Prof. Dr. Eva Neumaier

Mind and Mindfulness in the Buddhist Traditions of East Asia

Contemplation of mindfulness is a central practice in Theravada traditions. When Buddhism became established in East Asian countries its primary concepts, such as mindfulness, had to undergo certain adaptations to fit into the already existing intellectual and spiritual discourses. India had a long tradition in the philosophy of mind; the many Sanskrit terms for „mind“ bear witness to this fact; but not so East Asia. To enable the primary concepts of Buddhist philosophy of mind to be  understood by the educated Chinese, concepts like mind and mindfulness were assigned new meanings in the Chan (Zen) traditions of East Asia. I investigate the position and meaning of mind and mindfulness in this context.

Prof. Dr. Eva K. Neumaier

studied Indology and Tibetology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. After her PhD and Habilitation, (1966-1976), and after her stay for on-site research work in Ladakh (1978-1979) she was appointed Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada (1981-1990). In 1991 she transferred to the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, where she remained as professor and head of the institute until her retirement in 2003 specializing in the study of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibt. From 2004 - 2005 she occupied the Numata Chair for Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary. Finally, she became Lecturer at the Institute for Indology and Tibetology at the University of Munich (2008-2009).