Upcoming Events

*Canceled* | Emptiness and Social Action with Pilar Jennings ’09

April 16, 2020 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Union Theological Seminaery
3041 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Peace Twesigye

In light of evolving information about COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution, we are canceling this event.

Based on recommendations from public health officials, all non-essential events of more than 25 people on campus will be canceled or postponed. If we are able to reschedule the event at a later date, we will be in touch.

Thank you for your understanding.

In the Mahayana traditions of Buddhism, practitioners are encouraged to awaken for the benefit of all.  This sacred teaching of Bodhichitta, or the wish to be enlightened for the well-being of others, is a powerful spiritual roadmap for bringing our spiritual efforts to collective struggles and injustice.  The Buddha taught that wisdom, or the direct realization of emptiness, comes with the union of Bodhichitta. Together we will explore the methods for cultivating this abiding wish to develop and offer our own genuine clarity of mind and openness of heart to a world in need of steady compassion and care.

The Thích Nhất Hạnh Program for Engaged Buddhism invites you to join us for our monthly Dharma Talk Series: Emptiness and Social Action. Over the course of nine months, a wide array of Buddhist teachers will take us into the essential teachings of the Buddhadharma and what it looks like to move into action to address the dissatisfaction, distress, and suffering that we meet in relationship with the earth, people, and systems today, in the United States, and around the world.

How does conceptual, inferential, and experiential knowledge into emptiness of an inherent self invite for a response to circumstances that are stressful, painful, and violent? Each evening will be unique, with a combination of a dharma talk, meditation, and a question and answer period exploring these essential and vital questions within Buddhism and our lives’ for this moment in time.

Dr. Pilar Jennings ’09 is a psychoanalyst in private practice based in New York City with a focus on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation.  She received her Ph.D. in Psychiatry and Religion from Union Theological Seminary, and did her prior graduate work in medical anthropology at Columbia University. She has been working with patients and their families through the Harlem Family Institute since 2000.

Dr. Jennings is a Visiting Lecturer at Union Theological Seminary; Columbia University; and a Faculty Member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. She is also a facilitator of a Columbia University Faculty Seminar addressing topics related to slavery and memory, with a focus on the inter-generational transmission of trauma.  She has given workshops and retreats internationally on the Buddhist and psychoanalytic approach to trauma, the relevance of spirituality in clinicians, and the unfolding conversation between Buddhist and developmental psychology.
Her publications have included “East of Ego: The Intersection of Narcissism and Buddhist Meditation Practice,” “I’ve Been Waiting for you: Reflections on Analytic Pain,” “Imagery and Trauma: The Psyche’s Push for Healing,” and Mixing MindsThe Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism released through Wisdom Publications.  Her most recent book: To Heal a Wounded Heart: On the Transformative Power of Buddhism & Psychotherapy in Action, is a psychoanalytic memoir exploring her entry into clinical work as a practicing Buddhist.
Dr. Jennings is a long-term practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism in the Sakya lineage and student of Khenpo Pema Wangdak, founder and guiding teacher of the Vikramasila Foundation. Her most recent retreats at the Garrison Institute and Omega Institute have addressed the Upaya, or skillful means in response to trauma and psycho-spiritual efforts at healing.