Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 64

Search results for: buddhism

64 The Embodied World — A Redefinition of "Emptiness" in Heart Sutra from the Perspective of Cognitive Science

Authors: Ke Ma

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Through the long course of history, Buddhism has captivated generations of brilliant minds with its enlightening but elusive discernment. Far from religious dogmas, Buddhism not only represents spiritual revelation, but also logical reasoning.Among all of Buddhism’s concepts, emptiness is the most famous, and abstruse one. This word resulted from an inaccurate translation confuses both Buddhists and religious scholars who understand Heart Sutra based on its English version. In this essay, the idea of “emptiness” will be reinterpreted as “information,” leading not only to a clarification of the ideology of Buddhism, but also to greater correspondence between Buddhism concepts and cognitive science.

Keywords: religion, cognitive science, psychology, Buddhism

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63 An Exploration of the Place of Buddhism in the Tham Luang Cave Rescue and Its Aftermath

Authors: Hamish de Nett

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On 23rd June 2018, twelve young footballers from the Wild Boar Academy and their coach went to explore the Tham Luang cave in the Doi Nang Non mountain range in Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand. Whilst they were inside the cave, monsoon rains hit, and the complex became partially flooded. In the following days, Thai Navy SEALs and an international team of expert divers assembled at the cave complex in order to rescue the boys. Although it was only marginally reported in the Western press, Buddhism and ritual activities played a major role in the rescue and its aftermath. This paper utilises numerous news articles and books written by reporters who covered the cave rescue to uncover what the place of Buddhism was in the Tham Luang cave rescue. This paper initially sets out the development of Thai Buddhism and the Thai nation state, paying particular note to the tension in Thai Buddhism between Buddhism as it is popularly practised and normative, state-favoured Buddhism. Secondly, this paper demonstrates that, during the Tham Luang cave rescue, Buddhism helped people cope with the disaster, provided an explanation for its occurrence, and allowed bystanders some efficacy in the process. Thirdly, this paper discusses how Buddhism helped people to give thanks after the rescue, achieve reconciliation, and gain closure. Finally, this paper analyses how the government and the political sphere utilised Buddhism during the rescue. The conclusion reached is that the Buddhism practiced during the Tham Luang cave rescue and its aftermath is representative of the wider tension between popular Buddhism and normative state-favoured Buddhism that is currently present within Thai Buddhism and has been for centuries.

Keywords: cave rescue, contemporary Buddhism, lived religion, Thai Buddhism, Tham Luang cave rescue

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62 Philosophical Interpretations of Spells in the Imperial Chinese Buddhism

Authors: Saiping An

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The spells in Chinese Buddhism are often regarded by current scholarship as syllables with mystical power, as a ritual and practice of oral chanting, or as texts engraved on cultural relics. This study hopes to point out that the spell as a kind of behavior and material also provokes the believers to interpret its soteriology with various Buddhist doctrines and philosophies. It will analyze Mahāvairocana Tantra which is the main classic of the tradition regarded by the academic circles as 'Esoteric Buddhism', two annotations of these scriptures composed in the Tang and Liao Dynasty respectively, as well as some works of monks and lay Buddhists in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. It aims to illustrate that spells in Chinese Buddhism are not simply magical voices and the words engraved on the cultural relics; they have also enriched the doctrines and thoughts of Chinese Buddhism. Their nature and soteriological methods are far more abundant than current academic circles have revealed.

Keywords: spell, Chinese Buddhism, philosophy, Buddhist doctrines

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61 A Middle Way Approach for the Conflicts between Death, Impermanence and Non-Self in Buddhist Philosophy

Authors: Ruotian Wang

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Since the birth of the Buddha himself more than 2000 years ago, Buddhism has continued to lead many people’s lives. Scholars and Buddhists have contributed to give detailed explanations to all kinds of issues within the structure of Buddhist philosophy to make Buddhism more complete. Different schools have developed, therefore leading to a lot of different branches within Buddhism. Although they all follow what the Buddha himself taught, they still have various explanations to even fundamental issues. As one of the fundamental problems regarding our lives, death is widely discussed in Buddhism. The controversy regarding death is its seemly incompatibility with the idea of non-self and impermanence, which is what I will discuss in this essay. The idea of rebirth is the basic structure of birth and death, which suggests a connection between this life and the next. Therefore, according to common logic, we should tell that there is something that connects each life, an agent that receives the process of rebirth, which is normally known as a soul. In Buddhism, non-self is also an important concept which speaks to the illusion of a self or soul. The idea of rebirth and non-self seems contradicted. Many different schools of Buddhism attempt to resolve such conflicts, but there are logical flaws within the arguments they made. Thus, I raise a better solution: Different from the annihilationist view, non-self in Buddhism speaks only to the illusion of a self in each moment. There is a self that exists as a sum of all our karmas which we can achieve after Nirvana. However, the nature of such a self is still emptiness. There are no agents needed as one rebirth since the whole cycle of rebirth is the self. Then, the contradiction between rebirth and non-self can be resolved.

Keywords: Buddhism, impermanence, non-self, reincarnation

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60 Buddhism and Its Contribution to the World Culture

Authors: Utsha Barua Joy

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Buddhism has been playing as a cultural mediator in the world Asia. Buddhism spread as a living spiritual tradition and philosophy and spread mostly as a part of the cultural heritage. Culture and religion concern and deal with some similar human issues in terms of the concept of values. This article mainly focuses on some pertinent issues. The Buddha created a revolutionary awareness in the history of mankind by giving equal status to all. With equality, man gets social, mental, economic, and political freedom. This article moreover discusses the concept of morality, educational system, and finally, missionary services. After the first rainy retreat, Buddha asked the monks to go from place to place and spread the Dharma for the welfare of mankind. Since then, all the monks took part in missionary work. Emperor Asoka’s missionary steps are the brightened example in the history of Buddhism. The goal of this article is to provide to the wise readers with a delineation of reference on how equality, morality, education system, and missionary services through Buddhism rendered great contribution to the cultural arena around the globe.

