The jhanas are eight progressive altered states of consciousness that can be identified with the aspect of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path called Right Concentration. Training in concentration leads to these states, each of which yields a deeper and subtler state of awareness than the previous one. The jhanas are not in themselves awakening, but they are a skillful means for stilling the mind in a way that leads in that direction, and they are attainable by anyone who devotes the time and sincerity of practice necessary to realize them. Leigh Brasington’s guide to navigating the jhana path is deeply informed by the view of them transmitted to him by his teacher, Ven. Ayya Khema, a view based on the Pali suttas.
Known in Chinese as Hua-yen and in Japanese as Kegon-kyo, the Avatamsaka Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture, is held in the highest regard and studied by Buddhists of all traditions. Through its structure and symbolism, as well as through its concisely stated principles, it conveys a vast range of Buddhist teachings. This one-volume edition contains Thomas Cleary's definitive translation of all thirty-nine books of the sutra, along with an introduction, a glossary, and Cleary's translation of Li Tongxuan's seventh-century guide to the final book, the Gandavyuha, "Entry into the Realm of Reality."
An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation
Author: Henepola Gunaratana
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
“A straightforward and pragmatic guide to deepening levels of concentration and insight. This book is a joy to read and a great gift to us all.”—Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness Countless people worldlwide have made Mindfulness in Plain English a beloved and bestselling classic in almost a dozen languages. Now after nearly two decades, Bhante helps meditators of every stripe take their mindfulness practice to the next level - helping them go, in a word, beyond mindfulness. In the same warm, clear, and friendly voice, Bhante introduces the reader to what have been known for centuries as the "jhanas" - deeply calm, joyous, and powerful states of meditation that, when explored with the clearly presented tools in this book, can lead to a life of insight and unshakeable peace.
An absolute essential of Buddhist thought and practice. In addition to practitioners of Insight meditation, those who engage in other meditation forms such as dzogchen, mahamudra, and zazen will find that The Four Foundation of Mindfulness provides new means of understanding how to approach and deepen their own practices. The entire Great Discourse is included here, coupled with a beautifully clear commentary from the great scholar-yogi, Venerable U Silananda.
The Way to Buddhahood is a compendium of two thousand years of Chinese practice in assimilating and understanding the Buddhist experience of enlightenment. It is the first in-depth explanation of Chinese Buddhism by Yin-shun, the greatest living master of the Chinese scholar-monk tradition. The master's broad scope not only includes the traditional Chinese experience but also ideas from the Tibetan monastic tradition. This is one of those rare classic books that authentically captures an entire Buddhist tradition between its covers.
Buddhism is one of the three major world religions, along with Christianity and Islam, and has a history that is several centuries longer than either of its counterparts. Starting in India some twenty-five hundred years ago, Buddhist monks and nuns almost immediately from the inception of the dispensation began to “to wander forth for the welfare and weal of the many, out of compassion for the world,” commencing one of the greatest missionary movements in world religious history. Over the next millennium, Buddhism spread from India throughout the Asian continent, from the shores of the Caspian Sea in the west, to the Inner Asian steppes in the north, the Japanese isles in the east, and the Indonesian archipelago in the south. In the modern era, Buddhism has even begun to build a significant presence in the Americas and Europe among both immigrant and local populations, transforming it into a religion with truly global reach. Buddhist terms such as karma, nirvana, sam sara, and koan have entered common parlance and Buddhist ideas have begun to seep deeply into both Western thought and popular culture. The Encyclopedia of Buddhism is one of the first major reference tools to appear in any Western language that seeks to document the range and depth of the Buddhist tradition in its many manifestations. In addition to feature entries on the history and impact of Buddhism in different cultural regions and national traditions, the work also covers major doctrines, texts, people, and schools of the religion, as well as practical aspects of Buddhist meditation, liturgy, and lay training. Although the target audience is the nonspecialist reader, even serious students of the tradition should find much of benefit in the more than four hundred entries. Even with over 500,000 words at our disposal, the editorial board realized early on that we had nowhere nearly enough space to do justice to the full panoply of Buddhist thought, practice, and culture