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Upcoming events

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The Venerable Thubten Chodron
Sravasti Abbey, Newport, WA

"Life as a Western Buddhist Nun"
April 11, 2017

The Venerable Yifa
Woodenfish Foundation, Beijing

"Empowerment of Women in Buddhism"
March 7, 2017

The Venerable Yifa
Woodenfish Foundation, Beijing

"Buddhism in Current China"
March 1, 2017
Hampshire College


Mark Blum

Professor and Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley

"Critically Reading the Tannisho", Taitetsu Unno Memorial Lecture in Shin Buddhist Studies,
February 10, 2017

Joan Halifax

Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe

"Inside Compassion: A Contemporary Buddhist View"
February 8, 2017

Khen Rinpoche

Abbot of Tashilhunpo Monastery

Green Tara Meditation and Nine Steps of Mental Quiescence sessions and two public lectures, "Equalizing and Switching Self and Other" and "Emptiness"
October 24 - November 3rd, 2016

David Loy

Professor, Writer, and Zen Teacher

"Awakening From the Illusion of Our Separation: A Buddhist Perspective on the Eco-crisis"
October 6, 2016

Carola Roloff (Jampa Tsedroen)
University of Hamburg

"Women, Ordination and a Buddhist Perspective: A Violation of Rights?"
October 12, 2016
in Pruyne/Fayerweather Hall
Amherst College






James Dobbins
Fairchild Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies, Oberlin College

"Going to Hell Chanting Amida Buddha's Name: D.T. Suzuki's Modern Reading of Pure Land Buddhism", March 25, 2016

Download the poster (PDF)






William Edelglass
Professor of Philosophy, Marlboro College

"Why the Boddhisattva Isn't Satisfied:
Buddhism, Happiness and Ethics", February 11, 2016




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Jeff Wilson
Assoicate Professor, Religious Studies
and East Asian Studies
Renison University College

"Mindfulness Inc.: Buddhist Practice Beyond Religion", December 4, 2015






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Stephen Batchelor
Internationally known Buddhist teacher and author

"Early Buddhism for Secular Times", November 10, 2015






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Khen Rinpoche at Smith College

Abbot of Tashilhunpo Monastery
September 16-30, 2015

Green Tara Meditation and Nine Steps of Mental Quiescence sessions and two public lectures, Equalizing and Switching Self and Other and Emptiness (Sunya)




Download the poster (PDF)

Andrew Olendzki

"Consciousness, Non-Self and Contemplative Art: Buddhist Influences on a New Art Movement", August 5, 2015

Cyborg Buddha and the New Technologies of Awareness: There's an App for That!

Spring 2015

A series of six lectures on the topic of emerging technologies and Buddhism and the theoretical and ethical questions new technology may raise, with a look at the world of applied Buddhist tech.

James Hughes, Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies; Director, Cyborg Buddha Project

"Using Neurotechnologies to Enhance Virtues: A Posthuman Model for Cultivating Character", February 19, 2015

Mikey Siegel, President, BioFluent Technologies; Founder, Consciousness Hacking; Affiliate Scholar, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

"Transformative Technology: An Evolution of Contemplative Practice", March 5, 2015
Jamie Hubbard, Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies and Jill Ker Conway Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies, Smith College

"Buddhism and the Happiness Industry, or What I Learned From Dr. Phil", March 23, 2015
Robin Arnott, Audio and game designer; interactive artist; film and game audio engineer

"Videogame as Mandala, Enlightenment as Novelty", March 26, 2015

Ariel Garten, artist, scientist, designer (“wearable computers”); Chief Executive Officer, InteraXon; Michael Apollo, Senior Faculty at University of Toronto’s Applied Mindfulness Program; Director of Mind Sciences, InteraXon

"Contemplative Sensors and the Democratization of Contemplative Practice, with Muse: the Brain Sensing Headband", March 31, 2015

Andrew Fenton, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fresno. 

