The Words Of The Buddha (DHS101)
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 read the Lalitavistara sutra, a Mahayana sutra that tells the story of the Buddha’s life from the time before his birth to the time of the first transmission of his enlightened realization. The sutra has been translated by the 84000 translation project as The Play in Full, and by Dharma Publishing as The Voice of the Buddha: The Beauty of Compassion in two volumes. We will read the text without much commentary, reflecting on the Buddha’s life and its relevance for us today.