CSC Speaker Series – April 3, 2016

News item posted on: April 1st, 2016

A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World

Dr_Daniel_ Goleman

Join us as Dr. Daniel Goleman discusses his latest book, A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World. Focusing on the central concepts of the Dalai Lama, empirical evidence that supports them, and true stories of people who are putting his ideas into action.

When: Sunday, April 3, 12:00pm
Where: Nau Hall, room 101

This event is co-sponsored by the Darden School of Business, UVa Department of Psychology, and the UVa Tibet Center.

CSC Speaker Series – April 1, 2016

News item posted on: April 1st, 2016

Contemplation and Community: Buddhist Meditation and Social Action in Today’s World


Join Khenpo Karma Jamyang Gyaltsen in conversation with David Germano, as he discusses the relationship of meditation and philanthropy in the modern world.

When: Friday, April 1, 12:00pm
Where: Wilson Hall, room 301

This event is cosponsored by the Tibet Center.

Weedon Lecture on Tucci Expeditions and Tibetan Painting

News item posted on: April 12th, 2015

Discovering Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Tibetan Painting 


As part of the Ellen Bayard Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia, the Fralin Art Museum at UVa presents a lecture by renowned art historian Deborah Klimburg-Salter.

When: Wednesday, April 15, 6:30 pm

Where: Campbell Hall, room 158






Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro at UVa

News item posted on: March 25th, 2015

The UVa Tibet Center, the UVa Contemplative Sciences Center, and the UVa East Asia Center, are hosting Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro in a visit to UVa grounds the week of April 15-21. During his time at UVa Khenpo will give two public talks.

Public Talk #1

“Tibetan Environmental and Cultural Preservation”
Thursday, April 16th,  3:30-5:00pm
Wilson Hall 301 at the University of Virginia
Khenpo will speak in Tibetan, which will be translated into English.


Public Talk #2

“Buddhist Contemplation, Science, and Secular Society: A Dialog wth Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro”. The dialog will be in conversation with Professor David Germano, director of CSC.
Monday, April 20th, 5:30-7:00 pm
Minor Hall 125 at the University of Virginia
Khenpo will speak in Tibetan, which will be translated into English.

REGISTER HERE for the April 20th talk


Khenpo Tsultrim Lodrö was born in 1962 in Drango County in Sichuan Province’s Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. In 1984 he received monastic ordination at the world-renowned Larung Five Sciences Buddhist Institute (Larung Gar) in Serthar, becoming a disciple of the preeminent spiritual master, Chogyel Yeshe Norbu Jigme Phunstok.  After many years dedicated to the study of the five main sutric treatises and tantric scripture, he was awarded the title of Khenpo in recognition of his scholarship.

For more than twenty years he has overseen monastic education at Larung Gar, producing successive generations of accomplished students. During the 1990s, he gave a series of dharma teachings in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Over the past decade, Khenpo has concentrated efforts in Tibetan areas, promoting environmental awareness, education, vegetarianism, and the importance of protecting living beings and abstaining from taking life.  At the same time, he has sought to deepen the broader Tibetan community’s understanding of basic dharma, and to this end has travelled widely giving teachings to lay audiences.  Placing great importance on the promotion of Tibetan culture, Khenpo has founded libraries and schools.  Notably, he has also coordinated a team of language specialists and scholars representing all Tibetan regions to collaborate on the compilation of a trilingual (Tibetan-Chinese-English) dictionary of new vocabulary terms.

Two volumes have been published in the past five years:
Chinese-Tibetan-English Illustrated Dictionary of New Daily Vocabulary
Chinese-Tibetan-English Dictionary of New Daily Vocabulary

Khenpo Portrait

Over the last ten years, Khenpo has been committed to deepening his understanding of western science and philosophy, and is utilising contemporary methods to disseminate Buddhist culture.   Khenpo has published extensively on Buddhism in both Tibetan and Chinese languages. His Tibetan publications include four volumes of collected writings, and his Chinese monographs include the Wisdom Light series, Stories of Transmigration, Buddhism: Superstition or Wisdom?, The Secret Code for Unlocking Tibetan Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism: Lifting the Veil of Mystery.

The overall visit to the US is supported by The Khyentse Lectureship, the HBH Fund, the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, and William P. T. Lee & Jason J. Lee.

