AcademicsExtended CampusLenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer

Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer

Thupten Jinpa

April 14th 2022 // 1 Evening // Live Online

Naropa University and the Wisdom Traditions Department are honored to host author, compassion researcher, Chair of the Mind and Life Institute, and principal English translator to the Dalai Lama, Thupten Jinpa, as our Spring 2022 Lenz Distinguished Lecturer.

Save the date for Jinpa’s exciting lecture, titled “A Buddhist Theory of Mental Transformation” which will explore a classical Buddhist understanding of how enduring mental transformation takes place, especially through knowledge, insight, and practice.

Thupten Jinpa

A Buddhist Theory of Mental Transformation

Thupten Jinpa is a former Tibetan monk who holds a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. Since 1985, he has been the principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama and has translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama, including the New York Times Bestsellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness. Jinpa’s own publications include works in Tibetan, English translations as well as books, including A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives and Tsongkhapa: A Buddha in the Land of Snows. Jinpa is the general editor of The Library of Tibetan Classics series, which includes his own translations of Mind Training: The Great Collection, The Book of Kadam: The Core Texts, and Tsongkhapa’s Illuminating the Intent. He is the main author of CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training), an eight-week formal program developed at Stanford University, and co-founder and president of the Compassion Institute. He is the Chair of Mind and Life Institute, founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, and an adjunct professor at the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. Jinpa lives in Montreal and is married with two daughters.

About this Lecture

“The ongoing interaction between contemporary disciplines, especially clinical and psychological sciences, and Buddhist traditions has led to the emergence of a rich suite of mind-based practices that are today embraced widely in society. This cultural exchange has also led to the emergence of what is called “contemplative science.” This talk, which will explore a classical Buddhist understanding of how enduring mental transformation takes place, especially through knowledge, insight, and practice, is aimed at contributing further to this dialogue and exchange.

Today as contemporary science seeks to understand “the underlying mechanisms” that could explain the impact of mind-based practices such as mindfulness and compassion training, looking at classical Buddhist tradition’s own understandings of how enduring mental transformations occur could offer a rich conceptual resource for developing a more integrated model for such a theory of change. Beyond the research community, such an appreciation could help those interested in enduring mental transformation through contemplative practice to reflect on their own practice and experience with a valuable critical self-awareness.”

-Thupten Jinpa

About the Fredrick P. Lenz Foundation

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism promotes the benefits of Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga, and related Buddhist practices in a manner complementary to modern American society. By developing and strengthening the emerging community of American Buddhist organizations, the Foundation seeks to give birth to an American society that reflects the universal Buddhist values of wisdom, compassion, mindfulness.

The annual Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values promotes diversity of thought and practice at Naropa by inviting distinguished guest lecturers from communities, traditions and scholarship related to Buddhism in America to supplement existing university expertise. Past Lenz Foundation Distinguished Lecturers at Naropa University have included Sharon Salzberg, Meredith Monk, Gary Snyder, and Joanna Macy.

Event Schedule and Cost

This program is offered live online via Zoom. Zoom meeting link will be provided after registration.

Evening Lecture

Thursday | April 14th 2022 | 7:00pm Mountain Time

General Public Rate: $10

Naropa Students, Staff, Faculty, and Alumnx: Free

Check your email for an event discount code!
Alumnx: Check the most recent Alumnx Newsletter for a discount code, or email

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