Professor Jan Willis teaching in Reston, March 22


A special event:

Professor Jan Willis Teaching on “The Spiritual Teacher”

Guhyasamaja Center is very fortunate to host Professor Jan Willis for a teaching on Saturday, March 22 from 10:30-Noon. Hailed by Time magazine as one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium,” Professor Willis is a translator and author of numerous books and articles, and she has over thirty years of experience studying, meditating on, and teaching Buddhism. During this special teaching, she’ll discuss the role of the spiritual teacher in Buddhist practice based not only on her academic scholarship but also based on her own experiences with a number of the greatest Buddhist teachers of the past few decades. Professor Willis has a great style of combining deep insights with wonderful stories, so don’t miss this special opportunity to meet and listen to a great Dharma teacher!

Class will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston, 1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston, 20190 (lower level) from 10:30 to 12:00, followed by (and optional) brief Medicine Buddha Puja for healing from 12:30 to 1:00. This class is a special addition to our series on “The Spiritual Teacher.” All are welcome (Suggested Donation: $10-20.)

Jan Willis (BA and MA in Philosophy, Cornell University and PhD in Indic and Buddhist Studies, Columbia University, 1976) is Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland and the U.S. for four decades, and has taught courses in Buddhism for thirty-four years. She has published a number of books and articles on various topics in Buddhism, i.e., Buddhist meditation, hagiography, women and Buddhism, and Buddhism and race. Her most recent book was her memoir, Dreaming Me: An African American Woman’s Spiritual Journey (Riverhead, 2001).

In December of 2000, Time magazine named Willis one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium.” In 2003, she was a recipient of Wesleyan University’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. In September of 2005, Newsweek magazine’s “Spirituality in America” issue included a profile of her and, in its May 2007 edition, Ebony magazine named Willis one of its “Power 150″ most influential African Americans.

Her memoir will be re-issued by Wisdom Publications in early 2009 as Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist, One Woman’s Spiritual Journey.

— Posted by Lorne Ladner

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