Contemplating Contemplation: Another Look at Meditation in Indian Buddhism
UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures' Graduate Colloquium Series, in partnership with the Center for Buddhist Studies, presents a talk by J. Wayne Bass.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Royce Hall 243
Many Western scholars have taken it for granted that meditation lies at the heart of Buddhist religious life and has been practiced by monks throughout history for the attainment of nirvana or some other ultimate felicity. But is this view warranted by the disciplinary codes, vinaya in Sanskrit, upon which the life of the Indian monastic community was presumably structured? This presentation centers on a reading of the Posadhavastu, one such vinaya text. The Posadhavastu provides a pointed (and often humorous) foil to the presumption that contemplative practice was the defining aspect of Indian Buddhist monastic life.