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New PDF release: Buddhism: A Philosophical Approach

By Cyrus Panjvani

ISBN-10: 155111853X

ISBN-13: 9781551118536

This ebook philosophically introduces the fundamental truths, doctrines, and ideas of Buddhism. Its target is to give an explanation for the lessons of the Buddha and of Buddhism basically and constantly. notwithstanding the publication treads past the Buddha's lifestyles, together with into the Abhidharma and Mahayana traditions, it continues to be all through a philosophical dialogue and elaboration of the Buddha's proposal. it's intended to be an available consultant in the event you haven't any heritage in Buddhism, and to be invaluable to the philosophical knowing of these who do.

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Additional resources for Buddhism: A Philosophical Approach

Sample text

Asceticism places a great emphasis on the body, specifically on bodily denial and deprivation. This is problematic on two counts. First, overcoming attachment and craving is largely a mental achievement, requiring mental discipline. The Buddha did practice techniques of mental discipline prior to and during his ascetic period, but there was still a focus during this ascetic period on bodily denial, and this excessive focus undermines the capacity for having a clear and well-functioning mind. A clear head requires that the body be sufficiently fed.

When I thought I would touch the skin of my stomach, I actually took hold of my spine, and when I thought I would touch my spine, I took hold of the skin of my stomach, so much did the skin of my stomach cling to my spine through the little food. When I thought I would ease myself, I thereupon fell prone through the little food. 1 Eventually, after six long years of ascetic practice, Gautama was led to believe that this severe mortification was not sufficient for achieving a cessation of suffering.

In his ascetic life, he sought to narrow this gap by trying to satisfy his desires as little as possible, and thereby to rid himself of desires as much as possible. The Middle Way does not fully reject this traditional view of the source of suffering. And neither does it fully reject the ascetic approach to lessening suffering by lessening desire. Rather, it seeks to refine both this view (of suffering) and this approach (of asceticism). The gap between desired and actual states is still viewed as causing suffering, but not all desires are considered problematic.

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Buddhism: A Philosophical Approach by Cyrus Panjvani


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