Buddhisms❮Reading❯ ➸ Buddhisms ➰ Author John S. Strong – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Buddhism or Buddhisms By the time they move on to Buddhism in Japan many students who have studied its origins in India ask whether this is in fact the same religion so different can they appear In Bu Buddhism or Buddhisms By the time they move on to Buddhism in Japan many students who have studied its origins in India ask whether this is in fact the same religion so different can they appear In Buddhisms An Introduction Professor John S Strong provides an overview of the Buddhist tradition in all its different forms around the world Beginning at the modern day temples of Lumbini where the Buddha was born Strong takes us through the life of the Buddha and a study of Buddhist Doctrine revealing how Buddhism has changed just as it has stayed the same Finally Strong examines the nature of Buddhist community life and its development today in the very different environments of Thailand Japan and Tibet Enriched by the author’s own insights gathered over forty years Buddhisms never loses sight of the personal experience amidst the wide scope of its subject Clear in its explanations replete with tables and suggestions for further reading this is an essential new work that makes original contributions to the study of this year old religion. This is as good an academic introduction to Buddhisms as you will findIt would certainly help to have an elementary understanding of Buddhism and its precepts before diving into this book It is densely academic dealing with complicated doctirnal formulations of Mainstream Theravada Vajrayana and Mahayana Buddhism while also giving a great overview of Buddhist practices across several countriesThis is not a practitioner's book but an academic book If you are looking to practice Buddhism you are better off reading Thich Nhat Hahn or going to your local monasterysangha However if you have an academic interest this is the go to book to understand and dive in from its extensive and well research footnotes and bibliography Among the Eastern religions Buddhism personally interests me the most and this book attracted me because I have been been acuainted with some of the basics of Buddhism and wanted a meatier overview of the differences between different branches of the religion For this reason I believe Introduction is a misleading because the topics covered in this book are complex and better suited for a student who has some education in Buddhism rather than someone going in cold Perhaps Overview would have been a better subtitleRegarding content what I do appreciate about this book is its commitment to the diversity of Buddhism The opening chapter introduces us to the major pilgrimage site of Lumbini in Nepal where Buddha was born The irony is that while this site brings together Buddhists from all over the world Lumbini contains a complex of buildings and monastic communities that are divided based on region and sect A central canal divides the site and on one side of the canal are the Mahayana traditions while on the other side are the Theravada traditions To me this opening chapter is an ingenious way of tangibly showing readers the divisions in Buddhism and helping them understand that Buddhism is not a monolithic religionOther portions of the book that I really enjoyed were the chapters on overcoming the Buddha's absence and Mahayana doctrinal developments Chapter 3 is about the absence of the Buddha after he died and how Buddhists dealt with this loss by making substitutes for Buddha sutras relics images anticipation of the next eon's Buddha and of course the content of the Dharma I believe that this theme of searching perhaps even compensating for Buddha's absence is very profound because it shows that Buddhists saw the potency of their religious path as being intrinsically tied to the presence of and devotion to their founder Even though Buddha was gone into the bliss of nirvana he must still be here somehow teaching and guiding and abiding The sense of longing is palpable to me and captures the paradox of how we process the loss of a loved one We know the departed cannot be fully here and yet we still desire and experience modes of presenceChapter 9 is about Mahayana doctrinal developments and I like this chapter because it shows me how wild the Mahayana can be Whether it is Nagarjuna's hard earned philosophical conclusion that nirvana and samsara have no distinction the assertion that the buddha nature of all beings forms an eternal self or the Lotus Sutra's famous description of expedient means some Mahayana teachings and branches seem so far from the ancient Indian intellectual context of early Buddhism that I wondered if I was even studying the same religion any These stark differences raise the uestion of how continuity between a religion's beginnings and new developments are maintained Mahayana teachings are clearly not exactly identical to early Buddhism and yet Mahayana devotees will state that their doctrine is what Buddha taught The interplay between the old and the new is one of the fascinating paradoxes of a religion that spreads to places and times far beyond its original contextI'd highly recommend this academic overview if you want to come out with a sense of the complexity and diversity of Buddhist sects and intellectual traditions The name of this book is plural because there are so many different strands of Buddhism Generally every country has their own traditions and beliefs and specifically regions within a country vary in their belief and even in the same town If I used an analogy of Christianity taking Protestant belief and comparing it maybe with an Eastern Orthodox tradition perhaps that covers some of the differences but the difference between Theravada and Mahayana are probably even greater This was a very well written and interesting book to read Highly recommended on the subject for a deep introduction Four starsHere are notes I tookTwo main Buddhist institutions Theravada and Mahayana Theravada is mainstream or traditional Theravada is practiced in countries like Thailand Cambodia Sri Lanka Myanmar and Laos though it is in other places as well Mahayana is practiced predominantly in China Korea Japan Vietnam Mongolia and the Himalayas though the term Vajrayana is sometimes also used to distinguish Buddhism in Tibet Mongolia and the Himalayas from other Mahayana traditionsA buddha is one who has experienced bodhi awakening and who as a result will never again be subject to suffering in the cycle of death and rebirth or samsara More specifically to be a buddha you had to attain awakening on your own without the immediate help of a teacher and to go on to teach others There have been many buddhas but the Buddha is Siddhartha Gautama aka Sakyamuni Sakyamuni was a prince who gave it up He was a bodhisattva in his previous lives which is someone who will become a buddha in a subseuent life Sakyamuni was born a buddha his mother gave birth standing up and he immediately took seven steps and declared that this would be his last life He becomes enlightened and spends his life teaching his disciples Upon his death at 80 he reaches parinirvana which is the ultimate state where his karmic stream which led him to be reborn again and again in different mind bodies throughout the eons has now come to an endBuddhas teachings are his Dharma There will be a future Buddha named Maitreya The Buddhist canon is huge There are three major canonical collections one in Pali one in Chinese and one in Tibetan There are additional fragments and individual texts extant in other languages Karma is an idea that came from an Indic context as did certain gods like Indra that are spoken of in Buddhist literatureThe Four Truths are the most famous comprehensive summation of Buddhist teaching They are 1 Life as we live it is characterized by stress 2There is a reason for this stress desire or craving this leads us to long for and cling to things that bring passing enjoyment here and there but cannot be finally clung to 3By eliminating our inherent craving and all its subtle and not so subtle manifestations and connections it is possible to bring an end to stress to be free from it This is the truth of the cessation of stress which is commonly identified with nirvana 4Finally the way to do this is to practice the path which is seen as the way to the cessation of stress This path has eight practices called the noble eightfold path which are 1 right view; 2 right application of the mind; 3 right speech; 4 right action; 5 right livelihood; 6 right effort; 7 right mindfulness; 8 right concentration These are further grouped into three trainings the first two as wisdom the next three as moral discipline the last three as meditation Not exactly what I was looking for but a good read nevertheless A remarkably clear and thorough book that gives the reader a theoretical background in various kinds of Buddhism covering both the Mainstream Theravada sects as well as various Mahayana groups Ends with giving the reader an inside look into how these things are carried out day to day in various traditions Thai Japanese and Tibetan as well as a look at how they have interacted with the West One of the best introductions to Buddhism and strongly recommended Buddhisms is a fine reference book on Buddhism Addition of a glossary would enhance its value as a reference book The title Buddhisms inspired me to create a Facebook photo album with the same name The Buddhisms photo album shows how the Buddha is imagined across Asia An admirably clear and rich book giving insights into the fascinating religious traditions of Buddhism

Buddhisms PDF ¼ Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 480 pages
  • Buddhisms
  • John S. Strong
  • 08 July 2015
  • 9781780745053