MA Applied Buddhist Studies, Nan Tien Institute
Dr. Anja Zalta is a lecturer in the Sociology Department (University of Ljubljana) teaching in the areas of Sociology of Religion, Gender and Religion, Comparative Religions, and Religion and Modern Society. She is the author of numerous articles on religious traditions and identities, inter-religious dialogue, and mindfulness. Dr. Zalta is also a certificated mediator (trained by the International Peace Training at Stadtschlaining, Austria with a specialization in Conflict Resolution and Conflict Transformation), she has field experience in conflict mediation from both Bosnia and Turkey. She holds a Master's degree in Applied Buddhist Studies from Nan Tien Institute, where she was researching mindfulness as a tool for conflict transformation.
She is currently working on a research project focused on the application of mindfulness as a conflict transformation method for interreligious dialogue and peace-building. Buddhist teachings contend that the behaviours and structures of conflict originate from the human mind; the deeper causes of any conflict lie then internally in the mental operations within each being. Conflict transformation depends not so much on what happens to people, but what attitude, comprehension, and response they give to the events. For that reason she is convinced that the application of mindfulness as a core method for conflict transformation is a necessity. In a world of multi-leveled plurality, conflict transformation is not a stable, end state but an interactive process of a series of changing and balancing activities, and an on-going dialectic between our actions and the world. To eliminate violence and conflict, the underlying causes and conditions need to be resolved.