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Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia are centres for the preservation of local artistic traditions. Chief among these are manuscripts, a vital source for our understanding of Buddhist ideas and practices in the region. They are also a beautiful art form, too little understood in the West. The British Library has one of the richest collections of Southeast Asian manuscripts, principally from Thailand and Burma, anywhere in the world. It includes finely painted copies of Buddhist scriptures, literary works, historical narratives, and works on traditional medicine, law, cosmology and fortune-telling. This stunning new book illustrates over 100 examples of Buddhist art in the Library's collection, relating each manuscript to Theravada tradition and beliefs, and introducing the historical, artistic and religious contexts of their production. It is the first book in English to showcase the beauty and variety of manuscript art and reproduces many works that have never been photographed before.
Love Letters from Golok chronicles the courtship between two Buddhist tantric masters, Tare Lhamo (1938-2002) and Namtrul Rinpoche (1944-2011), and their passion for reinvigorating Buddhism in eastern Tibet during the post-Mao era. In fifty-six letters exchanged from 1978 to 1980, Tare Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche envisioned a shared destiny to "heal the damage" done to Buddhism during the years leading up to and including the Cultural Revolution. Holly Gayley retrieves the personal and prophetic dimensions of their courtship and its consummation in a twenty-year religious career that informs issues of gender and agency in Buddhism, cultural preservation among Tibetan communities, and alternative histories for minorities in China. The correspondence between Tare Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche is the first collection of "love letters" to come to light in Tibetan literature. Blending tantric imagery with poetic and folk song styles, their letters have a fresh vernacular tone comparable to the love songs of the Sixth Dalai Lama, but with an eastern Tibetan flavor. Gayley reads these letters against hagiographic writings about the couple, supplemented by field research, to illuminate representational strategies that serve to narrate cultural trauma in a redemptive key, quite unlike Chinese scar literature or the testimonials of exile Tibetans. With special attention to Tare Lhamo's role as a tantric heroine and her hagiographic fusion with Namtrul Rinpoche, Gayley vividly shows how Buddhist masters have adapted Tibetan literary genres to share private intimacies and address contemporary social concerns.
Buddhism is rich in fascinating practices and rituals. From well known rituals such as chanting sutras or painting mandalas to lesser known rites associated with death or stupa consecration, or derived from contact with other religions, this book offers students a unique understanding of the living tradition. It draws on eye witness reports of Buddhism on the ground, but also provides a reflective context within which the practices can be understood and appreciated. It covers religious and lay practices, art and festivals, regional and temporal variations, socio-political practices, and much else. Written by an authority on the topic, each chapter introduces a ritual or practice, describes it as the author has observed it and then goes on to discuss its context and significance. All entries include a list of further reading as well as photographs to help students deepen their understanding.
This work is a detailed study of the modern Shinto, the religion of Japan, in both its state and sect forms, and is of particular interest for its account of the evolution of Shintoism into a vital political force in the period leading up to World War II.
This text contains descriptions of the Japanese enthronement ceremonies. It covers the rituals, costumes, offerings, equipment, music, seating plans and buildings in which the ceremonies are held, giving their present function and past history. It examines the underlying importance of the rites.
Collected essays on different facets of Buddhism, linked by the themes of: dependent co-origination (pratitya-samutpada); the effects of Madhyamika and Yogacara ideas on Japanese literature and culture; and the tensions and harmonies amongst different religious traditions and Buddhist sects.
The story of Saint Josaphat, a prince who gave up his wealth and kingdom to follow Jesus, was one of the most popular Christian tales of the Middle Ages, translated into a dozen languages, and cited by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. Yet Josaphat is only remembered today because of the similarities of his life to that of the Buddha. In Search of the Christian Buddha is set against the backdrop of the trade along the Silk Road, the Christian settlement of Palestine, the spread of Islam, and the Crusades. It traces the path of the Buddha's tale from India and shows how it evolved, adopting details from each culture during its sojourn. These early instances of globalization allowed not only goods but also knowledge to flow between different cultures and around much of the world. Eminent scholars Donald S. Lopez Jr. and Peggy McCracken reveal how religions born thousands of miles apart shared ideas throughout the centuries. They uncover surprising convergences and divergences between these faiths on subjects including the meaning of death, the problem of desire, and their view of women. Demonstrating the incredible power of this tale, they ask not how stories circulate among religions but how religions circulate among stories.
Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness is a practical book that provides strategies using mindfulness to manage stress, anxiety and depression, as well as ways to cultivate psychological wellbeing. Uniquely, it combines a traditional Buddhist approach to mindfulness with contemporary psychology and current perspectives. Drawing on the author's many years of clinical experience as a psychologist as well as his personal experience in Buddhist meditation practices, it outlines how the Buddha's four applications of mindfulness can provide a pathway to psychological wellbeing, and how this can be used personally or with clinical populations. This accessible, user friendly book provides strategies for healing the heart and mind. Malcolm Huxter introduces mindfulness as it is presented in Buddhist psychology and guides the reader through meditations in a systematic way. The practices are clearly explained and supported by relevant real life stories. Being aware that mindfulness and meditation are simple but not easy, Huxter guides the reader from the basics of mindfulness and meditation through to the more refined aspects. He provides a variety of different exercises and guided meditations so that individuals are able to access what suits them. The guided meditations can be streamed or accessed as free audio downloads. Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness is aimed at anyone who wishes to use mindfulness practices for psychological freedom. This book provides insight and clarity into the clinical and general applications of Buddhist mindfulness and will be of interest to mental health practitioners, students of mindfulness, professional mindfulness coaches and trainers, researchers and academics wishing to understand Buddhist mindfulness and the general public.
Though fascinated with the land of their tradition's birth, virtually no Japanese Buddhists visited the Indian subcontinent before the nineteenth century. In the richly illustrated Seeking Sakyamuni, Richard M. Jaffe reveals the experiences of the first Japanese Buddhists who traveled to South Asia in search of Buddhist knowledge beginning in 1873. Analyzing the impact of these voyages on Japanese conceptions of Buddhism, he argues that South Asia developed into a pivotal nexus for the development of twentieth-century Japanese Buddhism. Jaffe shows that Japan's growing economic ties to the subcontinent following World War I fostered even more Japanese pilgrimage and study at Buddhism's foundational sites. Tracking the Japanese travelers who returned home, as well as South Asians who visited Japan, Jaffe describes how the resulting flows of knowledge, personal connections, linguistic expertise, and material artifacts of South and Southeast Asian Buddhism instantiated the growing popular consciousness of Buddhism as a pan-Asian tradition--in the heart of Japan.
Beginning with the foundational visions of the Vedas, Dr Fowler examines each traditions vision of reality in a systematic way that focuses on how it understands the self, the highest reality, causality, knowledge, and liberation. Because the six major Hindu philosophical traditions Mimamsa, Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisesika, and Vedanta complement each other in important ways as well as compete with each other in some ways, this systematic comparison of the fundamental topics of each tradition enables us to see the beautiful tapestry of the Hindu way of life that these traditions have created. This book offers the reader who wishes to understand the philosophical basis of Hinduism a clear and comprehensive introduction. It also provides a solid foundation for the reader who wishes to go on to advanced and detailed studies of any of the Hindu philosophical traditions. From the Foreword by John M. Koller, author of The Indian Way and Asian Philosophies
This is the first complete, one-volume English translation of the ancient Chinese text Xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of Confucian thought. Through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the Xunzi presents a more systematic vision of the Confucian ideal than the fragmented sayings of Confucius and Mencius, articulating a Confucian perspective on ethics, politics, warfare, language, psychology, human nature, ritual, and music, among other topics. Aimed at general readers and students of Chinese thought, Eric Hutton's translation makes the full text of this important work more accessible in English than ever before. Named for its purported author, the Xunzi (literally, "Master Xun") has long been neglected compared to works such as the Analects of Confucius and the Mencius. Yet interest in the Xunzi has grown in recent decades, and the text presents a much more systematic vision of the Confucian ideal than the fragmented sayings of Confucius and Mencius. In one famous, explicit contrast to them, the Xunzi argues that human nature is bad. However, it also allows that people can become good through rituals and institutions established by earlier sages. Indeed, the main purpose of the Xunzi is to urge people to become as good as possible, both for their own sakes and for the sake of peace and order in the world. In this edition, key terms are consistently translated to aid understanding and line numbers are provided for easy reference. Other features include a concise introduction, a timeline of early Chinese history, a list of important names and terms, cross-references, brief explanatory notes, a bibliography, and an index.