within each major Asian tradition. In order to accommodate as broad a range of research as possible, we decided at the beginning of the project to abandon our attempt at a comprehensive survey of major topics in each principal Asian tradition and instead build our coverage around broader thematic entries that would cut across cultural boundaries. Thus, rather than separate entries on the Huichang persecution of Buddhism in China or the Choso˘n suppression in Korea, for example, we have instead a single thematic entry on persecutions; we follow a similar approach with such entries as conversion, festivals and calendrical rituals, millenarianism and millenarian movements, languages, and stupas. We make no pretense to comprehensiveness in every one of these entries; when there are only a handful of vii PREFACE entries in the Encyclopedia longer than four thousand words, this would have been a pipe dream, at best. Instead, we encouraged our contributors to examine their topics comparatively, presenting representative case studies on the topic, with examples drawn from two or more traditions of Buddhism. The Encyclopedia also aspires to represent the emphasis in the contemporary field of Buddhist studies on the broader cultural, social, institutional, and political contexts of Buddhist thought and practice. There are substantial entries on topics as diverse as economics, education, the family, law, literature, kingship, and politics, to name but a few, all of which trace the role Buddhism has played as one of Asia’s most important cultural influences. Buddhist folk religion, in particular, receives among the most extensive coverage of any topic in the encyclopedia. Many entries also explore the continuing relevance of Buddhism in contemporary life in Asia and, indeed, throughout the world. Moreover, we have sought to cross the intellectual divide that separates texts and images by offering extensive coverage of Buddhist art history and material culture. Although we had no intention of creating an encyclopedia of Buddhist art, we felt it was important to offer our readers some insight into the major artistic traditions of Buddhism. We also include brief entries on a couple of representative sites in each tradition; space did not allow us even to make a pretense of being comprehensive, so we focused on places or images that a student might be most likely to come across in reading about a specific tradition. We have also sought to provide some coverage of Buddhist material culture in such entries as amulets and talismans, medicine, monastic architecture, printing technologies, ritual objects, and robes and clothing. One of the major goals of the Encyclopedia is to better integrate Buddhist studies into research on religion and culture more broadly. When the editorial board was planning the entries, we sought to provide readers with Buddhist viewpoints on such defining issues in religious studies as conversion, evil, hermeneutics, pilgrimage, ritual, sacred space, and worship. We also explore Buddhist perspectives on topics of great currency in the contemporary humanities, such as the body, colonialism, gender, modernity, nationalism, and so on. These entries are intended to help ensure that Buddhist perspectives become mainstreamed in Western humanistic research. We obviously could not hope to cover the entirety of Buddhism in a two-volume reference. The editorial board selected a few representative monks, texts, and sites for each of the major cultural traditions of the religion, but there are inevitably many desultory lacunae. Much of the specific coverage of people, texts, places, and practices is embedded in the larger survey pieces on Buddhism in India, China, Tibet, and so forth, as well as in relevant thematic articles, and those entries should be the first place a reader looks for information. We also use a comprehensive set of internal cross-references, which are typeset as small caps, to help guide the reader to other relevant entries in the Encyclopedia. Listings for monks proved unexpectedly complicated. Monks, especially in East Asia, often have a variety of different names by which they are known to the tradition (ordained name, toponym, cognomen, style, honorific, funerary name, etc.) and Chinese monks, for example, may often be better known in Western literature by the Japanese pronunciation of their names. As a general, but by no means inviolate, rule, we refer to monks by the language of their national origin and their name at ordination. So the entry on the Chinese Chan (Zen) monk often known in Western writings as Rinzai, using the Japanese pronunciation of his Chinese toponym Linji, will be listed here by his ordained name of Yixuan. Some widely known alternate names will be given as blind entries, but please consult the index if someone is difficult to locate. We also follow the transliteration systems most widely employed today P R E F A C E viii E N C Y C L O P E D I A O F B U D D H I S M for rendering Asian languages: for example, pinyin for Chinese, Wylie for Tibetan, Revised Hepburn for Japanese, McCune-Reischauer for Korean. For the many buddhas, bodhisattvas, and divinities known to the Buddhist tradition, the reader once again should first consult the major thematic entry on buddhas, etc., for a survey of important figures within each category. We will also have a few independent entries for some, but by no means all, of the most important individual figures. We will typically refer to a buddha like Amitabha, who is known across traditions, according to the Buddhist lingua franca of Sanskrit, not by the Chinese pronunciation Amito or Japanese Amida; similarly, we have a brief entry on the bodhisattva Maitreya, which we use instead of the Korean Miru˘k or Japanese Miroku. For pan-Buddhist terms common to most Buddhist traditions, we again use the Sanskrit as a lingua franca: thus, dhyana (trance state), duhkha (suffering), skandha (aggregate), and s´unyata (emptiness). But again, many terms are treated primarily in relevant thematic entries, such as samadhi in the entry on meditation. Buddhist terminology that appears in Webster’s Third International Dictionary we regard as English and leave unitalicized: this includes such technical terms as dharan , koan, and tathagatagarbha. For a convenient listing of a hundred such terms, see Roger Jackson, “Terms of Sanskrit and Pali Origin Acceptable as English Words,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 5 (1982), pp. 141–142. Buddhist texts are typically cited by their language of provenance, so the reader will find texts of Indian provenance listed via their Sanskrit titles (e.g., Sukhavatlvyuhasu tra, Sam dhinirmocana-su tra), indigenous Chinese sutras by their Chinese titles (e.g., Fanwang jing, Renwang jing), and so forth. Certain scriptures that have widely recognized English titles are however listed under that title, as with Awakening of Faith, Lotus Su tra, Nirva n a Su tra, and Tibetan Book of the Dead. Major Buddhist schools, similarly, are listed according to the language of their origin. In East Asia, for example, different pronunciations of the same Sinitic logograph obscure the fact that Chan, So˘n, Zen, and Thiê`n are transliterations of respectively the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese pronunciations for the school we generally know in the West as Zen. We have therefore given our contributors the daunting task of cutting across national boundaries and treating in single, comprehensive entries such pan-Asian traditions as Madhyamaka, Tantra, and Yogacara, or such pan- East Asian schools as Huayan, Tiantai, and Chan. These entries are among the most complex in the encyclopedia, since they must not only touch upon the major highlights of different national traditions, but also lay out in broad swathe an overarching account of a school’s distinctive approach and contribution to Buddhist thought and practice. Compiling an Encyclopedia of Buddhism may seem a quixotic quest, given the past track records of similar Western-language projects. I was fortunate to have had the help of an outstanding editorial board, which was determined to ensure that this encyclopedia would stand as a definitive reference tool on Buddhism for the next generation— and that it would be finished in our lifetimes. Don Lopez and John Strong both brought their own substantial expertise with editing multi-author references to the project, which proved immensely valuable in planning this encyclopedia and keeping the project moving along according to schedule. My UCLA colleague William Bodiford surveyed Japanese-language Buddhist encyclopedias for the board and constantly pushed us to consider how we could convey in our entries the ways in which Buddhist beliefs were lived out in practice. The board benefited immensely in the initial planning stages from the guidance art historian Maribeth Graybill offered in trying to P R E F A C E E N C Y C L O P E D I A O F B U D D H I S M ix conceive how to provide a significant place in our coverage for Buddhist art. Eugene Wang did yeoman’s service in stepping in later as our art-history specialist on the board. Words cannot do justice to the gratitude I feel for the trenchant advice, ready good humor, and consistently hard work offered by all the board members. I also benefited immensely from the generous assistance, advice, and support of the faculty, staff, and graduate students affiliated with UCLA’s Center for Buddhist Studies, which has spearheaded this project since its inception. I am especially grateful to my faculty colleagues in Buddhist Studies at UCLA, whose presence here gave me both the courage even to consider undertaking such a daunting task and the manpower to finish it: Gregory Schopen, William Bodiford, Jonathan Silk, Robert Brown, and Don McCallum. The Encyclopedia was fortunate to have behind it the support of the capable staff at Macmillan. Publisher Elly Dickason and our first editor Judy Culligan helped guide the editorial board through our initial framing of the encyclopedia and structuring of the entries; we were fortunate to have Judy return as our copyeditor later in the project. Oona Schmid, who joined the project just as we were finalizing our list of entries and sending out invitations to contributors, was an absolutely superlative editor, cheerleader, and colleague. Her implacable enthusiasm for the project was infectious and helped keep both the board and our contributors moving forward even during the most difficult stages of the