Contemplative Sciences Center Assumes Leadership of Dalai Lama Fellows
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A version of this story originally appeared in UVA Today.
November 29, 2018 — UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA’S CONTEMPLATIVE SCIENCES CENTER TO OVERSEE RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Dalai Lama Fellows includes annual cohort of emerging young leaders from around the globe.
"The dizzying pace of our world, and the previously unfathomable acceleration that technology has engendered, make it increasingly difficult to acquire self-awareness and gain a clear perspective of our complex world," said CSC Executive Director, David Germano. "Leaders are therefore unable to gain the understanding necessary to lead with the kind of holistic intelligence and compassion that is increasingly imperative."
It is this challenge and these times that inspired Germano and the CSC team to bring the renowned Dalai Lama Fellows (DLF) program under the center’s widening umbrella.
Founded in 2010, Dalai Lama Fellows has been dedicated to facilitating the emergence of a new generation of compassionate leaders who are able to bring a commitment to self-reflection and compassion to create holistic change in their communities and throughout the world.
“People sometimes tend to think of contemplative work as inward-facing pursuits in the form of mindfulness, yoga, prayer, or other forms. On the other hand, you have this whole domain of social innovators and social justice entrepreneurs who are getting out into the world and pursuing the change they would like to see in the communities and environments in which they are embedded. I think the importance of this program is that it gives us the opportunity to bring these two into a more intimate union with each other that reveals the falseness of such a dichotomy between change and cultivation happening inside and outside.”
Its commitment to the program, Germano said, will also allow it to expand the center's efforts to integrate social innovation and justice with contemplation, and to reach younger generations representing countries and cultures around the world.
Each year, the program selects 25 to 30 individuals from around the world to participate in a 12-month course of engagement that The fellows are committed to integrating these external activities with a commitment to internal, contemplative and reflective self-work including cultivating compassion and resilience. Once the fellowship is completed, participants join an international community of fellowship alumni who have the skills, the network and the capacity to work together to bring about change in the world around them, Germano, said. Over the years, the fellowship program has grown to more than 150 individuals across 40 nationalities.
Photo at Right: Fellows share Bhangra dancing, a traditional dance from the state of Punjab in India, during the annual Global Leadership Assembly, held at UVA last summer.
View the Dalai Lama Fellows website here.