HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies 20th Anniversary Series
The “Sixteen Spheres”
Meditation Practice of the
Kadampa School of Tibetan Buddhism
Speaker: Prof. Ulrike Roesler
Time: 7-9 pm (HKT) | 31 Mar 2023 (Fri)
Venue: CPD3.04, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Tower
Centennial Campus, HKU
Conducted in English | All are welcome | Free admission
Organized by HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies
Sponsored by Tung Lin Kok Yuen
About the speaker:
Ulrike Roesler’s main research interests are in Tibetan Buddhist literature, cultural exchanges between India and Tibet, Tibetan biographical writing, and Buddhist narrative. She obtained her PhD from the University of Münster in Germany and held academic positions at the University of Marburg and Freiburg (Germany). In 2010, she joined the University of Oxford as the Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. Her book publications include a study and translation of Potowa’s “Dharma Exemplified” (Frühe Quellen zum buddhistischen Stufenweg in Tibet, 2011), Lives Lived, Lives Imagined : Biography in the Buddhist Traditions (2010), and Tibetan and Himalayan Healing (2015). In 2012, she founded the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre at Wolfson College, Oxford (https://thsc.web.ox.ac.uk/), an interdisciplinary network for those engaging with Tibet and the Himalayan regions.
The Kadampa are among the Buddhist traditions of Tibet that emerged in the 11th century. They are mostly known for their non-esoteric Mahāyāna approach to Buddhism. However, they also developed an esoteric practice specific to their tradition, known as the “Sixteen Spheres” (Tibetan thig le bcu drug). It appears that the early transmission of this practice was purely oral and restricted to local communities in Central Tibet. Several generations later, the practice reached Narthang monastery, where the instructions were written down for the first time. Despite its unique and fascinating character, the practice has received relatively little attention in academic scholarship on Buddhism and deserves further study. This lecture will discuss the role of the “Sixteen Spheres” practice in the creation of Kadampa identity, its early transmission history, and its recent revival.