"Toward a Critical Buddhist Neuroethics: The Case of Pharmaceutical Cognitive Enhancement", April 16, 2015


Mindfulness: Burmese Roots and Mass(achusetts) Branches
Fall 2014

A series of five lectures that explored the social and religious origins of the modern mindfulness movement as well as some issues that contemporary practitioners now raise about Western developments that are perhaps quite divergent from their Burmese origins.
David McMahan, Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies, Franklin and Marshall College
"Meditation in Context: From Ancient Buddhist Monastery to Modern Psychologist's Office", September 25, 2014

Erik Braun, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Oklahoma
"The Queen and the Monk: The Birth of Global Insight Meditation Movement in Colonial Burma", October 2, 2014
Ingrid Jordt, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"How Mindfulness Meditation Makes Social and Moral Worlds in Burma and the United States", October 23, 2014
Willoughby Britton, Assistant Professor, Brown University
"The Varieties of Contemplative Experience: An Empirical Study of American Buddhist Meditators", November 13, 2014
Jake H. Davis, Visiting Scholar, Brown University
"What is Timeless about Mindfulness? The Path from Suffering to Awareness across Human Contexts", December 4, 2014


October 28, 2014
Reverend Patti Nakai
Associate Minister, Buddhist Temple of Chicago, "Nirvana in Everyday Life: The Shin Buddhist Path"

Download the poster (PDF)

October 17-19, 2014
Seventh Annual Seminar on Exploring Buddhism

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September 11, 2014
Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche
"Introduction to Mahamudra"

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April 4 and 5, 2014
Symposium in celebration of Peter Gregory's contributions to Buddhist Studies

Robert Sharf
, University of California, Berkeley, "Is Mindfulness Buddhist, and Does It Matter?"

Panel Discussions
Neilson Browsing Room
Participants: Robert Buswell (UCLA), Mark Blum (UC Berkeley), Sue Darlington (Hampshire College), T. Griffith Foulk (Sarah Lawrence), Maria Heim (Amherst College), Jamie Hubbard (Smith College), Richard Jaffe (Duke University), Connie Kassor (Smith College), Susanne Mrozik (Mount Holyoke College), Marylin Rhie (Smith College), James Robson (Harvard University), Reiko Sono (University of Massachusetts), Jacqueline Stone (Princeton University), Stanley Weinstein (Yale University).

Download the poster (PDF)

March 25, 2014
Cynthea Bogel, Professor of Japanese Art History and Visual Culture, Kyushu University, Japan, "Art Outside the Temple: Contemporary Buddhist-inspired Artistic Production and Display"

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March 24, 2014
Ouyporn Khaunkaew, "Feminism and Engaged Buddhism for Social Change"

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November 6, 2013
Faculty presented the Buddhist Studies concentration to interested students.

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October 24, 2013
Geshe Kelsang Wangmo, "What is the Self?", a discussion of some of the principal debates that are presented in the Buddhist scriptures concerned with understanding reality.

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October 16 -30, 2013
Khen Rinpoche (Geshe Tsetan) led a series of 10 Green Tara meditation sessions.

He also gave two lectures: one titled "Equalizing and Switching Self and Other" and one titled "Emptiness".


Download the poster

Dorjee poster

April 8, 2013
Pema Dorjee
, senior physician and technical adviser to the Research and Development Department of the Tibetan Medical Institute of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "Tibetan Medicine: Its Approach to Anxiety and Depression"

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April 5, 2013
Mark Blum
, Professor of Japanese Studies, SUNY Albany, "Think Buddha, Say Buddha, Dance Buddha"

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Mark Blum


March 28, 2013
Stephen Batchelor
,"The Secular Buddha"

Download the poster

March 11, 2013
"Buddhism After the Tsunami", a film screening and discussion

Brose poster

March 8, 2013
Benjamin Brose
, University of Michigan, "Resurrecting Xuanzang: The Modern Travels of a Medieval Monk"


November 5, 2012

Venerable Subul Sunim, Abbot of the Beomeosa Temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and Head Teacher, International Seon Center at Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea, “Zen Meditation for Today: A New Approach by a Modern Korean Master”

Download the poster (PDF)

Watch the video

October 29, 30, and 31, 2012
Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ
“Nine Steps of Mental Quiescence: The Nine Powers and Engagements”

October 16 and 30, 2012

Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ
“Giving and Receiving and Turning the Bad Into Good”
“Equalizing Self and Others and ‘Bodhi Mind’”

October 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24 and 25, 2012

Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ
Green Tara Meditation Sessions

October 16, 2012

Elizabeth Napper, Tibetan Nuns Project, "The Education of Tibetan Buddhist Nuns"


