Buddhist Monk Tsering Phuntsok to be featured in HCC Religion and Philosophy Club lecture | HCC

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Buddhist Monk Tsering Phuntsok to be featured in HCC Religion and Philosophy Club lecture

Buddhist Monk Tsering PhuntsokHopkinsville Community College (HCC) will host Tsering Phuntsok, a Buddhist Monk in the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, as he presents the lecture, “Transforming Lives: Teaching Compassion” on Tuesday, January 31, noon – 1 p.m. in the Emerging Technologies Building, Anderson Seminar Room.

According to traditional Buddhist teaching, giving selflessly is the way to happiness. The lecture will cover how we can change from self-centered to altruistic thinking? Tsering will draw upon the teachings from the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva to suggest how such a transformation can take place. In practical ways, he hopes to show how we can transform our actions into compassion.

The Venerable Tsering Phuntsok has been coming almost annually to Kentucky as a speaker and educator since 2010. He has traveled the state speaking at many KCTCS colleges as well as other colleges and universities. In that time, he has built a friendship with many Kentuckians and communities across the state. The focus in all his talks is the practice of compassion. There was a brief hiatus in his visits during 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. While unable to return to Nepal during airport closures, he spent six months in Kentucky, saying prayers and offering smoke offerings with his hosts. He is happy to return in 2023 to speak, teach and offer meditation practice.

Since entering the Palyul choekhorling Nyingmapa monastery in Bir, India, in 1987 at age 16, Tsering Phuntsok has been a practicing Buddhist monk. For the first 17 years he studied and practiced in the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, receiving training in meditation, Buddhist scripture and philosophy, tantric ritual, lama dancing and music. For several years he trained young monks in ritual and academic subjects. He has received many tantric empowerments and sutra teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other High Lamas, including H.H. Penor Rinpoche. In the last several years he has worked on health-related projects for his monastery as well as overseeing his nieces and nephews.

He makes his residence in Dharamsala, India in the foothills of the Himalayas; his home is less than a minute walk from the Temple and residence of the H. H. Dalai Lama. Currently, he facilitates cultural exchange programs between the Tibetan community and U.S. university students who come to Dharamsala to volunteer with LHA, a local social work agency devoted to improving the lives of Tibetan refugees and local Indians. These groups also learn about Buddhism through visits to Tibetan monasteries. A soft-spoken man, with a quiet and engaging energy and humor, his goal is to practice and explain Buddhist dharma in a way that will help to alleviate suffering and speak to each hearer in a way suited to his or her own level of development.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Religion and Philosophy Club lectures, contact Dr. Ken Casey at (270) 707-3884 or ken.casey@kctcs.edu.