project. Our next publisher, Hélène Potter, was a stabilizing force during the most severe moments of impermanence. Our last editor, Drew Silver, joined us later in the project, but his assistance was indispensable in taking care of the myriad details involved in bringing the project to completion. Jan Klisz was absolutely superb at moving the volumes through production. All of us on the board looked askance when Macmillan assured us at our first editorial meeting that we would finish this project in three years, but the professionalism of its staff made it happen. Finally, I would like to express my deepest thanks to the more than 250 colleagues around the world who willingly gave of their time, energy, and knowledge in order to bring the Encyclopedia of Buddhism to fruition. I am certain that current and future generations of students will benefit from our contributors’ insightful treatments of various aspects of the Buddhist religious tradition. As important as encyclopedia articles are for building a field, they inevitably take a back seat to one’s “real” research and writing, and rarely receive the recognition they deserve for tenure or promotion. At very least, our many contributors can be sure that they have accrued much merit— at least in my eyes—through their selfless acts of disseminating the dharma. ROBERT E. BUSWELL, JR. P R E F A C E x E N C Y C L O P E D I A O F B U D D H I S M
Like the River Ganges flowing down from the Himalayas, the entire Buddhist tradition flows down to us from the teachings and deeds of the historical Buddha, who lived and taught in India during the fifth century B.C.E. To ensure that his legacy would survive the ravages of time, his direct disciples compiled records of the Buddha's teachings soon after his passing. In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, which prevails in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, these records are regarded as the definitive "word of the Buddha." Preserved in Pali, an ancient Indian language closely related to the language that the Buddha spoke, this full compilation of texts is known as the Pali Canon. At the heart of the Buddha's teaching were the suttas (Sanskrit sutras), his discourses and dialogues. If we want to find out what the Buddha himself actually said, these are the most ancient sources available to us. The suttas were compiled into collections called "Nikayas," of which there are four, each organized according to a different principle. The Digha Nikaya consists of longer discourses; the Majjhima Nikaya of middle-length discourses; the Samyutta Nikaya of thematically connected discourses; and the Anguttara Nikaya of numerically patterned discourses. The present volume, which continues Wisdom's famous Teachings of the Buddha series, contains a full translation of the Anguttara Nikaya. The Anguttara arranges the Buddha's discourses in accordance with a numerical scheme intended to promote retention and easy comprehension. In an age when writing was still in its infancy, this proved to be the most effective way to ensure that the disciples could grasp and replicate the structure of a teaching.
The Lotus Still Blooms is the ideal book for every reader who would like to understand Buddhist principles, but doesn’t know where to start. Eastern wisdom traditions are often baffling for Western minds – where to begin in uncovering the often complicated steps, precepts, concepts and ideas? Aimed at people who are curious about Buddhism and want a basic book that will help them to understand – and apply – Buddhist principles in their life, The Lotus Still Blooms is a practical book that goes through all of the major Buddhist principles, step-by-step, and then shows how to apply them to our busy, hectic lives. Filled with Joan Gattuso’s trademark delightful stories and warmth, as well as exercises to help readers begin using the principles right away, this is a book that will be a welcomed new introduction to this exciting spiritual tradition.
Learn in a week, remember for a lifetime! In just one week, this accessible book will give you knowledge to last forever. End of chapter summaries and multiple choice questions are all designed to help you test your knowledge and gain confidence. So whether you are a student or you simply want to widen your knowledge, you will find this seven-day course a very memorable introduction. Sunday: Consider what Buddhism is and why it matters Monday: Learn who the Buddha was and how he lived Tuesday: Examine the Buddha's teaching on a wide range of issues Wednesday: Discover the Buddhist scriptures and learn how they are interpreted today. Thursday: Explore meditation and Buddhist devotional practices. Friday: Engage with the ethics of Buddhism, and how Buddhists respond to moral issues Saturday: Clarify procedures for disciplinary interviews
For those who approach Buddhism as a system of mental development, this book is a reliable and accessible guide to understanding the significance of themes from the Pali discourses. Themes include grasping, right view, craving, passion, contemplation of feeling, happiness, and liberation. A rare combination of scholarly rigor and extensive meditation experience from the author provides veracity to these studies and explorations.