Special Lectures: The Four Philosophical Schools of Indian Buddhism

Lecturer: Jeff Schoening, Ph.D.
Wednesdays, January 6th and 13th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Prerequisite: None
Handouts provided

For any student of the Buddha’s teachings, their sheer volume presents problems. Is there a system to the teachings, a hierarchy, a reason for differences and disagreements? It is generally accepted that the teachings fall within four distinct philosophical schools. Learn about the history and teachings of these four schools. The first session describes the origins of the schools and their relationship to Buddhist scripture and one another. Both traditional accounts and modern academic views are considered. The second session investigates the doctrines that distinguish these four schools, paying particular attention to the two Great Vehicle (Mahayana) schools, the Practitioner (Yogachara) and the Middle Way (Madhyamaka). The class is intended for anyone with an interest in Buddhist philosophy who wants to deepen his or her understanding of the Buddha’s doctrine and its history.

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.