<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-NP2ZK8" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe> Chogyam Trungpa Lecture Series

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche Lecture Series


Chogyam Trungpa Photo

The Chogyam Trungpa Lecture Series is a collaboration between Naropa University and its Wisdom Traditions department and the University of Colorado’s Religious Studies program.  It is an annual lecture series of renown scholar-practitioners of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, addressing Tibetan Buddhism and how it is manifesting in contemporary culture in Tibet, Asia, and the west.

The namesake of the series is Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, a Buddhist meditation master, scholar and artist who founded Naropa Institute in 1974.  Previous to this, two professors from the University of Colorado had invited Rinpoche to teach courses at the University in the school of Continuing Education.  Rinpoche and his family moved to Boulder in 1970, and he taught at the University from 1971-74.   Rinpoche received a rigorous academic, practice, and artistic training in Tibet from a young age, groomed to become abbot of Surmang Monastery in Kham.  After his escape from Tibet in 1959, he became a Spalding Fellow at Oxford University, and developed a keen interest in western higher education.  The single summer session Rinpoche envisioned in 1974 blossomed into a full-fledged, accredited university.

This lecture series, free and open to the public, honors Rinpoche’s contributions to the practice and study of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in western academia.  Lectures are hosted in alternate years by Naropa University and the University of Colorado.  Our visiting lecturers also teach an invitation-only graduate colloquium of Masters students from Naropa and CU Religious Studies, focusing on relevant topics in Buddhist scholarship, practice, and culture.  This series is funded through generous donations by the Pamela Krasney Fund, the Uberoi Foundation, and the respective universities.

 Lecture Series Events

"Tibetan Sacred Landscape:  Its Magical Creatures and Where to Find Them" with Charles Ramble

August 31st, 2017

The lecture will take place in the British Studies Room of Norlin Library. This will be the 5th Annual Trungpa Lecture in Buddhist Studies, a collaboration between CU Boulder and Naropa University. It is free and open to the public.

The term ‘sacred landscape’ refers to the natural environment when it is perceived and represented as a supernatural place. The phenomenon appears all over the world, in at least as many forms are there are religious beliefs to generate it. In the case of Tibet, the richness and complexity of sacred landscapes is commensurate with the variety of the country’s dramatic natural topography itself: many mountains are perceived as the divine citadels of one or another of the great tantric divinities, and thousands of pilgrims visit these sites every year in the hope of receiving their healing and empowering blessings. Tibet was not always a Buddhist country, and in the same way as the hostile gods and demons of the land had to be tamed by the pioneers of the new faith, so the old landscape was overwritten with a new script. But if we look in the right places – in early texts, and in the folk traditions of certain marginal communities – the traces of older landscapes and their strange inhabitants can still sometimes be discerned beneath the surface. By teasing apart these different layers, this lecture will try to show something of the complex palimpsest of representations that are imposed on one another to create this fascinating landscape.

Ramble HeadshotCharles Ramble is Directeur d’études (Professor of Tibetan History and Philology) at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, a position he has held since 2009, and a member of East Asian Civilisations Research Centre (CRCAO, UMR 8155, Paris, France, http://www.crcao.fr/). From 2000 to 2010 he was the Lecturer in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at the University of Oxford, where he continues to hold a position as University Research Lecturer. His publications include The Navel of the Demoness: Tibetan Buddhism and Civil Religion in Highland Nepal (2008), and several volumes in a series entitled Tibetan Sources for a Social History of Mustang (2008, 2016, 2017). His research interests include Tibetan social history, Bon, biographical writing, and Tibetan ritual literature and performance.

 

"The Profundity of Culture and Context: Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and Modernity” with David Germano

Septemer 8th, 2016
The lecture will take place at the Nalanda Events Center, 6287 Arapahoe Avenue and is free and open to the public.

This talk explores a central challenge in contemplative sciences: the roles of so-called “contexts” in contemplation and the possibility of consilience between the humanities and sciences in contemplative research.  It will focus on a specific contemplative tradition, namely Tibetan Buddhist practices, to address this in a deeply contextual manner.

Germano HeadshotDr. David F. Germano, Professor of Religious Studies and Director, Center for Contemplative Sciences is an American Tibetologist and Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, the largest Tibetan Studies program in the Americas, where he has taught and researched since 1992.

