This survey course provides students with an overview of the basic tenets, major figures, important developments, and the meditative principles of Buddhism. It will serve as an important foundation for the understanding of the various forms of applied Buddhism. Students will learn to appreciate the traditional Buddhist critique of our human condition and its aspiration to attain a transcendental spiritual goal. On that basis, students will also come to an understanding of the meanings behind the Buddhist practices and cultures. Such a foundation is important for the students to understand the needs for the modern developments of engaged Buddhism, Buddhist Ethics, dialogues with Western psychologists on the Buddhist view of the mind, and Buddhist contemplative care. The major Buddhist doctrines in the course are introduced through important works of scholarly studies, alongside with the reading of the English translation of passages from the Buddhist canon. This allows the students to examine the primary sources, instead of relying entirely on scholarly interpretation of the teachings. It is also important to remind students that Buddhism is not just a philosophy or a school of thought, but a spiritual tradition that emphasizes the cultivation of meditative states. Therefore, different forms of meditation are examined to see how they are employed as a means to realize the various levels of enlightened mind.
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Hours per Week: