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Philosophy/Music: Japanese Buddhism

by: Stephanie Scott

Philosophy/Music: Japanese Buddhism PHL 394 12

Stephanie Scott
Washington College
GPA 3.92
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About this Document

Notes covering the introduction to the Heart Sutra and discussion regarding emptiness/boundlessness
Performing Japanese Buddhism
Dr. McCollum
Class Notes
philosophy Buddhism religion noble truth paths dependent arising, Japanese, Heart, philosophy, performance




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephanie Scott on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 394 12 at Washington College taught by Dr. McCollum in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Performing Japanese Buddhism in Philosophical / Religious / Ethical Perspectives at Washington College.

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Date Created: 09/21/16
PHL/MUS 394 10 9/20/2016 Notes The Heart Sutra: Terms and Emptiness Housekeeping: - Identify project focus (volunteering, shakuachi, zazen, or a combination thereof) and let McCollum know by Thursday - Try and make an effort to attend zazen, and work on memorizing the heart sutra Discussion: Silence and Exhaustion - We are tired all the time because we have to perform various roles, such as student or professor - Also have stressors that we feel compelled to hide from others - Silence allows us to stop performing the “dutiful friend” or “perfect student” and provides a way to consider emptiness and interconnectedness - Some translations of emptiness equate it to ‘boundlessness’ Hildegarde’s Poem: Discussion - Hidlegarde was a famous Frankish/Germanic woman who was considered a mystic, pioneer for research medicine, mystic, composer, poet, and saint - Her poem describes lack of connectedness totalitiy, “polluting” the eart and air - Poem evokes imagery of almost urban city setting “the air belching…” and people not speaking - Also seems similar to environment protection of today o Poem could’ve been written now instead of 10,000 years ago - “sky is full of mountains and mountains within mountains” Do-Gen Second Poem by Black Elk (native American) - demonstrates that Buddhism and its thought is not isolated in east Asian culture - similar themes as would be seen in a Buddhist practice - “oneness” with all things Heart Sutra: - generally considered the most important sutra - Emptiness/Boundlessness o Effect and cause are the sme thing, they are one…”it’s a function” o The heart sutra expresses uddhism’s most profound topics, thngs are not two they are one o Cutting self off from the rest of existence, we resist any idea that we lack a separate self  Evertyhignwe’ve wsaid has already been said, everything is one and we make the illusion in our mind that things are separate  For example: all Aspen tres in a forest are actually one tree with thousands of shoots o The heart sutra tells us that all is “sunyata” or empty/boundless o Emptiness is in fact fullness with all things  Emptiness does not mean “void”, it is something full - Comforting Knowledge? o Thuoghts, feelings, likes, dislikes and all other mental phenomeon are likewise the result of many external conditions which are quite beyond oout control/ knowledge o Vuddhism= you’re already saved/perfect  This concept can be seen as negative from the western perspective since there is nothing to aspire to  Buddhism believes in getting riid of desire because it is a useless pursuit  You already have everything you need in this moment so there is nothing to desire or hope for o Question: How do you hold off being a Buddha if everyone is already a Buddha?  Food for thought, no answer provided, it’s a Co-on o Knowledge of emptiness liverates us from guilt/sorrow  Metnl phenomenon in our head that causes stress and external codnitinos out of our control, but doesn’t absolve us from responsibility for our actions o Knowledge of emptiness allows us to practice mindfulness and see hw mental pgeonomenon arise and pass away o Zazen= focusing on something and allowing time to slow, sometimes you have ‘bad sits’ or ‘sucky zen’, and you end up dwelling on negative exernalities  Need to acknowledge the stress and distractions and let them go, which takes a lot of practice (prayer itself is a performance that requires practice) Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva: Bodhisattva= being who has achieved enlightenement but chooses to remain in the world helping others - Similar in concept to the Catholic Saints (bur they are not necessarily real people) - Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva from Mahayana tradition known for compassion o He/she s depicted with ‘1000 hands’ to help all - In China, Avalokiteshvara is known as Kuan-yin and in Japan as Kannon or Zanzen - At heart though all Busdhas are ideas Prajna Paramita: - NOT a person, is transcendant wisdom Prajna Paramita= (Sanskrit word) refers to perfected way of seeing nature and reality 5 Conditions of Humans (Skandas): - Forms of sensation and awareness - Japan has two main disciplines (Renzai and Soto) that differ somewhat on these - 5 Agreggates (skandas) are (within the Pali): materal form (rupa), feeling or sensation (vedana) perception (sanna) and mental formations (sankara) o for example: 5 sense plus phenomenon/the mind - we live in illusion so we have to work hard at accpetin that our concept of ‘self’ doesn’t exist (aka we don’t exist) since everything is constantly changing o Food For Thought: emptiness is a blank sheet of paper, why?  The paper is all things, made of nutrients from the earth that came from the dead of thousands of years ago, trees and stardust; thought, everything. We use paper all the time, it is everything and has boundless potential Skriputra= one of Buddha’s disciples, famous for his wisdom Dharma=has many meanings, sometimes refers to the Buddha’s teaching, underlying lessons which a teaching expresses - In the context the heart sutra is means any compound thing/phenomenon No Eye Ear Nose or Tongue: - Words ideas and concepts tie us up in knots - When we see ourselves without lables we are finally liberated - Yet the world we live in gives values to ideas and concepts Ignorance Old Age and Death: - Teachings on dependent existence - Birth brings with it bodily sensations of pleasure and pain. - When we are ignorant, we fall into desire, then to rebirth, which leads to a new life in which we grow old and die in an endless cycle - Break the chain of dependent origination by giving up desire then achieving wisdom No Suffering: - 8-fold path, often depicted as a flower/8-petaled lotus o Buddhism likes ro adopt imagry from everywhere. Many consider Jesus to be a Buddha o Buddhism is non-theist, it’s a way of living, so it doesn’t exlude anything o Buddha wasn’t Buddhist and christ wasn’t Christian Anuttara-samyah-sambodhi= (Sanskrit) means “supreme enlightened being” Gate gate paragate parasamgate= go hurry wuickly Svaha= amen Bodhi= wisdom


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