Cultivating Sustainable Care and Compassion: Translating Tibetan Principles into Secular Forms of Contemplation



Cultivating Sustainable Care and Compassion: Translating Tibetan Principles into Secular Forms of Contemplation


Fri., Oct 30 2015 - 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM


Ruffner Hall G008


Professor Makransky has been translating Tibetan Buddhist principles for cultivating stable care and compassion into secular forms for people who work in diverse caring professions, such as healthcare, education, social work. In this presentation, Professor Makransky will highlight a core pattern at the heart of Tibetan Buddhist practice that has analogues in other spiritual traditions. This pattern includes three modes of practice that are experienced as mutually empowering in repeated contemplative practice: 1) experiencing oneself as deeply seen and loved, 2) deeply seeing and loving others, and 3) cultivating the qualities of openness, kindness and discernment that are embodied in the first two modes. Professor Makransky will explain several Buddhist concepts that inform this pattern in Tibet, and why all three modes (not just the second or third) are necessary to help contemporary people overcome impediments to sustainable compassion. Buddhist principles he will discuss include: Buddha nature, pure perception, the notion of empowerment, patterns of tantric generation stage practice, and love and compassion as communal powers, not self-help techniques. He will then discuss some of ways he translates these principles into contemporary forms of cultivation for caring professionals, constructing a "secular" space in which people with diverse spiritual backgrounds can feel at home within those three modes of care.

John Makransky is a well-known Buddhist scholar and gifted Western meditation teacher. John established and is the guiding meditation teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion, and is the author of the popular book, Awakening through Love. Academically, John is professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College and senior academic advisor and lecturer for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal. His research has focused on doctrines and practices of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, on adapting meditation practices for contemporary applications, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning.  Since 1978, John has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of his Tibetan teachers, and in 2000 was ordained a Buddhist lama in the lineage of Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.  Since then, John 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 people in many caring roles and professions, including healthcare givers, teachers, mental health professionals, social workers, hospice volunteers, and social change agents.


This talk is co-sponsored by the Compassionate Care Initiative.
For more information on a workshop the weekend that follows this talk, click here.