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"Creation and Completion" represents some of the most profound
teachings of Jamgon Kongtrul (1813-99), one of the true spiritual
and literary giants of Tibetan history. Though brief, it offers a
lifetime of advice for all who wish to engage in-and deepen-the
practice of tantric Buddhist meditation.
The Mahayana tradition in Buddhist philosophy is defined by its ethical orientation-the adoption of bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings. And indeed, this tradition is known for its literature on ethics, particularly such texts as Nagarjuna's Jewel Garland of Advice (Ratnavali), Aryadeva's Four Hundred Verses (Catuhsataka), and especially Santideva's How to Lead an Awakened Life (Bodhicaryavatara) and its commentaries. All of these texts reflect the Madhyamaka tradition of philosophy, and all emphasize both the imperative to cultivate an attitude of universal care (karuna) grounded in the realization of emptiness, impermanence, independence and the absence of any self in persons or other phenomena. This position is morally very attractive, but raises an important problem: if all phenomena, including persons and actions, are only conventionally real, can moral injunctions or principles be binding, or does the conventional status of the reality we inhabit condemn us to an ethical relativism or nihilism? In Moonshadows, the international collective known as the Cowherds addresses an analogous problem in the domain of epistemology and argues that the Madhyamaka tradition has the resources to develop a robust account of truth and knowledge within the context of conventional reality. The essays explore a variety of ways in which to understand important Buddhist texts on ethics and Mahayana moral theory so as to make sense of the genuine force of morality. The volume combines careful textual analysis and doctrinal exposition with philosophical reconstruction and reflection, and considers a variety of ways to understand the structure of Mahayana Buddhist ethics.
Religion. Steeeping Into Freedom is a book of guidelines, encouraging words, reminders and poems for novice monks and nuns in the Buddhist tradition. It often Western readers a glimpse of Buddhist monastic life. Based on 400-year-old Chinese texts that have been updated by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community, Stepping Into Freedom teaches many basic practices, including conscious breathing, sitting and walking meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh is a poet and Zen Master. He lives in Plum Village, a monastic practice center in southwestern France, and he travels worldwide lecturing and leading retreats on "the art of mindful living."
This book is a study on the nature and effects of the Theravada Buddhist religious experiences of the four supramundane fruits of the Noble Eightfold Path - the experience of the fruit which is stream-entry, once returning, non-returning and Arahanthship - with special focus on the experience of stream-entry.It represents the first time within Theravada Buddhist studies that a serious textual study has been combined with a substantial field research. Despite disciplinary rules which virtually prohibit a monk with higher ordination from discussing their personal religious experiences, this book presents seven comprehensive anonymous interviews conducted mainly with forest monks on their meditative experiences.The study presents a definition for the 'supramundane fruit' of the path and an alternate framework to discuss and evaluate Theravada Buddhist religious experiences. It then uses this framework to address some longstanding debates around the Theravada path and its fruits thus bringing experience back to the centre stage of these debates.
"Beyond the Breath" is one of the first books to give a complete
overview and description of sensation based vipassana meditation,
the form of mediation thought of as the original method of
meditation as used by the Buddha 2,500 years ago. This form of
meditation, brought to the West by S.N. Geoneka, provides a means
to experience emotions directly and nonverbally--accessing the mind
through the body. One of the main principles of this school of
meditation is that meditation alone is not sufficient practice, but
that it must be combined with a whole-life and ethical commitment.
What is Buddhist meditation? What is going on - and what should be going on - behind the closed or lowered eyelids of the Buddha or Buddhist adept seated in meditation? And in what ways and to what ends have the answers to these questions mattered for Buddhists themselves? Focusing on early medieval China, this book takes up these questions through a cultural history of the earliest traditions of Buddhist meditation (chan), before the rise of the Chan (Zen) School in the eighth century. In sharp contrast to what would become typical in the later Chan School, early Chinese Buddhists approached the ancient Buddhist practice of meditation primarily as a way of gaining access to a world of enigmatic but potentially meaningful visionary experiences. In Chan before Chan, Eric Greene brings this approach to meditation to life with a focus on how medieval Chinese Buddhists interpreted their own and others' visionary experiences and the nature of the authority they ascribed to them. Drawing from hagiography, ritual manuals, material culture, and the many hitherto rarely studied meditation manuals translated from Indic sources into Chinese or composed in China in the 400s, Greene argues that during this era meditation and the mastery of meditation came for the first time to occupy a real place in the Chinese Buddhist social world. Heirs to wider traditions that had been shared across India and Central Asia, early medieval Chinese Buddhists conceived of "chan" as something that would produce a special state of visionary sensitivity. The concrete visionary experiences that resulted from meditation were understood as things that could then be interpreted, by a qualified master, as indicative of the mediator's purity or impurity. Buddhist meditation, though an elite discipline that only a small number of Chinese Buddhists themselves undertook, was thus in practice and in theory constitutively integrated into the cultic worlds of divination and "repentance" (chanhui) that were so important within the medieval Chinese religious world as a whole.
