Ho Centre for Buddhist Studies at U of T 1 year old

Buddhism Buddhism in Canada Buddhist Studies Education Numata Toronto

A message from our director

The Ho Centre is officially one year old! Thank you for your support throughout our first year, and we hope you will join us for what promises to be a busy second year.

We have begun the year with our public workshop series on Tea and Buddhism. This series strives to unfurl the histories, practices, and rituals of tea, including its relationships with Buddhism around the world. Our first workshop featured a talk by HCBS affiliated faculty Prof Jayeeta Sharma, who spoke about how tea enables cultural interactions in Himalayan regions, and about some of the hidden histories of wild tea forests and their indigenous and Buddhist foragers. Join us at our upcoming workshops to hear more stories from China and Japan, and to sample teas from across the Buddhist world.

We were happy this fall to co-sponsor the Fourth Biennial Graduate Conference on South Asian Religions, with a diverse collection of speakers on topics in religious studies, women’s and gender studies, anthropology, history, political science, and more. We also co-hosted a Tibetan Studies open house & bibliographic workshop in the Cheng Yu Tung Library’s Tibetan Collection, led by Dr. Lauran Hartley from Columbia University. 

We are continuing our Student Research Assistance & Mentorship Program, supporting undergraduates in Buddhist Studies to work as research assistants for advanced doctoral students. This year in these research partnerships student teams are working in Chinese, Tibetan, and Burmese languages.

Later this fall, we’re looking forward to hosting an academic workshop on Hidden Lands in the Himalaya, for which we’re bringing in scholars and students from around the world to discuss literatures, histories, and contemporary practices related to “hidden” or “secret” lands in remote regions of the Himalaya.

In the winter, we’re excited to co-host a master class with Prof Shrikanth Bahulkar, a renowned scholar associated with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, India, formerly on the faculty at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Sarnath. He will lead an in-depth workshop on the Kālacakra tantra and its associated traditions in India and Tibet for graduate and undergraduate students. This program is a collaboration with the recently established T. Venkatacharya Trust for Sanskrit Studies at the University of Toronto’s Centre for South Asian Civilizations.

Finally, we’ve been in the news several times recently! Links to these stories are below. Don’t miss the fascinating account of HCBS affiliated faculty Prof Amanda Goodman’s research on manuscripts recovered from caves in Central Asia. HCBS graduate student Annie Heckman, a recipient of our Phool Maya Chen Scholarship in Buddhist Studies, describes the process of working on this project as “unraveling a mystery over time” – see Of Mantras, Mysteries, and Messy Manuscripts.

Stay tuned for more events announced later in the term!

Frances Garrett

Director, The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies


Friday, November 3
Prof. Philip Bloom
Born in the Latter Days of the Dharma: Ecology and Eternity in a Song-Dynasty Buddhist Monastery
2-5 pm, Room IB 345
University of Toronto, Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Rd

Friday, December 1
Prof. Gudrun Bühnemann
On the Modern Practice of Maṇḍala Meditation
4-6 pm, Room 122
University Hall
McMaster University

Friday, January 26
Prof. Julia Cassaniti
Out of Time: Mindfulness and Temporality in Theravāda Asia
3-5 pm, Room 317
Jackman Humanities Building
170 St. George Street

Friday, March 9
Prof. Megan Bryson
Imagined Networks: Esoteric Buddhism in the Dali Kingdom (937-1253)
4-6 pm, Room 122
University Hall
McMaster University

Thursday, April 5
Prof. Brandon Dotson
Buddhism and Tibetan Imperial Law in Dunhuang
4-6 pm, Room 122
University Hall
McMaster University

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