sees this, sees
“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what
will become of you, depend on “ one. Only the moment you
reject all help are you freed.”
Trad. 563 BCE: Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha-to-be, is
born in Lumbini, Ancient India.
Trad. 534 BCE: Gautama leaves his inheritance and becomes
Trad. 528 BCE: Gautama attains Enlightenment, becomes
the Buddha, and begins his ministry.
Abt. 500 BCE: Classical Sanskrit replaces Vedic. It is the
beginning of India’s axial age….
Abt. 483 BCE: Sakyamuni Buddha died at Kusinara (now
called Kushinagar), India.
DEFINITIONS OF “BUDDHISM”
“budh” – “to know,” to
“be awake” and “-ism” =
the practice of or belief in
something. This is a
Buddha called his
“dharmavinaya” or “the
doctrine/reality and the
Complete life of
hundred years after
Contained in collection
of discourses (sutras)
and the book of
Image of the Buddha
comes from the
Samgha – the monastic
community – who
wrote about him.
BORN IN LUMBINI
BUDDHA AS KSHATRIYA WARRIOR
The idea is that
Buddha was just as
super cool as Rama
etc., but just chose
the path of peace
from his convictions.
Statue, Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos
HIS FATHER TRIED TO HIDE IT FROM HIM….
…but as a prince, he came
finally to see old age,
sickness, death and an
FROM THE EXTREME OF OPULENCE TO THE
EXTREME OF ASCETICISM…BUDDHA GOES
Greek image, from Sikri, Pakistan
BUDDHA’S GOLDEN RULE….
Hatred does not cease
by hatred, but only by
love; this is the eternal
He who experiences
the unity of life sees
his own Self in all
beings, and all beings
in his own Self, and
looks on everything
with an impartial eye.
BUDDHA LEFT HIS WIFE, BUT CAME BACK!
"O Father, please give me my
inheritance." Thrice he had to ask
before The Lord, turning to his beloved
disciple Ananda, said, "Give the boy
the ochre (gerrua) cloth."
Ananda, aware of the silent but
searching and expectant eyes of
Yashodhara, asked the Lord, "And Sir,
are we not to take ladies into our
fold?" The large hearted Buddha
replied, "Why, Ananda, since when has
sex (gender) come into the arena of
Truth? She is most welcome." Thus
joined the wife, the mother, and the
son in the sangha of Tathagata,
melting the heart of a true Jnani.
Mara or “Death: daughters discontent, delight and craving
SIX SUPER KNOWLEDGES
1. psychic powers
2. psychic hearing
4. memory of former lives
5. psychic vision (visions of hell realms, etc.)
6. cessation of sensual desire, views and ignorance
Disenchantment with things of the world
(fame, wealth, power and lust)
Dispassion, cessation of greed, hatred and
ignorance, tranquility, higher awareness and
awakening and finally, the “snuffing out”
literally, of the self, that is called nirvana.
The Buddha was more a scientist of the mind
and his goal was principally the pacification of
In opposition to Upanishadic seers – Buddha
sought not the identification of the soul and
the world spirit – brahman; not an asceticism
propounded by Vardhamana Mahavira,
founder of the Jain tradition.
That is why he called it, “the Middle Way”
THE WORLD IS BUT MIND-ALONE….
"We are what we think.
All that we are arises
with our thoughts. With
our thoughts, we make
“In the sky, there is no
distinction of east and
west; people create
distinctions out of their
own minds and then
believe them to be
FIRST, LOVE YOURSELF…NOT GOD OR HUMANS….
"You can search
throughout the entire
universe for someone who
is more deserving of your
love and affection than you
are yourself, and that
person is not to be found
anywhere. You yourself, as
much as anybody in the
entire universe deserve
your love and affection" -
ALL EXPERIENCE DEATH…ACCEPTANCE IS
BUDDHA’S ANSWER…PARABLE OF THE
Now the bereaved mother realized the import of the words 'where no death has
ever occurred'. She could see the inevitability and definiteness of death as
necessary part of life. She could see that suffering and sorrow were inevitable;
no one could escape this fact. No one ever can be free from unhappiness and
tragedies. She became calm, and wise too. Her grief for the loss of her son
turned into wisdom of realization of Truth. Bending low at the holy feet of Lord
Buddha, now the lady prayed, "O Wise One, please take me in your fold; allow me
to join the Sangha."
A PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH ELISABETH KÜBLER-ROSS’ GRIEF
CYCLE – BUDDHA GOT HER TO THE END OF THE CYCLE…NO
1926 - 2004
SOME FAMOUS QUOTES….
A dog is not considered a
good dog because he is a
good barker. A man is not
considered a good man
because he is a good talker.
It is a man's own mind, not
his enemy or foe, that lures
him to evil ways.
In a controversy the instant
we feel anger we have
already ceased striving for
the truth, and have begun
striving for ourselves.
WOMEN AND WEALTH
The story of Prajapati, the
Wealthy laywomen appear
often as bestowers of funds
for the samgha’s benefit.
The increase in wealth of
BUDDHA’S CLAIM TO FAME: THE WORLD’S FIRST SCIENTIST OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS:
THE KALAMA SUTRA: TRUSTING IN ONE’S OWN EXPERIENCE IS APPEALING TO THE
VENTURESOME CONSCIOUSNESS…SOME WANT TO MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS….
Do not go upon what has been acquired by
repeated hearing ;
nor upon tradition
nor upon rumor ;
nor upon what is in a scripture ;
nor upon surmise;
nor upon an axiom;
nor upon specious reasoning;
nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been
nor upon another's seeming ability;
nor upon the consideration, "The monk is our
Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These
things are good; these things are not blamable;
these things are praised by the wise; undertaken
and observed, these things lead to benefit and
happiness," enter on and abide in them.'
SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE TO AVOID…
Scriptures or other official texts
One's own opinions
Authorities or experts
One's own teacher
Buddha’s core discoveries….
Pratitya Samutpada: his theory of inter-
No self in all that
The Four Aryan (Noble) Truths
The Aryan (Noble) Eightfold Path
The 12 linked chain of causation discerned in the last
watch of the night
“All things appear
because of the
ever exists entirely
alone; everything is in
relation to everything
THE BUDDHIST “PERSON:”
A FEEDBACK LOOP
…Form -Sensation-Conception-Volition-Form –Sensation….
“Consciousness” is thus four-fold.
THE “THREE SEALS” OF BUDDHISM
Duh-kha – The world is “unsatisfactory” – for Buddhist
tradition, a self-evident fact.
An-aa-tman = Un + “beyond” + body or “thread” of
existence. There is no soul existing apart from the body.
A-nitya or “impermanence” necessitates anatman – “no
self” and this fact of eventual decay leads to
unsatisfactoriness or duhkha
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
origin (of Duhkha =
3. Nirodha- Cessation,
Eradication (of Desire)
4. Marga-Path (to
Only forms of desire that lead one further on the Wheel of
Becoming are objects of desire to be eliminated.
The desire for nirvana remains until nirvana is achieved and
then even this desire is abandoned. The arising of suffering
is gone, then #3 Cessation is realized.
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD
Divided into three
The first category is
1. The Proper View:
Awareness of no-self, impermanence
and the Four Noble Truths
2. The Proper Intention:
The intention of renunciation
The intention of non-aversion or loving kindness.
The intention of non-injury or compassion.
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH CONT.
The second category is Morality
3. Proper Speech:
Abstinence from false speech, that is, from lying - instead making an
effort to speak truthfully.
Abstinence from slanderous speech, statements intended to divide or
create enmity between people. Instead the follower of the path should
always speak words which promote friendship and harmony between
Abstinence from harsh speech, from speech which is angry and bitter,
which cuts into the hearts of others. Instead one's speech should always
be soft, gentle and affectionate.
Abstinence from idle chatter, from gossip. Instead one should speak
words which are meaningful, significant and purposeful.
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH CONT. (MORALITY)
4. Proper Action:
Abstinence from destruction of life, that is, abstaining from
killing of other living beings, which includes animals and all
other sentient beings, to abstain from hunting, fishing etc.
Abstinence from taking what is not given, that is, from
stealing, cheating, exploiting others, gaining wealth by
dishonest and illegal ways etc.
Abstinence from sexual misconduct, that is from illicit types
of sexual relations such as adultery, seduction, rape, etc.
and for those who are ordained as monks, the observance
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH CONT.