September 28, 2012

Lori Meeks, University of California, "Making Sense of the Blood Bowl Sutra: Early-Modern Commentaries on Women’s Salvation in Japanese Buddhism” 



April 13, 2012

Jeff Wilson, University of Waterloo
“Dixie Buddhism: Regionalism in American Buddhism”

March 30, 2012

Robert Ford Campany, Vanderbilt University
“The Incredible Vanishing Religion: Glimmers of Buddhist Imagination from Early Medieval China”

March 29, 2012

Yasuo Deguchi, Kyoto University
“Last Nishitani on Emotion and Action”

March 2, 2012

Hank Glassman, Haverford College 
“The Cult of Jizō, a Buddhist Deity, in Medieval Japan”

October 24, 2011

Sara McClintock, Emory University
“Aesthetic Shock and Ethical Formation in Buddhist Narrative Literature”

April 7, 2011

Guy Newland, Central Michigan University
“Betraying Emptiness: Translating Tibetan Retextualization of Madhyamaka Philosophy”

April 4, 2011

Karma Lekshe Tsomo, University of San Diego
“Buddhism and Gender Identity”

March 26, 2011

Venerable Amy Miller, Milarepa Center, Barnet, VT
“The Meditator’s Life”

March 21 and 22, 2011

Catherine Anraku Hondorp, Zen Center, Northampton, MA
“An Introduction to Zen Meditation”

October 26 and November 2, 2010

Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ
“Dependent Origination”

November 11, 2010

Tom Tillemans, University of Lausanne
“Madhyamaka Buddhist Ethics”

Watch the lecture | Watch the Q&A

April 23–25, 2010

Smith College hosted a three-day symposium, featuring more than 20 scholars (PDF) from America and Europe, entitled “Madhyamaka and Methodology: A Symposium on Buddhist Theory and Method.”

Watch the symposium

April 20, 2010

Smith College was fortunate to host a poetry reading by Ko Un, the preeminent and most prolific living Korean writer. Author of more than 135 volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, translations and drama, Ko Un has twice won the prestigious Korean Literature Prize and is frequently mentioned as a favorite for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Poetry Center Web site

April 10, 2010

"Technologies of Awareness: Buddhism and the New Mind Sciences"
This one-day symposium considering the intersection of Buddhist practice, Western psychology and modern technology from leaders in these diverse areas of study.

November 4, 2009

Sandy Gentei Stewart, Abbot of North Carolina Zen Center
“Zen Practice and Zen in America”

October 20 and 27, 2009

Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ

September 27, 2009

Robert Kennedy, Jesuit priest and Zen teacher
“When God Disappears”

April 22, 2009

Sarah Horton, Macalester College
“Reflections on Living Buddhist Statues in Modern and Medieval Japan

March 27–29, 2009

Smith College, the Five College Buddhist Studies faculty, and the Manjushri Institute of Buddhist Studies hosted more than 20 specialists in history, religion, anthropology and art to share their current research and insights into Mongolian Buddhist art, history of Buddhism in Mongolia, and rebirth and transformation in a conference called “Buddhism in Mongolia: Rebirth and Transformation.”

November 14, 2008

John Powers, Australian National University
“Representation of Tibetan Identity in the Context of the Olympics”

October 23, 2008

Geshe Damcho Gyaltsen, Director, Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala “Education and Spirituality: A Tibetan Buddhist Perspective”

October 21 and 28, 2008

Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ
“Compassion and Selflessness”
“Wisdom and Emptiness”

October 1–18, 2008

Joan Bredin-Price mounted an exhibition of 10 large paintings of the Dhyani Buddhas.

February 29, 2008

Robert E. Buswell, Jr., UCLA
“Reflections on the Commentarial Genre in Korean Buddhist Literature”

October 16, 23, 25, and 30, 2007

Geshe Lobsang Tsetan, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, NJ
“Compassion and Selflessness”
“Lam Rim (Stages of the Path) by Tsong Khapa, part 1”
“Lam Rim (Stages of the Path) by Tsong Khapa, part 2”
“Wisdom and Emptiness”

May 9, 2007

Wisdom, Compassion, Peace: The Visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Smith College, Hampshire College and the Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts welcomed the 14th Dalai Lama to the Pioneer Valley on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. This momentous visit by the leader of the Tibetan people recognized the colleges' thriving exchange program with exiled Tibetan scholars in India.