Keywords: equality, morality, educational system, missionary works

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59 World Peace and Conflict Resolution: A Solution from a Buddhist Point of View

Authors: Samitharathana R. Wadigala

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The peace will not be established until the self-consciousness would reveal in the human beings. In this nuclear age, the establishment of a lasting peace on the earth represents the primary condition for the preservation of human civilization and survival of human beings. Nothing perhaps is so important and indispensable as the achievement and maintenance of peace in the modern world today. Peace in today’s world implies much more than the mere absence of war and violence. In the interdependent world of today the United Nations needs to be representative of the modern world and democratic in its functioning because it came into existence to save the generations from the scourge of war and conflict. Buddhism is the religion of peaceful co-existence and philosophy of enlightenment. Violence and conflict from the perspective of the Buddhist theory of interdependent origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda) are same with everything else in the world a product of causes and conditions. Buddhism is totally compatible with the congenial and peaceful global order. The canonical literature, doctrines, and philosophy of Buddhism are the best suited for inter-faith dialogue, harmony, and universal peace. Even today Buddhism can resurrect the universal brotherhood, peaceful co-existence and harmonious surroundings in the comity of nations. With its increasing vitality in regions around the world, many people today turn to Buddhism for relief and guidance at the time when peace seems to be a deferred dream more than ever. From a Buddhist point of view the roots of all unwholesome actions (Conflict) i. e. greed, hatred and delusion are viewed as the root cause of all human conflicts. Conflict often emanates from attachment to material things: pleasures, property, territory, wealth, economic dominance or political superiority. Buddhism has some particularly rich resources for deployment in dissolving conflict. Buddhism addresses the Buddhist perspective on the causes of conflict and ways to resolve conflict to realize world peace. The world has enough to satisfy every body’s needs but not every body’s greed.

Keywords: Buddhism, conflict-violence, peace, self-consciousness

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58 Eradication of Mental Illness through Buddhism

Authors: Deshar Bashu Dev

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In this modern age, most people in developed and developing countries are affected by mental illness. There are many mental illnesses, and their differing symptoms impact peoples’ lives in different ways. These illnesses affect the way people think and feel, as well as how they behave with others. Mental illness results from compound interactions between the mind, body, and environment. New technologies and sciences make the world a better place. These technologies are becoming smarter and are being developed every day to help make daily life easier However, people suffer from mental illness in every part of the world. The philosophy propounded by the Buddha, Buddhism, teaches that all life is connected, from the microcosm to macrocosm. In the 2,500 years that elapsed since the death of the Buddha, his disciples have spread his teachings and developed sophisticated psycho-therapeutic methodologies. We can find many examples in Buddhist texts and in the modern age where Buddhist philosophy modern science could not solve. The Noble Eightfold Path, which is one of the main philosophies of Buddhism; it eradicates hatred and ill will and cultivates good deeds, kindness, and compassion. Buddhism, as a practice of dialectic conversation and mindfulness training, is full of rich therapeutic tools that the mental health community has adopted to help people. Similarly, Buddhist meditation is very necessary; it purifies thoughts and avoids unnecessary thinking. This research aims to study different causes of mental illness; analyzes the different approaches to eradicate mental illness problems and provides conclusions and recommendations present solutions through Buddhism in this modern age.

Keywords: mental illness, Buddhism, mindfulness, Buddhist practices

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57 Buddhism and Society: The History and Contribution of Buddhist Education in Taiwan

Authors: Meilee Shen

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Buddhist monks and nuns have changed within the dynamic culture of Taiwan that they find themselves in. The diverse cultures, economic development, and advanced educational levels of the island are all part of this. Buddhist education has become an interesting aspect in the history of Taiwanese Buddhism. In recent years, Buddhists in Taiwan have made significant contributions to both academic and religious studies. This paper will focus on the following questions: What is Buddhist education? How does a Buddhist education change monastic role in Taiwanese Buddhism? Finally, how has Buddhist education benefited Taiwanese society? Research indicates that Buddhist education in Taiwan possesses four features: 1. Master teaching disciple: Buddhist masters teach monastic rules to monastic disciples only. 2. Monastic education: It is mainly focused on Buddhist doctrines and sangha rules. 3. From Buddhist education to secular education: Buddhist studies were introduced into secular educational environments that were the beginning for outsiders to study Buddhism. It also opened a door to recruit young college students to enter the monastery. 4. Academic Buddhist training: Buddhist monks and nuns have begun to study at secular colleges in various programs besides Buddhist studies. In recent years, Buddhist colleges and secular universities’ religious studies programs have begun to admit overseas students due to the low birth-rate in Taiwan. Therefore, the relationship between Buddhism and Taiwanese society is dynamic.

Keywords: Buddhist college and university in Taiwan, Buddhist education, institutionalization in Taiwanese Buddhism, monastic and secular education, Taiwanese Buddhist monks and nuns

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56 The Five Aggregates in Buddhism and Natural Sciences: A Revolutionary Perspective of Nature

Authors: Choo Fatt Foo

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The Five Aggregates is core to Buddhism teaching. According to Buddhism, human beings and all sentient beings are made up of nothing but the Five Aggregates. If that is the case, the Five Aggregates must be found in all natural sciences. So far, there has not been any systematic connection between the Five Aggregates and natural sciences. This study aims at identifying traces of the Five Aggregates in various levels of natural sciences and pointing possible directions for future research. The following areas are briefly explored to identify the connection with the Five Aggregates: physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, DNA, cell, and human body and brain. Traces of the Five Aggregates should be found in each level of this hierarchy of natural sciences for human and sentient beings to be said to be made up of the Five Aggregates. This study proposes a hierarchical structure of nature cutting every level with the Five Aggregates and the Four Great Elements as its basis. The structure proposed by this study would revolutionize how we look at nature. Hopefully, better understanding of sciences in this manner will steer the application of scientific methods and technology towards a brighter future with compassion and tolerance.

