Faculty Spotlight

Adjunct faculty member meets the Dalai Lama

July 15, 2017
Dalai Lama, Sharon Mijares

The 14th Dalai Lama with Sharon Mijares, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Sharon Mijares wasn’t expecting to meet Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama and spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, when she traveled to Dharamsala, in India.

The opportunity came after the Brandman University adjunct faculty member traveled to Himalayan enclave at the request of Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, information secretary for the Central Tibetan Administration. Both women attended the Women’s Economic Forum in Delhi, India. Sharling invited Mijares to visit Dharamsala to give a talk. Sharling previously had contributed a chapter to “A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change,” which Mijares edited.

Sharon Mijares and WEF

Sharon Mijares receives Women of the Decade in Community Leadership and Social Change” at the Women’s Economic Forum May 11 in Delhi, India.

Mijares, who received the “Women of the Decade in Community Leadership and Social Change” award at the economic conference, agreed to visit and assumed she would give a talk on modern psychology. The brief yet meaningful meeting with the Dalai Lama was “all very unexpected and special,” said Mijares, who has taught classes for Brandman/Chapman University College since 1999.

The spiritual leader’s ability to give a person his total attention struck Mijares as “a very special model for human interacting.”

Mijares has authored or co-written six books that link psychology and spirituality and she designed the Spirituality and Mental Health course for Brandman University’s School of Arts and Sciences. Though she sometimes teaches from her home base in Nevada County, California, Mijares can be found teaching from almost everywhere, including Dharamsala. “I’m an expert at international online. I never miss a day of checking in from anywhere,” she said.

While in Dharamsala, Mijares also had input on a policy paper with the Central Tibetan Administration and she stayed as an overnight guest at the Tibetan Children’s Village School, funded by donations from around the world and dedicating to maintaining the Tibetan culture while educating children.

Mijares said her next project is reworking her book on gender inequality in different cultures from a modern perspective. Her co-authors are women from Tibet, Egypt and Israel.

Her journey to the conference and meeting with the Dalai Lama were also featured in the Nevada County Union.

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