In 2022, the HRC’s Works that Shaped the World public lecture series focuses on religion.
Longchen Rabjam’s poetic The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena is one his Seven Treasuries, known as the Great Perfection teachings of Dzogchen Buddhism. Longchenpa is one of the most revered Tibetan scholars and teachers, who lived in the 14th Century. He spent a significant amount of his life in retreat and in Bhutan. Described as ‘the pinnacle of spiritual approaches’, this text focuses on Longchenpa’s radical call to non-meditation, to rest in the natural state of timeless awareness, the ‘utterly lucid awakened mind’.
In addition to the source verses, this public lecture will draw on Longchenpa’s own commentary on this text, as well as Keith Dowman’s translation and commentary, Spaciousness: The Radical Dzogchen of the Vajra Heart Essence. It will also examine the recent popularisation of Dzogchen, its relevance to contemporary society and activism, and its more controversial aspects given its emphasis on nonduality and non-doing.
Dr. Anna Halafoff is an Associate Professor in Sociology and a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University. Anna’s research interests are: religious diversity; interreligious relations; spirituality, contemplative practices, preventing violent extremism; worldviews education; and Buddhism. Her most recent co-authored book is Freedoms, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality and Diversity.