Keywords: the five aggregates, Buddhism, four great elements, physics, calabi-yau manifold

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55 Buddhism: Its Socio-Economic Relevance in the Present Changing World

Authors: Bandana Bhattacharya

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‘Buddhism’, as such signifies the ‘ism’ that is based on Buddha’s life and teachings or that is concerned with the gospel of Buddha as recorded in the literature available in Pali, Sanskrit, Buddhist Sanskrit, Prakrit and even in the other non-Indian languages wherein it has been described a very abstruse, complex and lofty philosophy of life or ‘the way of life’ preached by Him (Buddha). It has another side too, i.e., the applicability of the tenets of Buddha according to the needs of the present society, where human life and outlook has been totally changed. Applied Buddhism signifies the applicability of the Buddha’s noble tenets. Along with the theological exposition and textual criticism of the Buddha’s discourses, it has now become almost obligatory for the Buddhist scholars to re-interpret Buddhism from modern perspectives. Basically Applied Buddhism defined a ‘way of life’ which may transform the higher quality of life or essence of life due to changed circumstances, places and time. Nowadays, if we observe the present situation of the world, we will find the current problems such as health, economic, politic, global warming, population explosion, pollution of all types including cultural scarcity essential commodities and indiscriminate use of human, natural and water resources are becoming more and more pronounced day by day, under such a backdrop of world situation. Applied Buddhism rather Buddhism may be the only instrument left now for mankind to address all such human achievements, lapses, and problems. Buddha’s doctrine is itself called ‘akālika, timeless’. On the eve of the Mahāparinibbāṇa at Kusinara, the Blessed One allows His disciples to change, modify and alter His minor teachings according to the needs of the future, although He has made some utterances, which would eternally remain fresh. Hence Buddhism has been able to occupy a prominent place in modern life, because of its timeless applicability, emanating from a set of eternal values. The logical and scientific outlook of Buddha may be traced in His very first sermon named the Dhammacakkapavattana-Sutta where He suggested to avoid the two extremes, namely, constantly attachment to sensual pleasures (Kāmasukhallikānuyoga) and devotion to self-mortification that is painful as well as unprofitable and asked to adopt Majjhimapaṭipadā, ‘Middle path’, which is very much applicable even today in every spheres of human life; and the absence of which is the root cause of all problems event at present. This paper will be a humble attempt to highlight the relevance of Buddhism in the present society.

Keywords: applied Buddhism, ecology, self-awareness, value

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54 The Connection of the Nibbāna with the Six Sense Bases

Authors: Wattegama Subhavi

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A being is the working of the six sense bases. The sense bases are the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind. Buddhism describes what these sense bases are and how they work. These sense bases can be related to many of the philosophical and psychological teachings of the Buddha. One of the most important teachings of the Buddha is the Four Noble Truths. Buddhism explains that one who needs to attain Nibbāna must understand and realize these Four Noble Truths. These noble truths have a direct connection with the sense bases. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is Nibbāna. But there is no place or a special world called the “Nibbāna”. This paper describes that the noble truths can be identified within one’s own sense bases. The noble truth of suffering occurs within the functioning of the sense bases and the cause of suffering, “craving” operates inside the senses bases and the cessation of suffering, or Nibbāna is also experienced in the Sense Bases. Relevant material will be drawn for this paper directly from the Pāli canonical sources. The major finding is that the first three noble truths can be experienced through the six sense bases. The conclusion derived from the study is that the sense bases have direct relevance to Nibbāna, which is not to be conceived as another place or another dimension, but phenomena that can be experienced through one’s own sense bases, and that the other noble truths are also to be experienced in relation to one’s own sense bases.

Keywords: Buddhism, Four Noble Truths, sense bases, Nibbāna

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53 Gender and Religion: The Organization and Recognition of Buddhist Nuns in Taiwan

Authors: Meilee Shen

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Buddhist nuns in Taiwan have shouldered various responsibilities in educational, cultural, economic, and social aspects that transforms and transcends Chinese Buddhism to a higher level in Taiwan and overseas. In the recent years, Nuns in Taiwan have formed various associations to reach their goals and satisfy their needs. This research will focus on the following: 1. How to distinguish a Buddhist organization from temple? 2. Whether the forming of female Buddhist organizations reveals religious purpose or gender conflict in Buddhism? 3. How can nuns in Taiwan be unified together to establish their identification? This paper will mainly study on the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association (CBBA) because they have gained allies together to work for religious causes and social needs since 1996. However, with a mission to promote female practitioners’ role in Buddhist circle, CBBA did not contribute much to the gender issue in Buddhism. The research found that CBBA did not achieve their goal to unite nuns in Taiwan because they failed to support nuns' education and did not recruit young and highly educated ones as CBBA's faculties. In conclusion, the research suggests i) to connect with other Buddhist organizations in order to achieve the dream of unity, ii) to fill the generation gap by overturn hierarchical system in Buddhist community and create a new environment for new generation to grow, iii) to shift financial contribution from social charity to nuns’ education to promote female role in Buddhism in the future.

