Further studies in Buddhism
This course provides the opportunity to study aspects of Buddhism in more detail -
- the development of schools of Buddhism in the east, including Zen.
- the transmission of Buddhism to the west.
- some of the later scriptures which explain the true nature of the 'self' and our relationship with the rest of the universe. - similarities and differences with other religions.
- the affects of meditation on our minds and bodies.
Some previous knowledge of Buddhism or theology would be an advantage.
This course is for people interested in religion, mysticism, meditation, and the history of the "east". It is not the aim of the tutor to "convert" the students into Buddhists. Personal counseling is not available.
Basic concepts revisited - the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, Dukkha (suffering or Unsatifactoryness), Karma, Anicca (Impermanence), Rebirth or re-becoming, Anatta (No-Self or No-Soul), Nirvana, etc.
The development of Mahayana Buddhism - including the key concepts of the Bodhisattva and Sunyata (or Emptiness).
Some important Mahayana scriptures - e.g. Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Lotus Sutra.
The development of Buddhism in China and Japan, including Zen Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism.
The spread of Buddhism to the west.
The Wheel of Life and the five Skandhas or Aggregates of Life
Problems associated with the interpretation of scriptures
Other items of interest to the students will be covered if time permits
Students will be asked to write three reports on topics in the course. Students will be given the opportunity to try some forms of Buddhist Meditation.
Mike Horne, Tutor.