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: facebook.com/BuddhiststudiesUVa

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.

Symposium: Environment and Culture of the Tibetan Plateau

News item posted on: March 11th, 2014

Reting_valley_WEBPlease join the UVa Tibet Center for an international public symposium that will bring environmental scientists, conservationists, social scientists, and humanists together to discuss research and conservation on the Tibetan Plateau.

There will be two sets of panel discussions during the day.

Location: UVa Grounds, Harrison Institute Auditorium

All panels are in the bottom floor Auditorium in the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library right next to Alderman Library


All talks are 20 minutes long with 10 minutes for Q&A; there is also a concluding 45 minutes final discussion.

9:00am-10:30am Session 1

:  Welcome and Introduction: David Germano and Howie Epstein of the University of Virginia.

Julia Klein (Colorado State University): “Snow Disasters, Climate Warming and Grazing Policy: An interdisciplinary study to examine ecosystem and herder resilience to interacting global change threats in central Tibet:

Kelly Hopping (Colorado State University): “The good, the bad, and the shrubby: impacts of climate change and grazing on Tibet’s alpine meadows”

10:30-10:45am:  Break

10:45-12:30pm: Session 2

Emily Yeh (University of Colorado): “Tibetan pastoralists’ vulnerability to climate change: a political ecology analysis of snowstorm coping capacity”

Susan Natali (Woods Hole Research Center): “Interactions and feedbacks among land use, climate change, and permafrost thaw on the Tibetan Plateau”

Ken Bauer (Dartmouth College): “Marx on the Mountains: Some Framings of the Caterpillar Fungus Phenomenon”

Lunch 12:30-2:00pm

2:00pm-3:45pm: Session 3

Ethan Goldings (TSERING and Winrock International, China): “Platforms for Protectors: innovative cultural, organizational and technical tools for Tibetan communities facing environmental stress.”

Palden Choying (Arizona State University): “Toward a Framework for Consideration of Plateau Pika as a Sustainable Component of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Alpine Grassland Ecosystem”

Lan Cuo (Tibetan Plateau Research): “Climate Change and its Impacts on the Hydrology in the northern Tibetan Plateau”

3:45-5:00pm: Session 4

A short presentation by University of Virginia undergraduates on an environment project in Eastern Tibet they conducted in 2013 and are continuing in 2014.

Concluding Discussion


Click here to download the promotional flyer


UVA Buddhist Studies Group Conference on Buddhist Meditation: History, Culture, Development, Science

News item posted on: February 24th, 2014

buddha_1The Buddhist Studies Group at the University of Virginia, an organization devoted to promoting the academic field of Buddhist Studies, is organizing a conference with support from the Contemplative Sciences Center. The conference, coinciding with surge in interest in meditation and contemplation both within the UVa community as well as in society at large, will be held at UVa on Feb 28-Mar 2, 2014. A bright and dynamic figure in the field of Buddhist Studies, Dr. George Dreyfus, will give the keynote speech and act as moderator. Before receiving his PhD at the University of Virginia in 1991, from age nineteen Dreyfus lived and studied extensively in a Tibetan Monastery, culminating in his receiving the highest possible degree bestowed in the Tibetan monastic system of education. Dr. Dreyfus’s work thoughtfully engages the new and evolving partnership between religious studies scholars and scientists. His participation is guaranteed to attract a wide audience. The conference will include thematically organized panel presentations from currently enrolled PhD and MA students from around the country. The panels will address current issues in the study of Buddhist meditation as they relate to psychological interventions, meditative practice, issues of geography and culture, and the literature on meditation. This conference, which follows upon a successful conference from the previous year, promises to provide valuable opportunities for emerging scholars to present and develop their research, form collaborative relationships with peers, and directly participate in framing new and experimental discourses that will drive the field in the coming years.


Friday, February 28

5:00-6:15pm:  Keynote Talk:

George Dreyfus, Williams College
“Taking Meditation Seriously (but not too much)”
Nau Hall 101

6:15-7:00pm: Reception

Saturday, March 1

8:45-10:00am: Meditation Study Design Charrette Part 1 (Breakfast served) (Nau Hall 211)

All panel discussions below will take place in Gibson 211.

10:00-11:30am: Panel 1: Pathways to Resilience: Contemplative (De)Constructions of the Self
11:45am-1:15pm: Panel 2: Holding the Un-held Mind: Precept and Practice in Buddhist Contemplation
2:15-3:30pm: Meditation Study Design Charrette Part 2
3:30-5:00pm: Panel 3: There and Back Again: Traversing Cultural Terrain and Contemplative Geographies

5:00-5:30pm: Coffee/Tea Break
5:30-6:45pm: Second Keynote Talk:

Erik Braun, University of Oklahoma
“The Queen and the Monk: How Colonialism Sparked
the Global Insight Meditation Movement”
Nau Hall 211

Sunday, March 2

8:45-10:00am: Meditation Study Design Charrette Part 3: Conclusions (Breakfast served) (Nau Hall 211)
10:00-11:30am: Panel 4: Contemplative Literature (Gibson 211)

Conference Website: https://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/Buddhist_Studies_Gr/

All sessions are open to the public.
For more information, visit: facebook.com/BuddhiststudiesUVa

Key People: Graduate Students: Naomi Worth; Christopher Hiebert; Natasha Mikles; Nicholas Trautz; K. Nyima Cape; James Fair. Kurtis Schaeffer, Professor and Department Chair. All organizers are from the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies.