Deep Conversations with A Buddhist Monk

News item posted on: January 16th, 2015

Speaker Geshe Lama Phuntsho
talks about Karma and Reincarnation

Geshe Lama Phuntsho

Geshe Lama Phuntsho was born in 1998 in Thimpu, Bhutan. In 1990 he enrolled at Gaden Shartse Monastery where he received his Geshe degree in 2005. After that he was assigned to Malaysia as a resident teacher for two years. He has travelled extensively working as an interpreter for many renowned and respected Rinpoche’s and Geshe’s.

He has previously travelled to the U.S. and visited Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia as a Dharma translator. We are now honored to have him here at UVA to deliver a teaching to us.



Speaker Khenpo Sodargye: Contemporary Tibetan Buddhist Meditation in China

News item posted on: November 11th, 2014

Khenpo Sodargye

The UVa Contemplative Sciences Center, the UVa East Asia Center, and the UVa Tibet Center are hosting Khenpo Sodargye to speak to the local community.

WHERE: Ruffner Hall – G006

Khenpo Sodargye will speak at the University of Virginia on Buddhist meditation in the Tibetan tradition and its contemporary practice by Chinese followers in classical and modern adaptations.  The talk will be given in Tibetan with an English language translation.


Khenpo Sodargye is one of the leading Tibetan Buddhist voices in contemporary China. While highly educated in the traditional monastic philosophy and practices, his accessible Chinese language publications on Buddhism have made him one of the two or three most popular Tibetan authors in the whole of China, as well as highly popular among young lay Tibetans.  Khenpo Sodargye was born in Eastern Tibet in 1962, and studied with one of the 20th century’s greatest Tibetan Buddhist figures, Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok.  He is currently one of the leaders of Larung Gar in Northeastern Tibet, which is the largest Tibetan religious institute in the world today.  See for some of his publications and activities.

UVa Buddhist Studies Group: Symposium on the Tibetan Book

News item posted on: November 5th, 2014

Tibetan manuscriptsThe Buddhist Studies Group at the University of Virginia, an organization devoted to promoting the academic field of Buddhist Studies, is organizing a symposium on the Tibetan Book from November 6-8, 2014.


Thursday, November 6

4:30-6:00pm: Keynote

Leonard van der Kuijp, Harvard University
“Books in Tibet: Scribes, Pens and Paper, Writing, Manuscripts, Xylographs, and Text Transmissions”
Nau Hall 101

6:00-7:00pm: Reception

Friday, November 7

All events will take place in NAU 342 unless otherwise noted.

9:30-9:50am: Michael Suarez (Rare Book School, University of Virginia) – “Toward a Global Bibliography”
10:00-11:00am: David Vander Muelen (University of Virginia) – “Bibliographical Ways to Read a Book”

Respondent: Natasha L. Mikles (University of Virginia)
Q&A Session

11:00-11:15am: Break
11:15am-12:45pm: Panel: “Manuscripts – How can we use bibliographic methods to look at manuscripts? What will we find?”

Jake Dalton (UC Berkeley) – “Recent Bibliographic Advances in the Study of the Tibetan Dunhuang Manuscripts”

Dan Hirshberg (University of Mary Washington) – “Not One, Not Two, but Three, and now Five? Comparing the Analog and Digital Reproductions of Nyang rap’s Chos ‘byung Manuscripts”

12:45-1:45pm: Lunch Break
1:45-3:15pm: Panel: “Print – How can we use bibliographic methods to look at printed materials? What will we find?”

Marta Sernesi (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) – “Towards a History of Early Tibetan Printing: New Evidence and Uncharted Territories”

Ben Nourse (University of Virginia) – “A Question of Style: Regional, Sectarian, and Printing House Styles of Tibetan Language Woodblock Printing”

Respondent: David Whitesell (University of Virginia, Rare Book School)

3:30-5:00pm: Panel: “Modern Innovations”

Michael Sheehy (Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center) – “An Ontology for the Digital Tibetan Book”
Lauran Hartley (Columbia University) – “Bookish Questions for Tibetan Studies in the Digital Age”

Respondent: Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia)

Ancient Pecha

Photo: Bradley Aaron


Saturday, November 8

9:00-10:15am: Roundtable Discussion: Adapting Bibliographic Methodologies to Tibetan Materials (Nau 342)

Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia)
David Vander Meulen (University of Virginia)

Recorder: Natasha Mikles (University of Virginia)

10:15-10:30am: Break
10:30 – 11:30am: Agniezka Helman-Wazny (University of Arizona) – “Tibetan Books: An Uneasy Alliance of Science and History”
11:30am-12:30pm: James Canary (Indiana University) – “Exploring the Tibetan Book”
12:30-1:30pm: Lunch Break
1:30 – 3:30pm: Papermaking Workshop led by James Canary  at Dean Dass Classroom, 111 Ruffin Hall

All sessions are open to the public.
For more information, visit:

Key People: Graduate Students: Natasha Mikles; Ben Nourse; Kurtis Schaeffer, Professor and Department Chair. All organizers are from the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies.