Buddhist Philosophy Distinguished Lecture Series

This series brought six distinguished scholars to campus to meet with the Five College Buddhist Studies Seminar and to give a public lecture dealing with some topic of current interest in Buddhist philosophy.


April 21, 2006

TransBuddhism Symposium on Diaspora Buddhist Communities in the U.S.

The title and theme of the symposium built on the momentum of the successful Kahn Institute seminar held over the course of the 2003-04 academic year. The format of this symposium was designed to bring together several different communities: the very active group of Buddhist Studies scholars in the Five Colleges, students in the Five College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program, and four up-and-coming scholars doing research on diaspora Buddhist communities in the United States. The four invited guests—Sharon Suh, Wendy Cadge, Caroline Chen, and Abraham Zablocki—represent a new generation of scholars whose work is changing the parameters of the study of Buddhism in America.


The symposium centered on a discussion forum on Friday afternoon, April 21, “TransBuddhism American Style: Diaspora Buddhist Communities in the United States,” with Sharon Suh, Carolyn Chen, Wendy Cadge, and Abraham Zablocki. The discussion forum on Friday was preceded by a meeting of the Five College Buddhist Studies Seminar on Wednesday afternoon, April 19, during which members discussed papers written by each of the forum’s participants. On Friday evening, following the forum, there was a catered dinner to which all students in the Five College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program were invited so as to give them an opportunity to meet and interact with the invited scholars as well as the Five College Buddhist Studies faculty.

Sharon Suh is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University; her Being Buddhist in a Christian World: Gender and Community in a Korean American Temple was published by the University of Washington Press in 2004. Wendy Cadge was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University and has subsequently taken a position as an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University. Her Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004, examines two very different communities (one convert and one ethnic), the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and a Thai Temple (Wat Phila) in Philadelphia. Carolyn Chen is an assistant professor at Northwestern University. She is revising her dissertation comparing a Chinese Buddhist and Chinese Evangelical Christian community in Southern California for publication w/ Princeton University Press. Abraham Zablocki is a visiting assistant professor at Hampshire College. He is revising his dissertation on The Global Mandala: The Transformation of Tibetan Buddhism for publication.

April 7-10, 2005

Women Practicing Buddhism: American Experiences

This four-day conference focused on women's experiences of Buddhism, and brought together scholars, students and practitioners from around New England and across the globe. The proceedings were then published in a book by the same name, edited by Peter Gregory (Smith College) and Susanne Mrozik (Mount Holyoke College).

Lecture Series on Zen in America

The impetus for this lecture series was a call from the noted poet, essayist, and cultural critic Gary Snyder to say that he would be available to come to Smith in April to give a lecture and poetry reading. Given Snyder’s renown as a poet and his pioneering role in the history of Zen in America, we organized a lecture series on Zen in America, culminating with Snyder’s lecture and poetry reading. The speakers in the series—T. Griffith Foulk, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, and Duncan Williams—were chosen for their being able to represent contrasting viewpoints as well as for their being able to address different aspects of American Zen.


The series began on Monday afternoon, February 20, with a lecture by T. Griffith Foulk (professor of Religion at Sarah Lawrence College) on “American Fantasies of Chinese and Japanese Zen.” Foulk’s ground-breaking research has redefined the study of the Chan/Zen tradition. He has written extensively on the historical development of the Chan and Zen institution in China and Japan, the mythological framework in which it cast its history, and how those underlying mythical structures have shaped both modern historiography and popular conceptions of Zen. His lecture deconstructed popular conceptions of Zen in the West by showing how they were the creation of an elite group of Japanese Zen modernizers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and did not necessarily represent the way Chan or Zen was traditionally understood and practiced in China and Japan.

On Monday afternoon, March 6, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara (abbot of the Village Zendo, New York) gave the second lecture in the series, “Nuevo Zen: Contours of Change in the American Context.” O’Hara was ordained as a Zen priest by Maezumi Roshi and was certified as a Zen master by Roshi Bernie Glassman. Her work combines the ordinary running of an urban temple with peacemaking activities, especially in the world of HIV/AIDS. She was formerly an associate professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she taught video and interactive arts for 20 years. Her talk discussed the romanticized ideas that first drew her to Zen, and how her deepening practice helped her to shed them for a more quotidian and socially engaged orientation.

