Guy Newland: A Buddhist Grief Observed
In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, Wisdom author and Tibetan Buddhist scholar Guy Newland speaks profoundly on the experience of grief through a Buddhist lens. Guy published his book A Buddhist Grief Observed with Wisdom in summer 2016. This book reflects his experience after his wife passed away in 2013. In the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, Newland offers brave teachings on falling to pieces and then learning to make sense of his pain and grief within his spiritual tradition. In this interview he shares how Buddhist teachings helped him with grief, including in some very unexpected ways. He also reflects on the ways that grief can be so much more intricate than we expect, and how important it is to feel that grief is normal and isn’t supposed to go away immediately.
Drawing inspiration from all corners of the Buddhist world—from Zen stories and the Dalai Lama, to Pema Chödrön and ancient Pali texts—Guy’s story and his insights reverberate with honesty, kindness, and deep humanity. Newland shows us the power of responding fully and authentically to the death of a loved one.
About the Interviewee
Guy Newland is Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Central Michigan University, where he has taught since 1988. He has authored, edited, and translated several books on Tibetan Buddhism, including the three-volume translation of The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and Introduction to Emptiness. Since the loss of his wife Valerie Stephens in 2013, he has expanded his teachings, given to universities and Dharma centers, which include topics on death, dying, and grief. He lives in Mount Pleasant, MI.