Author Topic: Buddhist Studies  (Read 2088 times)

Offline 0118401

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Buddhist Studies
« on: January 16, 2013, 09:38:46 am »
I've been an NKT practioner for around 12 years and been on FP for around half as long.  I am very happy with my FP class, but I seem to keep being attracted to what I can best describe as more scholarly/academic approaches to Buddhist studies in Je Tsongkhapa's tradition.  I am a little confused why I feel this way as Gesha la's teachings do not lack any scholarly qualities and the FP group is great which I would certainly not leave.  I think it may just be that I have scholarly leanings, thus a more scholarly approach naturally appeals to me, particularly with regard to Cognition at the moment. 

I have looked on the web at MA's in Buddhist Studies and even Geshe degrees, however, the MA's are not focussed on Je Tsongkhapa's tradition even if I had the time and money to complete them.  Going abroad, getting ordained and doing a Geshe degree seems implausible as well, given that I am married with job etc. in the UK.  However, if you can remain open-minded this can allow karma to ripen as my teacher once said.  The most appealing thing at the moment seem to be the FPMT Basic Program online.  Has anybody done this course and what are your thoughts on it?

I am a bit unsure of my reasons as I feel the main focus should be to integrate the teachings into my life rather than seeking out even more teachings.  However, this is obviously contingent upon gaining a deep understanding of the teachings.  Maybe I just want some good commentary on Cognition at the moment which we will not really receive in depth teachings on in FP until we study Understanding The Mind.  Has anybody else experienced these sorts of issues and how did you resolve them? Thanks for any feedback you are able to give in advance  :namaste:       


Offline Lobster

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 06:21:20 am »
there are a lot of academics on this forum who should be able to advise you . . .
http://mailman.swcp.com/mailman/listinfo/buddha-l

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 07:29:04 am »
The most appealing thing at the moment seem to be the FPMT Basic Program online.  Has anybody done this course and what are your thoughts on it?
     

I haven't done this course, but it sounds like an online course might fit well with your other commitments.  Do you know what the cost and time commitment would be for this course?

Offline Caz

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 10:09:41 am »
If your on facebook I know a Monk at Shar Gaden who could be useful.  :anjali:
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline TenzinTamdrin

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 10:19:26 pm »
Perhaps, its your past life leanings towards the monastic education that has its focus on Buddhist philosophy and epistemology. Whatever it is, perhaps, what you said is true though, whether you had put into practice any of the vast teachings of Geshe Kelsang. Are you a master of all of Geshe Kelsang's teachings and have you done a lamrim retreat or any of the preliminary practices. Remember, the Buddha's teachings are to be taken as personal advice and not to be taken for mere scholarly fulfillment.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 02:52:57 am »
Remember, the Buddha's teachings are to be taken as personal advice and not to be taken for mere scholarly fulfillment.

True, but study programmes to develop theoretical understanding can be very useful for some people.

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 03:18:11 pm »
All that reading material and literature is available on the Internet.

Offline 0118401

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 09:52:29 am »
Thanks everyone for their feedback and offer of help, all very useful and much appreciated.  I ended up subscribing to the FPMT Basic Programme online - Mind and Cognition-Awareness and Knowers. Venerable George Churinoff is a really excellent teacher and I am enjoying the more academic approach to study.  I can understand some people finding epistemology boring, but I have to say I find it the most fascinating subject.  I think studying cognition will help me in my FP class too.  Thanks again  :namaste:

Offline hanuman38

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 03:11:33 pm »
Thanks everyone for their feedback and offer of help, all very useful and much appreciated.  I ended up subscribing to the FPMT Basic Programme online - Mind and Cognition-Awareness and Knowers. Venerable George Churinoff is a really excellent teacher and I am enjoying the more academic approach to study.  I can understand some people finding epistemology boring, but I have to say I find it the most fascinating subject.  I think studying cognition will help me in my FP class too.  Thanks again  :namaste:

That's excellent news!  I hope you benefit greatly from the class.  It's also good to see-- and to show-- that NKT practitioners are not wholly averse to taking teachings outside the NKT.  I am a new practitioner, and TBH the largest portion of the readings I'm doing these days is from Geshe Kelsang's books... but there are other teachers whose insights I have also found valuable, especially Ven. Thubten Chodron. 

Offline 0118401

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 02:58:18 pm »
Thank you.  I am also glad to hear that a large part of your reading is from Geshe Kelsang's books.  I have found it the most wonderful presentation of Dharma imaginable once you get deep inside it, and the realisations I have gained from practising and studying his teachings are quite phenomenal (I'm certainly not saying I'm some sort of higher being or anything!).  However, I do read quite widely and like yourself find it valuable if this is carried out selectively and in moderation otherwise I think my practice would become scattered and less powerful.  My resident teacher I think takes the view that all the answers we need are in Geshe la's books.  I deeply respect that view, however, I know my own mind and practice well well enough to know that I can benefit from reading books by other teachers which only serves to deepen my understanding and appreciation of Geshe la's books.     

Offline hanuman38

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 05:56:54 pm »
Thank you.  I am also glad to hear that a large part of your reading is from Geshe Kelsang's books.  I have found it the most wonderful presentation of Dharma imaginable once you get deep inside it, and the realisations I have gained from practising and studying his teachings are quite phenomenal (I'm certainly not saying I'm some sort of higher being or anything!).  However, I do read quite widely and like yourself find it valuable if this is carried out selectively and in moderation otherwise I think my practice would become scattered and less powerful.  My resident teacher I think takes the view that all the answers we need are in Geshe la's books.  I deeply respect that view, however, I know my own mind and practice well well enough to know that I can benefit from reading books by other teachers which only serves to deepen my understanding and appreciation of Geshe la's books.     

I certainly agree re: Gesha-la's books.  Right now about 75% of my Dharma reading comes from them, and all of my practice-- I do NKT sadhanas regularly (both at home and at my local KBC).  But sometimes other teachers can help too, even if I don't fully agree with them.  :)  For what it's worth, of course-- while I've been reading about Buddhism for decades, I've only been practicing in earnest for a very short time.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 06:01:14 pm by hanuman38 »

Offline hanuman38

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Re: Buddhist Studies
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 04:44:36 pm »
I am also glad to hear that a large part of your reading is from Geshe Kelsang's books.  I have found it the most wonderful presentation of Dharma imaginable once you get deep inside it, and the realisations I have gained from practising and studying his teachings are quite phenomenal (I'm certainly not saying I'm some sort of higher being or anything!). 

Someone recently gave me a copy of Joyful Path of Good Fortune.  Wow.  I don't fully understand half of it yet, but it certainly seems to be a strong contender for "the most wonderful presentation of Dharma imaginable".  It certainly is one of the most comprehensive.

 


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