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Buddhist Monk returns to Hopkinsville Community College

by Rena Young, The Leaf Chronicle, Mar 27, 2013

HOPKINSVILLE, KY. (USA) -- For the 4th year, Buddhist Monk Venerable Tsering Phuntsok will visit the campus of Hopkinsville Community College beginning the week of April 1. According to Dr. Ken Casey, Tsering will be reunited with the group of students and faculty who visited with him last summer at his home in Dharamsala, India as part of the Study Abroad group from the college.

Tsering Phuntsok has been a practicing Buddhist Monk since 1987. He has studied in the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, receiving training in Buddhist scripture and philosophy, meditation, ritual and lama dancing and music. Tsering has received teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While the Study Abroad group from HCC was in Dharamsala last summer, they were able to participate in the birthday celebration of His Holiness.

Tsering facilitates cultural exchange programs between the Tibetan community and U.S. college students to improve the lives of Tibetan refugees and Indian locals. The soft spoken man with quiet and engaging energy and humor works to explain Buddhist Dharma so as to enable alleviation of suffering and generation of compassion.

On April 3 at noon in the HCC Auditorium, the Religion and Philosophy Club of HCC will present a talk entitled Loving your enemies: Buddhist and Christian Perspectives, featuring Tsering and Dr. Ken Casey, local religion and philosophy professor. Dr. Casey received his Ph.D at Vanderbilt University in Philosophy and his M.Div from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The men will compare and contrast practices within the two belief systems, and address two questions why should we love enemies and how we can love enemies when it seems to be contrary to human psychology. Tsering Phuntsok will use the teaching of Shantideva and the Dalai Lama to give the Buddhist perspective while Dr. Casey will use the teaching of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux to set forth the Christian perspective.

Dr. Pat Lake, interim president of HCC said, HCC welcomes the return of Tsering Phuntsok to campus. We celebrate the diversity of our campus and community by supporting his visit.

While in Kentucky, Tsering Phuntsok will visit with faculty and students at KCTCS institutions in Elizabethtown, Madisonville and Louisville.



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