While working toward his Ph.D. in Buddhist studies, José Cabezón, now the XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, spent five years working and studying in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India.
Cabezón will talk about his experiences at the Sera Je Monastic University and his more recent attempts to use digital technology to record monastic life in "The Sera Project: Life in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery," a public talk sponsored by the UCSB Affiliates, on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The talk, part of the UCSB Affiliates' Spirituality and Culture series, begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Center, 21 East Constance Ave. in Santa Barbara.
Cost is $5 for Affiliates and Chancellor's Council members and $8 to the general public. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388.
Before the occupation of Tibet by China in 1959, the Sera Monastery -- founded in 1419 -- was the second largest in the world with more than 10,000 monks.
Cabezón, who spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk, studied at the monastery, now located in Karnataka, India, from 1980 to 1985 and at times accompanied the Dalai Lama on foreign visits to serve as an interpreter. He received a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1987 and joined the UCSB faculty in 2001.