5. Proper Livelihood:
Dealing in flesh,
example: as a butcher.
Dealing in poisons.
Dealing in weapons and
Dealing in slave trade
Dealing in intoxicants or
liquors and drugs.
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH CONT. (CONCENTRATION)
The third and final category
6. Proper effort, diligence:
The effort to prevent un-
arisen unwholesome states
The effort to abandon the
arisen unwholesome states.
Develop the undeveloped
Strengthen and cultivate the
existing wholesome states
"The Buddha's point out the
path, you yourselves must
make the effort"
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH CONT. (CONCENTRATION)
7. Proper mindfulness:
Being mindful of body.
Being mindful of feeling.
Being mindful of mental states.
Being mindful of mental contents.
8. Proper concentration:
Samatha - stopping thoughts, calming the mind
Vipasyana - insight into the four noble truths, no-
THE “THREE BASKETS” OR TRIPITAKA
1. Sutrapitaka-Basket of Discourses
2. Vinayapitaka-Basket of Discipline
3. Abhidharmapitaka- Basket of Higher Doctrine
MEDITATION OR “COGNITIVE
Bhāvanā [2 types]
Śamathā - Pacifying the mind
and quieting the mental
Vipaśyana - Developing clear
understanding of Buddhist
tenets, the four noble truths
impermanence selfless or
cultivating direct perception of
the true nature of reality (the
A teacher of meditation or guru will often prescribe the specific
type of meditation that suits the needs of the individual.
An angry person may be prescribed a meditation that
cultivates feelings of love, or patience. Love and compassion
are incompatible with anger, and so the more one cultivates
these two, anger dissipates.
A person strongly arrogant may be instructed to meditate on
impermanence and no-self. No amount of money or fame
can forestall death, hence meditation on bones, on the world
as filled with skeletons walking around
MEDITATION AND SEXUAL DESIRE
A person strongly attached to sexual desire may be
instructed to meditate on the hideous features of a dancing
girl: concentrating on her snot, poop, pee sweat, bile. A
Buddhist seeks a proper state of detachment from this life.
VIPAŚYANA AND ŚAMATHĀ
Vipaśyana: “analytical insight,” The latter is an analytical
task in which one considers the emptiness or lack of self of
the meditative object. This involves philosophical
The combination of Śamathā or “Calming” the mind is a
necessary prerequisite for attainment of analytical insight or
Vipaśyana. The two are combined like two wings of one
bird, enable the meditator to achieve high, subtle levels of
1. The Desire Realm (where you are now)
2. The Form Realms – dhyānas meditative
states but “real” “places” for existence
3. The Formless Realms – Higher states with
no imagery or conception
FOUR FORMLESS ABSORPTIONS
1. Absorption of limitless space
2. Absorption of limitless consciousness
3. Absorption of nothingness
4. Peak of cyclic existence
THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM
EXCERPTS FROM THE HEART SUTRA
AVALOKITA, THE HOLY LORD AND BODHISATTVA, WAS MOVING IN THE DEEP COURSE OF
THE WISDOM WHICH HAS GONE BEYOND.
HE LOOKED DOWN FROM ON HIGH, HE BEHELD BUT FIVE HEAPS, AND HE SAW THAT IN
THEIR OWN-BEING THEY WERE EMPTY.
FORM IS EMPTINESS AND THE VERY EMPTINESS IS FORM ;
EMPTINESS DOES NOT DIFFER FROM FORM, FORM DOES NOT DIFFER FROM EMPTINESS,
WHATEVER IS EMPTINESS, THAT IS FORM,
ALL DHARMAS ARE MARKED WITH EMPTINESS ;
THEY ARE NOT PRODUCED OR STOPPED, NOT DEFILED OR IMMACULATE, NOT DEFICIENT OR
NO EYE, EAR, NOSE, TONGUE, BODY, MIND ; NO FORMS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTES,
TOUCHABLES OR OBJECTS OF MIND ; NO SIGHT-ORGAN ELEMENT, AND SO FORTH, UNTIL WE
COME TO :
NO MIND-CONSCIOUSNESS ELEMENT ; THERE IS NO IGNORANCE, NO EXTINCTION OF
IGNORANCE, AND SO FORTH, UNTIL WE COME TO : THERE IS NO DECAY AND DEATH, NO
EXTINCTION OF DECAY AND DEATH. THERE IS NO SUFFERING, NO ORIGINATION, NO
STOPPING, NO PATH.
