Buddhist Contemplation and Higher Education: Researching and Adapting Contemplation in Modern Universities

Lecture | April 11 | 5-7 p.m. |  Goldman Theater, Brower Center

 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

 David Germano, University of Virginia

 Center for Buddhist Studies

Buddhist contemplation has a long history with complex educational institutions, namely Buddhist monasteries all across Asia. In recent decades, there has been a surge of interest in the American academy in such practices, including scientific research on their efficacy and mechanism, possible adaptation for new pedagogical approaches in the classroom, and inspiration for fresh perspectives on co-curricular programming for students. This talk will reflect on such developments by considering both the promise and peril involved across multiple registers as modern academics revisit the fault lines of the ancient emergence of universities out of monastic institutions and their contemplative lifestyles.

David Germano is professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia where he also serves as the director of the Tibet Center (www.uvatibetcenter.org), director of the Contemplative Sciences Center (www.uvacontemplation.org), and director of SHANTI (Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts Network of Technological Initiatives, www.shanti.virginia.edu). He also is the founder and director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL, www.thlib.org), the largest international initiative using digital technology to facilitate collaboration in Tibetan Studies across disciplines. His personal research interests are focused on the Nyingma and Bön lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, tantric traditions overall, Buddhist philosophy, and Tibetan historical literature and concerns, particularly from the eighth to fifteenth centuries. He also does research on the contemporary state of Tibetan religion in relationship to China, and non-monastic yogic communities in cultural Tibet, and has broad intellectual interests in international philosophical and literary traditions, including hermeneutics, phenomenology, literary criticism, systems theory, among others. He currently serves as the 2019 Chao Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley.