Students Get New Perspective with Introduction to Buddhism – HUM 10

“I've got an introduction to the whole new world of Buddhism!” exclaimed Nicole Fernandez '12, a class member of Dr. James Woolever's Introduction to Buddhism HUM 10 class. Dr. Woolever, Dean of the Professional Studies Program at Menlo College has offered his class on Buddhism to four-year students at Menlo College. The class has examined the core of Buddhist teachings: The Four Nobel Truths and the Eightfold Path. They have also studied the emergence of the three major traditions: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism.


The one-unit course has included a trip to the Bhutan Art Exhibition currently being held at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Wat Buddhanosorn Temple in Fremont. The class will conclude Thursday, April 23, at 7pm in Brawner 480, where the class will meet guest speaker Loren Waldon '90, a Menlo College alum and practitioner of Buddhist meditation.


“It is my contention that we are now living in a global village where it is incumbent on all of us to have an intelligent understanding of the various world cultures,” said Dr. Woolever. “Needless to say, it is impossible to appreciate these cultures without some understanding and respect for their religious traditions. Can one claim to have a basic grasp of far eastern cultures, unless one has been exposed to the basic teachings of the Buddhist religion? I do not think so. As Socrates said centuries ago, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.'”


“This is a good class,” said class member Andrew Young '12. “Dr. Woolever is very knowledgeable. The field trips are a great off-campus activity where you get new perspectives. I highly recommend this class.” Class member Rebecca Medeiros '12 said, “The most interesting part about this class is learning how Buddhism is perceived and practiced in different parts of the world. I enjoy observing how Buddhism has assimilated and intertwined itself with a region's culture and tradition.”


“Through courses such as this, Menlo students are exposed to global cultural and religious traditions that impact entire societies and their ways of conducting business both personally and through commerce. We feel that our students' ability to understand multiple perspectives contributes directly to their future effectiveness as leaders and innovators,” said Provost Jim Kelly.