Calm thoughts

August 28, 1998

(Photograph) - Calm thoughts: the vice chancellors could try meditation to calm their stressful lives, according to the Venerable Professor K. Vajira (left) of the Buddhist and Pali University in Sri Lanka and the Vernerable K. Uparatana, his interpreter and a chaplain at the American University in Washington.

The two Buddhist scholar-clerics do not recognise a separation between religion and education. They came to the Association of Commonwealth Universities conference in search of organisational inspiration and found it in discussions with other vice-chancellors. But they would have loved to see time set aside for religious meditation.

The Venerable Uparatana said that meditation could help counteract the loss of a spiritual side, which vice-chancellors often experience during their work. The university, one of ten in Sri Lanka, uses a western-style degree structure to train students for the Buddhist ministry. It offers, the clerics said, a response to an increasing call in their country for traditional spiritual values in higher education.

* Idealising Tibet, book reviews, page 18.

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