Buddhist Responses to Modern Problems

 Buddhist Responses to Modern Problems

Buddhist Responses to Modern Problems

Sep 17, 2020 - Oct 24, 2020, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

PLEASE REGISTER BY 3 PM (Pacific) to attend the September 17th session. Recordings are available for those who register later.  Register HERE to attend other sessions and receive access to recordings of past sessions.

Over the past 2500 years, Buddhism has constantly evolved to meet the needs of new peoples, places, cultures, and contexts. Classical doctrines still form the foundation of its diverse traditions, and yet their reinterpretation empowers them to remain acutely relevant and potently effective in the present. The Dharma itself is said to be like water, taking on the shape of whichever container is offered to hold it. What form must the buddhadharma take right here, right now?

Buddhist Responses to Modern Problems invites innovative thinking about the array of threats, challenges, and conflicts we presently face in the world. Over the course of six weeks this fall, celebrated Buddhist scholars and practitioners will address some of the most pressing and intractable issues of the present day, including ritual during the pandemic; systemic racism and civil unrest; social media and the rise of fascism; and the necessity of renunciation.

A Series of Thursdays, 4:30 – 6:00 pm (Pacific)

September 17 –  Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D.

September 24  – Valerie Brown J.D., How to Fight Injustice without Hating: Practices of Engaged Buddhism in the Plum Village Tradition

October 1  – Anne Klein, Ph.D., Divining and Discovery: Ritual Today

October 8 – Ethan Nichtern , Confronting Fascism: Right Speech and Social Media

October 15 – Bhante Jayasara, Drop the World’s Bait’: On the Necessity of Renunciation

October 22 – Donald Lopez, Ph.D., “Buddhism in the Real World”

Saturday, October 24 Panel Discussion, 4:30 – 6:00 pm

Register for the whole series or individual sessions.  Zoom links will be emailed 1 day before each event.  All who register for any of the series are invited to the panel discussion and will receive the Zoom link.

Those who are registered for a session will receive access to the recording. If you have registered for the full program, you will receive access to all the recordings.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a widely celebrated Buddhist teacher and the author of Emotional Rescue, Rebel Buddha, and many other books. A lover of music, art, and urban culture, Rinpoche is a poet, photographer, accomplished calligrapher, and visual artist.
Acknowledged as one of the foremost scholars and meditation masters of his generation in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche is known for his sharp intellect, humor, and easygoing teaching style. In 2017, he launched the initiative #GoKind to celebrate and encourage acts of kindness around the world.

Valerie Brown, J.D.

Valerie is an ordained Dharma Teacher in the Plum Village tradition founded by Thich Nhat Hanh and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). She transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist to human-scale, equity-centered work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy, compassionate, and authentic connections. She is an accredited leadership coach, international retreat leader, writer, and Founder of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership, and is a Co-Director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. As certified Kundalini yoga teacher, she helps leaders discover the wisdom of the body. She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred places.

Anne Klein, Ph.D.

Anne Carolyn Klein, Rigzin Drolma, is Professor and a former Chair of Religion at Rice University and a founder of Dawn Mountain, Center for or Tibetan Buddhism www.dawnmountain.org. In work and life, she’s interested in the kinds of conversations we have across our basic platforms of mind and body, thought and direct experience. Her training, in addition to her academic degrees, includes close study with major Tibetan Lamas in three of Tibet’s great traditions, with about ten years overall spent living with these teachers. Her research, writings and teaching-retreats draw from all these, with special emphasis on Nyingma and Heart Essence traditions’. Her seven books include the recently re-issued Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse: A Story of Transmission; also Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, and Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen and the Logic of the NonConceptual with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, All examine the interplay between head and heart, mind and body in order to differentiate the ordinary and rarified ways of knowing so intimately described in Buddhist traditions of scholarship and meditation.

Ethan Nichtern

Ethan Nichtern is a senior Buddhist teacher. From 2010-2018 he served as the teacher in residence for the Shambhala NYC community. He is the author of The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (FSG Books, North Point, 2015), The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What The Coolest Fairytale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships (FSG Books, North Point, Sep 2017) and One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Publications, 2007). The Road Home was named to Best Books of 2015 lists by both Library Journal and Tech Insider.
Ethan is also the founder and former director of The Interdependence Project, an organization dedicated to Buddhist-inspired meditation and psychology, transformational activism, mindful arts, and meaningful media. He teaches and lectures around the world and is based in New York City.

Bhante Jayasara

Bhikkhu Jayasāra, or “Bhante J” as most call him, is an American born Buddhist monastic of the Theravada tradition. He moved to Bhavana Society forest monastery in 2014 at the age of 36 and received the going forth by Bhante Gunaratana in 2015. A year later he received the higher ordination to Bhikkhu.
Bhante is from New Jersey and was raised Catholic. For near a decade he worked in child protective services and was a substitute teacher before that. He has been a meditator fifteen years, a Buddhist twelve, and a monastic five.
Bhante has shared the Dhamma with thousands of people at dozens of retreats and events in the United States and splits his time between secluded personal practice and study, and going out to share with others, Buddhist or otherwise.

Donald Lopez, Ph.D

Dr. Donald Sewell Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan, in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
He has written widely on Indian Mahayana Buddhism and on Tibetan Buddhism. He has also explored the European encounter with Buddhism and the formation of the category of Modern Buddhism, including claims for the compatibility of Buddhism and Science.

Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D.

Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Mary Washington, where he serves as Director of the Contemplative Studies program and Associate Director of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies. Intensively studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism over the past 25 years, he has travelled extensively throughout Buddhist Asia and received his doctorate from Harvard University in 2012. His first book, Remembering the Lotus-Born: Padmasambhava in the History of Tibet’s Golden Age (Wisdom Publications, 2016), focuses on cultural memory and Tibet’s 8th ce. conversion to Buddhism. It won Honorable Mention (second place) for the E. Gene Smith Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. He has been a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and a member of the Nitartha Translation Network since 2004. In 2020–21 he is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Virginia’s Contemplative Sciences Center.

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