Question viz Denver Nalanda-bodhi courses (from Chaz)

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Question viz Denver Nalanda-bodhi courses (from Chaz)

Postby Huifeng » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:15 am

Hi Chaz,

We were having a conversation in that other thread. Since the thread is now closed, I'll move it here, if you don't mind!

Huifeng wrote:Hi Chaz,

I'm curious about a Tibetan group making a statement about "the life of the historical Buddha" (emphasis added).


That ^ was the starter.

Chaz wrote:Excellent! What would you like to know about us? We're a small study group, based in Denver and recognized as such by the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. We've been meeting for a couple years now and most recently completed a series of classes on the Mahayana using study materials by DPR.


Huifeng wrote:May I inquire as to what textual sources will be used to ascertain "the life of the historical Buddha"? Would they be Tibetan sources, or those from other textual traditions?


Chaz wrote:Absolutely you may inquire. About all I know at the moment is that the class will be using study materials provided for Ponlop Rinpoche's study curriculum.


Yeah, I've met Rinpoche a couple of times in Hong Kong, and a couple of my friends are part of his community.

Chaz wrote:Why do you want to know?


Well, pretty much what I said above:

I'm curious about a Tibetan group making a statement about "the life of the historical Buddha" (emphasis added).

and:

May I inquire as to what textual sources will be used to ascertain "the life of the historical Buddha"? Would they be Tibetan sources, or those from other textual traditions?

Chaz wrote:Are you thinking about attending the class? Awsome! We'd love to have you join us. I didn't know you live in in the Denver area. I have some free time on Saturday. Maybe we should get together for coffee - maybe someplace central like Paris on the Platte? (I'll buy) PotP is also walking distance from the teacher's condo over by Coors Field. Maybe we can get her to join us and bring a copy of the text and get some of your questions answrered. What say, Homes?


No, if I was going to join some of Rinpoche's classes, I'd do it with the group here in Hong Kong. But, to be honest, I'm not that interested.

I am interested in why a Tibetan group would make a statement like "of the historical buddha", and what sources they are thus using to establish who the "historical buddha" was, and what he did.

It is part of my interest in what I call, for want of a better word, "Buddhist modernism". Particularly the usage of more modern perceptions of the Buddha and Buddhism, and the usage of sources from other traditions in support of these perceptions.

I'll give one example, in the very first class I heard given by Rinpoche, he made mention of the so-called "Kalama sutta" (aka. Kesiputta sutta). I found that very interesting, considering that this is a Pali text. Of course, I know that Rinpoche studied in Universities in both India and the USA, but still, I found it an interesting opening to a course on Tantra, of all things.

Thanks for your time! :smile:
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Re: Question viz Denver Nalanda-bodhi courses (from Chaz)

Postby BFS » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:49 pm

For those who might be interested, there is a nice scroll down link to a chapter all about The Buddha, from the book - Buddhism for Beginners, by Venerable Thubten Chodron, from Sravasti Abbey - here:

THE BUDDHA
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