Bridging New Worlds:

Confessions of a Buddhist Theoretical Physicist

by Fred Cooper

Until recently, I was not willing to discuss the relation between Science and Spirituality, not because of any distrust of my understanding of physics, but because my meditation practice had not reached the necessary maturation to feel confident about discussing spiritual matters to non-meditators. It was only about I 0 years ago, after practicing for 27 years, that I was able to integrate my experience of being introduced to the nature of mind (by two of my root teachers, W Mingyur Rinpoche and H.E.Tai Situ Rinpoche) to achieve a stable “glimpse of recognition.” After this event I felt I had the credentials in both domains to make some statements about the connection between physics and spirituality. I was encouraged to talk about this subject by one of my Tibetan gurus, the late Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche in 20I0. During that year; I gave several talks and meditation workshops on Physics and Emptiness at his request. In the present article, I am happy to share my thoughts on how physics and meditation are related based on my career as a theoretical physicist and on my training in the Mahamudra approach to meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.