On January 16, 2019, Professor Bhadra Rujirathat (Peter Skilling), a Khyentse Foundation Fellow, presided over the presentation ceremony for the 2019 Khyentse Foundation Award. This year the award was granted to two Ph.D. students at the Faculty of Arts from the Department of East Asian Languages and the Graduate Program in Thai Studies. Phra Maha Anukul Ngaongam, a Ph.D. monk student from the Department of East Asian Languages. Phra Ngaongam’s dissertation topic is Transference of merit in Thai life–crisis ceremony: significance and contemporary explanations. The dissertation is a comparative study between merit-making indicated in the Tipitaka and the actual practice in Thai Buddhist society. The purpose is to study the application of the Pali teachings to the Buddhist tradition in Thailand.
The second recipient, Jakkrit Ployburanin is a Ph.D. student from the Graduate Program in Thai Studies. He is finishing his study on The dynamic meditation of Luangpor Theean Jittasubho Lineage: Emergence, proliferation, and significance to contemporary Thai society. The dynamic medication of Laungpor Theean Jittasubho, a well-known senior Buddhist monk, is one of the leading meditation methods in Thailand. It has been incorporated into various secular spheres such as education, healthcare, and forest conservation. The study investigates how the meditation method serves the needs of contemporary Thai society both spiritually and socially.