In this second edition of the best-selling Introduction to Buddhism, Peter Harvey provides a comprehensive introduction to the development of the Buddhist tradition in both Asia and the West. Extensively revised and fully updated, this edition draws on recent scholarship in the field, exploring the tensions and continuities between the different forms of Buddhism. Harvey critiques and corrects some common misconceptions and mistranslations, and discusses key concepts that have often been over-simplified and over-generalised. The volume includes detailed references to scriptures and secondary literature, an updated bibliography and a section on web resources. Key terms are given in Pali and Sanskrit, and Tibetan words are transliterated in the most easily pronounceable form, making this is a truly accessible account. This is an ideal coursebook for students of religion, Asian philosophy and Asian studies, and is also a useful reference for readers wanting an overview of Buddhism and its beliefs.
This classic volume focuses on the life of the Buddha and the early history of his order, and includes the first translation of many works. The first part of the book consists of the translation and analysis of contained in the Tibetan Dulva or Vinaya-pitaka, and the second part includes chapters on the early history of Tibet and Khosan and an index of Tibetan words with their Sanskrit equivalents. The author, William Woodville Rockhill, (1854-1914) was a scholar-diplomat, linguist, ethnologist and Tibetan expert who was the first American to speak, read and write Tibetan and the first to explore the Tibetan highlands. While serving as the American Minister to China, he became an authority on Buddhism and a friend of the thirteenth Dalai Lama. His collection of Tibetan manuscripts, including those consulted for this volume, became the core of the Library of Congress's Tibetan holdings.
The Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition is famous for its depth of devotion to Krishna, the blue-hued Deity. Chaitanya Vaishnavas are known for having refined the practice and aesthetics of devotion into a sophisticated science. This imposing devotional edifice was constructed upon a solid foundation of philosophical argument and understanding. In this book, Ravi Gupta sheds new light on the contribution of Chaitanya Vaishnavism to the realm of Indian philosophy. He explores the hermeneutical tools employed, the historical resources harnessed, the structure of the arguments made, and the relative success of the endeavor. For most schools of Vaishnavism, the supporting foundation consists of the philosophical resources provided by Vedanta. The Chaitanya tradition is remarkable in its ability to engage in Vedantic discourse and at the same time practice an ecstatic form of devotion to Krishna. The prime architect of this balance was the scholar-devotee Jiva Gosvami (ca. 1517 - 1608). This book analyses Jiva Gosvami's writing concerning the philosophy of the Vedanta tradition. It concludes that Jiva's writing crosses 'disciplinary boundaries', for he brought into dialogue four powerful streams of classical Hinduism: the various systems of Vedanta, the ecstatic bhakti movements, the Puranic commentarial tradition, and the aesthetic rasa theory of Sanskrit poetics. With training in and commitments to all of these traditions, Jiva Gosvami produced a distinctly Chaitanya Vaishnava system of theology.
