Tibetan Nun to give Lecture at Memorial Union

Gautama Buddha

By Asia Society created the file. Artwork created by an anonymous ancient source. - http://asiasocietymuseum.org/region_object.asp?RegionID=1&CountryID=2&ChapterID=10&ObjectID=479, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11441827

Gautama Buddha

Talon Delaney

Complex divides between science and spirit will be bridged Jan. 23rd when Yuan Hao, ordained Buddhist nun and chemical engineering Ph.D., will lecture in the Memorial Union’s Sun Room at 7 p.m.

The lecture is free to attend and is cosponsored by Dizang Qi Buddhism Club and ISU’s Committee on Lectures. Hao’s philosophies seek to balance rational and scientific insight with a happy and positive world view.

“We all want happiness and peace of mind. Hopefully I can share my background and experiences and help people achieve happiness through a scientific approach,” Hao said.

Very few Americans, just 34 percent, say they are truly very happy according to data collected from the Pew Research Center. However, 50 percent of Americans still identify as being “pretty happy” and only 15 percent say they’re sad or “not too happy.” These statistics have been recorded since 1972, and remained virtually unchanged throughout the decades.

Pew Research discovered several correlations to increased happiness, such as familial wealth, marital status and political affiliation. However, Hao believes the secret to being truly happy is understanding how the human mind works.

“If you study more about the functions of your mind, you can achieve true happiness, but if you don’t understand how your mind works, you can’t achieve inner peace,” Hao said.

Hao was born in China, and came to America in the ’90s to pursue higher education. She earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering with a focus in molecular simulation. She attended Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

After graduating in 2001, Hao began a spiritual journey which took her to the Tibetan regions of China, where she studied Buddhism at Larung Gar Five Sciences Academy. She became an ordained Buddhist nun in 2011. She currently offers online Buddhism courses taught in English.

Buddhism is a diverse faith with many different interpretive schools. At the core of Buddhism is the belief one can achieve an awakening by reflecting inwardly and studying the teachings of the Buddha.

Buddhism is the world’s fourth largest religion. Nearly 7 percent of the world population identifies as Buddhist.