Keywords: Bhikkhuni in Taiwan, Bhikkhuni population and education, Buddhism in Taiwan, Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association

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52 The Expansion of Buddhism from India to Nepal Himalaya and Beyond

Authors: Umesh Regmi

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This paper explores the expansion of Buddhism from India geographically to the Himalayan region of Nepal, Tibet, India, and Bhutan in chronological historical sequence. The Buddhism practiced in Tibet is the spread of the Mahayana-Vajrayana form appropriately designed by Indian Mahasiddhas, who were the practitioners of the highest form of tantra and meditation. Vajrayana Buddhism roots in the esoteric practices incorporating the teachings of Buddha, mantras, dharanis, rituals, and sadhana for attaining enlightenment. This form of Buddhism spread from India to Nepal after the 5th Century AD and Tibet after the 7th century AD and made a return journey to the Himalayan region of Nepal, India, and Bhutan after the 8th century. The first diffusion of this form of Buddhism from India to Nepal and Tibet is partially proven through Buddhist texts and the archaeological existence of monasteries historically and at times relied on mythological traditions. The second diffusion of Buddhism in Tibet was institutionalized through the textual translations and interpretations of Indian Buddhist masters and their Tibetan disciples and the establishment of different monasteries in various parts of Tibet, later resulting in different schools and their traditions: Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Gelug, and their sub-schools. The first return journey of Buddhism from Tibet to the Himalayan region of Nepal, India, and Bhutan in the 8th century is mythologically recorded in local legends of the arrival of Padmasambhava, and the second journey in the 11th century and afterward flourished by many Indian masters who practiced continuously till date. This return journey of Tibetan Buddhism has been intensified after 1959 with the Chinese occupation of Tibet, resulting in the Tibetan Buddhist masters living in exile in major locations like Kathmandu, Dharmasala, Dehradun, Sikkim, Kalimpong, and beyond. The historic-cultural-critical methodology for the recognition of the qualities of cultural expressions analysis presents the Buddhist practices of the Himalayan region, explaining the concepts of Ri (mountain as spiritual symbols), yul-lha (village deities), dhar-lha (spiritual concept of mountain passes), dharchhog-lungdhar (prayer flags), rig-sum gonpo (small stupas), Chenresig, asura (demi gods), etc. Tibetan Buddhist history has preserved important textual and practical aspects of Vajrayana from Buddhism historically in the form of arrival, advent, and development, including rising and fall. Currently, Tibetan Buddhism has influenced a great deal in the contemporary Buddhist practices of the world. The exploratory findings conducted over seven years of field visits and research in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India, and Bhutan have demonstrated the fact that Buddhism in the Himalayan region is a return journey from Tibet and lately been popularized globally after 1959 by major monasteries and their Buddhist masters, lamas, nuns and other professionals, who have contributed in different periods of time.

Keywords: Buddhism, expansion, Himalayan region, India, Nepal, Bhutan, return, Tibet, Vajrayana Buddhism

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51 The Role of 'Hindu Tantrism' in Conceptualization of the Divine Manifestations in Vajrayana Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

Authors: Mohammed T. Shabeer

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Hoary moorlands of Tibet bear bundle of religious traditions. Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is one of the deep rooted religious orders of the area. It demands the homage to a variety of gods and diverse worships, especially to manifestations like the Dalai Lamas. This divine diversity has been conceptualized by remoteness of the area and transcontinental intrusion of Asiatic philosophies like Indian Buddhism, Mongolian Shamanism and Hindu Tantrism. This study reveals the role of Hindu Tantrism in conceptualizing the manifestations in Vajrayana Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in a comparative way. Nowadays, the academic explorations and researches in the field of ‘Tibetology’ are widely tolerable in east and west alike. International community concerns such studies supportive of the restless campaigns for ‘free Tibet’. Moreover, the scientific sources on the topic are rarest and precious in the field of comparative religion. This study reveals a clear account of god concept of Vajrayana tradition and insists that the god concept of the tradition is conceptualized from the amalgamation of Indian Hindu Tantrism, Mongolian Shamanism, and Indian Buddhism. Primly, it sheds the light upon the mysterious similarities between Indian and Tibetan concepts of manifestation of gods. The scientific examination of this problem lasts in the conclusion that the transcontinental transmission of Hindu Tantrism in the special occasion of Buddhist Diaspora of 12th century in consequence of the invasion of Muslim Ghorid Sultanate had paved a vital role in shaping the Vajrayana tradition especially conceptualizing the manifestation of Tibetan gods.

Keywords: Buddhist diaspora, Hindu tantrism, manifestation of god, Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

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50 Walking in a Weather rather than a Climate: Critique on the Meta-Narrative of Buddhism in Early India

Authors: Yongjun Kim

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Since the agreement on the historicity of historical Buddha in eastern India, the beginning, heyday and decline of Buddhism in Early India have been discussed in urbanization, commercialism and state formation context, in short, Weberian socio-politico frame. Recent Scholarship, notably in archaeology and anthropology, has proposed ‘re-materialization of Buddhism in Early India’ based on what Buddhist had actually done rather than what they should do according to canonical teachings or philosophies. But its historical narrations still remain with a domain of socio-politico meta-narrative which tends to unjustifiably dismiss the naturally existing heterogeneity and often chaotic dynamic of diverse agencies, landscape perceptions, localized traditions, etc. An author will argue the multiplicity of theoretical standpoints for the reconstruction on the Buddhism in Early India. For this, at first, the diverse agencies, localized traditions, landscape patterns of Buddhist communities and monasteries in Trans-Himalayan regions; focusing Zanskar Valley and Spiti Valley in India will be illustrated based on an author’s field work. And then an author will discuss this anthropological landscape analysis is better appropriated with textual and archaeological evidences on the tension between urban monastic and forest Buddhism, the phenomena of sacred landscape, cemetery, garden, natural cave along with socio-economic landscape, the demographic heterogeneity in Early India. Finally, it will be attempted to compare between anthropological landscape of present Trans-Himalayan and archaeological one of ancient Western India. The study of Buddhism in Early India has hardly been discussed through multivalent theoretical archaeology and anthropology of religion, thus traditional and recent scholarship have produced historical meta-narrative though heterogeneous among them. The multidisciplinary approaches of textual critics, archaeology and anthropology will surely help to deconstruct the grand and all-encompassing historical description on Buddhism in Early India and then to reconstruct the localized, behavioral and multivalent narratives. This paper expects to highlight the importance of lesser-studied Buddhist archaeological sites and the dynamic views on religious landscape in Early India with a help of critical anthropology of religion.