Buddhist Studies Group at UVa – Graduate Student Conference

News item posted on: August 23rd, 2012



The Buddhist Studies Group at UVa
Presents a Graduate Student Conference in Buddhist Studies

Buddhist Traditions: New Directions
September 14-16, 2012

Events will kick off on Friday, Sept. 14th
with a keynote address by
Professor Gregory Schopen, a leading scholar who
transformed the study of early Mahayana Buddhism,

Nau 101 at 4:00pm, followed by a reception.

Please register (free!) here and check out the conference website here.


UVa Directions/Map to: Nau Hall – New South Lawn Building, Room 101


Conference Schedule

Friday, September 14th:

4:00-6:00 pm:  Opening Remarks & Keynote Address by Prof. Gregory Schopen (Nau 101, New South Lawn Building)

6:00-6:30 pm:  Reception in New South Lawn Commons

7:00 pm: Dinner off-Grounds


Saturday, September 15th:

8:30-9:00am:  Breakfast in the Commons

9:00-11:15am: Panel 1 – Literary and Textual Studies (Gibson 211, New South Lawn Building)

11:30am-1:30pm: “Teaching Buddhism Today” panel of experts, workshop, and lunch (Nau 101)

2:00-4:00pm:  Panel 2 – Art, Relics, and Festivals (Gibson 211)

4:00-4:30pm: Refreshments in the Commons

4:30-6:30pm: Panel 3 – Buddhist Biographies (Gibson 211)

7:00pm: Dinner off-Grounds


Sunday, September 16th:

9:00-9:30am:  Breakfast in the Commons

9:30am-12:15pm: Panel 4 – Rituals, Magic, and Healing (Gibson 211)

12:30pm: Closing Remarks and Lunch (Nau 101 and the Commons)

Tibetan Medicine and Meditation Symposium

News item posted on: January 16th, 2012
Tibetan Medicine and Meditation Symposium

Announcing a very special event ~ April 13-15, 2012

This event is free and open to the public, but as of April 11 there are 450 registrants, which was our registration limit.  We expect some people won’t actually come, so we welcome people to still come, though we can not absolutely guarantee a seat at this point if you didn’t register. We will do our best to accommodate those who arrive without registrations.

: University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA.

Click to Download Promo Flyer

Click to Download Event Flyer

Organized byArura Medicine of Tibet, the UVa Contemplative Sciences Center, the UVa Tibet Center, and the UVa School of Nursing

Sponsored by:  the Page-Barbour Lecture Series at UVa, the UVa Center for International Studies, the UVa East Asia Center, and the UVa South Asia Center

With Support from Featheridge and Sacred Plant Traditions

This innovative symposium will bring together leading Tibetan, American and international scholars and practitioners of meditation and mindfulness, researchers on mind-body connections, and medical professionals to explore the intersection between modern science and the classical medical and contemplative traditions of Tibet. It will investigate how Tibetan medical and meditation systems have traditionally been used in the healing of mind and body, as well as exploring how these techniques can be adapted and incorporated into contemporary healthcare and educational systems.

The event will inaugurate the opening of Arura Medicine of Tibet’s USA branch in Charlottesville and the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia

Symposium details are forthcoming and will be provided on the future conference website (www.tibetconference.org) that will be launched in March. Until then you can now learn more about the conference on this Tibet Center website and subscribe to the newsletter for the Contemplative Sciences Center. This will help you stay informed by email of all related news about this conference and more.

NOTE: Registration is not required, and the symposium is open to the public but we cannot guarantee a seat if you are not registered. Register today, as seats are nearly filled! Please bring your registration confirmation to the conference with you.


Primary parking for the symposium is available in the McLeod Hall parking garage here (free after 5pm on Friday, but okay to arrive a bit early, and free all day Saturday and Sunday). If the McLeod garage is full, overflow parking is available at the parking lot behind Gibson Hall off of Jefferson Park Avenue (free after 5pm on Friday and all day Sat. and Sun.).


McLeod Hall, 202 Jeanette Lancaster Way, Charlottesville, VA  22903

Driving From the North: Take U.S. 29 South. Upon reaching Charlottesville, go past the U.S. 250 Bypass and remain on 29 South Business (Emmet Street). After passing University Hall move to the left lane. At the intersection of University Avenue and Ivy Road (the Cavalier Inn is on the corner), turn left onto University Avenue. Proceed to third traffic light [you will pass under train bridge]. Turn right onto Jefferson Park Ave. Continue to second traffic light and turn left onto Lane Road. Take immediate right onto Jeanette Lancaster Way [formerly 15th St, SW]. McLeod Hall is on your left with underground parking attached to building [not marked, so go slowly or you’ll miss it! If you reach ‘Hospital Parking Garage South’ /permit only, you’ve gone too far.]

