Media ResourcesPress ReleasesNaropa University Announces Thupten Jinpa, PhD, as 2022 Lenz Distinguished Guest Lecturer

Naropa University Announces Thupten Jinpa, PhD, as 2022 Lenz Distinguished Guest Lecturer

BOULDER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES, April 8, 2022—Naropa University and the Fredrick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism are honored to announce author, compassion researcher, Chair of the Mind and Life Institute, and principal English translator to the Dalai Lama, Thupten Jinpa, PhD, as the Spring 2022 Lenz Distinguished Lecturer. Jinpa will present a virtual, public lecture on “A Buddhist Theory of Mental Transformation” on April 14th at 7 p.m.

Thupten Jinpa is a former Tibetan monk who holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in Religious Studies, both from Cambridge University. Since 1985, he has been the principal English translator to His Holiness 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 talk will explore a classical Buddhist understanding of how enduring mental transformation takes place, especially through knowledge, insight, and practice and is aimed at contributing further to this dialogue and exchange.

Jinpa explains, “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.”

The lecture is part of an annual series called the Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program, which 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.

About Naropa University: Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. As the “birthplace of the modern mindfulness movement,” Naropa University is a leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom studies with traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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, and mindfulness.

Cassandra Smith
Naropa University

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