[Bonus] The Philosophical Evolution of an Individual through all the Four Schools of Indian Buddhism, Culminating in the Great Perfection. In 45 minutes.

06 Jun 2010

Yes, this is an ambitious title but as always the podcast episode does not fail to deliver the goods. However, I really won’t even try to summarize all of Buddhist Philosophy in two paragraphs. I know I always say that but really, this time there is just no point and not enough space for me to do that. However, I will give you a few things :)

The lecture started with what to do when we encounter strong negative emotions, attitudes, and mental states after the retreat, and this was weaved with a question about the relationship of Chitamattra and Dzogchen. Instead of giving a brief conceptual comparison, Alan rolls back and looks at a sequence of ways of viewing reality, fully engaged with a way of practice. He works with Sanskrit-language based schools: Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Chittamatra, and Madhyamaka, and ends with a brief overview of The Great Perfection (Dzogchen).

Alan makes this very relevant regardless of personal interest in Buddhism, and clearly explains the ways of viewing the physical, appearances, systems of measurement, qualia, references, perception, the mind, awareness, “what do you really know,” and just all of reality from evolving points of view. Somewhere in the middle, there is a brief detour into the “lack of competition” that resulted in materialism taking over the mind sciences. I will honestly say that I do not consider myself well-versed in Buddhist philosophy, and this episode was extremely enlightening and helped me clearly understand the different views of the Indian Buddhist schools, culminating in the beauty of the Dzogchen view.

So that’s all you’ll get from me! I very highly recommend this episode.

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