Monthly Archives: February 2015

Awareness of Self through the Eightfold Path

I’ve become increasingly aware of how my physical surroundings affect the way I think, conduct myself, and my emotional undercurrents, as well as how each of those relate to one another. It should be obvious enough, for example, how the … Continue reading

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Emerging Gender Perspectives in Buddhist Thought

As a Smith student, it is essentially impossible to read anything without instituting some kind of gender-framework analysis, even if the text does not refer directly to the gendered aspects of the concept in question. The poems for Monday, which … Continue reading

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Buddhism and The Female Contradiction

Gethin describes the evolution of Buddhist thought and teaching as a function of existing cultural and societal mores. Particularly interesting is the contradictory role of women within this tradition. As Gethin notes the “Thengatha” (Buddhist canon) contains a number of verses that are … Continue reading

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Gender in Gethin’s “The Buddhist Community”

In his chapter, “The Buddhist Community: Monks, Nuns, and Lay Followers,” Rupert Gethin paints a broad strokes picture of the ways in which Buddhist communities have historically been organized and sustained. In the service of this effort, Gethin examines Buddhist … Continue reading

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Female Inequality in Buddhism

Above Picture: Mahaprajapati Gotami asks her stepson, Siddhartha Gautama, to allow female ordination Since its founding by Siddhartha Gautama in sixth century B.C.E., Buddhism has attracted many followers from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Yet, despite the religion’s global appeal, … Continue reading

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Everyone is Relevant

What we learned from Gethin in Chapter 4 was how the Buddhist community or Sangha was comprised of both monks/nuns and laypeople and how these two groups were mutually dependent on each other.  The Monks relied on the laypeople to … Continue reading

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The Relationship between the Laity and Monastic Community and a little bit about the Role of the Vinayas

A monks relationship to the laity is very ironic. Monks renounce the world, vowing to not pursue or crave any worldly possessions. However, it is ironic that by renouncing from worldly, activities, the monks become dependent on the world. By … Continue reading

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The Consequences of our Behaviors

My understanding of religion has always included a behavioral component. Whether through specific rules or a broad moral compass, we use religion to make choices about our behavior. Specifically, the way the Buddhist tradition addresses behavioral ethics that interests me, … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Suffering

Throughout our readings thus far in the semester, I have become very interested in the concept of suffering and the role it plays in the Four Noble Truths. In particular, I have thought most often about the impermanence of suffering, … Continue reading

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Suffering and Impermanence

In his piece “Foundations of Buddhism,” Gethin offers an approachable discussion of the Buddha’s teachings. He presents and describes the four noble truths of the Buddha: that of suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the noble … Continue reading

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