Driving From the South: Take U.S. 29 North. Upon reaching Charlottesville, take the U.S. 29 North Business exit and turn right when coming off the exit ramp onto Fontaine Avenue. Follow the signs to the Medical Center/University Hospital. Go through two traffic lights – the street becomes Jefferson Park Avenue. Proceed to the light at the intersection. Bear right to continue on Jefferson Park Avenue. Turn right onto Lane Road. Take immediate right onto Jeanette Lancaster Way [formerly 15th St, SW]. McLeod Hall is on your left with underground parking attached to building [not marked, so go slowly or you’ll miss it! If you reach ‘Hospital Parking Garage South’ /permit only, you’ve gone too far.]

Gibson Hall, 1550 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903

From McLeod Hall, Head northeast on Jeanette Lancaster Way toward Lane Rd. From Lane Rd. turn left onto Jefferson Park Avenue (JPA).  From JPA take the second left onto Brandon Rd. at the light and proceed about until you find the K2 parking lot on your right.

Click Here to Register

Symposium Schedule

Friday (April 13)

3:00-4:30pm: Related TalkMaitri: An Introduction to Mandala Principle, Judith Simmer Brown, Professor, Naropa University and Richard Brown, Associate Professor of Contemplative Education, Naropa University. Location: Claude Moore Nursing Education Building Room G010 (across the road from McLeod Hall)

Location: McLeod Auditorium, McLeod Hall, University of Virginia School of Nursing

5:00-5:10pm: Welcome from David Germano, Director of UVa Tibet Center and Dorrie Fontaine, Dean of UVa Nursing

5:10-5:20: Welcome from Dr. Otsang Tsokchen, President of ARURA Tibetan Medical Group in Tso-Ngon (Qinghai)

5:20-5:40: Introduction to ARURA, Tsem Gonthar, Vice Director, Tibetan Medicine and Cultural Museums

5:45-6:45: Tibetan Physicians and the Medicine Buddha, Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Columbia University

6:45-6:55: Welcome and Announcement of the UVa Contemplative Sciences Center from UVa President Teresa Sullivan

6:55-7:15: Reception outside of auditorium


Saturday (April 14)

Location: McLeod Auditorium, McLeod Hall, University of Virginia School of Nursing

9:30-11:30am: Tibetan Medical Care
Talks are 20 minutes with 10 minutes of Q&A.  Questions/comments from the audience should be under 2 minutes in duration.

  • Tibetan Medicine for Cancer – A Review of Case Studies, Susan Bauer-Wu, Associate Professor, Emory University Woodruff School of Nursing
  • Knowledge of Maintaining Good Health Improves Current Tibetan Medical Care, Kunchok Gyaltsen, Tibetan Medical Doctor and Professor of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College
  • Integrating mind, body and spirit: Tibetan medicine as a model for healing across the continuum of life, Leslie Blackhall, Associate Professor of Medicine, UVa Medical School
  • History and Theory Based Clinical Practices of Tibetan Medicine, Doctor Dorjee, Tibetan Medical Doctor, Professor, and President of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) Provincial Tibetan Medical Research Institute

11:30-1:00:  Lunch break. Catered for participants only.

1:00-3:00pm: Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and Education
Talks are 15 minutes in duration with a final 45 minutes of collective interaction between the panel and audience.

  • Contemplation in Curricular Context: Classical Buddhist Models, Kurtis Schaeffer, Professor, UVa Department of Religious Studies
  • Teaching Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers,  John Schorling, Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Evaluation Sciences and Director, UVa Mindfulness Center
  • Mindfulness is Not Enough, Judith Simmer Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, Naropa University
  • Contemplative Wisdom and Social Transformation, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, President, Ligmincha Institute
  • Compassionate Presence in Teaching, Richard Brown, Associate Professor of Contemplative Education, Naropa University

3:30-5:30pm:  Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Tibetan Buddhist Meditation

  • Contemplative Neuroscience and the Mind-Body Problem: Western and Tibetan Perspectives, Evan Thompson, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
  • A response from John Dunne, Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies, Emory University
  • A response from David Germano, Professor of Tibetan Buddhist Studies, University of Virginia


Sunday (April 15)

Location: McLeod Auditorium, McLeod Hall, University of Virginia School of Nursing

9:30am-11:30am: Tibetan Medicine in Modern Society

  • Tibetan Medical Perspectives on Diabetes, Phuntsog Wangmo, Director of the School of Tibetan Medicine, Shang Shung Institute
  • Either Medicine or Religion? Epistemologies and Practices of Tibetan Medicine in Tibet and the West, Mona Schrempf, Researcher, Humbolt University, Berlin
  • Tibetan Medicine, Public Health, and Cultural Competency in an Era of Evidence-Based Health-Development Programs, Sienna Craig, Assistant Professor, Dartmouth College
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychological Disorders in Tibetan Medicine, Lhusham Gyal, Tibetan Medical Doctor, Professor, and Dean of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College
  • Integrating Integrative Medicine, Andy Haig, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan

Click Here to Register