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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
summer 2016 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 77 revieWs then explains how emptiness relates to the Mahayana understandings of the two truths in India, Tibet, and China and reflects on the development of Bud- dhist philosophical traditions up to the twenty-first century. This is a lot of information to pack into a single chapter on emptiness, but Garfield manages to do so expertly, clearly indicating the most important viewpoints of each tradition and thinker and drawing on short passages from relevant texts to illustrate these points. He is careful to convey the nuances of different traditions so readers can grasp the subtleties in different perspectives, without imposing a homogeneity onto different Buddhist thinkers and tradi- tions. This presentation is particularly useful for students of Buddhism who wish to understand their own lineages in the context of the development of Buddhism as a whole. In short, Garfield does not present “Buddhist philosophy” as something monolithic; rather, he is careful to dis- tinguish between the views of different traditions and individual Buddhist mas- ters, explaining their views clearly and placing them in dialogue with each other. Garfield also brings Buddhist theories into conversation with their analogues in Western thought. In his explanations of emptiness, selflessness, interdepen- dence, ethics, and other key Buddhist ideas, Garfield refers to writings by important thinkers from Western tra- ditions, including Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Wilifrid Sellars, as well as the work of contem- porary scholars working in the study of Buddhism, the study of Western thought, and others who are attempt- ing to engage with both traditions simultaneously. The result of this cross- cultural examination, which identifies underlying assumptions and highlights blind spots, can help students of both Buddhist and Western philosophies bet- ter understand their own traditions. It is worth noting that Garfield is not attempting to show that Western and Buddhist philosophical traditions are somehow the same or even wholly compatible with one another. Indeed, there are many important differences between these traditions that ought to be understood and respected. As Garfield explains, his intention is “not to fuse philosophical traditions but rather, while respecting their distinct heritages and horizons, to put them in dialogue with one another, recognizing enough com- monality of purpose, concern, and even method that conversation is possible, but still enough difference in outlook that conversation is both necessary and infor- mative.” Through conversation, asserts Garfield, Buddhists can come to see the importance of Western philosophy—and Western philosophers can at last come to see the value in Buddhist thought. village zendo A Zen Temple in the Heart of Manhattan Daily Meditation, Workshops and Retreats Abbot Roshi Enkyo O’Hara 588 Broadway, Suite 1108 New York City villagezendo.org Upaya Zen Center summer retreats in santa fe, nm July 6–10 Rolling with Uncertainty: Koans and Writing Natalie Goldberg & Steven Heine, P July 15–17 Seminar: Ink Dark Moon Jane H ensei Kazuaki T & R oan Halifax July 19–24 Sesshin: Buddha Nature - Naturally Creative, Resourceful, and Whole Sensei Kazuaki T J rian Byrnes, & Genzan Quennell July 29–31 Calligraphy: Drawing Joy Density Sensei Kazuaki T santa fe, new mexico 505-986-8518 www.upaya.org email@example.com July Zen Circle see entire calendar, teachings, & more at upaya.org