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Religious Studies 232: Introduction to Buddhism

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Everyone has the seed of awakening and insight within his or her heart. ... Others seek to provide a paradigm or template for how things might be. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Religious Studies 232: Introduction to Buddhism


1
Religious Studies 232 Introduction to
Buddhism
Week 3
  • Instructor
  • Justin Whitaker

2
Announcements 9/11
  • 5 Year anniversary of the terrorist attacks
  • The Buddhist Response to 9/11?
  • Think about how these responses reveal Buddhist
    principles that we will study this week and next
  • See the course website for full statements

3
Announcements 9/11
  • Buddhist Responses to 9/11
  • The Dalai Lama
  • Human conflicts do not arise out of the blue.
    They occur as a result of causes and conditions,
    many of which are within the protagonists
    control. Violence undoubtedly breeds more
    violence.

4
Announcements 9/11
  • Buddhist Responses to 9/11
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The root of terrorism is misunderstanding,
    intolerance, hatred, revenge and hopelessness.
    This root cannot be located by the military
    Everyone has the seed of awakening and insight
    within his or her heart. Let us help each other
    touch these seeds in ourselves so that everyone
    can have the courage to speak out.

5
Announcements 9/11
  • Buddhist Responses to 9/11
  • Buddhist Peace Fellowship
  • The Buddha taught that all beings are our
    family
  • If we are all one familyvictims, perpetrators,
    innocent, guiltythen each of us is potentially
    capable of terrible and noble action. We must
    first taste our fear and anger without rashly
    retaliating and escalating the violence.

6
Announcements 9/11
  • Buddhist Responses to 9/11
  • The Buddha on Violence
  • Hatred is not overcome by hatred,
  • By love alone is hatred overcome.
  • This is an eternal law. Dhammapada v.5
  • All tremble at the rod. All fear death.
  • Comparing others with oneself, one should neither
    strike nor cause to strike. Dhammapada v.129

7
Announcements 9/11
  • First EXAM Sept 22----next Week, Friday.
  • Revised (only slightly) Study Guide available
    on-line this weekend.
  • What to study? see the course website for a
    full Study Guide (to be slightly revised this
    weekend)
  • Dont forget the four blue-book exam booklets!!
  • Bring in this week----no name written on cover
  • Tonight - "China The Balance Sheet What the
    World Needs to Know Now About the Emerging
    Superpower." Urey Lecture Hall, 7pm

8
Shakyamuni Buddha His Life and Times
  • Cultural Context
  • Classical Civilization of
  • South Asia
  • Shramanas vs. Brahmanas
  • Character of the Buddha
  • in
  • His teachings (Dharma)
  • Stories of his life

9
7 Radical Characteristics
  • A Path available to all
    inc. women outcastes
  • Not every circumstance is the result of karma
    (ethical action) multiply conditioned
  • Upward mobility within this life-time
  • All teachings must be verified in ones own
    experience ( pragmatism)

10
7 Radical Characteristics
  • Belief/Confidence in the Path is
  • necessary but not sufficient
  • Atman/Brahman is
  • not the solution to the problem
  • Human Predicament not sin------but
    ignorance/craving
  • ignorance about the nature of reality

11
Brahmins vs. Shramanas
Affirmation of the
Renunciation of the Prevailing Social Order
Prevailing Social Order
Collective / Locative
Individual / Transformative A
Continuum of Philosophical Religious Options
  • Ritual Atman Yoga
    Self-mortifying
  • Sacrifice Theory
    Meditation Asceticism

12
A Contrast of Purpose Place
  • Brahmanic Ritualism, esp Sacrifice
  • Sustain the Cosmic Order
  • Obtain personal prosperity
  • Attain rebirth in Heaven
  • vs
  • Buddhist Middle Path
  • vs

Brahmins vs. Shramanas
  • Shramanic Self-Mortification
  • Separate the self from society
  • Transform the self
  • Free the self from all obstructions

13
Atman Theory
  • Brahmanic / Upanishadic View
  • Brahman the Absolute the essence of all
    existence
  • Atman the Eternal, Immutable Soul, essence of
    the self
  • Tat tvam asi Brahman Atman

Brahmins vs. Shramanas
Buddhas Response Anatman (anatta) the
non-substantiality of the self no permanent,
unchanging essence Question How to account for
persistence of personal identity?
14
Karma and Caste ( Gender)
  • Brahmanic View
  • Everything determined by karma
  • Ethical action caste duty
  • Upward mobility only in the next life

Brahmins vs. Shramanas
Buddhas Response Karma is only one type of
causality Ethical action compassion Upward
mobility on the Path, not a matter of caste
15
Religious Studies 232 Introduction to
Buddhism
Week 3
  • Instructor
  • Justin Whitaker

16
Announcements 9/13
  • Exam, next Friday
  • Study guide online (to be updated this weekend)
  • Dont forget 4 blue books (this week!) if you
    havent brought them in already
  • Study/Discussion group(s)
  • Meet in my office after class today if you can
  • Extra Credit opportunities email me with
    suggestions (events/movies/lectures, etc. were
    Buddhism is examined)

17
Announcements 9/13
  • Tonight Reverend Master Zensho from the Order
    of Buddhist Contemplatives (a Westernized Soto
    Zen school) will talk at Open Way Mindfulness
    Center, 730pm (702 Brooks)-- a small building
    how many plan to go?
  • Note make sure you note the distinction between
    (this was not clear in many slides)
  • Brahmins (priests) and the
  • Brahmanas (Ritual manuals)

18
Carrithers on Buddhisms Success
  • Tolerant
  • no proprietary claim on Truth
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Portable
  • Based on Universal Human Needs
  • Abstract Formulation of those needs
  • Focused practically on those needs

From Michael Caritthers The Buddha, pp.
80-81 (excerpted in your Course Pack)
19
The Buddhas Advice to the Kalamans
  • The Kalamans problem ethical pluralism
  • How to find meaningfulness value in life when
    confronted with a welter of competing ideologies
    and view points?
  • Buddhas Response
  • Yes, Kalamans, it is proper that you have
    doubt, that you have perplexity, for doubt has
    arisen in a matter that is indeed to be doubted.

