Reading A Concise History of Buddhism by Andrew Skilton, who's Buddhist name is Sthiramati, is interesting because he summarizes in a way I have not read yet--by countries. I guess I never get tired of these one book histories of Buddhism. This one is only 200 pages but it's dense. At times I wish he would go into things more. I haven't been able to read about Pudgalavadins, which is a school that asserts an essential self that only gets uncovered when someone is enlightened, and he contains a small section on them, which I greatly appreciate.
This school is a kind of reaction to the no-self Dharma. No-self ideas are counter intuitive to me. Of course I think we do need to discover ourselves to transcend ourselves, our small selves, that working for others is the best thing we can do, and that there's less self about as you become more mature. The more coherent and integrated you are the less likely you will act defensively and are less vulnerable to fragmentation and interpersonal contagion. The no-self doctrine can be misused by people with poor sense of self, and low self esteem. I'm a Pudgalivadan.
But I also feel strongly reading books like The Saturated Self by Gergen and The Meme Machine that identity is contingent, constructed.
Then there is the whole Buddha-nature ideas. One blogger has a recent post on that. There is some concern that this doctrine is creeping Hinduism and not real Buddhism. I can't really tell whether it is or not.
Here are some interesting links:
In the news are some India devotional recordings about Asvagosha, go check them out they are free at freebuddhistaudio.com.
Richard DeWald talks about his experiences in the FWBO-NYC on his blog, and his ultimate decision to return to Zen.
Danny Fisher has a list of Buddhist movies. You know how Buddhists love lists, and I'm no exception!
Check out this post on mudras! I love it! I don't think I'll use them myself at this time, but I am so interested in this.
Here's an article about an Australian Buddhist-Therapist. Cool beans!
Here is an interesting article on mindfulness of eating.
BNN has an article on Dalit experience.
Finally, I'm going to be doing more book reviews, so watch out!
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1 year ago