THERE IS NO COGNITION, NO ATTAINMENT AND NO NON-ATTAINMENT.
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
THE MAHAYANA THREE CYCLES OF
1. The Hinayana – the The doctrine of no
“Inferior Vehicle” in individual self.
2. The Madhyamaka – the The doctrine of no self for
“Middle Way School.” external phenomena, no
3. The Yogacara/Cittamatra
– the “Yoga-praxis”/Mind- The doctrine of the
only school ultimate nature of
THE TWO TRUTHS
IN MADHYAMAKA TRADITION
FIRE/FUEL ANALYSIS: Samvrti (Concealing
The world of linguistic
NIRVANA/SAMSARA or verbal
The inconceivable truth
known by Buddhas
THE EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES OF
1- 5. The Five Sense consciousnesses
6. The Mental consciousness -
7. The Ego consciousness - Manas
8. The Repository or Basal foundation
consciousness - Alayavijnana
Buddhism in China
Master Lao Master K’ung
The Ko’i Period: Exchange and
How to translate Buddhist terms? Start with
Taoist ones – a patterned repeated in the West
Tao = bodhi,yoga, Dharma marga (cf. “Law” as
early Western translation)
Fifth Century standardization
“Religion of Images”
Transformation of China
Buddhism not deemed more refined “civilizing”
influence as it had been seen by the
“barbarians” to the west and north
Emperor Ming-ti – 58-75 CE – dreamt of
Buddhism; more likely, Central Asian traders
Still a haven for the dispossessed – often a home
Bhiksunisangha 317 – Chu ching-chien – first
ordained bhiksuni and founded a convent in
Ch’ang-an – she was the first – but Theravadin
bhiksunis in 434 CE established the formal order
Again, as in India, the first time women can acquire
literacy and attain to great scholarship
Fa-xian/ Fa-hsien – ca.
I-ching / I-tsing
Buddhism “goes native”
Hsuan-tsang (Xuanzang) – 596-664 CE
New, authoritative translation and Yogacara
Empress Wu – ca. 625-706 CE
– the mirrored hall of Fazang
- First (and really only) woman ruler of China
Consolidates power under Buddhist auspices
The Many Schools of
1. The Vinaya School (Lu-tsung)
2. The Realistic School (Chu-she)
3. The Three Treatises School (San-lun)
4.The Idealist School (Fa-hsiang)
5. The Mantra or Tantric School (Mi-tsung or Chen-yen)
6. The Avatamsaka or Flower Adornment School (Hua-yen)
7. The T'ien-t'ai or White Lotus School (Fa-hua)
8. The Pure Land School (Ching t'u)
9. The Dhyana School (Ch'an)
The Pure Land School
The “Easy Way” or “Peasants’ Way”
Never a formal school but a broad movement
T’an-luan 476-542: vision of heavenly gate – turned
to Taoism – Indian Bhiksu Bodhiruci turned him to a
better method of immortality!
Nien-fo – dharani – a recitation of the Buddha’s name
Sanskrit: Namo ‘mitabha Buddha
Concentration, meditation 2. length of
Recitation of Amitabha’s name evil deed doers can enter
the Western paradise if they desire it
Revilers of the Dharma are excluded
The Pure Land School
T’a-li and Tzu-li – “other” power versus “self
Faith becomes the prime directive towards nirvana
– reliance on the vow of Dharmakara
Latter days of Buddhism had arrived – sixth century
view Degenerate Dharma
So diffused broadly, survived the T’ang persecution
along with Ch’an sect
Viewed as vulgar peasant belief by Confucian elites
The Dhyana School (Ch'an):
Bodhidharma ca. 520 AD
Peak of Buddho-Taoism - rejected book learning as the basis
of enlightenment, set aside all notions and theories of
suffering and salvation, and relied upon day to day events,
simple thinking and ordinary living as the means to
free themselves from opinionated intellectuality and scholarly
affectations to emerge into a world of notionless observations.
