The Victor Mansfield Memorial Speaker Series.

The Victor Mansfield Memorial Speaker Series: Shambhala: The Inner Teachings of the Kalacakra-tantra with Judith Simmer-Brown

Date August 29, 2014 – August 29, 2014
Time 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location 412 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Instructor Judith Simmer-Brown
Cost Free and open to the public. Donations are welcomed.
Registration None required.
Prerequisites None. This talk is suitable for both beginning and advanced students.

The Victor Mansfield Memorial Speaker Series honors the memory and furthers the intellectual work of Vic Mansfield (1941-2008) whose dedicated research, heartfelt practice, and energetic teaching have been a great benefit to many. The Speaker Series events are free to the public and welcome a wide audience interested in the collaboration that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has called for between Tibetan Buddhism and “other important sources of knowledge and well-being” [The Universe in a Single Atom]. Each year this series will host a Western scholar who has enhanced the study of Tibetan Buddhism.
THE INAUGURAL EVENT: Friday, July 10, 2009

We are honored to have as inaugural speaker for the Series Dr. B. Alan Wallace, Founder and Director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. Wallace knew Vic Mansfield as a fellow writer working in the intersection of science and Buddhism and edited Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground (Columbia, 2003) which includes Vic’s article “Time and Impermanence in Middle Way Buddhism and Modern Physics.” Alan Wallace will offer the Friday evening presentation inaugurating the Victor Mansfield Memorial Speaker Series as part of a Namgyal Monastery weekend intensive on
The Way of Shamatha: Soothing the Body, Settling the Mind, and Illuminating Awareness.

For the second annual Speaker Series, we are pleased to welcome ANNE C. KLEIN, Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. Author of books on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan women’s biographies, and Dzogchen, Professor Klein is also co-founder of Dawn Mountain Center for Meditation, Contemplative Study and Practice in Houston, Texas. Anne Klein will follow the Friday night’s Speaker presentation with a weekend intensive (topic TBA).
2011 VICTOR MANSFIELD MEMORIAL SPEAKER: Friday, October 14, 2011

For the third annual Speaker Series, we are pleased to welcome Joe Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D., On faculty at the Weill Cornell Center for Integrative Medicine and the Columbia University Center for Buddhist Studies, Dr. Loizzo lectures widely on the role of meditative learning in the future of healthcare, and teaches regular public classes and workshops at Nalanda Institute, New York Open Center and Tibet House US. He created the column, “The Science of Enlightenment” for Tricycle Magazine, and recently published Nagarjuna’s Reason Sixty with Chandrakirti’s Commentary, a translation study of contemplative self-healing in Buddhism. He is lead author of three articles in Longevity, Regeneration and Optimal Health, a special volume of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published in 2009, based on a dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Western doctors. His latest book, Sustainable Happiness: The Mindful Science of Recovery, Altruism and Bliss-Creation, will be forthcoming from Routledge Press in April, 2012. Joe Loizzo will follow the Friday night’s Speaker presentation with a weekend intensive (topic TBA).


For the fourth annual Speaker Series, we are pleased to welcome Vesna Wallace, PhD.

Vesna A. Wallace, Ph.D. is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the comparative analysis of the Buddhist traditions of South Asia, Tibet, and Mongolia. One of the world’s leading experts on the Kalacakratantra, she has published translations of two of that tantra’s five chapters.

– Friday public lecture: “Knowing Reality from the Kalacakratantra’s Perspective”
– Weekend event: “Explorations into the Kalacakra Tantric Practices”


For the fifth annual Speaker Series, we are pleased to welcome Cortland Dahl.

Cortland is an author, translator, meditation teacher, and scientist. He began meditating in 1993 while studying psychology and religion at the University of Minnesota. In the years that followed, he practiced and studied a number of Buddhist traditions, spending time on retreat in Japan, Burma, India, and Nepal. After earning a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University in 2000, he lived in India and Nepal for seven years, which gave him the opportunity to immerse himself in the Tibetan language and spend more time in retreat.

Since 2003, Cortland has interpreted for various Tibetan lamas and taught courses on Buddhism and Tibetan language throughout the world. He founded the Rimé Foundation in 2004 and, under the direction of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, created the Tergar Institute in 2006. As a translator, Cortland is a member of the Nitartha Translation Network and has worked extensively with the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. His publications include Entrance to the Great Perfection: A Guide to the Dzogchen Preliminaries; Great Perfection, Volumes I & II; and Vajra Wisdom.

Cortland currently serves as President of Tergar International and is a senior instructor for the Tergar Meditation Community. He lives with his son in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is pursuing a PhD under the guidance of Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds.


For the sixth annual Speaker Series, we are pleased to welcome Judith Simmer-Brown

Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., has been Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado since 1978. She has practiced Tibetan Buddhism for 40 years and is an Acharya (senior dharma teacher) of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Naropa’s founder. She serves on the steering committee of the American Academy of Religion’s Contemplative Studies Group. Dr. Simmer-Brown lectures and writes on Tibetan Buddhism, American Buddhism, women and Buddhism, interreligious dialogue, and contemplative education. Her books are Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism (Shambhala) and, with Fran Grace, an edited collection of articles called Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (Religious Studies Series, State University of New York Press, 2010). She is married to Richard Brown, a Naropa University professor, and has two young adult children and three grandchildren.

THE INSPIRATION: Vic Mansfield 1941-2008

In the forward to Vic’s last book, Tibetan Buddhism & Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama described Vic as “someone who has reconciled his professional involvement with science with a deep interest in spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in particular.” Vic was an exemplary western scientist, a transformative teacher, and a friend to Namgyal Monastery.

Born in Norwalk, CT, Vic attended Dartmouth College and completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University, leading to his thirty-five year career of teaching physics, astrophysics, and popular cross-disciplinary courses at Colgate University. His course, Core: Tibet, was particularly loved by his students. His brilliance as a teacher culminated in April 2008 in his receiving the Sidney J. and Florence Felten French Prize for inspirational teaching.

At his death in June 2008, Vic’s surviving family included his mother, Virginia Pepitone, who “lovingly raised me entirely by herself”; his wife and “best friend,” Elaine; and their sons, David and Anthony.

Vic and Elaine were founding members of Wisdom’s Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies where they were students of Anthony Damiani. In 1979, this group invited His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to visit, beginning Vic’s ongoing relationship with HHDL and Tibetan Buddhism. Vic was also active throughout his life on behalf of social justice, peace, and ecology. He and Elaine felt that one of their most significant acts was to protect their 70 acres of property from development with a conservation easement with the Finger Lakes Land Trust.

Vic’s three books are Synchronicity, Science, and Soul-Making (Open Court, 1995), Head and Heart: A Personal Exploration of Science and the Sacred (Quest, 2002), and Tibetan Buddhism & Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge (Templeton, 2008). In an online article in The Global Spiral, Soraj Hongladarom attests, “Mansfield’s Tibetan Buddhism & Modern Physics stands out for its lucid exposition of complex subjects and the author’s sincerity in admitting areas of congruence as well as those that require further collaborative efforts.”

For donations in support of this Speaker Series, please make your personal check, money order, or bank cashier’s check payable to “Namgyal Monastery” and send to our mailing address.

For donations by credit card, please use the “Donate to Namgyal Ithaca” link on our Supporting Namgyal page. In the Comments field of the Payment Form, enter the name of the event for which you are making a donation.


412 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

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