Elaine Lai


I focus on Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, in particular Buddhist tantra and Dzogchen. I don't like to be boxed into one category, but my growing interests revolve around theories of embodiment, subtle body practices, tantric constructions of time and space, material culture, and decentering the human. Beyond academia I've served as the co-president of the Buddhist Community at Stanford where I thrive in cultivating joy in community. In my not so much free time, I also wrestle with playwriting, screenwriting, and fiction.

Prior to Stanford I spent ten years working and studying in China, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong and Nepal where I studied with many teachers, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, and made friends who have made a lasting impact on my life.

Favorite foods are avocado and chunky nut butters, but not together.

BA with Honors in Film Studies and French Studies from Wesleyan University
MA in Buddhist Studies, with distinction from the University of Hong Kong

Advisor: James Gentry


Research Interests

Buddhist Studies