Ongoing Research

My primary research interest is the history of Tibetan Buddhism, with a focus on the Kagyü sect. I am also interested in the institutional and literary histories of the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism, the tantric traditions of India, religious asceticism, and sainthood. I work mainly in classical and modern Tibetan.

I am currently working on a monograph about long-term meditative retreat in Tibet. This study focuses on individual yogins’ relationships with society, with each other, with the material world, with food, and with their own bodies, and the ways those relationships are transformed in the course of undertaking extreme ascetic trials. This study is built upon close readings of Tibetan retreat manuals, descriptions of tantric practices, religious biographies, poems relating meditative experiences, letters, and more.