Comparisons in Consciousness: Congruencies in Tibetan Buddhist and Hopi Indian Epistemology

Summer 2006

Natalie M. Avalos : Interdisciplinary Studies Field

Mentor: N. Hernandez, Ethnic Studies

I am interested in verifying the existing research on the correlations between Tibetan Buddhist sacred knowledge and Native American sacred knowledge. I will focus specifically on Hopi Indian knowledge. I intend to explore the relationship between practices, beliefs and their metaphysical understanding of the world. Additionally I will investigate the idea of being “connected to all things”, a belief that they share; looking at how this process manifests itself from an internal to an external awareness or vice versa. Ultimately I would like to know the significance of their correlations and how they can contribute to Western Science. I will spend one month working with Hopi Indian material, as well as one month working with Tibetan Buddhist material. I will use primary and secondary texts, oral histories, teachings and interviews.

This is such an exciting opportunity for me to do research over the summer because I love finding connections between things and investigating their roots. I already spend so much of my free time doing this kind of research that now I can dedicate myself to it for two months and not feel like its something I’m trying to fit into my schedule. It’s also an opportunity to use my intellect and instincts to come up with creative reasons for why these connections exist. I feel that research is beneficial to the greater community because the better we understand the world around us the better lives we can lead.