Cognitively-Based Compassion Training Workshop to be Held at UNC Asheville September 27

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Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, the founder and spiritual director of the Atlanta-based Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., and biological anthropologist Jennifer Mascaro will lead The Heart and Science of Compassion: An Introduction to Cognitively-Based Compassion Training from 8:30 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Sept. 27 in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, Mission Health System Mountain View Conference Room.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, is an introduction to compassion practices drawn from the lojong tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, a systematic practice of gradually training the mind in compassion until altruism becomes spontaneous.

In this workshop Negi and Mascaro will explore Tibetan and Western understandings of the mind andcompassion, and methods employed to enhance compassion beyond the biological level to an impartial altruism. Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), as developed by Negi, is currently utilized in a number of research studies, including a National Institutes of Health-funded study examining the efficacy of compassion meditation on the experience of depression.

In addition to his work at Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta, Ga., Negi is a senior lecturer in Emory University’s department of religion, and serves as director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership. In this capacity, he serves as co-director of both the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative and the Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies. A former monk, Negi received his Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest academic degree granted in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, from Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India.

Jennifer Mascaro

Mascaro is a biological anthropologist and a lecturer of anthropology at Emory University. Her research interests are in the variation in and plasticity of human social cognition, and the biology of interconnectedness. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Emory University.

The workshop is sponsored by UNC Asheville's NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities, UNC School of Medicine Asheville and Mars Hill University. For more information, contact Richard Chess at rchess@unca.edu