20
The Buddhas Advice to the Kalamans
  • "Do not be misled by reports, or tradition, or
    hearsay. Be not misled by the authority of
    religious texts, nor by mere logic or inference,
    nor by considering appearances, nor by the
    delight in speculative opinions, nor by what
    appears possible, nor by the idea 'this is (the
    words of) our teacher.'
  • "But, O Kalamans, when you know for yourselves
    that certain things are unskillful, and wrong,
    and bad, then give them up. . . and when you know
    for yourselves that certain things are skillful
    and good, then accept them and follow them."

21
The Buddhas Advice to the Kalamans
  • Do not be misled by ----- do not rely solely on
  • reports, or tradition, or hearsay
  • authority of religious texts
  • logic or inference alone
  • how things appear
  • delight in speculation
  • what appears possible
  • this is what I was told by my guru
  • Ignore all of these sources???
  • No, test them!
  • (from heteronomy to autonomy)

22
The Buddhas Advice to the Kalamans
  • But How? Determine what is wholesome/skillful
  • and what is not??
  • Whatever gives rise to greed (lust), hatred and
    delusion
  • That is unskillful, unwholesome, unprofitable.
  • Whatever gives rise to the absence of the above
  • That is skillful, wholesome, profitable.
  • Whatever is condemned or commended by the wise
    when verified in ones own experience

23
Religious Studies 232 Introduction to
Buddhism
Week 3
  • Instructor
  • Justin Whitaker

24
Announcements 9/15
  • Exam, next Friday
  • Study guide online (to be updated this weekend)
  • Dont forget 4 blue books (pleaseeee on Monday if
    you havent brought them in already)
  • Study/Discussion group(s) 2 potential schedules
  • Before class M/W/F 11am-noon at Food For Thought
  • Weekly 7pm - Monday (Sept 18) and then every
    Friday at Bears Brew, 1221 Helen (a block from
    campus)
  • Extra Credit opportunities email me with
    suggestions (events/movies/lectures, etc. were
    Buddhism is examined)

25
The Buddhas Advice to the Kalamans
  • The Practice
  • Ethical precepts Strive to avoid
  • Killing living things
  • Taking the not given
  • Sexual misconduct
  • False Speech
  • Clouding the mind with intoxicants greed,
    hatred delusion

26
The Buddhas Advice to the Kalamans
  • The Practice
  • Meditation abide with a heart imbued with
  • Loving-kindness (metta)
  • Compassion (karuna)
  • Gladness or sympathetic joy (mudita)
  • Equanimity (upekkha)
  • The 4 Immeasurables or Abodes of
    Brahma

27
On the meaning of Do not be mislead by . .
. .
  • NOT "Make up your own truth
  • (not capricious individualism)
  • Find the truth
  • for yourself
  • RATHER "Make truth your own
  • (listen to the words of the wise
  • discover their truth for yourself)

28
Shakyamuni Buddha His Life Times
  • Cultural Context
  • Classical Civilization of
  • South Asia
  • Shramanas vs. Brahmins
  • Character of the Buddha
  • in
  • His teachings (Dharma)
  • Stories of his life

29
The Life of the Buddha as a mixture of
  • Historical Truth
  • Biographical Facts time place, etc.
  • Cultural Setting and Context Age of the
    Wanderers
  • Dharma Teachings Advice to the Kalamans, etc.
  • and
  • Mythic Truth
  • Universal Structure
  • Birth, Renunciation, Enlightenment, Teaching
    Career, Death
  • Archetypal Encounters
  • Four Sights, Mara, Earth Goddess, Wise Old Man,
    etc.

30
Universal Structure
  • Birth
  • Renunciation
  • Enlightenment
  • Death still subject human physical limitations
  • wheel-turning king or a buddha
  • human, but extraordinary
  • life of complete sensory gratification
  • Four Sights (not sites)
  • Studied Meditation/Yoga
  • Practiced renounced Self-Mortification
  • Importance of his second renunciation
  • Conquest of Mara / other archetypal encounters
  • At 80, after teaching for 45 years

31
Myth
  • Not in the sense of what is untrue,
  • or contrary to specific facts documented in the
    historical record.
  • but rather
  • In the sense of what is more true
  • in that its universality goes beyond any
    specific factual situation
  • Thus myth has been said to be
  • That which never was,
  • but always is.

32
Myth as Paradigm
  • Some stories are origin myths, seeking to explain
    how things came to be
  • whereas
  • Others seek to provide a paradigm or template for
    how things might be.
  • Historical facts of the Buddhas career were
    increasingly mythologized
  • Structure and events of his life came to be seen
    as the universal paradigm by which all beings can
    develop towards enlightenment

33
Truth
  • Historical Truth
  • Factual
  • Specific / Particular
  • Unique
  • Mythic Truth
  • Beyond Space Time
  • Universal
  • Paradigmatic
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