11385 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Telephone: (310) 825-2089
Website: UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies
Attn: Maura Resnick
Description of Organization
The UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies promotes education about Buddhist religion and culture in all of their diversity. UCLA houses the largest Buddhist studies program in the western world, with more faculty, students and courses in this field than any other university. As ties between America and Asia become increasingly important, and as immigrants from Asia, many of whom are practicing Buddhists, increase in size and influence, the need has grown for specialists with a deep understanding of all facets of Buddhism--its beliefs, its history, and its importance in the contemporary world. The Center contributes to that understanding through teaching and research, and through symposia, workshops and conferences for the academy and the public.
In 2010, the Center received a grant of $7,500 from the The Frederick Lenz Foundation to support a public symposium on May 2, 2011, with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Results / Update
The symposium, "Buddhism and Neuroscience: a Discussion on Attention, Mental Flexibility and Compassion" explored the distinctive but complementary perspectives of Tibetan Buddhism and western neurosciences on these important human capacities. Although illness prevented His Holiness from participating, the two-hour symposium proceeded with Geshe Thupten Jinpa, principal English translator for His Holiness and Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Cambridge University), Robert Thurman, Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, and Robert Buswell, Distinguished Professor and Director, UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies, along with four world-renowned researchers from the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Several hundred attendees enjoyed a fascinating dialogue on the results of scientific research on empathy, mindfulness and creativity, and the role of Buddhist beliefs and meditative practices in cultivating these qualities.