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7:00pm Lecture Series: Notes on the Dharma
January 23 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PST
One event on September 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm
By Jeff Schoening
Monday, January 20
Time: 7:00 pm
A Gift of Dharma to Kublai Khan and its Summary Outline by Chögyal Phakpa
We return to Chögyal Phakpa’s A Gift of Dharma with the addition of his Summary Outline. This brief text reveals the deep structure and meaning intended by the author and appears to be a guide for the commentator Shérap Shönnu. With the Summary Outline in hand, we can better understand the arrangement, progression, fine points, and meaning of A Gift of Dharma.
About A Gift of Dharma: In 1265, Chögyal Phakpa composed a verse summary on the main points and practice of the Buddha’s Dharma for Kublai Khan at the Khan’s request. In the spring of 1275, Phakpa wrote the Summary Outline. Soon after, in the fall of 1275, Shérap Shönnu, a disciple of Chögyal Phakpa and in consultation with him, wrote a prose commentary, Ornament that Explicates the Buddha’s Teaching. In 1976, Acharyas Lobsang Jamspal and Mañjusiddartha translated the verses into English prose with the title A Gift of Dharma to Kublai Khan. This version can be found online and is read in college courses such as Mongol History at the University of Washington.
We will read and discuss a new revised verse translation of the Gift of Dharma by Jeff Schoening with Jeff Bennett and Tom Linder. The revision is based on comments and suggestions at the spring 2019 VEI class, discussions with Ngakpa Tashi Paljor, and the Summary Outline.
This marvelous treatise leads us into the stages of practice, the deepest view, and its culmination.
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.