Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D. are the featured speakers in this first of six weekly online discussions, 4:30-6 p.m. (Pacific.)
Over the past 2,500 years, Buddhism has constantly evolved to meet the needs of new peoples, places, cultures and contexts. Classical doctrines still form the foundation of its diverse traditions, and yet their reinterpretation empowers them to remain acutely relevant and potently effective in the present. The Dharma itself is said to be like water, taking on the shape of whichever container is offered to hold it.
What form must the buddhadharma take right here, right now?
Buddhist Responses to Modern Problems invites innovative thinking about the array of threats, challenges and conflicts we presently face in the world.
Over the course of six weeks, celebrated Buddhist scholars and practitioners will address some of the most pressing and intractable issues of the present day, including ritual during the pandemic; systemic racism and civil unrest; social media and the rise of fascism; and the necessity of renunciation.
- Sept. 17 – Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D.
- Sept. 24 – Valerie Brown J.D., How to Fight Injustice without Hating: Practices of Engaged Buddhism in the Plum Village Tradition
- Oct. 1 – Anne Klein, Ph.D., Divining and Discovery: Ritual Today
- Oct. 8 – Ethan Nichtern, Confronting Fascism: Right Speech and Social Media
- Oct. 15 – Bhante Jayasara, Drop the World’s Bait: On the Necessity of Renunciation
- Oct. 22 – Donald Lopez, Ph.D., Buddhism in the Real World
- Saturday, Oct. 24 Panel Discussion, 4:30–6 p.m.
Register for the whole series or individual sessions. Zoom links will be emailed three days before each event. All who register for any of the series are invited to the panel discussion and will receive the Zoom link.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a widely celebrated Buddhist teacher and the author of “Emotional Rescue,” “Rebel Buddha,” and many other books. A lover of music, art, and urban culture, Rinpoche is a poet, photographer, accomplished calligrapher, and visual artist.
Acknowledged as one of the foremost scholars and meditation masters of his generation in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche is known for his sharp intellect, humor, and easygoing teaching style. In 2017, he launched the initiative #GoKind to celebrate and encourage acts of kindness around the world.
Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D.
Dan Hirshberg, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Religious Studies at the University of Mary Washington, where he serves as director of the Contemplative Studies program and associate director of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies.
Intensively studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism over the past 25 years, he has traveled extensively throughout Buddhist Asia and received his doctorate from Harvard University in 2012. His first book, “Remembering the Lotus-Born: Padmasambhava in the History of Tibet’s Golden Age” (Wisdom Publications, 2016), focuses on cultural memory and Tibet’s 8th ce. conversion to Buddhism. It won honorable mention (second place) for the E. Gene Smith Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. He has been a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and a member of the Nitartha Translation Network since 2004. In 2020–21 he is a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia’s Contemplative Sciences Center.