Alejandro Chaoul on the Tibetan Practice of Chӧd

On January 16, 2014, Alejandro Chaoul spoke at the Asia Society Texas Center to a crowd of 100 community members about a Tibetan practice called Chӧd that he believes can be applied to inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue. Chӧd—which literally means "to cut"—is a Buddhist meditation technique in which practitioners visualize cutting their body, fashioning a bowl from a portion of their skull, and offering it as a feast to enlightened beings. Accompanied by melody and chanting, this meditative practice is used to confront fear and symbolize cutting the attachment between the mind and the body—in other words, cutting through one's ego and moving closer toward enlightenment. Chaoul, who received his PhD in Tibetan religions at Rice University, is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine Program. He has also studied Tibetan Bon, the native tradition of Tibet—and Buddhist practices in India, Nepal, and the United States. His presentation focused on his research and book on Chӧd. He has also studied Tibetan Bon, the native tradition of Tibet—and Buddhist practices in India, Nepal, and the United States.

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