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Psychology in Buddhism - Monthly Lecture

Saturday, January 11, 2014
05:30 PM
Venue : 
Conference Hall, Tibet House
Ven. Ngawang Sonam

An Abstract:  

From the very onset of this life, we have all yearned for something in life, with a strong sense of self accompanying ourselves at every moment. It is true that everybody knows that this self constitutes not only the body but the mind. However, we have never really endeavoured to discover for ourselves what our minds look like. Is it just one entity? Can we influence our mind as much as it influences us? Can our body influence our mind and vice versa? The ancient Indian tradition is the richest one that can describe our mind to the fullest. In accordance with this tradition, I am going to speak on the different aspects of our mind, their natures, conditions and causes that give rise to them, their roles or functions and their relevance in our day to day life. Addictions, crimes, and anti-social elements have all stemmed from misconstrued mental states, and yet we have such visionaries as Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who have shown us that we have positive capabilities. Modern scientists are more curious about the mind now than they ever had been. Can we reach a common consensus that we can offer the world? Lord Budddha’s teachings and their commentaries by ancient Indian scholarly adepts have explored our mind to the fullest. From those wide ranges of teachings, I am going to bring out few tiny segments and will discuss them more from a secular non-religious point of view, and give you a glimpse of our minds.Our minds influence our social interactions, our physical health and our outlook as individuals. Many believe that emotions, either destructive or constructive, are inherent and natural realities intrinsic to our being which we cannot change. However, experientially it is not the case. Such views and other views such as clinging to and grasping at objects as independent, permanent or substantially autonomous are actually causes of our entrenched lust and hatred. Can we ever remove them permanently or at least deal with them effectively? The answer is ‘Yes’ for both of them. I hope that this short presentation would be just a start for many to explore the rich heritage that we have not fully discovered.

The Speaker:  

Ven. Ngawang Sonam having studied in TCV for ten years, Ngawang Sonam got himself admitted to Sera Mey monastery in South India, one of the biggest Tibetan monastic universities in India. He has been studying there for the last 19 years, since 1995. For a monk to attain the highest level of the monastic degree, it takes around 20-23 yrs. Ven. Ngawang Sonam is on the verge of attaining his Geshe Lharampa degree (equivalent to PhD). He has translated for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has accompanied His Holiness on many of his foreign visits as well as in India. As a professional translator, he went to Cambridge in England to polish his English. He is equipped with insight in both modern and ancient thoughts, from his years of rigorous monastic study and experience as a monk practitioner. 

Topic: Psychology in Buddhism

Medium of Speech: English

Speaker: Ven. Ngawang Sonam

Venue: Conference Hall, Tibet House

Date: January 11, 2014

Time: 05:30 pm