Online Lecture Series

New Frontiers in Buddhist Studies

Date: 2020 November 20, 27 & 30 

          2020 December 3 &11

Time: 6:30-8:00 pm (HKT)

Conducted in English

JOIN our online lectures on Zoom!

Online lecture: 

Zoom link - https://hku.zoom.us/j/96424845405

Meeting ID: 964 2484 5405

Lectures topic:

Nov 20 - Lecture 1:   

The Development of a Theoretical Orientation for Counselling based on Early Buddhist Teaching

by Dr. Kin Cheung (George) Lee, PhD (Alliant)

Nov 27 - Lecture 2:

Administrative Centre, Subversive Margin: the Interplay of Theocracy and Tantrism in the Tibetan Medical Tradition

by Dr. Tony K.M. Chui, Ph.D. (HK)

Nov 30 - Lecture 3:

Origins of the Theory of Four Stages to Arahantship in the Theravāda Soteriology

by Ven. Dr. Amrita Nanda, Ph.D. (HK)

Dec  3  - Lecture 4:

The Development and Evaluation of a Novel Group-based Mahāyāna Buddhist Intervention, Awareness Training Program

by Dr. Bonnie W.Y. Wu, Ph.D. (HK)

Dec 11 - Lecture 5:

Flowers Perfuming Sesame: How the Yogācāras Developed the Idea of Simultaneous Perfuming/Impregnation of Phenomena

by Dr. Gao Mingyuan, Ph.D. (Kelaniya)

Organized by HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies

Sponsored by GS Charity Foundation

 

Nov 20 (6:30-8:00 pm (HKT)) - Lecture 1

The Development of a Theoretical Orientation for Counselling based on Early Buddhist Teaching

by Dr. Kin Cheung (George) Lee, PhD (Alliant)

 

 

Abstract

In the midst of extracting Buddhist teaching into psychotherapeutic interventions in the current field of psychology, little is known about one fundamental question: Can Buddhism become a standalone theoretical orientation? This lecture attempts to answer this question in two ways. First, the lecture will propose a model of theoretical orientation using the five Nikāyas as a source of information to address the dimensions of a theoretical orientation, including: (1) Central Theoretical Constructs, (2) Basic Philosophy of Human Nature, (3) Human Development, (4) Healthy Ideal, (5) Causes and Nature of Dysfunction, (6) Nature and Process of Counselling, (6) Role of Counsellor, and (7) Interventions and Techniques. Secondly, the lecture will introduce a conceptual treatment model based on the orientation, known as Note, Know, Decide. The lecture also consists of brief comparisons between psychology and Buddhism to illustrate the uniqueness of a Buddhist theoretical orientation and short case examples to suggest the practicality of Note, Know, Decide.

About the speaker

Dr. Kin Cheung (George) Lee is a lecturer at The Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong, and a founding member of the Master of Buddhist Counselling program as well as the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Buddhist Counselling. Dr. Lee has published in the areas of Buddhist mindfulness, Buddhist-derived interventions, and treatment models based on Early Buddhist teaching. Clinically, he is a California licensed psychologist (PSY28022), a registered clinical psychologist of Hong Kong Associations of Doctor in Clinical Psychology, a fellow member of the Asian Academy of Family Therapy, and a certified therapist in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

 

Nov 27 (6:30-8:00 pm (HKT)) - Lecture 2

Administrative Centre, Subversive Margin: the Interplay of Theocracy and Tantrism in the Tibetan Medical Tradition

by Dr. Tony K.M. Chui, Ph.D. (HK)

 

Abstract

The practice of medicine has to be effective, and competently administered, otherwise lives will be endangered. In the Tibetan medical tradition, rigorous systems have been established within the tradition to prevent incompetent practice leading to negative outcomes for patients and to ensure that medical knowledge is transmitted properly. Following the institutionalization of Tibetan medicine in the 17th century, medical practice has been considered part of tantric Buddhist practice and as such has been conceptualised in a restricted way. Secret medicinal formulations and substances empowered with specific properties were frequently used to boost their potency. While merit, considered in the Buddhist worldview as spiritual progress, is gained by practitioners for healing patients, corresponding spiritual retribution can result from unauthorised or substandard in the tantric context of medical practice. On the one hand, tantric strictures ensure that medicine is practiced to high standards with proper safety measures. On the other hand, it means that medicine is kept as elite knowledge restricted to tantric adepts. The act of healing submits to a central authority and the room for unapproved practice is narrow. This paper examines the constraints embedded within the medical texts written at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. These constraints, which are typical of those associated with tantric teachings, represented a vital component in the ability of the authorities of the Lcags po ri Medical School to control medical practice under the 5th Dalai Lama’s theocratic regime.

About the speaker

Dr. Tony Chui obtained his BSc in Human Biology at the University of Toronto, following which he received his MPhil in Neurobiology from the Faculty of Medicine and a Master of Buddhist Studies from the Centre of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong. Pursuing his research into Tibetan modes of healing the ‘life-wind’ illness, he received his PhD from the same University. As a project associate of the Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and an honorary lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, his current research interests focus on the impact of religious worldview on the conceptualization and management of illness.

