Hi DW Community,
First time poster here but I read the forums quite often. In my first year Intro to Buddhism class, we were just given an assignment to write 2.5page max essay on Vajrayana and Zen Buddhist models. I was wondering if anyone had any pointers or knowledge they would like to share regarding the topic.
Here is the assignment outline:
Vajrayana and Zen Buddhists developed models of the path to Buddhahood that differed significantly from those of earlier forms of Buddhism. Vajrayana Buddhists developed three main models: Yoga tantra, highest yoga tantra and Dzogchen. Zen Buddhists claimed to teach "sudden enlightenment". What were the conceptual foundations of these models and how did Buddhists believe that these methods led to Buddhahood? In discussing the Dzogchen system, be sure to discuss how the Dzochen vision of the path to Buddhahood is based on its vision of the origin of the universe. In discussing sudden enlightenment, be sure to discuss how Shen-hui established this doctrine as the "official" doctrine of Zen, and the different ways that it was interpreted by Zen thinkers, including Shen-hui himself, the teachers of the "Golden Age of Ch'an" the Rinzai school and the Soto school."
Any information you guys care to share on the listed topics would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
What required and recommended reading has your teacher given you?
I say this, because as someone who helps mark undergrad assignments and essays in Buddhist studies at a large University, I would definitely want the students to first follow the teachers instructions and directions. Ignoring these, and asking anonymous people on an online Buddhist forum, is the sure way to trouble. Teachers favor certain scholars and books and understandings, and they certainly have good reason for doing so. If you inadvertently pick up some scholar or book which runs contrary to your teacher, ... hehe, well, you can imagine the results. Even if you don't cite the scholar or book, most teachers know the material very well, and can track down the line of thought that the student is using. (Students often think that they are very objective, but most teachers can easily know exactly what reference materials that they are using.)