The Wisdom of Compassion offers rare insights into the Dalai Lama's life as he interacts with remarkable people from all walks of life. In these deeply engaging behind-the-scenes stories we see not only the Dalai Lama at his most human, and most humane, but also the way he approaches the world with humour and optimism. As he empathizes with those who are suffering, and demonstrates the tangible benefits of practising forgiveness and compassion, the Dalai Lama reveals the many lessons he has learned, including how * his collaborations with leading neuroscientists, psychologists, teachers and students from around the world have taught him how to educate the heart; * his inspiring friendship with a blind Irishman, the only person he calls his hero, has taught him how one can overcome adversity; * through his encounters with illiterate grandmothers learning how to harness solar power for their communities, a beggar girl, and his soulmate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, he has discovered how compassion can be translated into action. Enhanced by the Dalai Lama's seven decades of practice and illuminated through captivating anecdotes, The Wisdom of Compassion can help readers to lead more fulfilling lives. The Dalai Lama also shows how, when we open our hearts and minds to others, we are on the surest path to true happiness.
Just as scientists observe and catalog the material world, Buddhists for centuries have been observing and cataloging the components of the human psyche. Addressing both the nature of the human mind and how humans know what they know, Buddhist psychology offers a rich and subtle knowledge of the inner experience. Here, Buddhism's unique, time-tested way of viewing the mind is explained so that followers of Tibetan Buddhism can understand their anger and aversion, and develop equanimity, patience, and love.
Here is one of the most entertaining masterpieces of Sanskrit
literature rendered in an English translation that fully captures
the original's artistry and charm.
How to Sit is part of a charming series of books from Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, exploring the essential foundations of mindful meditation and practise. How to Sit provides explicit, simple directions on the mechanics of posture and breathing, along with instructions for how best to achieve an awakened, relaxed state of clarity to cultivate concentration and compassion.
Wizards with magical powers to heal the sick, possess the bodies of their followers, and defend their tradition against outside threats are far from the typical picture of Buddhism. Yet belief in wizard-saints who protect their devotees and intervene in the world is widespread among Burmese Buddhists. The Buddha's Wizards is a historically informed ethnographic study that explores the supernatural landscape of Buddhism in Myanmar to explain the persistence of wizardry as a form of lived religion in the modern era. Thomas Nathan Patton explains the world of wizards, spells, and supernatural powers in terms of both the broader social, political, and religious context and the intimate roles that wizards play in people's everyday lives. He draws on affect theory, material and visual culture, long-term participant observation, and the testimonies of the devout to show how devotees perceive the protective power of wizard-saints. Patton considers beliefs and practices associated with wizards to be forms of defending Buddhist traditions from colonial and state power and culturally sanctioned responses to restrictive gender roles. The book also offers a new lens on the political struggles and social transformations that have taken place in Myanmar in recent years. Featuring close attention to the voices of individual wizard devotees and the wizards themselves, The Buddha's Wizards provides a striking new look at a little-known aspect of Buddhist belief that helps expand our ways of thinking about the daily experience of lived religious practices.
How did ancient Buddhists read and interpret the Buddha's words? In Voice of the Buddha, Maria Heim reads the early Buddhist scriptures with Buddhaghosa, the principal commentator, editor, and translator of the Theravada intellectual tradition. Buddhaghosa considers the Buddha to be omniscient and his words "oceanic." Every word, passage, bookindeed, the corpus as a wholeis taken to be "endless and immeasurable." Commentarial practice thus requires disciplined methods of expansion, drawing out the endless possibilities for meaning and application. Heim considers Buddhagohsa's theories of scripture and follows his practices of exegesis to yield fresh insight into all three collections of the early Pali texts: Vinaya, the Suttas, and the Abhidhamma.
