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 : Summer 2019
COMMENTARY 17 a necessary condition for awakening, and one important way to achieve this—as many traditional Buddhist scholars empha sized—is through rational argument and analytic meditation, we should be open to deeper understanding, whatever its source. To appreciate the ways classical Buddhist texts can challenge our thinking, we should be aware of the interpretive frame works through which we encounter them. For many of us, that means the cultural and philosophical orientations of Western modernity. Western thought can help us understand why we might find appealing a form of Buddhism that deemphasizes tradition, mythology, and ritual and valorizes psychology, cre ativity, nature, social engagement, and the affirmation of this life and the present moment. Classical Buddhist texts speak to us from outside our own discourse and challenge us to think differently; if we don’t understand our interpretive frameworks, however, we may just see a projection of our own creation. As Buddhism developed in India and spread to different cul tural contexts, Buddhist philosophers drew on new conceptual resources to articulate the dharma. Buddhism transformed and was itself transformed by every culture it permeated, as anyone familiar with the Buddhist doctrines of dependent origination and impermanence would expect. My students in Dharamsala were following in a long tradition of Buddhist scholar–monks who studied teachings outside their lineage, both Buddhist and nonBuddhist, critically evaluating and synthesizing ideas that seemed most effective for obtaining insight and transforming suffering. The Buddhism that was brought to the West by immi grants and missionaries was already hybrid, informed by a mul tiplicity of intellectual and cultural traditions. The hybridity of Asian Buddhism and Western thought might unnerve practitioners who seek a pure, authentic teach ing inherited from premodern masters, uncontaminated by the West. Admittedly, we should be wary of a Buddhism no longer rooted in tradition; faith in the Buddha, in the teachings of the Buddha, in the community of practitioners past and present, and in our own capacity for transformation is an important ele ment of the Buddhist path. But openness to the ways in which Western traditions can help us liberate the mind from confusion and respond more skillfully to sentient beings is fully in keeping with Buddhist tradition. Even as we remember that ultimately the dharma is beyond words and concepts, let us welcome the unfolding of the dharma in the West as it speaks to a new generation.