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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
LoriParsons 87 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly LoriParsons tastes like. While this is not the actual experience, it is knowledge about it. Another possible source of knowl- edge is trusted authority. Much of what you know, you learned from people or institutions you respect: a science teacher, a parent, the New York Times, Buddhadharma, or a scripture, such as the Snickers Bar Sutra, where the Bud- dha said, “Oh monks, I will teach you about the Snickers bar. I will teach you about the taste of the Snickers bar. Oh monks, the Snickers bar is nutty and creamy and delicious.” This knowledge does not come from direct experience, or from your own reasoning, but depends on someone else’s understanding. Still another way of knowing is through analogies to things you’ve already experienced. You might learn about the taste of a Snickers bar if you were told that it tastes like a Milky Way, only nutty and crunchy. It is easy to see that the knowledge that arises from direct experience is very different from the knowledge that arises from inference, trusted authority, or analogy. Direct experience produces vivid, nonconceptual knowledge of its objects. The others give rise to general, conceptual understanding. This is like the difference between seeing a movie and reading a review. No matter how well the review is written, it will never provide the rich visual and audial experi- ence of the actual movie. In addition to helping us understand clearly the nature of the different types of cognition, pramana clarifies what makes particular types of cognition valid or mistaken, untangles the complicated relationship between perception and con- ception, and explains how we combine these two ways of knowing to accom- plish things in the world. By studying and contemplating these teachings, and meditating within this understanding, we can begin to sort through our experience to see what is valid knowledge and what is confusion. Eventually, with the aid of our careful investigation, we can give rise to valid cognitions of impermanence and selflessness, and the actual cause of suffering and happiness. MahaSangha News Calendar of Events Sun Events Find A Center Buddhadharma Home Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events MahaSangha News Calendar of Events Sun Events Find A Center Buddhadharma Home Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Calendar UP-TO-DATE LISTINGS OF BUDDHIST-INSPIRED PROGRAMS AND EVENTS MahaSangha News Calendar of Events Find A Center Buddhadharma Home Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Ca Ca Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Ca Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events le Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events nd Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Shambhala Sun Home SunSpace Blog Sun Events Now Online and Updated Daily News from Buddhist communities across North America In addition to the top Buddhist news and culture stories in this issue, all the Buddhist news you’ve been enjoying in Buddhadharma is now online and updated daily. Visit MahaSanghaNews.com to follow the latest news of friends and Buddhist communities across North America. Sun Home SunSpace ADD AND SHARE YOUR NEWS! MahaSangha News LOG IN HERE And, on our new Calendar, you’ll find programs and events from all corners of the Buddhist- and meditation-inspired world. Visit shambhalasun.com/calendar So ... Add Your News & Events! Have a personal or community news item to share, or an event to promote? Just log in and post to Mahasangha News or Calendar. It’s a great way to spread the word about a special project, accomplishment, program, or event — and your postings make a rich resource for all readers coming to Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma websites. Just click the Log In buttons on our MahaSangha News and Calendar pages and follow the prompts. MahaSanghaNews.com shambhalasun.com/calendar