Reading the Sutras: In the Words of the Buddha (DHS101)
Wednesdays, 7:00–8:30 PM, PST (2/17/2021 to 4/7/2021)
Reading the Sutras is an ongoing course that can be joined by anyone interested in learning about the essential sutras in the Buddhist tradition, particularly the Mahayana sutras. We read sutras not as historical texts but as a practical encounter with the teachings of the Buddha. Our goal is to develop a respect for the sutra tradition and to foster an internal examination of how these texts can speak to our twenty-first century experience. This term we study selections from the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra, particularly from the last chapter called the Gandavyuha Sutra. This chapter describes the spiritual journey of the pilgrim Sudhana as he visits various bodhisattvas and is instructed on the path to full and complete buddhahood. Sudhana’s journey can be our journey toward awakening. Each encounter with the bodhisattvas reveals deeper meaning of the Mahayana path.
Instructors: Pema Gellek and Hugh Joswick