Duncan Williams (associate professor of East Asian Buddhism at the University of California, Irvine) gave the third lecture on “Dislocations of Zen: Soto Zen in Pre-War Japanese American Communities” on Monday afternoon, March 13th. Williams has done pioneering work on the social history of Zen in pre-modern Japan as well as on Zen in the Japanese immigrant and Japanese American community in the United States. His The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan was published by Princeton University Press in 2005. He is currently completing a book on the role of Buddhism in the detention camps during the internment of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. His lecture was particularly valuable for illuminating an important but largely overlooked aspect of Zen in America.

The series culminated with a lecture and poetry reading by noted Zen figure, poet, critic, essayist, and environmentalist Gary Snyder. On Monday afternoon, April 3, Snyder lectured on “Reflections on the Zen Way,” and on Tuesday evening, April 4, he gave a Poetry Reading (co-sponsored by the Poetry Center). Snyder has been one of the most influential figures in the development of American Zen in the past fifty years. His early involvement with Zen was celebrated in Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums (1958), in which he was portrayed as the fictionalized hero, Jaffe Ryder. That book famously associated Snyder with the Beats, and it exemplified a part of the “Zen boom” discussed by Alan Watts’ 1957 essay, “Beat Zen/Square Zen.” There was a seriousness of purpose, a rigor, and a determination to Snyder’s interest in Zen, however, that set him apart from many of the artists and intellectuals who were drawn to Zen in the 1950s, whether beat or square. Snyder studies Chinese and Japanese at Berkeley for three years before embarking for Japan in the spring of 1956, where he began his study of Rinzai Zen under Miura Isshu Roshi at Shokokji in Kyoto. He later continued his study with Oda Sesso Roshi at Daitokuji. Snyder was one of a handful of Americans in his generation to brave the formidable obstacles to go to Japan to study Zen first hand. During his twelve years there he also participated in a Zen Studies research institute that produced two translations of important Chinese Zen texts and a major reference work.

Snyder has not only been at the center of the American Zen scene since the 1950s, but the power of his personal example as well as the force of his writing also contributed much to the enthusiastic embrace of Zen practice among the generation that came of age in the 1960s. He is, of course, best known as a poet, but he is also a superb essayist. Both his poetry and prose reflect his life-long study and practice of the Japanese Zen tradition, his deep emersion in Chinese and Japanese artist sensibilities, his appreciation of Native American traditions, and his profound concern fro ecology. Snyder has published 10 collections of poetry since 1959, when his first volume, Riprap, appeared, and his work over the past five decades has attracted much critical acclaim and won numerous prizes, including the Bollingen poetry Prize, the Orion Society’s John Hay Award for Nature Writing, and a Pulitzer Prize for Turtle Island in 1975. Snyder also taught literature and ecology at the University of California for many years.

October 24, 2004
Food, Hunger, and Buddhism

This event, held on October 24, 2004, centered around a Chinese Buddhist Tantric ritual for feeding hungry ghosts performed by the monks and nuns of Fo-Guang Shan, one of the most extensive Buddhist organizations in the world. The event offered the campus and local community a rare opportunity to witness a fascinating but little-known aspect of Chinese culture and religion. That it kept the Carroll Room (208) of the Campus Center filled throughout the four-and-a-half hours of its duration is a good measure of its success. Drawing on a variety of musical and operatic styles, the ritual created a rich and colorful aesthetic and spiritual experience, whose purpose was to awaken a spirit of compassion for all beings, including the most neglected in our society. Using the message of universal compassion at the heart the ritual to call attention to the plight of the needy in Northampton and surrounding communities, the event was planned in concert with various churches and community food drives and succeeded in collecting more than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food items, which were donated to Northampton Survival Center for distribution.

TransBuddhism: Transmission, Translation, and Transformation

This year-long Kahn Institute symposium allowed faculty, students and visiting scholars to explore the ways that Buddhism has changed and been changed by the societies into which it has been introduced. The symposium culminated in a book by the same name, which was released by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010. Edited by Nalini Bhushan, Jay Garfield, and Abraham Zablocki, the book includes contributions by the editors as well as Mark Blum, Mario D'Amato, Sue Darlington, Elizabeth Eastman, Connie Kassor, Tom Rohlich, Judith Snodgrass, Jane Stangl, and Karma Lekshe Tsomo.

