Thursday, January 15, 2009

Buddha in the Twenty First Century

An Occasional Seminar Series by Craig Warren Smith, PhD

Initial Lecture: “An Overview of Contemporary Buddhism and its Meaning for Asia”

Monday, January 26, 2009
Room 707, Boromratchakumari Bldg., Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, 1 – 3 pm

Center for Ethics of Science and Technology,
Chulalongkorn University

Just 40 years after its embrace by Westerners, a secularized approach to Buddhism – stripped of its affiliations with cultures in Asia – has become a dominant factor in the intellectual life of the West. Today, Buddhist principles are integrated into international reform strategies in education, business management and health care. Buddhist principles dare to challenge modern definitions of “scientific method,” and they are even entering into the design of next-generation digital technologies. Buddhism also causes Westerners to discover practical applications of their own humanistic philosophies, which had become increasingly marginalized under the impact of scientific materialism.

Though these reforms emanate from the West, they are having a “kick-back” in Asia. Seeing their own Buddhist traditions through Western eyes, many Asians now see new ways to draw upon their own indigenous spiritual traditions to achieve long-sought domestic reforms.

A former Harvard professor of Science and Technology Policy, Dr. Smith is now Senior Advisor to the University of Washington Human Interface Technology Laboratory. He has taught Buddhism since 1974 when he was a founding faculty member of Naropa University and has since become an advisor to leaders of “engaged Buddhism” such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the actor Richard Gere. He is a Senior Teacher of Shambhala Buddhism, the major international organization of Tibetan Buddhism for Westerners. Today, he lives in Asia where he teachers meditation to Asian business leaders in an annual month-long retreat at Borobodur, Indonesia and is in residence in 2009 at Center for Ethics in Science and Technology at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Each lecture will be preceded by a 15 minute period of guided mindfulness meditation, conducted as participants are seated in chairs.

For more information, please call 02 218 4756 or email