David Germano: “Crystals, Introductions to Buddhas, and Other Intimate Experiences”
This talk will explore a dramatic eleventh century transformation of tantric Buddhist ritual initiations in the Tibetan Great Perfection Seminal Heart (rdzogs chen snying thig) tradition. These practices involved a central use of crystal-mediated gazing as an introduction to visionary practices. The practices will be presented and then interpreted in the context of eleventh century Tibet.
David Germano is a Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia and Director of UVA's Tibet Center, SHANTI (Sciences, Humanities and the Arts Network of Technological Initiatives), and Contemplative Sciences Center. Trained as a scholar of Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Studies, and Religious Studies, Germano has written extensively on Tibetan Buddhist thought and contemplative practice. In addition, he has extensive background in working on digital technology in academic contexts, as well as engaged academic initiatives in Tibet and Bhutan. Since 2011, Germano has worked extensively with each of the eleven schools at UVA to explore learning, research, and engagement initiatives regarding contemplation in their own disciplinary and professional areas, as well as new partnerships across the schools. This has included reflective scholarship on consiliency between the humanities and sciences, collaborative scientific research on contemplative practices and their impact, and student initiatives integrating the personal and the academic.
Co-sponsors: Tibetan Studies Initiative, Stanford Humanities Center