Keywords: analogy by living traditions, Buddhism in Early India, landscape analysis, meta-narrative

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49 Role of Monks in Civil Society and Democracy in Thailand

Authors: Chuenaarom Chantimachaiamorn

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This study is an analysis of the roles of the Thai monks i.e. the Sangha in the development of the civil society, democracy and politics in Thailand. This study may be significant for determining the relation of Buddhism and its Sangha to the Thai society and polity. This study is based upon the documentary research from the sources of Pali Scripture, historical documents, and other publications and related matter, including with the interviews concerning political thought and role of high senior monk, scholarly monks and Dhamma-espousing monk who are well known and accepted by people in general for their political role in contemporary Thai society.

Keywords: Buddhism, role, monk, Sangha, civil society, politics

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48 The New Contemporary Cross-Cultural Buddhist Woman and Her Attitude and Perception toward Motherhood

Authors: Szerena Vajkovszki

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Among the relatively large volume of literature, the role and perception of women in Buddhism have been examined from various perspectives such as theology, history, anthropology, and feminism. When Buddhism spread to the West, women had a major role in its adaption and development. The meeting of different cultures and social structures had the fruit of a necessity to change. As Buddhism gained attention in the West, it produced a Buddhist feminist identity across national and ethnic boundaries. So globalization produced a contemporary cross-cultural Buddhist Women. The aim of the research is to find out the new role of such a Buddhist woman in aging societies. More precisely to understand what effect this contemporary Buddhist religion may have, direct or indirect, on fertility. Our worldwide aging society, especially in developed countries, including members of EU, raise sophisticated sociological and economic issues and challenges to be met. As declining fertility has outstanding influence underlying this trend, numerous studies have attempted to identify, describe, measure and interpret contributing factors of the fertility rate, out of which relatively few revealed the impact of religion. Among many religious guidelines, we can separate two major categories: direct and indirect. The aim of this research was to understand what are the most crucial identified (family values, gender related behaviors, religious sentiments) and not yet identified most influential contributing contemporary Buddhist religious factors. Above identifying these direct or indirect factors, it is also important to understand to what extent and how do they influence fertility, which requires a wider (inter-discipline) perspective. As proved by previous studies religion has also an influential role in health, mental state, well-being, working activity and many other components that are also related to fertility rates. All these components are inter-related, hence direct and indirect religious effects can only be well understood, if we figure out all necessary fields and their interaction. With the help of semi-structured opened interviews taking place in different countries, it was showed that indeed Buddhism has significant direct and indirect effect on fertility, hence the initial hypothesis was proved. However, the interviews showed an overall positive effect, the results could only serve for a general understanding about how Buddhism affects fertility. Evolution of Buddhism’s direct and indirect influence may vary in different nations and circumstances according to their specific environmental attributes. According to the local patterns, with special regard to women’s position and role in the society, outstandingly indirect influences could show diversifications. So it is advisory to investigate more for a deeper and clearer understanding of how Buddhism function in different socioeconomic circumstances. For example, in Hungary after the period of secularization more and more people tended to be attracted toward some transcendent values which could be an explanation for the rising number of Buddhists in the country. The present research could serve as a general starting point or a common basis for further specific national investigations how contemporary Buddhism affects fertility.

Keywords: contemporary Buddhism, cross-cultural woman, fertility, gender roles, religion

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47 An In-Depth Definition of the 24 Levels of Consciousness and Its Relationship to Buddhism and Artificial Intelligence

Authors: James V. Luisi

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Understanding consciousness requires a synthesis of ideas from multiple disciplines, including obvious ones like psychology, biology, evolution, neurology, and neuroscience, as well as less obvious ones like protozoology, botany, entomology, carcinology, herpetology, mammalogy, and computer sciences. Furthermore, to incorporate the necessary backdrop, it is best presented in a theme of Eastern philosophy, specifically leveraging the teachings of Buddhism for its relevance to early thought on consciousness. These ideas are presented as a multi-level framework that illustrates the various aspects of consciousness within a tapestry of foundational and dependent building blocks as to how living organisms evolved to understand elements of their reality sufficiently to survive, and in the case of Homo sapiens, eventually move beyond meeting the basic needs of survival, but to also achieve survival of the species beyond the eventual fate of our planet. This is not a complete system of thought, but just a framework of consciousness gathering some of the key elements regarding the evolution of consciousness and the advent of free will, and presenting them in a unique way that encourages readers to continue the dialog and thought process as an experience to enjoy long after reading the last page. Readers are encouraged to think for themselves about the issues raised herein and to question every facet presented, as much further exploration is needed. Needless to say, this subject will remain a rapidly evolving one for quite some time to come, and it is probably in the interests of everyone to at least consider attaining both an ability and willingness to participate in the dialog.

Keywords: consciousness, sentience, intelligence, artificial intelligence, Buddhism

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46 Religion and Sustainable Development: A Comparative Study of Buddhist and Christian Farmers’ Contribution to the Environmental Protection in Taiwan

Authors: Jijimon Alakkalam Joseph

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The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development claims to be a comprehensive and integrated plan of action for prosperity for people and the planet, including almost all dimensions of human existence. Nevertheless, critics have pointed out the exclusion of the religious dimension from development discussions. Care for the earth is one of the vital aspects of sustainable development. Farmers all over the world contribute much to environmental protection. Most farmers are religious believers, and studies have shown that religious ideologies influence their agricultural practices. This nexus between faith and agriculture has forced policymakers to include religion in development discussions. This paper delves deeper into this religion and sustainable development connection. Buddhism and Christianity have contributed much to environmental protection in Taiwan. However, interviews conducted among 40 Taiwanese farmers (10 male and female farmers from Buddhism and Christianity) show that their faith experiences make them relate to the natural environment differently. Most of the Buddhist farmers interviewed admitted that they chose their religious adherence, while most of the Christian farmers inherited their faith. The in-depth analysis of the interview data collected underlines the close relationship between religion and sustainable development. More importantly, concerning their intention to care for the earth, farmers whose religious adherence is ‘chosen’ are self-motivated and more robust compared to those whose religious adherence is ‘inherited’.

