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I appreciated Thupten Jinpa’s explanation of what we in the West call meditation. I find it much more useful and liberating to refer the various spiritual technologies as mind cultivation. One of the appealing aspects of Buddhism to me is that it doesn’t ask me to believe anything. Instead it asks that I do these things, observe, and see what I discover. In that sense, mind cultivation is an empirical process that shares attributes with the scientific method. It investigates with the same rigor the subjective facets of what neuroscience investigates externally.

Beyond that, I really appreciated Thupen Jinpa as a person. Living in Savannah, Georgia I don’t often get the opportunity to visit with Tibetan monks, but every couple of years some pass through as part of a tour and spend a week conducting a number of activities. Many of them exude a sense of serenity, equilibrium, and quiet confidence laced with humor and curiosity that creates a space of grace and well being that is palpable when I’m in their presence. I sensed the quality in Jinpa as I watched the video. In addition, he seamlessly integrates a deep immersion in both Eastern and Western disciplines that he articulate in a thoughtful and appealing way. I researched him after viewing your interview, and discovered that it sells him short to view him as “only” the Dalai Lama’s translator. He’s an accomplished man in his own right, and from the videos I watched of him on YouTube observed he has the capacity to communicate with people of all levels of sophistication, taking complex ideas and explaining them in more simple terms with concrete examples.

I would love to study with him. Thanks for the show.