Study Group

A forum for those wishing to discuss Buddhist history and teachings in the Western academic manner, referencing appropriate sources.
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Study Group

Postby AdmiralJim » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:31 am

Hi guys,
I am part of a study group that meets every two weeks to study a certain text basically a chapter per meeting. The study group is roughly affiliated with the FWBO but most of the people who meet in this group don't belong to a specific tradition, but the largest following when they do follow a tradition is within the Theravadin tradition. My new attendance if you will as a follower of Tibetan teachings has opened up a minor can of worms as the non-affiliated people have noticed that Theravadin texts have sort of dominated over the last couple of years. I have sort of put my foot in my mouth when I told them that I had been studying a tibetan shedra course for three years and they want me to pick a Mahayana text to be studied after we have finished our book.
I stupidly agreed and realised when I got home that I don't have a clue where to start or pick. Mahayana is such a general term but I would prefer a text that perhaps avoids tibetan tantra as that could just confuse the group even more, if I was to show them any part of tantra it would probably be the basic four contemplations that form part of my ngondro as I think they are relevant irrespective of tradition. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
I don't know where we are going but it will be nice when we get there

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Re: Study Group

Postby Josef » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:45 am

There are a few commentaries on Parting From the Four Attachments in HH Sakya Trizins book, Freeing the Heart and Mind.
There is also a short text Virupa and commentary by Sakya Trizin.

Those might be good ones to work with because you have some variety and they are short.

Then there is always Shantideva.

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Re: Study Group

Postby kirtu » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:51 am

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Study Group

Postby Tilopa » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:14 am

A Guide the Bodhisattva's Way of Life - Shantideva

Wheel of Sharp Weapons - Dharmaraksita

Words of My Perfect Teacher - Patrul Rinpoche

Essence of Refined Gold - 3rd Dalai Lama

Lamp Illuminating the Path - Atisha

Or something similar. I wouldn't even mention tantra as it can be very confusing if there is no solid grounding in the Sutra tradition.

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Re: Study Group

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:56 am

Any one of these will do fine - especially Letter from a Friend by Nagarjuna. It is short and was a traditional introduction to Mahayana used in India.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Re: Study Group

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:06 am

Lam Rim Chen Mo by Tsong Khapa, or at least the first volume of three in English translation. It deals with a lot of preliminary material such as receiving teachings, conviction in karma and so on.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Study Group

Postby tobes » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:02 am

I'm not sure where Ven. Huifeng is, so I'll say it for him: The Prajnaparamita Sutras.

Definitely the Heart and Vajra sutras and perhaps a longer one such as the Pancashatika....

The benefit of these texts is that they are common to just about every Mahayana tradition, and are clearly foundational and (non-essentially) essential.


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Re: Study Group

Postby Grigoris » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:54 pm

I would say Lankavatara Sutra (a good way to introduce the Tathagatagarbha), then Heart and Diamond Sutras and then anything by Nagarjuna.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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