Episode 49: The Scholar-Practitioner: Joining Theory and Practice
Judith Simmer-Brown, a professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University and authorized teacher in the Shambhala tradition speaks with us about the coming together of theoretical study and meditation practice in the context of academia—what professor Charles Prebish calls the "scholar-practitioner". She shares with us the historical precedents for this movement in America, and how it is changing now.
When asked about the benefits of doing both study and practice together, Judith shares much of what she sees are the benefits of using a "contemplative pedagogy" (or contemplative education approach) in the classroom. She also relates the danger of not bringing these two forms of practice together, in that one could become either a "stupid practitioner" or "arrogant scholar" without the grounding of the opposite discipline.
We finish the conversation with Judith sharing some of resources she suggests for those people who want to deepen their theoretical understanding of the Buddhist tradition.
This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Becoming Whole: Lineage and Gender in American Buddhism.