Keywords: Buddhism, Christianity, environmental protection, sustainable development

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45 A Narrative of Monks: Culture Heroes in Songkhla Province

Authors: Kuntalee Vaitayavanich

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This study aimed to look into roles of culture heroes of monks in Buddhism in Songkhla province during the last 50 years. Qualitative study, in-depth interviews, participatory observation and non-participatory observation were employed for this study. The results of the study indicated that culture heroes in Songkhla province would act as the followings. 1) For secular matters, monks would do something beneficial to the community. 2) For religious matters, monks would behave to follow Buddhism discipline strictly and unambitiously. At the same time, monks would not neglect to teach Buddhists to give respect to Lord Buddha by doing meditation and praying. However, when some of those culture heroes passed away, villagers in the community would show gratitude and appreciation by arranging a religious death anniversary ceremony, having icon, or having narrative to recognize those, continuously.

Keywords: narrative of monks, culture heroes, Songkhla province, social sustainability

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44 The Humanistic Buddhist Ideas of Venerable Master Hsing Yun: A Case Study of the Eighteen Arhats at the Buddha Museum

Authors: You Lu Shi

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The Sixteen Arhats evolved around the third and fourth centuries based on a discourse expounded by the great Arhat Nandimitra, the text of which was translated into Chinese by Xuanzang in the mid-seventh century. The iconographical form emerged soon after, in the ninth century. Subsequently, two more Arhats were introduced, which gave rise to the Eighteen Arhats. Today, the Eighteen Arhats at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum is not simply a recollection of the traditionally listed Eighteen Arhats; the roster includes three female Arhats as well. This paper aims to study the ideas that Venerable Master Hsing Yun envisioned when referring to these Eighteen Arhats, and what they represent in the modern world, in the context of Humanistic Buddhism. The differences between the traditional Eighteen Arhats and the new line-up erected at the Buddha Museum will be carefully examined.

Keywords: eighteen Arhats, humanistic Buddhism, Hsing Yun, Buddha Museum

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43 Static and Dynamic Analysis on a Buddhism Goddess Guanyin in Shuangyashan

Authors: Gong Kangming, Zhao Caiqi

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High-rise special-shaped structure, such as main frame structure of the statues, is one of the structure forms in irregular structure widely used. Due to the complex shape of the statue structure, with a large aspect ratio, its wind load value and the overall mechanical properties are very different from the high-rise buildings with the general rules. The paper taking a certain 48 meters high main frame structure of the statue located in Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province, static and dynamic properties are analyzed by the finite element software. Through static and dynamic analysis, it got a number of useful conclusions that have a certain reference value for the analysis and design of the future similar structure.

Keywords: a Buddhism goddess Guanyin body, wind load, dynamic analysis, bolster, node design

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42 Introduction to Buddhist Archaeology of Haryana, India

Authors: Chander Shekhar, Manoj Kumar

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The present research paper is based on the explorations and excavations of Buddhist sites of the Indian state Haryana. It is a small state in north India. Earlier it was part of greater Punjab. Haryana has a very rich ancient history right from the Stone Age. It is known as the cradle of civilization. During the Buddha period, Haryana was very prosperous. Buddha also visited this region during the travel of the northwest province of British India. In this research work, the authors describe the Buddhist trail in Haryana and the tangible heritage of Buddhism, which were built in the respect and memory of the Buddha's journey like Stupa, Monasteries, Pillar, sculptures, etc. Several stupas like Chaneti Stupa, Thanesar Stupa, Agroha stupa, Adibadri, Katrawali, Assandh Stupa, and many monasteries were come into light during the excavation and exploration in Haryana as well as a lot of Buddhist sculptures also found.

Keywords: archaeology, Buddhism, exploration, excavations, stupa

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41 The Direct and Indirect Effects of Buddhism on Fertility Rates in General and in Specific Socioeconomic Circumstances of Women

Authors: Szerena Vajkovszki

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Our worldwide aging society, especially in developed countries, including members of EU, raise sophisticated sociological and economic issues and challenges to be met. As declining fertility has outstanding influence underlying this trend, numerous studies have attempted to identify, describe, measure and interpret contributing factors of the fertility rate, out of which relatively few revealed the impact of religion. Identified, examined and influential factors affecting birth rate as stated by the present scientific publications are more than a dozen out of which religious beliefs, traditions, and cultural norms were examined first with a special focus on abortion and forms of birth control. Nevertheless, connected to religion, not only these topics are crucial regarding fertility, but many others as well. Among many religious guidelines, we can separate two major categories: direct and indirect. The aim of this research was to understand what are the most crucial identified (family values, gender related behaviors, religious sentiments) and not yet identified most influential contributing religious factors. Above identifying these direct or indirect factors, it is also important to understand to what extent and how do they influence fertility, which requires a wider (inter-discipline) perspective. As proved by previous studies religion has also an influential role on health, mental state, well-being, working activity and many other components that are also related to fertility rates. All these components are inter-related. Hence direct and indirect religious effects can only be well understood if we figure out all necessary fields and their interaction. With the help of semi-structured opened interviews taking place in different countries, it was showed that indeed Buddhism has significant direct and indirect effect on fertility. Hence the initial hypothesis was proved. However, the interviews showed an overall positive effect; the results could only serve for a general understanding of how Buddhism affects fertility. Evolution of Buddhism’s direct and indirect influence may vary in different nations and circumstances according to their specific environmental attributes. According to the local patterns, with special regard to women’s position and role in the society, outstandingly indirect influences could show diversifications. So it is advisory to investigate more for a deeper and clearer understanding of how Buddhism function in different socioeconomic circumstances. For this purpose, a specific and detailed analysis was developed from recent related researches about women’s position (including family roles and economic activity) in Hungary with the intention to be able to have a complex vision of crucial socioeconomic factors influencing fertility. Further interviews and investigations are to be done in order to show a complex vision of Buddhism’s direct and indirect effect on fertility in Hungary to be able to support recommendations and policies pointing to higher fertility rates in the field of social policies. The present research could serve as a general starting point or a common basis for further specific national investigations.