 

Nov 30 (6:30-8:00 pm (HKT)) - Lecture 3

Origins of the Theory of Four Stages to Arahantship in the Theravāda Soteriology

by Ven. Dr. Amrita Nanda, Ph.D. (HK)

 

Abstract

The theory of the four stages to liberation refers to an exhaustive list of stages that a Buddhist practitioner may pass through in his or her progress towards liberation through this or various lifetimes in various cosmological realms depending on the individual’s circumstances and commitment to spiritual practice. Buddhist theory of four stages functions as reference which orients and provides a criterion for, the general religious outlook and practice of Buddhist practitioners. The theory of four stages is an all-inclusive soteriological structure into which this array of practices and attainments are incorporated. Therefore, the theory is important for Buddhist practitioners as well as scholars in the field of Buddhist soteriology.This paper investigates a historical development of the theory of the four stages to arahantship and argues that the theory of the four stages to arahantship is not part of the earliest Buddhist soteriology, instead it argues that the theory was gradually developed in a later period and in its formation the socio-religious factors made a significant contribution.

About the speaker

Ven. Dr. Amrita Nanda is an honorary lecturer at the Centre of Buddhist Studies, the University of Hong Kong from where he received Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies in the year 2017, and Master of Buddhist Studies (MBS) with distinction in 2011.  In the year 2009, he received Bachelor of Arts (First class) in Buddhist studies from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. His research interests lie in the area of Buddhist soteriology and Buddhist philosophy.  He has published several articles in academic journals on Buddhist Philosophy and Soteriology and a few book chapters. He has also presented several academic papers in international conferences.

 

Dec 3 (6:30-8:00 pm (HKT)) - Lecture 4

The Development and Evaluation of a Novel Group-based Mahāyāna Buddhist Intervention, Awareness Training Program

by Dr. Bonnie W.Y. Wu, Ph.D. (HK)

Abstract

Over the past decades, mindfulness-based interventions have been verified to be effective in reducing stress and related problems.  However, there is growing concern that some of the mindfulness-based interventions have been developed in an “out of context” manner.  Awareness Training Program (ATP), which is doctrinally aligned with the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra so that its theory and praxis are coherent, was formulated by Venerable Sik Hin Hung and the presenter in response to this growing concern and the immense needs of the non-clinical adults with stress problems, particularly in Hong Kong.  The ATP aims to enhance a person’s ability to deal with suffering by developing one’s compassion and the wisdom of nonattachment, which are two of Mahāyāna Buddhist fundamental practices.  This presentation will outline why “Mahāyāna Buddhist teaching,” “textually aligned” and “coherent theory and praxis” are regarded as important components when formulating a Buddhist-based intervention.  The theoretical foundations of ATP as well as its empirical findings will also be presented.

About the speaker

Dr. Wu is a Lecturer at The Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong.  In 2019, she has received her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from The University of Hong Kong.  Her doctrinal work focused on the development and evaluation of a new group-based Mahāyāna Buddhist intervention, Awareness Training Program (ATP).  She has published articles on Buddhist-based interventions and neuroscience of meditation as well as books and manuals on Buddhist Life Education for primary and secondary schools.  Dr. Wu has been learning and practicing meditation for more than a decade.  She is also a registered social worker.  She received her B.SW. from The University of Hong Kong with First-Class honors.

 

Dec 11 (6:30-8:00 pm (HKT)) - Lecture 5

Flowers Perfuming Sesame: How the Yogācāras Developed the Idea of Simultaneous Perfuming/Impregnation of Phenomena

by Dr. Gao Mingyuan, Ph.D. (Kelaniya)

 

Abstract

Flowers perfuming sesame is used as a classical simile describing the Yogācāra doctrine of seeds being perfumed/impregnated by manifested dharmas. Asaṅga’s Mahāyānasaṃgraha defines that the mechanism of perfuming/impregnation (vāsanā/paribhāvitatva) requires the co-existence of the perfumer and the perfumed. Accordingly, a seed must be simultaneous with the corresponding manifested dharma as its fruit. A question arises here as to how a seed could be understood as having a simultaneous fruit, which is contradictory to common sense. Besides, it is noted that the simile of flowers perfuming sesame is also employed in the Sarvāstivāda Abhidharmas in the context of meditation. This lecture is an inquiry into the mechanism of perfuming and aims to answer how the Yogācāras could have adapted the Abhidharma doctrine of meditative perfuming for their doctrine of mere-cognition (vijñaptimātratā).

About the speaker

Dr. GAO Mingyuan got his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Ven. Prof. KL Dhammajoti. His Ph.D. Thesis, The Buddhist Concept of Vāsanā: From Abhidharma to Early Yogācāra, won the 2020 Khyentse Foundation Award for Outstanding PhD Dissertation in Buddhist Studies. His research is mainly based on Abhidharma and Yogācāra texts in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Classical Chinese. He is currently serving as an honorary lecturer at Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong.

© 2020 by HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies

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