The Tibetan spiritual leader has donated $50,000 from his personal trust to support research of healthy qualities of mind like kindness and compassion at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The grant to the school comes after the Dalai Lama's sixth visit to Madison in May. Center Director Richard Davidson, says the researchers are "deeply honored" to receive the "completely unexpected and unsolicited" gift from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
"The Dalai Lama has advocated for the importance of compassion in multiple spheres of society and he has a long-standing interest in science," Davidson says. "The CIHM combines the rigor of science and an openness to important but difficult to study qualities such as compassion and happiness, and thus captures two of the key passions of the Dalai Lama. We are inspired by his gift and will do our best to insure that it is used in the most beneficial way possible."
The Dalai Lama received an honorary degree from the university in 1998 and has taken great interest in CIHM's research regarding the effects of meditation and similar practices on brain function, emotions and physical health.