Being with Animals: Buddhist Resources

When and Where

Thursday, January 27, 2022 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Online (Zoom)


Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University


For the third event in our series Buddhism and Posthumanism: Questioning the Place of Humans in Multispecies Environments, Janet Gyatso will present her talk “Being with Animals: Buddhist Resources” and join Rory Lindsay and Frances Garrett for a conversation about our multi-species environment. Janet will also discuss her research on animal intelligence and Tibetan Buddhism.

This talk will explore what we can see when we pay close attention to animals, and what doing this can teach us about the value of the animal world. It will draw upon Buddhist notions of compassion and theories around meditation and other forms of self-cultivation. It will also touch on best practices with pets and other animals in our world today.

→ Registration is required - click on the link at the top right of this page.

About the Buddhism and Posthumanism Event Series 2021-22

 The Ho Centre is thrilled to announce its 2021–22 speaker series Buddhism and Posthumanism: Questioning the Place of Humans in Multispecies Environments, which features climate researchers, activists, and Buddhist studies scholars focused on reconsidering the place of humans in an interconnected world.

What is posthumanism? Posthumanism acknowledges that humans are an animal like any other and that we are but one equal element in the diverse web of nature. As such, posthumanism also acknowledges that the pursuit of human progress should not presuppose human supremacy, and that non-human animals should have the conditions necessary for their own flourishing as well. In light of humanity’s current course, it recognizes too that destructive environmental practices harm a vast network of beings, humans and non-humans alike, threatening our collective futures.

Many aspects of Buddhist traditions resonate with these ideas, such as Buddhist models of self-cultivation and of generating compassion for all beings. Yet deeply embedded notions of human superiority sit in tension with these same posthumanist ideas. The aim of this series, then, is to explore Buddhist resonances, departures, and contributions to posthumanist attempts to meet the present climate emergency, and to consider paths forward involving individual and collective action.

This series will feature Zoom meeting conversations with five leading figures in the field, all talks will begin at 3pm EST. These are:

November 4, 2021
Leah Stokes, Associate Professor, University of California Santa Barbara

December 2, 2021
Geoff Barstow, Associate Professor, Oregon State University

January 27, 2022
Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University

February 10, 2022
Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia, Asian Studies Program, University of California Riverside

March 24, 2022
Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative, Center for Healthy Minds and Healthy Minds Innovations, University of Wisconsin–Madison


The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto