TS365/565INT Buddhism

This class will examine the major spiritual practices of the bodhisattvas, or awakening beings, of East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhism.  We will explore the ten transcendent bodhisattva practices:  generosity; ethical conduct or discipline; patience or tolerance; effort and enthusiasm; meditation; wisdom or insight; skillful means; vow or commitment; powers; and knowledge.  We will examine the contemporary relevance of these practices, through discussion and class exercises.  We will also study the seven major archetypal bodhisattvas, a few already familiar in our own culture, each of whom embodies a particular complex and combination of these beneficial practices.  Each of these bodhisattvas represents a tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhist schools, scriptures, and liberative teachings.  The bodhisattvas have been venerated traditionally as external forces and guides in the world, but also as models to incorporate and express from within.  We will explore how to apply them to modern religious issues, and consider modern culture figures as their exemplars.