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Explore Buddha's teachings

Beyond the Mat

Who is Buddha and why are his teachings referred to time and again?

The historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, sage of the Shakya clan lived in the age of the evolving yoga traditions known as the Shramanas. As part of those traditions of "great exertion" we consider the life and legend of the historical Buddha and his contemporaries as an alternative and counterpoised vision to the legacy of the Veda.
1 60 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Buddhist tradition fastens the consequences of our existent to our intentions and actions. Here we explore the way the concept of karma and its relationship to ethical behavior in the Buddhist tradition. Why is moral superiority associated with the path to awakening? What is the relationship between intentions and actions and why is morality a feature of the process of death and rebirth? Here we discuss the particular claims of early Buddhist traditions and create a foundation for a more sophisticated ethical philosophy.
1 30 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Buddhism foretells changes that promise the presence of a future salvific force, a Buddha called Maitreya that will emerge to evolve skillfully the teachings that lead us to enlightenment. From the earliest sources the future Buddha Maitreya plays a critical role in Buddhist teachings, inviting us to think about what has come before us, where we are today, and what we will need in the future.
1-2 30 Dr. Douglas Brooks
The concept of upaya or skillful means is one of the most critical concepts in Buddhist tradition. Not only does upaya explain innovation and development in teachings, it advances the notion that to be an enlightened being one must become assiduously resourceful and exigent to a world that requires our mindful engagements. Here we explore upaya as it is developed in early Buddhism and how this idea is used to explain the experience that creates Buddhas and distinguishes their abilities as we progress on the path of resourceful action and contemplation.
1-2 60 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Nagarjuna's Teachings - The emergence of the so-called Greater Vehicle or Mahayana teachings center on the Path of Perfection and a new body of canonical teachings. The philosopher Nagarjuna is a pivotal character in the development of these teachings and part of the revolution of thought that evolves concepts of bodhisattva and Buddha, death and rebirth, as well as bondage and liberation. Here we begin to develop the foundations of Mahayana Buddhism by focusing attention on Nagarjuna's work and legend.
1-2 60 Dr. Douglas Brooks
From the outset, the traditions surrounding the historical Buddha have included the lore of past lives as preparation and prelude to the birth of the bodhisattva, the Buddha-to-be. How do Buddhist traditions explain death and rebirth? Why is it so important for Buddhists to learn from these stories of past lives? What significance do these stories play for the development of both Buddhist teachings and claims about enlightenment?
1 30 Dr. Douglas Brooks

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