Study Group

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Study Group

Postby AdmiralJim » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:31 am

Hi guys,
I am part of a study group that meets every two weeks to study a certain text basically a chapter per meeting. The study group is roughly affiliated with the FWBO but most of the people who meet in this group don't belong to a specific tradition, but the largest following when they do follow a tradition is within the Theravadin tradition. My new attendance if you will as a follower of Tibetan teachings has opened up a minor can of worms as the non-affiliated people have noticed that Theravadin texts have sort of dominated over the last couple of years. I have sort of put my foot in my mouth when I told them that I had been studying a tibetan shedra course for three years and they want me to pick a Mahayana text to be studied after we have finished our book.
I stupidly agreed and realised when I got home that I don't have a clue where to start or pick. Mahayana is such a general term but I would prefer a text that perhaps avoids tibetan tantra as that could just confuse the group even more, if I was to show them any part of tantra it would probably be the basic four contemplations that form part of my ngondro as I think they are relevant irrespective of tradition. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Jim
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Re: Study Group

Postby Josef » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:45 am

There are a few commentaries on Parting From the Four Attachments in HH Sakya Trizins book, Freeing the Heart and Mind.
There is also a short text Virupa and commentary by Sakya Trizin.

Those might be good ones to work with because you have some variety and they are short.

Then there is always Shantideva.
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Re: Study Group

Postby kirtu » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:51 am

AdmiralJim wrote: I have sort of put my foot in my mouth when I told them that I had been studying a tibetan shedra course for three years and they want me to pick a Mahayana text to be studied after we have finished our book.
I stupidly agreed and realised when I got home that I don't have a clue where to start or pick.


Don't underestimate yourself.

Mahayana is such a general term but I would prefer a text that perhaps avoids tibetan tantra as that could just confuse the group even more, if I was to show them any part of tantra it would probably be the basic four contemplations that form part of my ngondro as I think they are relevant irrespective of tradition. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Jim


And even much of Mahayana just looks like profundity followed by a bag of spells.

How about the Heart Sutra. Or parts of the Lotus Sutra or the Avatamsaka Sutra (so specifically Samantabhadra's Prayer for example). Or from the Translating the Words of the Buddha website, "The Questions of the Nāga King Sāgara" (Theravadin read people should accept inclusion of nagas although devas are more common in suttas) or "The Display of the Pure Land of Sukhāvatī" (because it is not such a fantastic, unbelievable sutra wrt imagery).

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Re: Study Group

Postby Tilopa » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:14 am

A Guide the Bodhisattva's Way of Life - Shantideva

Wheel of Sharp Weapons - Dharmaraksita

Words of My Perfect Teacher - Patrul Rinpoche

Essence of Refined Gold - 3rd Dalai Lama

Lamp Illuminating the Path - Atisha

Or something similar. I wouldn't even mention tantra as it can be very confusing if there is no solid grounding in the Sutra tradition.
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Re: Study Group

Postby Will » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:56 am

Any one of these will do fine - especially Letter from a Friend by Nagarjuna. It is short and was a traditional introduction to Mahayana used in India.

http://www.kalavinka.org/
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Re: Study Group

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:06 am

Lam Rim Chen Mo by Tsong Khapa, or at least the first volume of three in English translation. It deals with a lot of preliminary material such as receiving teachings, conviction in karma and so on.
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Re: Study Group

Postby tobes » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:02 am

I'm not sure where Ven. Huifeng is, so I'll say it for him: The Prajnaparamita Sutras.

Definitely the Heart and Vajra sutras and perhaps a longer one such as the Pancashatika....

The benefit of these texts is that they are common to just about every Mahayana tradition, and are clearly foundational and (non-essentially) essential.

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Re: Study Group

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:54 pm

I would say Lankavatara Sutra (a good way to introduce the Tathagatagarbha), then Heart and Diamond Sutras and then anything by Nagarjuna.
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