3 Mahayana Buddhism

Here you can download handouts for a six-week course introducing the various schools of Mahayana Buddhism. The handouts were provided by Achala from New Zealand. Please note that Achala says they all need further improvement! You can help in this and send your improvements to the Dharma Teaching Coordinator, here.

  1. The Emergence of Mahayana Buddhism. [This part of the course most urgently needs re-consideration. While it contains some useful notes and seminar extracts on the notions of the arhat and the bodhisattva, in its historical description of early Buddhism it is very much outdated. for the time being teachers are advised to replace (or integrate) this handout with handout 2.1 from Sagarashosha’ introductory Buddhism course which you can download here.
  2. The Bodhisattva: Bodhisattvas as historical and archetypal figures; an ideal to be practised; the Bodhisattva ideal in Buddhist literature; quotations from Sangharakshita and questions to think about.
  3. The Wisdom Schools: sunyata; about the Diamond Sutra; how much ‘reality’ can we bear?; quotations and questions.
  4. Yogacara and Zen: Yogacara; Cittamatra; Chan/Zen; some examples of Zen-poetry.
  5. Pure Land, Hua-yan, and Vajrayana: introductions and text extracts to each of these branches of Buddhism.
  6. The Unity of Buddhism: Buddhahood and Enlightenment; Going for Refuge; conditionality and the three laksanas.

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