Keywords: Buddhism, children, fertility, gender roles, religion, women

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40 Fighting for Equality in Early Buddhism

Authors: Kenneth Lee

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During Buddha’s time in the 5th century BCE, the Indian society was organized by a social stratification system called “the caste system” (Skt. varna), which still exists today. The origination of the caste system can be traced back to 1500 BCE within the ancient Vedic texts of the Aryans, the Indo-European nomadic people who migrated and settled in the Indus Valley region. However, the four-tiered hierarchical nature of the caste system created inequality, privilege, and discrimination based on hereditary transmission. After renouncing his royal status as a prince, Siddhartha Gautama spent six years in the forest, practiced austerities, mastered meditation, and eventually realized enlightenment. Thereupon, now referred to as “Shakyamuni Buddha” or “sage from the tribe of Shakya who has become awake,” the Buddha founded the Sangha, a community of monks, nuns, and lay followers, where everyone was equal and treated equally. After providing a brief overview of Buddha’s time, this talk will examine Buddha’s Dharma or teachings on equality and his creation of the Sangha as “society within a society, which had a dissolving effect on society.

Keywords: equality, women, buddhism, discrimination

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39 Buddhism and Innovative Sustainable Development

Authors: Sraman Sree Mattananda

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This present article is an analytical research on ‘Buddhism and Innovative Sustainable Development.' The main purpose of researching is to the better understanding of many social science theories both in politics and in economics. And the understanding of both Buddhism and science is complementary in order to enable any individual to live a full and meaningful human life. How people can avoid conflict, socially, economically, politically and spiritually using Buddhist teachings for a sustainable development. The aim of studying is also to comprehend every human to be aware that peoples’ happiness and sorrow depends on the choices that they had taken to do what was perceptional right and wrong. Everything that happens does have a reason. This study will be supported by the supply of environmental knowledge, philosophy, and experience. Within the domestic and international cultures, this knowledge might provide a significant basis for the contemporary and the future world. Happiness and unsatisfactoriness of mind depend on the consequences of what we had already done. This is to give deep sense to adjust the nature of all that exists and desire not to attach to them and to liberate oneself leaving the reality as it is. An implicit of references will be drawn from the primary sources, secondary sources, internet sources, and other Scholar’s diamond writings, to prove the investigation of philosophical and theoretical analysis. After the investigation of philosophical and theoretical analysis, the article will demonstrate about, what Buddha advised the follows to stop over-exploitation and how to eradicate conflicts to gain a peaceful society. This will be a lively awareness in the approach to the understanding of the Buddhist view of reality and adopt with middle path. The last part of the article will concern with the Buddhist Challenge of sustaining the society and how Buddhist contemporary scholars interpret sustainable development issues. Mahatma Gandhi’s emphasize to use Buddhist Non-Violence will be demonstrating to gain peace, freedom, and security. Twelve things that concern us when we want to explore the issues of sustainability, demonstrated by A Little Book of Hope will be cleared. How individual hearts can implicate to the contemporary globe will be demonstrated to obtain healthy and practical environment. Finally, generating new awareness and care by minimizing the negative impact on earth resources will reduce the degradation of the planet which would pose a challenge to sustain Development.

Keywords: Buddhism, economic, sustainable development, Buddhist ethics

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38 The Soundscape of Contemporary Buddhist Music in Taiwan: Tzu Chi Vesak Ceremony

Authors: Sylvia Huang

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Contemporary Buddhist music has been emerged at the new forms of large-scale public Buddhist ritual ceremonies that may involve up to 10,000 participants at a time. Since 2007, the Buddha’s Birthday ceremony (Sanskrit, Vesak) by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has being held at major cities in Taiwan and many affiliated Tzu Chi offices around the world. Analysis of this modern and technologically-dependent ceremony sheds new light on the significance of music in contemporary Buddhist ritual, and also on recently enhanced and increasingly intimate connections between music and Buddhism. Through extensive ethnographic research of ten years (2007-2017), the research explores how the form of contemporary Buddhist music relates to the role of music in participants’ experience of the ritual and the way in which they construct meaning. The theoretical approach draws on both ethnomusicology and Buddhist teachings, Dharma. As soundscape is defined as the entire sonic energy produced by a landscape, the concept of soundscape is utilised to examine the contemporary ritual music in the Tzu Chi Vesak ceremony. The analysis opens new territory in exploring how analysis of Buddhist music can benefit from incorporating Buddhist philosophy within the methodological approach. Main findings are: 1) music becomes a method for Buddhist understanding through a focus in particular on how the ceremonial program is followed by music, and 2) participants engage with each other and entrain with music in the Vesak ceremony. As Buddhist sounding, such as scripture reading, liturgical chanting, and ceremonial music singing, is a sonic epistemological knowing of the conditions in which Buddhism is practiced, experienced, and transmigrated, the research concludes by showing that studies of Buddhist music have the potential to reveal distinctively Buddhist concepts, meaning, and values. Certain principles of Buddhist philosophy are adopted within ethnomusicological analysis to further enhance understandings of the crucial function of music within such a ritual context. Finally, the contemporary Buddhist music performance in the ceremony is possessed as a means of direct access to the spiritual experience in Buddhism.

