The book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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JohnK
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The book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions

Post by JohnK » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:18 pm

I'm considering getting a copy of the book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions by HH the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron. The book compares the teachings as presented in what they call the "Pali Tradition" and the "Sanskrit Tradition." As neither author was formally trained in the "Pali Tradition," I'm wondering if folks from that tradition think the book gives a reasonably good presentation of it. Perhaps this has already been discussed as the book was published in 2014. Thanks.
http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/buddhism
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:09 pm

JohnK wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:18 pm
I'm considering getting a copy of the book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions by HH the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron. The book compares the teachings as presented in what they call the "Pali Tradition" and the "Sanskrit Tradition." As neither author was formally trained in the "Pali Tradition," I'm wondering if folks from that tradition think the book gives a reasonably good presentation of it. Perhaps this has already been discussed as the book was published in 2014. Thanks.
http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/buddhism
They will likely be operating in what I call "the received tradition" for understanding śrāvakayāna. It is likely to be an informative book, IMO, but that (this 'received tradition') is likely to be the hermeneutic at play when they address the earlier dispensation. For instance, the difference between personal and phenomenological selflessness is likely to be touched on, with "bodhisattvayāna believes Y but śrāvakayāna believes X". Oftentimes, due to this received tradition, "śrāvakayāna" wont actually believe X, its just something Mahāyānis think they believe.

If you can get over that, it is likely to be an interesting book. Indeed, it might not even suffer from the polemical flaws I outline above.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

JohnK
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Re: The book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions

Post by JohnK » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:57 pm

Poking around, I see that Rita M. Gross had this to say:
...The level of scholarship informing this book is very high, and the information provided about both the Pali and the Sanskrit traditions is accurate and complete...
https://tricycle.org/magazine/under-one-umbrella/ (though I don't know of Rita M. Gross -- someone else to google)
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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bodom
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Re: The book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions

Post by bodom » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:28 pm

I have the book. If my memory serves me right it basically covers the 7 purifications as outlined in the visuddhimagga as comprising the entire Theravadan tradition. Of course as we know not all of the Theravadan subsets view the visuddhimagga as authoritative. I have the book packed away and I'll try to dig it out later to let you know what all is covered.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

JohnK
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Re: The book, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions

Post by JohnK » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:56 pm

bodom wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:28 pm
...I have the book packed away and I'll try to dig it out later to let you know what all is covered...
Thanks -- no need to dig it out -- the publisher's website does provide the Table of Contents and a pdf of the first 22 pages, so I can get a pretty good idea of what is covered -- I mostly wanted to be sure, before buying, that there was not a sense in the Theravada community that the book was off-base on that side. Perhaps because of the tradition of the two authors, the book was not read much by Theravada folks??? (which happens to be one of the general observations made by the authors -- not much inter-group engagement -- I suspect that is why they had Bhate G. do the Foreward; some T-cred.).
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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