On the first day of the Mind and Life XXVI meeting, the Dalai Lama made opening remarks on the background of the critical conversations between Buddhist thought and science being held at Drepung monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India. He said, "the purpose of meetings has been to creatively but critically investigate themes of mutual interest concerning the nature of reality, consciousness, the implications of recent developments in neuroscience."
Conversations on modern science and Buddhist philosophy started many years at the private residence of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Over the years, scientists have come to inquire together with the Tibetan buddhist leader about the contemplative meditation and open awareness.
The Dalai Lama said that the decision was made to require science education for Geshe degrees at Tibetan monastic institution, and to facilitate monks being introduced to modern science and technology. But at the same time, the spiritual leader advised the monks not to neglect the traditional study of Buddhist philosophy.
The 6-day event has brought together 20 of the world's foremost scientists and buddhist philosophers with the Dalai Lama and other senior Tibetan scholars. Around a thousand monastic scholars from 23 different monasteries and nunneries, and other lay scholars who are interested in this meeting have also come to witness the unique meeting being held for the first time in a monastic institution.