Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Introductory Session on Mahayana Buddhism

Sunday 19th May Buddhist Library Camperdown | 9:00am - Noon

Having looked at the profound and deep Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana on the first session, the next session will take a step back to consider the origin of the Mahayana and some of its main themes.

The purpose of this month's session is to provide a sense of how Mahayana emerged and became a distinctive religious and philosophical movement in its own right. 

Mahayana incorporated themes and ideas found in existing teachings, but was also boldly innovative and even novel in its approach.    

We will discuss how Buddhism accomodated the idea of innovation through the 'first and second turnings' of the Wheel of Dharma and also consider the legendary origins of the Prajnaparamita Sutras.

I'll mention Edward Conze's pioneering work in translation of the earliest Mahayana Scriptures and his account of the development of what he describes as the 'new wisdom school'. 

Finally some consideration will be given to the overarching themes of emptiness, bodhicitta and the role of the Bodhisattva in Mahayana.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Buddhist Library Mahayana Study Group

The Mahayana Buddhism Study group will gather to study topics and passages from well-known Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. Participants will be encouraged to do some reading in the lead-up to each meeting. Then we have a meditation, presentation on the topic, and a discussion group.  

Examples may include some readings from well-known Mahayana Sutras, including Lankavatara Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra, and others.  Also texts such as the Buddha Nature Treatise, Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana and others will be drawn on. Sessions will concentrate on passage from one of these sources, rather than reading a large volume of material

The topics for consideration will be those associated with Mahayana Buddhism such as: prajnaparamita, bodhicitta, sunyata and the bodhisattva path. The focus will be mostly from East Asian traditions.

It won't be too academic or technical, but some study and reflection will be expected from attendees - readings will be posted online in advance of each session to allow time for preparation.

Note the link on the right to the PDF edition of the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana. We will be discussing sections from this work on the first meeting, Sunday 17th March. Further specifics will be posted here this Sunday 10th March.