Buddhism and the Art of Negotiation

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Would the Buddha be an effective arbiter in a complicated and contentious land trust dispute or a messy divorce? For many experts, the answer is a resounding yes.

While it’s impossible to actually have the ancient spiritual leader himself present in the room on such occasions, several Buddhist scholars, practitioners, and professional mediators at a panel last week (Nov. 7) said they use his practices and principles often to help facilitate interpersonal dialogue and effective negotiation.

Ran Kuttner, visiting scholar at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (HLS), and Michael Wheeler LL.M. ’74, MBA Class of 1952 Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School and co-director of HLS’s Dispute Resolution Program, convened the group at HLS’s Pound Hall. It included Zen master (Roshi) Bernie Glassman, lecturer on Buddhist studies at Harvard Divinity School and founder of the Zen Peacemakers; Gregory Kramer, co-founder of the Metta Foundation and teacher of Vipassana and Metta meditation; Janet Surrey, a founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at Wellesley College.

Read the full article online at the Harvard University Gazette.

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