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Featuring contributions from the world's most highly esteemed Asian philosophy scholars, this important new encyclopedia covers the complex and increasingly influential field of Chinese thought, from earliest recorded times to the present day. Including coverage on the subject previously unavailable to English speakers, the Encyclopedia sheds light on the extensive range of concepts, movements, philosophical works, and thinkers that populate the field. It includes a thorough survey of the history of Chinese philosophy; entries on all major thinkers from Confucius to Mou Zongsan; essential topics such as aesthetics, moral philosophy, philosophy of government, and philosophy of literature; surveys of Confucianism in all historical periods (Zhou, Han, Tang, and onward) and in key regions outside China; schools of thought such as Mohism, Legalism, and Chinese Buddhism; trends in contemporary Chinese philosophy, and more.
Upon completing the path that led him to fully develop compassion and wisdom, Shakyamuni arrived at enlightenment, the state of Buddhahood that marks the end of suffering. Replying to the requests made of him, he transmitted three cycles of teachings to explain the path he had taken and the methods he used. Traditionally, Buddhism counts 84,000 teachings, and the four seals of the Dharma contain the essence of all these. Like a royal seal that historically proved authenticity and authority, the four seals give a true description of our current situation and that to which we can progress: All phenomena are impermanent by nature. All contaminated phenomena are suffering by nature. All phenomena are empty and devoid of inherent existence. Nirvana is a state of absolute peace. The first two seals allow us to understand the characteristics of our condition and the last two, the qualities of liberation. In this way, the teaching shows the Buddha's path and the Buddhist perspective. Today, Buddhism is no longer an exotic movement but a methodology that has taken root and is practiced in the West. Nevertheless, do we really know what it means to be Buddhist? Using the introspective process of investigation that is precious to this tradition, Lama Khenpo Ngedoen directly involves the reader in this discovery by asking simple, to-the-point questions and then bringing together the elements of an answer connected with these four statements.
Only by inhabiting Dao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can humankind achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death. This is Daoist philosophy's central tenet, espoused by the person -- or group of people -- known as Zhuangzi (369?--286? BCE) in a text by the same name. To be free, individuals must discard rigid distinctions between right and wrong, and follow a course of action not motivated by gain or striving. When one ceases to judge events as good or bad, man-made suffering disappears, and natural suffering is embraced as part of life.
Zhuangzi elucidates this mystical philosophy through humor, parable, and anecdote, using non sequitur and even nonsense to illuminate truths beyond the boundaries of ordinary logic. Boldly imaginative and inventively written, the "Zhuangzi" floats free of its historical period and society, addressing the spiritual nourishment of all people across time. One of the most justly celebrated texts of the Chinese tradition, the "Zhuangzi" is read by thousands of English-language scholars each year, yet, until now, only in the Wade-Giles romanization. Burton Watson's conversion to pinyin in this book brings the text in line with how Chinese scholars, and an increasing number of other scholars, read it.
Based on a popular legend in Gansu, the far western province of China, The Tortoise in Asia recounts the exploits of Marcus, a young Roman centurion schooled in the Greek classics who, after a devastating loss in a battle with the Parthians, is taken prisoner, marched along the Silk Road, and pressed into service as a border guard on the eastern frontier. After a daring escape, Marcus has many adventures working with the Hun army as a mercenary. Throughout this harrowing journey, Marcus learns about Chinese philosophies, uncovering the startling similarities between these philosophies and those of Greece.
These are questions to which oriental thinkers have given a wide range of philosophical answers that are intellectually and imaginatively stimulating. Thirty-Five Oriental Philosophers is a succinctly informative introduction to the thought of thirty-five important figures in the Chinese, Indian, Arab, Japanese and Tibetan philosophical traditions. Thinkers covered include founders such as Zoroaster, Confucius, Buddha and Muhammed, as well as influential modern figures such as Gandhi, Mao Tse-Tung, Suzuki and Nishida. The book is divided into sections, in which an introduction to the tradition it covers precedes the essays on its individual philosophers. Notes, further reading lists, and cross-references provide the student with a clear route to further study. There is a glossary of key terms at the end of the book.
In the modern world, people are not only separated from their environment, but also from their own bodies and minds. We can learn to integrate all these fragments and return to our original nature. In 'Tao, the Subtle Universal Law', Hua-Ching Ni carefully presents the wisdom and practical methods that the ancient Chinese have successfully used for centuries. To lead a good stable life is to be aware of the actual conjoining of the universal subtle law with every moment and event of our lives. The real meaning of taoist self-discipline is to harmonize with universal law. This is almost the total secret of a Taoist life. The value of this book lies in the fact that it not only tells us 'why' but also 'how.'
Dharma is central to all the major religious traditions which originated on the Indian subcontinent. Such is its importance that these traditions cannot adequately be understood apart from it. Often translated as "ethics," "religion," "law," or "social order," dharma possesses elements of each of these but is not confined to any single category familiar to Western thought. Neither is it the straightforward equivalent of what many in the West might usually consider to be "a philosophy". This much-needed analysis of the history and heritage of dharma shows that it is instead a multi-faceted religious force, or paradigm, that has defined and that continues to shape the different cultures and civilizations of South Asia in a whole multitude of forms, organizing many aspects of life. Experts in the fields of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh studies here bring fresh insights to dharma in terms both of its distinctiveness and its commonality as these are expressed across, and between, the several religions of the subcontinent. Exploring ethics, practice, history and social and gender issues, the contributors engage critically with some prevalent and often problematic interpretations of dharma, and point to new ways of appreciating these traditions in a manner that is appropriate to and thoroughly consistent with their varied internal debates, practices and self-representations.