 

 

 

"Love and Lust in Classic South Asian Buddhism" with José Cabezón 

September 10th, 2015

The event will take place in British Studies Room on the 5th Floor of Norlin Library. This will be the third annual Trungpa Lecture, a collaboration between the Department of Religious Studies at CU Boulder and Naropa University. This event is free and open to the public.

This lecture explores the ambivalent attitudes to romantic love and erotic desire in a variety of Buddhist texts preserved in Pali, Sanskrit, and Tibetan. Being a celibate ascetic tradition, classical exoteric Buddhism is skeptical about anything having to do with sexuality. On the one hand, this literature acknowledges the existence and power of romantic love. On the other, it uses a variety of rhetorical strategies to denigrate it. This lecture explores this ambivalence and briefly considers whether the antinomian Mahayana tradition (including Tantra) represents a safe haven for love.

Jose Cabezon HeadshotJosé Cabezón holds the Dalai Lama Chair in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With longstanding interests in gender and sexuality, he has completed a lengthy study on the topic, Sexuality in Classical South Asian Buddhism, currently in press.

 

 

 

 

"Adapting Compassion Training from Tibet: Empowering the Deeper Personhood of Self & Others" with John Makransky

Friday, September 12, 2014

Methods to cultivate compassion in the West, adapted from Buddhism, have often been framed by a Western view of persons as isolated, autonomous individuals, for whom compassion training is seen as a self-help technique. This highly individualistic anthropology shuts out crucial elements of compassion training highlighted in Tibetan Buddhism, elements important for undercutting modern impediments to compassion.

In this talk, John Makransky will introduce "Innate Compassion Training," a method he adapted from Tibetan practices in which compassion, devotion, and wisdom are engaged as mutually empowering. This approach takes a more relational view of persons, which is truer both to Eastern Buddhism and to elements of modern philosophy. This approach highlights our human need to experience ourselves as objects of loving compassion in order to extend loving compassion widely to others, our need to be seen in our unconditional worth and potential in order to see the same in others. Makransky will explain how these elements of compassion training from Tibet undercut common modern impediments to compassion. This pattern of training, adapted from Tibet and recently adopted by Mind and Life Institute for its initiative in Ethics, Education, and Human Development, is now being correlated with findings in developmental psychology and contemplative neuroscience.


John MakranskyJohn Makransky is a professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, senior academic advisor and lecturer for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche's Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, guiding meditation teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion (a socially engaged Buddhist organization), and author of the popular meditation manual Awakening through Love. Makransky's academic writings have focused on connections between doctrine and practice in Indian and Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning from a Buddhist perspective. Since 1978, John has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of his Tibetan teachers, and in 2000 he was ordained a Buddhist lama in the lineage of Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. Since then, Makransky has made meditations of innate compassion and wisdom from Tibet newly accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths by teaching these meditation methods to teachers, therapists, social workers, healthcare providers, and social justice activists in diverse service and Dharma settings, including Boston College, Harvard Divinity and Medical Schools, Brown University, Union Theological Seminary, Emory University, Catholic Charities, the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy, Natural Dharma Fellowship, and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

 

“Embodied Ways of Knowing:  The Body in Buddhist Tantra and Tibetan Medicine” with Janet Gyatso

 

October 17th, 2013

The event will take place in British Studies Room on the 5th Floor of Norlin Library. This will be the third annual Trungpa Lecture, a collaboration between the Department of Religious Studies at CU Boulder and Naropa University. This event is free and open to the public.

Traditional Tibetan medicine sometimes found its Buddhist heritage and its urge for empirical knowledge of the body to be at odds, and made unusual efforts to separate itself from religious ways of knowing. At the same time, the line between yogic and sensory observation was not easy to draw. This lecture will explore how the body became the focus of some of the most interesting theoretical reflection, from the dawn of Tibetan Buddhism into the time of the height of the central Tibetan government's powers in the 17th century. This event is sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies in conjunction with Naropa University.

Janet Gyatso HeadshotJanet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University, will discuss the body in Buddhist Tantra and Tibetan medicine. Traditional Tibetan medicine sometimes found its Buddhist heritage and its urge for empirical knowledge of the body to be at odds, and made unusual efforts to separate itself from religious ways of knowing. At the same time, the line between yogic and sensory observation was not easy to draw.