Special Lectures: The Pragmatic Teachings of the Buddha

Wednesdays, January 10 and 24
Time: 7 pm - 9 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested Donation: $15 Members, $20 Non-Members

Based on the book After Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor, this class reviews fundamental Buddhist teachings:  the Four Noble Truths, the Two Truths, and Dependent Arising. We will consider the effects of the spread of Brahmanism in India and of doctrinal orthodoxy in shaping the transmission of these teachings. In addition, the Four Tasks and Two Grounds are presented as pragmatic and accessible teachings of the Buddha to be gleaned from the Pali scriptures. In that connection, we will investigate Batchelor’s four central ideas representing the uniqueness of the Buddha’s teachings:

· the principle of conditionality
· the practice of a fourfold task
· the perspective of mindful awareness
· the power of self-reliance

Jeffrey Schoening (Upasaka), holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies, and is a longtime member and interpreter at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Jeff is the author of The Shalistamba Sutra and Its Indian Commentaries (Vienna 1995), a two-volume study of teachings on dependent arising. He served as a health care chaplain at Swedish Medical Center and Northwest Kidney Center and is currently a private practice spiritual director.