23 March 2012
His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa last week visited Wolfson College for a panel discussion on Mindfulness meditation with Mark Leonard of Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC) before an audience of College members and the public. The discussion explored different applications of Mindfulness and its effectiveness as a tool for inner development, self-awareness and healing.
Accompanying the Gyalwang Drukpa were six Tibetan Buddhist Kung Fu nuns of North India, Ladakh, who demonstrated their skills in martial arts on the College lawns, recorded by BBC Oxford News. The Gyalwang Drukpa is known for his promotion of women’s rights in a culture where such freedoms are not often preached:
“Before in our country the people said you are the girls so you are not allowed to speak, not allowed to go to school. Confidence was not given a chance,” nun Jigme Rigzin told the Oxfordshire Guardian. “But His Holiness has asked us to learn. We learn a lot of knowledge here and the people are very nice. Here all the people are educated so we can learn lots. Before we learnt kung fu I was very shy and we felt very lazy. After, our shyness is gone.”
His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa is head of the Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the main spiritual traditions of the Himalayas. His core philosophy is to convert compassion into action and help people to find concrete solutions to today’s personal and global problems. His Holiness is an active educator, environmentalist, advocate for women’s equality and protector of cultural heritage.
Wolfson is home to the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre (THSC), one of several interdisciplinary Research Clusters at the college.