Monday, March 24, 2014

Notes - Buddhist Dharma Class

Theravada is the oldest form of Buddhism, known as the "way of the elders."  It is practiced in Sri Lanka, Burma, Laos, Thailand and parts of Malayasia.  The  Buddha lived around 500 BCE.  80 to 100 years before Asoka.

Around 100 CE in Afghanistan and Kasmir the 2nd path of Buddhism emerged.  It is called Mahayana.  In the form deep states of meditation are achieved.  The teachings can be received in a trance state.  Mahayana emphasizes the Bodhisatva.  The bodhisatva postpones his final nirvana until the loneliest blade of grass achieves enlightenment.

In the 7th century Tantra arose.  It comes from Bengal.  Chakras were identified.  There was mapping of energy and linking of yantra to mantra.  There was the idea of the present moment.

The Buddha was from Kapalavastu in Nepal. Kapala means skull and refers to a brainy sage.  Kapalvastu was a place of great learning.

The story of the Buddha reminds us to be mindful of place and the place narrative.  Buddha's home, Kapalvastu, was a place with an abundance of water, rivers and riverlets. Sudhodhana was Buddha's father and Maya was his mother.

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