Dialogue with the Dalai Lama

Laura Hoxworth | UVA Today

This month, University of Virginia developmental psychologist Tish Jennings traveled to India to share her latest research on mindfulness and teacher stress with the Dalai Lama. In itself, the opportunity is an honor and an accomplishment. For Jennings, it’s also a moment nearly 15 years in the making.

In many ways, the story begins in 2000, when the 14th Dalia Lama, the former Tenzin Gyatso, held a meeting with experts and researchers on the topic of destructive emotions. Out of that meeting, a question emerged: Could helping teachers manage their own stress improve classroom environments, and, in turn, student learning? The question became a research project called “Cultivating Emotional Balance,” which aimed to reduce stress in teachers through mindfulness training.

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