Sunday, March 9, 2014

Notes from The Buddhist Dharma - Class 1, 2

Here are my notes from Chris Chapple's class I am taking on Sunday mornings from 8 to 10am at Insight LA.  It is a 2 year commitment.

There are four types of Buddhist meditation: lying down, standing, sitting and walking.

Japa meditation is meditation with beads.

1st 300 years Buddhism was just an oral tradition.  People listened people remember.  The concepts of Buddhism come in manageable numbers: 3s, 4s, 7s, 8s, 12s

Buddha, Dharma, Sangha

Buddha=the person and the state of mind.  The Buddha lives in everyone.

Dharma=teachings and the path.  The dharma lives everywhere

Sangha=the community, community with one another  assenting to one others company and to support one another

The whole project of the meditative traditions is to figure it all out.

The Three Jewels = The Trirutna, the life best lived

Mugadi is the the language that the Buddha spoke.  It is based in Sanskrit.

Pali is a simplified Sanskrit. Pali was a bridge language.

r and s are slippery sounds in pali

karma becomes kama
dharma becomes dhama

The Tibetan language is not related to Sanskrit

The Himalayas act as a huge wall between India and Tibet

Sharanum is related to the English word Shelter

Gichami in the Pali and Sankrit related to the English verb to go

We Chant:

Buddha, Dharma, Sharanum, Gichami = I go for shelter in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha

There is a template for Buddhism in the Biography of the Buddha

recommended reading: Zen Mind, Beginners Mind

3 Yanas

The oldest school of Buddhism is the Theravada school - it means "The Way of the Elders."  It is the earliest teachings. It is practiced in Sri Lanka, Burma, Laos, parts of Malayasia and Thailand.

Buddha lived 500 BCE. 80 to 100 years before Asoka.

Around 100 CE there was a second path of Buddhism in Afghanistan and Kashmir.  The 2nd path of Buddhism is called Mahayana.  There are deep states of meditation in this sect. Some teachings are received in a trance state.

Chris C. mentions the Lankavatara Sutra but I am not sure why

According to Wikipedia:

The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra (Sanskrit: लंकावतारसूत्र Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra; traditional Chinese: 楞伽經; pinyin: léngqié jīng) is a sutra of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The sūtra recounts a teaching primarily between the Buddha and a bodhisattva named Mahāmati ("Great Wisdom"). The sūtra is set in Laṅkā, the island fortress capital of Rāvaṇa, the king of rākṣasas. The title of this text roughly translates as, "Scripture of the Descent into Laṅkā."
The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra figured prominently in the development of Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese Buddhism. It is notably an important sūtra in Chinese Chán and its Japanese version, Zen.

The Mahayana tradition emphasizes new things especially the Boddhisatva.  The B. postpones his final nirvana until the loneliest blade of grass has achieved enlightenment,

Siddhartha Gautama - cosmology changes
There is a conflation of the Boddhisatva and the Buddha
Shantideva (not sure why he is in my notes)

Tibetan depiction of Shantideva
Shantideva (Sanskrit: Śāntideva; traditional Chinese: 寂天; Tibetan: ཞི་བ་ལྷ། Shyiwa Lha; Mongolian: Шантидэва гэгээн) was an 8th-century Indian Buddhist monk and scholar at Nalanda and an adherent of the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna.

The Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra or Bodhicaryāvatāra, sometimes translated into English as A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, is a famous Mahāyāna Buddhist text written c. 700 AD in Sanskrit verse by Shantideva (Śāntideva), a Buddhist monk at Nālandā Monastic University in India.

Bob Therman wrote a translation of this text

7th Century
Tantra comes from Bengal.  It dates back to Vedic Times. The chakras are identified.  There is a mapping of energy linking yantra and mantra.  There is an idea of the present moment.

Tibetans brought Bengalese to translate these texts.

The scholar enters the monastery at seven and at 31 is initiated into Tantra.

There is the great vehicle and the lesser vehicle.  The statement lesser vehicle is derogatory. Shin Gong is the name in Japan.  Chinese Buddhism is usually in the Tibetan tradition.

According to Wikipedia:

Vajrayāna ( Bengali: বজ্রযান; Devanagari: वज्रयान; Sinhala: වජ්‍රායන; Malayalam: വജ്രയാന; Oriya: ବଜ୍ରଯାନ; Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་ཐེག་པ་, rdo rje theg pa; Mongolian: Очирт хөлгөн, Ochirt Hölgön; Chinese: 密宗, mì zōng) is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Way or Thunderbolt Way. Vajrayāna is a complex and multifaceted system of Buddhist thought and practice which evolved over several centuries.[1]
According to Vajrayāna scriptures "Vajrayāna" refers to one of three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Hinayāna and Mahayana. Note that Hinayāna (or Nikaya) is not to be confused with Theravada (a practice lineage); although is sometimes equated to it.
Founded by the Indian Mahāsiddhas, Vajrayāna subscribes to Buddhist tantric literature.

Boddhi Dharma is the 1st patriarch.  845 something happens??? Zen and Pure Land only Buddhisms that survive today (where???)

According to Wikipedia:
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century CE. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an (Sanskrit: Dhyāna, Japanese: Zen) to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan. He was father of Zen Buddhism.
Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend.[1][note 1] The principle Chinese sources vary on their account of Bodhidharma's origins.[4][5][note 2] Aside from the Chinese accounts, two popular traditions also exist regarding Bodhidharma's origins. An Indian tradition regards Bodhidharma to be the third son of a Tamil Pallava king from Kanchipuram[11][12][note 3], while the Japanese tradition regards Bodhidharma to be from Persia.[web 1]
The accounts also differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liú Sòng Dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wèi Dynasty (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.[13]
Several stories about Bodhidharma have become popular legends, which are still being used in the Ch'an and Zen-tradition.
Bodhidharma's teachings and practice centered on meditation and the Lankavatara Sutra.
The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952) identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Buddha himself.
Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian. He is referred as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" (碧眼胡) in Chinese Chan texts.[14]

Kapalavastu was the city where the Buddha was born.

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