The Deer park Institute, founded by the revered Bhutanese lama, teacher, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has announced a free webinar titled “Finding Balance in Challenging Times.” The interactive public webinar, scheduled for 27 February, will be led by Ani Pema, Dr. Elaine Yuen, and Dr. Nivedita Chalill, and will be chaired by Dr. Kaveri Gill.
“These days, social, environmental, and personal disruptions are everywhere. We will explore the role of the Buddhadharma as a vaccine that supports relief and resilience to meet the challenges of our times,” The Deer Park Institute said. “We have leading exponents in this webinar, who work around mental health, resilience, and contemplative practices from both Buddhist and contemporary systems of mind and body work.”
The Deer Park Institute, a project under Siddhartha’s Intent Society, was established in 2006 in Bir, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, as a registered educational society by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The institute was founded with a vision of preserving and propagating the profound classical wisdom traditions of India in the non-sectarian spirit of the university of Nalanda. The name is intended to evoke Shakyamuni Buddha’s first teachings at the historic Deer Park in Sarnath, where the he first shared the spirit of bias-free enquiry into the nature of mind, existence, and suffering. The Deer Park Institute’s programs encompass the disciplines of listening, contemplating, and meditating, leading to genuine understanding and realization.
The public webinar, scheduled for 27 February, will be held on Zoom at the following times:
Sunday, 28 February, 02:30–04:30 (Aukland)
Sunday, 28 February, 0:30–02:30 (Canberra)
Saturday, 27 February, 22:30–00:30 (Seoul, Tokyo)
Saturday, 27 February, 21:30–23:30 (Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei)
Saturday, 27 February, 20:30–22:30 (Bangkok, Jakarta)
Saturday, 27 February, 19:00–21:00 (New Delhi)
Saturday, 27 February, 16:30–18:30 (Moscow)
Saturday, 27 February, 14:30–16:30 (Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm)
Saturday, 27 February, 13:30–15:30 (London)
Saturday, 27 February, 08:30–10:30 (Montréal, New York)
Saturday, 27 February, 05:30–07:30 (Los Angeles, Vancouver)
The event is open to everyone and is free of charge. To register and obtain login details, email: [email protected]
Dr. Nivedita Chalill is a mental health professional with more than two decades of experience. She began her academic training in occupational therapy, and then pursued her MA, MPhil, and PhD in social work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. She has trained as an arts-based therapist and educator at WCCLF in Pune, and is now pursuing the Nalanda Master’s program in Buddhist philosophy at Tibet House in Delhi. She is the founder of ARTH, a mental health initiative in Mumbai that offers counseling and arts-based therapy for individuals and families, and also teaches two applied Buddhist psychology programs in Mumbai and Chennai.
Dr. Elaine Yuen is a former chair of the Wisdom Traditions Department and associate professor at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she taught pastoral caregiving (chaplaincy), contemplative education, and Buddhist studies. Ordained as an upadhyaya (Buddhist minister) in the Shambhala Buddhist community, she continues to be deeply interested in how we can shape our social interactions with a caring and authentic presence and has a website on contemplative chaplaincy.
Ani Pema ordained and trained as a Buddhist monastic in Bhutan and Taiwan. She studied classical Indian philosophy and yoga in India, and has run meditation centers in Australia and Thailand. She has degrees in counseling and transpersonal psychology and is skilled at integrating classical Eastern traditions with Western psychological modalities. She lives in Thailand where she teaches meditation and has worked extensively with addiction and trauma recovery. At Rinpoche’s request she has been working with social activist groups and therapists in India who work with special-needs children. She has also worked with therapists addressing issues of burnout, self-care, and vicarious traumatization through yoga and meditation. Her teaching, incorporating Buddhist psychology, emphasizes an integration of physical, psychological, and wisdom well-being practices.
Dr. Kaveri Gill, who will be chairing the webinar, is an associate professor in the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies at Shiv Nadar University. She spent 13 years at the University of Cambridge, reading economics and development for a BA Tripos, MPhil, PhD, and teaching during her postdoctoral fellowship. Her research interests include the political economy of urbanization, informality, and the environment, as well as social policy, with an emerging interest in the Himalayan region. Kaveri is a long-term student of Nalanda Buddhist Philosophy at Tibet House in Delhi, completing the Nalanda Diploma Course (NDC) in 2019, and due to complete the five-year Nalanda Master’s Course (NMC) at the end of 2021.
Born in Bhutan and now based in Himachal Pradesh, India, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche gives teachings all over the world. He is the son of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and was a close student of the Nyingma master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–91). He is recognized as the third incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–92), founder of the Khyentse lineage, and the immediate incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959). In addition to the Khyentse Foundation, his projects include 84000, a non-profit global initiative to translate the words of the Buddha and make them available to all; Siddhartha’s Intent, which organizes, distributes, and archives his teachings; Lotus Outreach, which directs a wide range of projects to help refugees; and more recently The Lhomon Society, which promotes sustainable development in Bhutan through education.
Every single word spoken by the Buddha is excellent and precious. — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche