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Perspectives on Padmasambhava

International Seminar

October 13–15, 2018
5:00 PM–12:30 PM

Organized with Columbia University and Skidmore College

Tibetans have celebrated Padmasambhava, the Lotus Born, as the Second Buddha from his legendary era in the past to the present day. The continuous retelling of Padmasambhava’s stories, reenactments of his deeds in rituals, and depictions of those acts in art testify to the Buddhist master’s significance as a figure who changed and continues to shape Tibetan cultural identity. His legacy also plays an increasingly important role in the practice and spread of Tibetan Buddhism around the world today.

This first international seminar focused on Padmasambhava organized in the United States will take place in conjunction with the exhibition The Second Buddha: Master of Time. The seminar will take the form of a master class, in which leading scholars discuss their ongoing research in direct conversation with colleagues, students, and attendees. The study sessions will be structured as dialogues on a particular theme, stimulating academic inquiry, generating productive exchanges of ideas, and fostering new research. Each study session will feature an expert’s introduction to a topic (15 minutes) followed by responses from two specialists (15 minutes each) and an open group discussion. The three-day schedule includes a special tour of the exhibition, thematically organized sessions, and a concluding discussion on the final day to define avenues for further study and summarize what has been achieved at the seminar.

Seminar tickets include admission to the Rubin’s exhibitions, including The Second Buddha: Master of Time.

Support for the seminar was provided by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange




October 13, 2018

Welcome Remarks | 5:00 PM
Brief welcome by the Rubin Museum’s director

Special tour of The Second Buddha exhibition | 5:10 PM
Open to anyone who purchased a session or conference ticket



October 14, 2018

Session 1 | 10:00″“11:30 AM: Padmasambhava and History

Presenter: Gray Tuttle

Discussants: Jacob Dalton and Lewis Doney


Session 2 | 11:45 AM”“1:15 PM: Padmasambhava and Cultural Identity

Presenter: Lama Jabb

Discussants: James Gentry and Dan Hirshberg


Lunch | 1:30″“2:30 PM


Session 3 | 3:00″“4:30 PM: Padmasambhava and the Treasure Tradition

Presenter: David Germano

Discussants: Janet Gyatso and Jue Liang


October 15, 2018

Session 4 | 10:00″“11:30 AM: Padmasambhava and Ritual in Contemporary Practice

Presenter: Nicolas Sihlé

Discussants: Liu Kuo-Wei and Mona Schrempf


Concluding Discussion | 11:45 AM”“12:30 PM
Open to anyone with a session or conference ticket


Image Credit
Detail of Vajrakilaya of the Eight Pronouncements; Tibet, c. late 13th century; pigments on cloth; Michael and Beata McCormick Collection

Seminar Tickets: $65.00

Seminar Member Tickets: $52.00

Seminar Student Tickets: $25.00


Ticket per Session: $20.00

Member Ticket per Session: $16.00


Have any questions? Contact the Museum Box Office at 212-620-5000 ext. 344 or email us at