UVA CSC: Leigh Brasington on Jhanas – Buddhist Meditative Absorptions in Modern Times

News item posted on: September 28th, 2014

Join U.Va.’s Contemplative Sciences Center for a talk with Leigh Brasington entitled, Jhanas – Buddhist Meditative Absorptions in Modern Times The Buddha defined Right Concentration as the 4 Jhanas. So what are these jhanas and how are they used on the spiritual path? This talk will discuss these altered states of consciousness as described in the suttas of the Pali Canon, present basic instructions for entering them, discuss their role, and contrast the Sutta Jhanas with other jhanic schemes found in later Theravadan literature. What little is known of the neurological correlates will also be presented.

Leigh Brasington has been practicing meditation since 1985 and is the senior American student of the late Ven. Ayya Khema. Leigh began assisting Ven. Ayya Khemma in 1994, and began teaching retreats on his on in 1997. He teaches in Europe and North America and is the author of the forthcoming book Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas (available autumn 2015).

LOCATION: Monroe Hall, Room 118


Bhutan Oral Histories: A Lecture by Dr. Karma Phuntsho

News item posted on: September 23rd, 2014

Date: Monday, September 22, 2:00 pm
Location: Nau 342

Dr. Phunthso is currently visiting the US from Bhutan, where he is currently is leading several research and entrepreneurial initiatives. Karma Phuntsho was trained as a monk in Bhutan and India, and received a M.St and D.Phil in Oriental Studies at Balliol College, Oxford. He was a researcher at CNRS, Paris, the Spalding Fellow for Comparative Religion at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and a researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology in Cambridge. He is currently a research associate of the University of Virginia, and is based in Thimphu, Bhutan.

He will be speaking on his most recent project, a multi-year effort to record oral history and traditional knowledge systems throughout the whole of Bhutan.

New Course Offering Free to All: Introduction to Tibetan Medicine

News item posted on: June 19th, 2014

Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, Visiting Professor of Medicine, and Dr. Leslie Blackhall will be offering a free, eight-week [July 9 – August 27], introductory course in Tibetan Medicine.

What is Tibetan Medicine? Tibetan Medicine is a traditional medical system, utilizing behavior and dietary modification, herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture and other techniques. With roots in Tibetan philosophy, this system integrates mental and physical aspects of health to treat illness and improve well-being .

Classes will meet weekly, on Wednesdays [beginning July 9 and concluding August 27] from 6:15 -7:30 p.m. in the 6th floor of the West Complex at UVa. Although students are encouraged to attend each week, individual sessions will also stand alone for those who cannot attend each session. This course is appropriate for all levels of students and will include “hands-on” teaching.

To inquire about registration, please contact Dr. Leslie Blackhall: LB9X [at] (to mail remove the “[at]” and replace with @)

Topics will include:

  • Overview of this medical system, including comparisons with biomedicine and other traditional medical systems
  • Mind-body connections in health and disease
  • Approach to diagnosis
  • Lifestyle and diet
  • Overview of herbal medication
  • Use of massage, acupuncture and related treatments

About the instructors:
Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen is currently a visiting Professor of Medicine at the UVa School of Medicine. He is the first Tibetan to earn a PhD in Public Health at the UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles. He was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1981 at Kumbum Monastery in Amdo, Tibet currently called Qinghai Province, P.R. China. From a young age he studied both Buddhism and Tibetan Medicine under the guidance of knowledgeable teachers at Kumbum Monastery and Kumbum Tibetan Medical Hospital. Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen has been nationally recognized as a scholar in his field by the National government.

Dr.Leslie Blackhall is Section Head of Palliative Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She has studied Tibetan Medicine under Dr.Yeshe Dondhen since 1980 and has her Masters of Theologic Studies in addition to her MD.

Note: This course is not sponsored by the UVa Tibet Center