It is strange to look back at my last post, in which I sing the praises of the Slow Professor and rejoice in managing to keep up a weekly research day! That didn’t last very long: first marking hit, then a major administrative deadline along with a whole host of other things. Last week I crashed headlong into the final week of semester, absolutely exhausted and barely able to string two words together.
However, not only did I survive, a few well-timed events re-ignited my research brain!
Last Wednesday (5th April) the University of Edinburgh’s Asian Religions Network held two events. The morning was spent at a roundtable discussion entitled “Not reading religious texts”, in which we discussed different ways in which people interact with texts other than by reading them. Colleagues with textual, ethnographic and art-historical interests came together and the meeting was hugely fruitful as well as stimulating. In the evening it was our annual Khyentse Buddhist Studies lecture, this year featuring Professor Bernard Faure.
And then the weekend, and the end of semester, suddenly appeared, and I was on the train to Oxford for the Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions. Not only was this event – as it always is – a thoroughly stimulating experience full of interesting papers and excellent conversation, but the train journey (six hours each way) allowed me to reacquaint myself with my current research. What’s more, the sun was shining in Oxford and the food was excellent, so I returned physically refreshed as well as reengaged.
So what next? Well there’s still plenty of marking and admin and meetings, but hopefully this will now be mixed with regular interactions with stories about pratyekabuddhas, and maybe a few more blog posts too…