Wu-hsin: the development of an unfettered and detached
mind, that would not cling to anything and would not rest
anywhere and would flow. [ video ]
The Dhyana School (Ch'an):
Increasing use of paradox as teaching method
The “public case” or koan
If you see the Buddha, kill him!
Buddha is a shit-cleaning stick
Does a dog have Buddha nature? Woof!
Beatings with a stick (scarred hand Son school)
Provincial, northern school lineage –avoiding the capital – survived
Became known as “a special transmission outside the scriptures”
Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333)
Triumph of the warriors and the bakufu system
Capital moved to Kamakura
Eisai (1141-1215): Brought Ch’an from Lin-chi
tradition to Japan
Dogen Kigen (1200-1253): travels to China lead to
“dropping away of body and mind.”
“Think No-thinking” – founds Soto School
Shikantaza – questioning thought, not just seeking flow
Demolishes disputes about transmission inside or outside
the scriptures; quotes from “Hinayana” texts
Merger of Buddhist thought with Confucian
Public clinics became part of Confucian concern for
Buddhism lost the battle doctrinally
Ming dynasty 1368-1644 – combination of Ch’an
kung-an and Pure Land nien-fo practices combined
in a synthesis for the masses
The Figure of Kuan-yin
“Mother Goddess” of China
“She who hears the cries of
Exile due to desire to join
Loss of arms for father
Male to Female
metamorphosis during Sung
Avalokitesvara – male in
Tibet, female in China, neutral
Japan: Post-war period (1945- )
Samurai turn to business
Origins of Buddhism in
Vajrayana and the Triumph of this
Three Practices / Three Mysteries
Pivotal Events of the “Old”
or “Early Translation” Period
: The Three Principal
Religious Buddhist Kings of
Song-tsen gampo (Srong-
brtsan sgam-po) (ca. 650 CE)
Principal Establisher of Tibetan
wives: Bhrikuti (Nepal) and
Wen Cheng (China)
Introducer of Buddhism into
The “Holy Three” of Tibet
King Thrisong Detsen – Establisher of Formal Samgha,
Monastery and Peak of Tibetan Empire
Padmasambhava – Tantrin invited by Thrisong Detsen to
subdue native shamanic spirits
Shantaraksita – scholar/pandit invited from India to oversee
construction of Monastery (and teach and translate); sent
Kamalasila to debate the Chinese monk
(peak period: 8th – 11th century)
The “Holy Three”
Yeshe Tsogyal: Consort of Padmasambhava
Union with Yeshe
The Sarma or “New Period”
Shift from Yogacara to
Atisha (982-1054 AD) and
the Kadam: the great
Indian reformer and writer
of first Lam Rim or "Path
High Lama and King Yeshe
Od and the search for “true
Clean it up chums!
Mongolian Empire at its peak
(peak period: 14th – 20th century)
Tsong kha pa (1357-1419):
Sunyata and the conventional world
all Buddhist systems mutually
Vaibhasika, Sautrantika, Yogacara,
Madhyamaka (Svatantrika and
The dangers of “overnegation!”
Education of the Geshe
- Pramanavartikka Ganden Monastery founded 1409
And the “Three Seats”
(peak period: 14th – 20th century)
Karma Paksi (1204-1283) – the first tulku
First Dalai Lama: Gendun Drup (Tsong kha pa's close
Third Dalai Lama (actually the First) Sonam Gyatso (1543-
1588), received the name Dalai from his Mongolian patron
and follower Altan Khan in 1578
Panchen Lama - In the 17th century, the Fifth Dalai Lama
declared his tutor, the abbot of the Tashilhunpo monastery,
Panchen Lama or the "Great Scholar" Lama. This abbot, by
retroactively applying the title to the three abbots preceding
him, thereby became the Fourth Panchen Lama
Manchu Empire at its peak
Other Dalai Lamas
The “Great Fifth” and the importance of the regent
The Sixth Dalai Lama - preferred going to brothels
and writing love poetry than ruling the nation -
where is Avalokitesvara?
The current and
14th Dalai Lama
The Buddhist Holocaust
Tibet and the Loss of a Nation
"When the iron bird flies, and horses run
on wheels, The Tibetan people will be
scattered like ants across the World, And
the Dharma will come to the land of the
13th: prophesied disaster
14th Dalai Lama
British, Russian, Chinese and
Playing the “Great Game”