First published in 1983. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
EASTERN PHILOSOPHY "Hara is essential reading for all who inquire into the spiritual principles and practices that are fundamental to all wisdom traditions and natural healing professions." Don Stapleton, author of Self-Awakening Yoga When we speak of an individual's state, we are actually referring to something that transcends the duality of body and soul, something that reflects the entirety of a person's being. Because each of us is a unity of body and soul, there is no psychic structure or inner tension that is not reflected outwardly in the form and order of the body. When we find the physical center of the body we also find the psychological center of the soul. According to Zen masters, by correcting posture and breathing to balance this center, one can cultivate inner tranquillity and balance: the state called Hara. Karlfried Graf Durckheim shows the Western world how to overcome the physical and spiritual decay of modern life by adopting the age-old techniques of Japanese Zen masters. By leaving behind the "chest out-belly in" posture and attitude of the West and adopting the belly-centered posture and attitude of Hara, individuals can live a calm, grounded, and more balanced life. Included in this classic text are vital life force practices and translations of the wisdom teachings of three Japanese Zen masters. This book also explores how the practice of Hara emphasizes empirical learning and the cultivation of self-knowledge through the perfection of arts such as painting and archery. Karlfried Graf Durckheim (1896-1988) spent eight years in Japan before World War II and was a professor at the University of Kiel until Hitler's rise to power in 1933. In Japan he discovered ZenBuddhism in its various expressions and subsequently became a Western authority on the subject.
The Sikhs are respectful and proud of their Guru's intimate contact with Eastern India, representing the territories of Assam, Bengal and Orissa under the British rule until 1947.
Describing one of the most important practices of hathayoga (khecarimudra), the Khecarividya of Adinatha is presented here to an English-speaking readership for the first time. The author, James Mallinson, draws on thirty Sanskrit works, as well as original fieldwork amongst yogins in India who use the practice, to demonstrate how earlier tantric yogic techniques developed and mutated into the practices of hathayoga. Accompanied by an introduction and an extensively annotated translation, the work sheds light on the development of hathayoga and its practices.
This book analyses the moral theory of the seventh century Indian Mahayana master, Santideva. Santideva is the author of the well-known religious poem the Bodhicaryavatara (Entering the Path of Enlightenment), as well as the significant, but relatively overlooked, Siksasamuccaya (Compendium of Teachings) . Both of these works describe the nature and path of the bodhisattva, the altruistic spiritual ideal especially exalted in Mahayana literature. With particular focus on the Siksasamuccaya, this work offers a response to three questions: What is Santideva's moral theory? How does it compare to other analyses of Buddhist ethics? Can one moral theory adequately describe Buddhist moral thought? An exegetical account of the bodhisattva path as outlined in the Siksasamuccaya is provided by textual analysis and translations. The central moral concept of this Buddhist thinker and Santideva's ethical presuppositions and moral reasoning are brought to light by analysing the use of key moral terms and comparing them to other Buddhists' principles. It is also considered in relation to dominant Western ethical theories. Barbra Clayton helps to redress a significant imbalance in the scholarship on Buddhist ethics, which has up to now focused primarily on the ethics of the Pali literature and as interpreted in the Theravada tradition.
After mastering the Inner Alchemy practices of Lesser Kan and Li and Greater Kan and Li, the advanced student is now ready for the refinement of the soul and spirit made possible through the practice of the Greatest Kan and Li. With full-color illustrated instructions, Master Mantak Chia and Andrew Jan explain how to establish the cauldron at the Heart Center to collect cosmic light, activate the Cranial and Sacral Pumps, and align the Three Triangle Forces. They detail how merging energy at the Heart Center then leads to the birth of the immortal spirit body, uniting you with the Tao and allowing you to draw limitless energy and power from the Cosmos. The authors explain the proper Pi Gu diet and herbs to use in conjunction with Kan and Li practice and provide warm-up exercises, such as meditations to expel the three Worms, or "Death Bringers," that can imbalance the three Tan Tiens, leading to misdirection in your sexual, material, and spiritual goals. Revealing the ancient path of Inner Alchemy used for millennia by Taoist masters to create the "Pill of Immortality," the authors show that the unitive state of oneness with the Tao made possible through Kan and Li practice represents true immortality by allowing past and future, Heaven and Earth, to become one.
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