essentially three aspects. The most obvious

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