Keywords: buddhist music, Taiwan, soundscape, Vesak ceremony

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37 Unifying Heidegger and Sartre: A Way via Yogācāra Buddhism

Authors: Wing Cheuk Chan

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It is well-known that Heidegger was highly critical of Sartre’s existential philosophy. In his famous “Letter on Humanism,” Heidegger not only draw a clear cutline between his thinking of Being and Sartre’s existentialism but also introduced a kind of anti-humanism. Such a hostile attitude towards Sartre’sExistentialism as Humanism seems to have created an unbridgeable gap between these them. Indeed, already in his Being and Nothingness, Sartre complained: Heidegger “has completely avoided any appeal to consciousness in his description of Dasein.”In reality, Sartre was mainly faithful to Husserlianphenomenology, in spite of his rejection of Husserl’s idealism. Thanks to the Japanese Buddhist scholar Yoshifumi Ueda’s work on the Old School of Yogācāra Buddhismas represented by Sthiramati and Paramārtha, we learn that in additional to thethesis of transforming vijñāna (knowing consciousness) into jñāna (wisdom), there is an idea of pṛṣṭa-labdha-jñāna (the subsequently acquired wisdom). According to Ueda, the latter is a “non-discriminative discrimination.” This gives rise to a possibility of synthesizing Heidegger’s thinking of Being and Sartre’s existential phenomenology. Structurally, this paper will firstshow that Heidegger focuses on the side of non-discrimination, whereas Sartre concentrates on the side of discrimination. It will then clarify in what sense thateach of them, in itself, remains incomplete. Finally, it will demonstratehow to synthesize them in term of the notion of “non-discriminative discrimination.”

Keywords: heidegger, sartre, phenomenology, yogācāra buddhism

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36 The Importance of Right Speech in Buddhism and Its Relevance Today

Authors: Gautam Sharda

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The concept of right speech is the third stage of the noble eightfold path as prescribed by the Buddha and followed by millions of practicing Buddhists. The Buddha lays a lot of importance on the notion of right speech (Samma Vacca). In the Angutara Nikaya, the Buddha mentioned what constitutes right speech, which is basically four kinds of abstentions; namely abstaining from false speech, abstaining from slanderous speech, abstaining from harsh or hateful speech and abstaining from idle chatter. The Buddha gives reasons in support of his view as to why abstaining from these four kinds of speeches is favourable not only for maintaining the peace and equanimity within an individual but also within a society. It is a known fact that when we say something harsh or slanderous to others, it eventually affects our individual peace of mind too. We also know about the many examples of hate speeches which have led to senseless cases of violence and which are well documented within our country and the world. Also, indulging in false speech is not a healthy sign for individuals within a group as this kind of a social group which is based on falsities and lies cannot really survive for long and will eventually lead to chaos. Buddha also told us to refrain from idle chatter or gossip as generally we have seen that idle chatter or gossip does more harm than any good to the individual and the society. Hence, if most of us actually inculcate this third stage (namely, right speech) of the noble eightfold path of the Buddha in our daily life, it would be highly beneficial both for the individual and for the harmony of the society.

Keywords: Buddhism, speech, individual, society

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35 The Concept of Path in Original Buddhism and the Concept of Psychotherapeutic Improvement

Authors: Beth Jacobs

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The landmark movement of Western clinical psychology in the 20th century was the development of psychotherapy. The landmark movement of clinical psychology in the 21st century will be the absorption of meditation practices from Buddhist psychology. While millions of people explore meditation and related philosophy, very few people are exposed to the materials of original Buddhism on this topic, especially to the Theravadan Abhidharma. The Abhidharma is an intricate system of lists and matrixes that were used to understand and remember Buddha’s teaching. The Abhidharma delineates the first psychological system of Buddhism, how the mind works in the universe of reality and why meditation training strengthens and purifies the experience of life. Its lists outline the psychology of mental constructions, perception, emotion and cosmological causation. While the Abhidharma is technical, elaborate and complex, its essential purpose relates to the central purpose of clinical psychology: to relieve human suffering. Like Western depth psychology, the methodology rests on understanding underlying processes of consciousness and perception. What clinical psychologists might describe as therapeutic improvement, the Abhidharma delineates as a specific pathway of purified actions of consciousness. This paper discusses the concept of 'path' as presented in aspects of the Theravadan Abhidharma and relates this to current clinical psychological views of therapy outcomes and gains. The core path in Buddhism is the Eight-Fold Path, which is the fourth noble truth and the launching of activity toward liberation. The path is not composed of eight ordinal steps; it’s eight-fold and is described as opening the way, not funneling choices. The specific path in the Abhidharma is described in many steps of development of consciousness activities. The path is not something a human moves on, but something that moments of consciousness develop within. 'Cittas' are extensively described in the Abhidharma as the atomic-level unit of a raw action of consciousness touching upon an object in a field, and there are 121 types of cittas categorized. The cittas are embedded in the mental factors, which could be described as the psychological packaging elements of our experiences of consciousness. Based on these constellations of infinitesimal, linked occurrences of consciousness, citta are categorized by dimensions of purification. A path is a chain of citta developing through causes and conditions. There are no selves, no pronouns in the Abhidharma. Instead of me walking a path, this is about a person working with conditions to cultivate a stream of consciousness that is pure, immediate, direct and generous. The same effort, in very different terms, informs the work of most psychotherapies. Depth psychology seeks to release the bound, unconscious elements of mental process into the clarity of realization. Cognitive and behavioral psychologies work on breaking down automatic thought valuations and actions, changing schemas and interpersonal dynamics. Understanding how the original Buddhist concept of positive human development relates to the clinical psychological concept of therapy weaves together two brilliant systems of thought on the development of human well being.

Keywords: Abhidharma, Buddhist path, clinical psychology, psychotherapeutic outcome

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