I am reading Doug Osto’s book Power, Wealth and Women in Indian Mahayana Buddhism:
The Gandavyuha-sutra Amazon

It is thorough, academic and requires concentration. but is very well written. I am finding it an absolute delight. I can imagine that Doug must be a superb teacher - lucky the students that populate his classes. Furthermore, one can feel his love of the text coming through. I am sure that putting together this work, while requiring a vast amount of research, study and reflection, was no chore even though it must have been a lot of work.

Many academic books are turgid. This one is exemplary in its clarity which is what makes it a pleasure to read. There are plenty of long complicated words, but all is explained, and in a manner that the intelligent general reader can handle. This is a gift.

The subject matter is the Gandhavyuha Sutra which tells the story of the pilgrim Sudhana who is sent by Manjushri to visit and learn from a series of spiritual friends (kalyanamtras) who are all in some sense emanations of Vairochana, the highest Buddha. In this story Vairochana is the “other power” and Sudhana is the “foolish being”, yet one who emerges as very spiritually advanced. This story became of immense importance in medieval Mahayana Buddhism as it displays in narrative form the whole devotional world view.

Osto’s treatment of the subject is not a straightforward commentary. He wants to position the narrative in terms of the society in which it came into being - India in the early centuries of the common era. In particular he clarifies the worldview of the sutra and shows what we can know from an analysis of its narrative structure and then draws out three particular dimensions - power, wealth and women - for special attention teasing out the connections between the content of the sutra and the society it was written in. As he says,  “Power, wealth and gender are perennial concerns of every society.”

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Korean Version of Workshops

Posted by JAESUNG KIM on August 6, 2017 at 6:58 0 Comments

2017 여름 불교심리치료 및 상담 워크숍 3회 내용

THREE PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING WORKSHOPS

 

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Posted by Adam Dunsby on August 3, 2017 at 22:42 0 Comments

  • The power of intentions is a topic that comes up regularly for me and always provides me with food for thought. In a recent service I was struck by the gravity of the Bodhisattva vows that we sing as part of our liturgy. ”Innumerable…

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Posted by Adam Dunsby on July 18, 2017 at 22:41 1 Comment

We just had a study group meeting at Amida Mandala Temple. Only three of us but a very rich hour. Predictably we came round to the issue of ‘is one Nembutsu enough?’ My understanding: In a sense it is, because when we call Amida we become one with his vow and the Pure Land and thus we are saved. In another sense we have to keep calling him so that he can keep saving us. As if we’re all lost in a thick fog and Amida is a few steps ahead of us illuminating the way, we have to keep him in sight…

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SIMPOSIUM AT OASIS

Posted by David Brazier on July 11, 2017 at 15:30 0 Comments

On 8th July we had a meeting of six teachers at Oasis together with many visitors.

Pictures: Here

Each of the teachers gave a presentation on what they considered most significant in their practice. Then there was an extended lunch period for socialising and, finally a sessions of questions and answers.…

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