Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

How Buddhists Can Benefit from Western Philosophy

27/05/201907:13(Xem: 2298)
How Buddhists Can Benefit from Western Philosophy

How Buddhists Can Benefit

from Western Philosophy

Take a second look at Western philosophy, advises William Edelglass — it might be more compatible with Buddhism than you think. From the Summer 2019 issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly.

How Buddhists Can Benefit from Western Philosophy

Photo by Antonio Molinari.


In the early 2000s, I taught Western philosophy to Tibetan monks at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India. These monks were excited to explore new insights into questions they were already pursuing in Buddhist philosophy, and new questions they had never considered. I was recently reminded of my students in Dharamsala when a Buddhist friend asked why studying Western philosophy might be of any benefit to a contemporary practitioner.

Buddhism offers a vast tradition of philosophical and moral reflection. But traditions endure only to the degree to which they address the experience and concerns of each new generation. Our contemporary concerns include justice and inequality, navigating difference in multicultural societies, climate change, and the pervasiveness of information technology. Discerning how to speak, act, and think skillfully in our contemporary context requires us to engage with these concerns. As Buddhists, we should not be afraid of drawing on Western thought when it can help with this engagement.

In contrast to premodern Buddhism, justice has been a primary concern of Western philosophy since Plato and Aristotle. Western political theory—teaching us about human dignity and human rights—informs contemporary engaged Buddhist responses to injustice. And Western environmental philosophy informs ecobuddhism, a modern Buddhist response to a problem classical Buddhist authors never faced. Western intellectual traditions provide resources that can help us be morally attentive as Buddhists living in a world with oppressive social structures and unraveling natural systems.

But as Buddhists, we should also be open to learning from Western philosophy in areas that Buddhist traditions address in great detail, such as mind, world, and meaning. Western philosophers explored these same questions; sometimes their ideas and arguments can clarify Buddhist analyses. Since insight is a necessary condition for awakening, and one important way to achieve this—as many traditional Buddhist scholars emphasized—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 frameworks 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 de-emphasizes tradition, mythology, and ritual and valorizes psychology, creativity, 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 cultural 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 non-Buddhist, critically evaluating and synthesizing ideas that seemed most effective for obtaining insight and transforming suffering. The Buddhism that was brought to the West by immigrants and missionaries was already hybrid, informed by a multiplicity of intellectual and cultural traditions.

The hybridity of Asian Buddhism and Western thought might unnerve practitioners who seek a pure, authentic teaching 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 possibilities of transformation is an important element 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.


https://www.lionsroar.com/how-buddhists-can-benefit-from-western-philosophy/?mc_cid=81357b4bbd&mc_eid=9f63b1c5d9



Vietnamese Version (translated by Tam Huy)
https://quangduc.com/a65579/triet-ly-tay-phuong-giup-gi-cho-cac-phat-tu







Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
07/02/201907:44(Xem: 1809)
“He is truly virtuous, wise and righteous, who neither for his own sake nor for the sake of another (does any wrong), who does not crave for sons, wealth, power, or kingdom, and does not desire his own success by unjust means.”
22/12/201816:46(Xem: 1899)
Street Meditation GIA HIẾU Đọc được trên facebook của Ayya Yeshe, Sư cô viết: “….Peaceful sitting Meditation in the midst of The Christmas rush, just to show that another way is possible…”( Ngồi Thiền an tịnh trên đường phố, giữa mùa giáng sinh với nhiều hối hả, vội vàng là một cách để cho biết rằng vẫn có thể làm được…) Tôi thật sự cảm kích cái nhìn của một người tu sĩ, và là một Sư Cô người Úc, tu theo truyền thống Phật Giáo Mật Tông Tây Tạng, được biết Ayya Yeshe đã từng thực hiện những thời tu tập trên đường phố bận rộn tại New-York City và một vài nơi khác trên thế giới. Thưa, tôi không nghĩ là mình có thể ngồi Thiền một cách an nhiên được giữa trung tâm thành phố Sydney, và giữa mùa giáng sinh thật sự bận rộn như hôm nay,(21.12.2018) tại 2 địa điểm, 1./ là đường hầm của Trạm xe lửa Central, và 2 là tại Pitt Street Mall -Sydney, nơi đây hàng ngàn người tấp nập lại qua, tiếng hòa nhạc với kèn trống vang rền, người người nói cười náo nhiệt, không khí Giáng Sinh tại Sydney thật
11/12/201808:30(Xem: 3597)
Social Values-In The Metta Sutta by_Dr. Bokanoruwe Dewananda
04/12/201808:09(Xem: 5932)
Within a tree, there is a flower Within a rock, there is a flame Dedication for Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien on the ceremonial event of his 70th birthday, and 40 year-milestone for Vien Giac Temple to be established in Germany Bhikhhu Thích Nguyên Tạng Translated into English by: Dr Tâm Tịnh, Hoa Chí & Hoa Nghiêm “Within a tree, there’s a flower, within a rock, there’s a flame” is the dharma taught by Zen Master Dao, recalled by Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien during his dharmic teachings to which I had good fortune to attend in his dharma-propagating journey to the United States of America in 2006 when I acted as an assistant to him.
02/10/201807:14(Xem: 8846)
Commencing at 10:00 am on Saturday, 6th October 2018 Then every Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:30am Why do we practice meditation? Modern life is stressful and impermanent. Meditation is a way of calming the mind and help us to attain more awareness, compassion, happiness, and inner peace. Discover for yourself the inner peace and happiness that arise when your mind becomes still.
22/05/201818:16(Xem: 14888)
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/ Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.
10/10/201719:18(Xem: 3957)
Vipassana Meditation with Pannyavaro
31/07/201715:31(Xem: 3669)
"Buddhism has taken firm roots in Australia during the last few decades, due in part to people migrating to Australia from various Buddhist cultures and their 2nd generation, who either moved to Australia as children or were born there.
10/05/201701:00(Xem: 7242)
A celebration of Buddha’s 2,641st birthday was held on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at the Quang Duc Buddhist Monastery in Melbourne's northern suburb of Fawkner.
23/04/201706:15(Xem: 3158)
Tỉnh & Lặng (Awake & Tranquil) Thi kệ: TK Thích Tuệ Giác Phổ nhạc: Tâm Đức Ca sĩ: Hương Lan và Bảo Yến và Marcello Viera (tiếng Anh)