2002, 2003, 2006, 2007

Many Flavors of the Dharma

This recurring two-day event brings together many of the nearly 50 Buddhist groups and organizations in the Pioneer Valley for workshops, talks, panels and performances. These celebrations feature Buddhism in a multiplicity of forms. For more on the event, see this article and this video.


Buddhism in America Lecture Series

This lecture series was held in conjunction with a new course on Buddhism in America that was offered during the spring semester of 2002. The goal of the series was to explore aspects of Buddhism in America that have been neglected in both popular and academic coverage of the field or that would be of special interest to Smith students. The first four lectures/panels brought to campus a group of seven leading scholars to explore various Asian and Asian American expressions of Buddhism that reflect the continuing importance of the global dimension of the American Buddhist scene. The second three lectures brought in three prominent American Buddhists to reflect on ways in which Buddhism is being adapted to American religious and social needs.


The series began on Tuesday evening, February 12 with a panel on the Japanese American Buddhist Experience. Professor George Tanabe (University of Hawaii) discussed “Buddhism in Hawaii.” He was followed by Professor Duncan Williams (Trinity College), who spoke on “Buddhism in the Internment Camps.” Professor emeritus Taitetsu Unno (Smith College) concluded with reflections on “The Prospects of Pure Land Buddhism in the U.S.”

On Monday afternoon, February 18, Professor Richard Jaffe (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) lectured on “Forging a New Buddhism: Late Nineteenth-century Japanese Buddhists in Asia.” The lecture examined the international pan-Asian context that shaped the lives and thought of three late nineteenth-century Japanese Buddhist reformers whose modernization of the religion influenced the form of Buddhism introduced to the West by figures such as D. T. Suzuki. Jaffe’s book, Neither Monk nor Layman: Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism,was recently published by Princeton University Press.

The third event in the series was a panel on Humanistic Buddhism, which took place on Monday afternoon, February 25. The panel examined two modern forms of “Humanistic Buddhism” that have emerged as global empires in the past three decades: one a lay organization founded in Japan, and the other monastic organization founded in Taiwan. Professor Richard Seager (Hamilton College) focused on Daisaku Ikeda and the Sokka Gakkai, while Professor Stuart Chandler (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) focused on Xing Yun and the Buddha Light Society. These two organizations represent an important, transnational dimension of American Buddhism that often gets overlooked in both the popular media and the scholarly press. Richard Seager (author of Buddhism in America) is currently completing a book of Daisaku Ikeda; Stuart Chandler is revising a manuscript on Xing Yun and the Buddha Light Society.

On Tuesday afternoon, February 26 Professor Julia Huang presented a lecture on “The Compassionate Relief Society (Ciji),” a prominent Taiwanese Buddhist group with a strong following in the Chinese diaspora community. Huang recently completed a dissertation at Boston University on Ciji and is a visiting scholar at Center for the Study of World Religion, Harvard University.

On Friday, March 1, the Kent Program hosted a luncheon for Professor Roger Daniels, in conjunction with his lecture at Mount Holyoke College on February 28 on “The Incarceration of the Japanese Americans: A View from 2002.” The luncheon provided the opportunity for Smith faculty and students to meet the scholar who pioneered the field of Asian American History.

On Monday afternoon, March 11, Susan Moon lectured on “Taking Refuge in My Own True Nature: An American Woman’s Experience of Zen.” Moon is a long-time Zen practitioner, activist, writer, and editor of Turning Wheel: Journal of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Her lecture explored how a traditional, monastically based Buddhist practice such as Zen can speak to a contemporary American lay woman, who is concerned with issues of social justice, self-understanding, and expressing herself as a writer.

On Tuesday afternoon, March 26, Karma Lekshe Tsomo presented a lecture on “Women in Buddhism and Reinstating the Order of Nuns.” Author and editor five books on women and Buddhism, Tsomo is a fully-ordained Buddhist nun, founding member of Sakyadhita: International Association of Buddhist Women, winner of the Jacobs Peace Award, and assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at University of San Diego.

On Thursday afternoon, April 11, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold lectured on “Prison Dharma.” Arnold is a Zen teacher at Zen Mountain Monastery at Mount Tremper, NY, and has been involved in teaching meditation in the New York state prison system for two decades.