Buddhist Philosophy: A Comparative Approach presents a series of readings that examine the prominent thinkers and texts of the Buddhist tradition in the round, introducing contemporary readers to major theories and debates at the intersection of Buddhist and Western thought. * Takes a comparative, rather than oppositional, approach to Buddhist philosophy, exploring key theories and debates at the intersection of Eastern and Western thought * Addresses a variety of topics that represent important points of convergence between the Buddhist and Western philosophical traditions * Features contributions from a wide array of acclaimed international scholars in the discipline * Provides a much-needed cross-cultural treatment of Buddhist philosophy appropriate for undergraduate students and specialists alike
Meditation has flourished in different parts of the world ever since the foundations of the great civilizations were laid. It played a vital role in the formation of Asian cultures that trace much of their heritage to ancient India and China. This volume brings together for the first time studies of the major traditions of Asian meditation as well as material on scientific approaches to meditation. It delves deeply into the individual traditions while viewing each of them from a global perspective, examining both historical and generic connections between meditative practices from numerous historical periods and different parts of the Eurasian continent. It seeks to identify the cultural and historical peculiarities of Asian schools of meditation while recognizing basic features of meditative practice across cultures, thereby taking the first step toward a framework for the comparative study of meditation. The book, accessibly written by scholars from several fields, opens with chapters that discuss the definition and classification of meditation. These are followed by contributions on Yoga and Tantra, which are often subsumed under the broad label of Hinduism; Jainism and Sikhism, Indian traditions not usually associated with meditation; Buddhist approaches found in Southeast Asia, Tibet, and China; and the indigenous Chinese traditions, Daoism and Neo-Confucianism. The final chapter explores recent scientific interest in meditation, which, despite its Western orientation, remains almost exclusively concerned with practices of Asian origin. Until a few years ago a major obstacle to the study of specific meditation practices within the traditions explored here was a widespread scholarly orientation that prioritized doctrinal issues and sociocultural contexts over actual practice. The contributors seek to counter this bias and supplement concerns over doctrine and context with the historical study of meditative practice. Asian Traditions of Meditation will appeal broadly to readers interested in meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality and those in the emerging field of contemplative education, as well as students and scholars of Asian and religious studies.
Although we are materially better off than ever before, surveys show that we are depressed and listless. In his revolutionary book, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard shows that happiness is not just an emotion, but a skill that can be developed. Free of jargon, Happiness contains simple exercises that will train the mind to recognize and pursue happiness by concentrating on the fundamental things in life, and in doing so change the way we view the world.
Renowned Zen master and Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, explores the origins of fear and offers detailed practises on how to deal with its often toxic presence in our lives. Formed by a lifetime of mindfulness in action, he also shows us the path to peace, happiness and freedom that can come out of such explorations. For him, happiness is not found by suppressing our emotions but by purposefully living in a mindfully aware state. Only by practicing mindfulness in this way can we identify the source of pain that is responsible for our fear and anxiety, and cut it off from its roots so that the pain can subside. When we're not held in the grip of fear, we can truly embrace the gifts of life.
The Vessantara Jataka is the tale of Buddha's last life, before he was reborn as the historical Buddha 2,500 years ago. In this earlier existence as Prince Vessantara he demonstrated evidence of the highest virtue that constitutes an enlightened man: generosity. Vessantara gave away everything dear to him - in the climactic scene of the story, even his wife and children. In North-East Thailand the Vessantara tale is celebrated annually as Bun Phra Wet. Pha Phra Wet - 'Vessantara cloths' - form the visual framework for this festival; they are hand-painted scrolls, which can reach lengths of up to one hundred metres. Devotion presents, for the very first time, a selection of six full-length Vessantara scrolls and explores a contemporary multimedia celebration of an ancient Buddhist text. This book accompanies an exhibition, to be held in the Ethnographic Museum at the Universtity of Zurich (CH), 20.6.2017 to 15.4.2018.
From the Buddhist meditator and scholar, Bhikkhu Analayo, this is a thorough-going guide to the early Buddhist teachings on Satipatthana, the foundations of mindfulness, following on from his two best-selling books, Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization and Perspectives on Satipatthana. With mindfulness being so widely taught, there is a need for a clear-sighted and experience-based guide. Analayo provides it.
This book provides both an erudite and intimate look at how Buddhism is lived in Sri Lanka. While India is known as the birthplace of Buddhism, Sri Lanka is its other home, extending back over twenty-five hundred years on the island and remaining at the center of its spiritual traditions and culture. Throughout the book, author Swarna Wickremeratne incorporates a personal view, sharing stories of herself, her family, friends, and acquaintances as they "lived Buddhism" both during her Sri Lankan girlhood and during more recent times. This personal view makes the traditions come alive as Wickremeratne details Buddhist beliefs, customs, rituals and ceremonies, and folklore. She also provides a fascinating discussion of the Sangha, the institutional monkhood, in Sri Lanka, including its history, codes of conduct, and evolution and resilience over time. Wickremeratne explores the recent attempts by many monks to reinvent themselves in a society characterized by secularization, globalization, and a tide of aggressive Christian evangelization.
How do we free ourselves from the demon of self-concern? These instructions are found in "Eight Verses for Training the Mind," one of the most important texts from a genre of Tibetan spiritual writings known as" lojong" (literally "mind training"). The root text was written by the eleventh-century meditator Langritangpa. His Holiness the Dalai Lama refers to this work as one of the main sources of his own inspiration and includes it in his daily meditations.
During a month-long seminar in France during 1990, Vajrayana Buddhism master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-91) presented this teaching on the mind training of the Indian master Atisha (982-1054) and the Tibetan master Thogm Zangpo (1295-1369). It is translated from the Tibetan by the Padmakara Translation Group. The first edition appeared in 1993.
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