Archery Metaphor and Ritual in Early Confucian Texts explores the significance of archery as ritual practice and image source in classical Confucian texts. Archery was one of the six traditional arts of China, the foremost military skill, a tool for education, and above all, an important custom of the rulers and aristocrats of the early dynasties. Rina Marie Camus analyzes passages inspired by archery in the texts of the Analects, Mencius, and Xunzi in relation to the shifting social and historical conditions of the late Zhou dynasty, the troubled times of early followers of the ruist master Confucius. Camus posits that archery imagery is recurrent and touches on fundamental themes of literature; ritual archers in the Analects, sharp shooters in Mencius, and the fashioning of exquisite bows and arrows in Xunzi represent the gentleman, pursuit of ren, and self-cultivation. Furthermore, Camus argues that not only is archery an important Confucian metaphor, it also proves the cognitive value of literary metaphors-more than linguistic ornamentation, metaphoric utterances have features and resonances that disclose their speakers' saliencies of thought.
This text features step-by-step lessons in building the skills needed to engage in Tibetan Buddhist philosophical debate and that have proved successful in the college classroom.
Shen Gua (1031 1095) is a household name in China, known as a distinguished renaissance man and the author of Brush Talks from Dream Brook, an old text whose remarkable "scientific" discoveries make it appear curiously ahead of its time. In this first book-length study of Shen in English, Ya Zuo reveals the connection between Shen's life as an active statesman and his ideas, specifically the empirical stance manifested through his wide-ranging inquiries. She places Shen on the broad horizon of premodern Chinese thought, and presents his empiricism within an extensive narrative of Chinese epistemology. Relying on Shen as a searchlight, Zuo focuses in on how an individual thinker summoned conditions and concepts from the vast Chinese intellectual tradition to build a singular way of knowing. Moreover, her study of Shen provides insights into the complex dynamics in play at the dawn of the age of Neo-Confucianism and compels readers to achieve a deeper appreciation of the diversity in Chinese thinking.
First published in 1939. This book consists chiefly of extracts from Chuang Tzu, Mencius and Han Fei Tzu. Chuang Tzu's appeal is to the imagination; the appeal of mencius is to the moral feelings; realism, as expounded by Han Fei Tzu, finds a close parallel in modern Totalitarianism and as a result these extracts from a book of the third century B.C. nonetheless have a very contemporary connection.
Until now, no single work has been devoted to both a scholarly understanding of the complexities of the Daoist tradition and a critical exploration of its contribution to recent environmental concerns. The authors in this volume consider the intersection of Daoism and ecology, looking at the theoretical and historical implications associated with a Daoist approach to the environment. They also analyze perspectives found in Daoist religious texts and within the larger Chinese cultural context in order to delineate key issues found in the classical texts. Through these analyses, they assess the applicability of modern-day Daoist thought and practice in China and the West, with respect to the contemporary ecological situation.
An engaging introduction to Zen Buddhism, featuring a new English translation of one of the earliest Zen texts Leading Buddhist scholar Sam van Schaik explores the history and essence of Zen, based on a new translation of one of the earliest surviving collections of teachings by Zen masters. These teachings, titled The Masters and Students of the Lanka, were discovered in a sealed cave on the old Silk Road, in modern Gansu, China, in the early twentieth century. All more than a thousand years old, the manuscripts have sometimes been called the Buddhist Dead Sea Scrolls, and their translation has opened a new window onto the history of Buddhism. Both accessible and illuminating, this book explores the continuities between the ways in which Zen was practiced in ancient times, and how it is practiced today in East Asian countries such as Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as in the emerging Western Zen tradition.
The author of the runaway bestseller How the Irish Saved Civilization has done it again. In The Gifts of the Jews Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.
When Krishnamurti?'s Notebook first became available in 1976, it was soon realized that it was a spiritually unique document giving his perceptions and experiences and describing his states of consciousness. It is a kind of diary but one that is little concerned with the day to day process of living, though very much aware of the natural world.
Accessible to today's readers, this anthology of readings is a
survey of Asian thought-in India and China. It strikes a balance
between major and minor figures, and features the best available
translations of texts-complete works or complete sections of
works-which are both central to each thinker or school and are
widely accepted to be part of the emerging Asian canon.
Introductions to each historical period and to each thinker,
photographs, and a timeline help to keep learners focused
throughout. For individuals interested in learning about World
Religions, Asian thought, or Chinese and Indian philosophy.
India has a long, rich, and diverse tradition of philosophical thought, spanning some two and a half millennia and encompassing several major religious traditions. This Very Short Introduction is structured around six schools which have achieved classic status. Sue Hamilton explores how the traditions have attempted to understand the nature of reality in terms of an inner or spiritual quest, and introduces distinctively Indian concepts such as karma and rebirth.
A provocative essay challenging the idea of Buddhist exceptionalism, from one of the world's most widely respected philosophers and writers on Buddhism and science Buddhism has become a uniquely favored religion in our modern age. A burgeoning number of books extol the scientifically proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness for everything ranging from business to romance. There are conferences, courses, and celebrities promoting the notion that Buddhism is spirituality for the rational, compatible with cutting-edge science, indeed, "a science of the mind." In this provocative book, Evan Thompson argues that this representation of Buddhism is false. In lucid and entertaining prose, Thompson dives deep into both Western and Buddhist philosophy to explain how the goals of science and religion are fundamentally different. Efforts to seek their unification are wrongheaded and promote mistaken ideas of both. He suggests cosmopolitanism instead, a worldview with deep roots in both Eastern and Western traditions. Smart, sympathetic, and intellectually ambitious, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in Buddhism's place in our world today.
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