Clark Chilson, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, received funding from the Mind and Life Institute to support his attendance at the 2018 Mind and Life International Research Institute in Kyoto, Japan from September 1 to 5. Among the people he met there were Dr Barry Kerzin, one of the physicians of the Dalai Lama. In December 2018, Dr Kerzin kindly agreed to give a public lecture for the Department of Religious Studies and to talk with students in Clark’s “Buddhism and Psychology” class.
On 28 March 2019 Clark Chilson gave two presentations at the 28th Annual Medical Ethics Conference at the University of Pittsburgh. In his first presentation, which was attended by about 150 people, he gave a religious studies perspective on how religion and spirituality relate to “quality of life” research in medicine. In his second presentation, which was part of a session titled “Spiritual Dimensions of Quality of Life,” he introduced the meditative practices of mindfulness and Naikan. Both mindfulness and Naikan have been used as attention regulation methods to reduce suffering in medical contexts.