using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
DAVID R. LOY 35 Bhikkhu Bodhi distinguishes between the Theravada understand- ing of transcendence, which sharply distinguishes it from our phe- nomenal world, and the Mahayana perspective, which understands transcendence to be the “inner core” of phenomenal reality. Never- theless, in his view both traditions begin by devaluing phenomenal reality. The question is whether “transcending this world” can be understood more metaphorically, as a different way of experienc- ing (and understanding) this world. Nagarjuna, the most important figure in the Mahayana tradition, famously asserted that there is not even the slightest distinction between samsara and nirvana: the kotih (limit or bounds) of nirvana is not different from the kotih of sam- sara. That claim is difficult to reconcile with any goal that prioritizes escape from the physical cycle of repeated birth and death, or tran- scending phenomenal reality. In place of a final escape from this world, with no physical rebirth into it, Mahayana traditions such as Chan/Zen emphasize realizing here and now that everything, including us, is shunya (Jpn., ku), usually translated as “empty.” Shunyata “emptiness” is thus the transcendent “inner core” of phenomenal reality that Bhikkhu Bodhi refers to. That all things are “empty” means, minimally, that they are not substantial or self-existing, being impermanent phenomena that arise and pass away according to conditions. The implications of this insight for how we engage with the world can be understood in different ways. It is sometimes taken in a nihilistic sense: nothing is real, therefore nothing is important. Seeing everything as illusory discourages social or ecological engagement. Why bother? Traditional Buddhism focuses on individual dukkha due to one’s individual karma and craving. Collective karma and institutional causes of dukkha are more difficult to address, both doctrinally and politically.