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'Skilful means' is the key principle of the great tradition of Mahayana. Buddhism. First set out extensively in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in the. Buddha's. 'Skilful Means' is the key principle of Mahayana, one of the great Buddhist traditions. First described in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in myths of the Buddha's .
Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jan 11, Fabio rated it liked it.
The book of Micheal Pye was the first one to analyze this concept and still remains the starting point of the discussion about this topic. His choice to select only Kumarajiva translations means that an important Sutra the Upaya-Kausalya Sutra is left out. Such a pity, it would have been interesting to confront this Sutra and the other discussed in the book. Alex rated it it was amazing May 22, Michael Lloyd-Billington rated it liked it May 20, Muspell rated it liked it Oct 09, Vic Cui rated it it was ok Apr 24, Michelle added it Mar 28, Iranica added it Aug 13, Cynthia marked it as to-read Oct 23, RJ added it Nov 01, Peter or Patricia Murphy marked it as to-read Feb 08, Michael Joseph Schumann marked it as to-read Aug 15, Another Lotus Sutra parable tells of a caravan leader encouraging those he guides with the vision of a phantom city in the distance.
When they have rested after reaching this city, which represents the early idea of nirvana as escape from sufferings of the world, the caravan leader informs them that the true goal, the universal liberation of all beings, remains ahead, and they must now proceed.
In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha uses skillful means based on his all-knowing eye that accurately discerns the capacities of different beings and the teachings that would benefit them.
The Abhidharma traditions are asking how to attain liberation, how to meditate, and how to think of Buddhist praxis. Metapractical reflection inquires into the purpose and efficacy of the practice in terms of these participatory and transformative functions. But his reason for doing this is because his students have taken the method for something deeper, something more mysterious and metaphysically real than it actually is. This does not mean that all Christian principles are without value, and this is where skilful means become important. Once across and about to continue the journey the person wonders whether it would be a good idea to keep the raft. One of the most colorful and illuminating representations of skillful means in Mahayana Buddhism is the bodhisattva of compassion, called Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit, Chenrezig in Tibetan, Kuan-yin in Chinese, Kwanseum in Korean, and Kannon or Kanzeon in Japanese.
But in the Avatamsaka Flower Ornament Sutra, skillful means is one of ten paramitas or transcendent practices engaged in by all bodhisattvas, not only by fully awakened buddhas. These practices are often in a list of six, ending with prajna paramita, the perfection of wisdom or insight.
But the Avatamsaka offers four more practices beyond prajna, including upaya as one of the endless modes of liberative activity for use by all Mahayana devotees. The idea of many teachings and practices applied skillfully to the single aim of spiritual awakening is an appealing approach for a modern Western understanding of the sometimes confusing abundance of Buddhist schools.
Moreover, skillful means might be a way of respecting the pluralism of all religious traditions in our contemporary global interconnectedness. All traditions may be equally respected for the value of their teachings as they apply to different peoples' particular approaches to ultimate religious truth, and to primary principles such as kindness and compassion.
Skillful means was historically the approach that allowed Chinese Buddhism to incorporate and make sense of all of the Indian Buddhist teachings. The various synthesizing Chinese Buddhist schools developed systems for classifying the whole range of teachings, called p'an-chiao in Chinese. However, the Chinese schools all used the idea of skillful means hierarchically, with their own favorite sutras at the pinnacle of their sectarian classifications, for example the Lotus Sutra for the T'ien-t'ai school and the Flower Ornament Sutra for the Hua-yen.
RJ added it Nov 01, Peter or Patricia Murphy marked it as to-read Feb 08, Michael Joseph Schumann marked it as to-read Aug 15, Jason Comely marked it as to-read Sep 18, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Michael Pye writes for a living -- as novelist, journalist, historian and sometimes broadcaster.
He is English by birth, but civilized by study in Italy and a newspaper apprenticeship in Scotland.
For twenty years he commuted between New York and Europe as a political and cultural columnist for British newspapers. He now lives with his partner John Holm in a tiny village in the forests of rural Po Michael Pye writes for a living -- as novelist, journalist, historian and sometimes broadcaster. He now lives with his partner John Holm in a tiny village in the forests of rural Portugal. He grew up in the English countryside and, in the classic English manner, was sent abroad to grow up: He returned to study history at Oxford, won various prizes and was about to become an academic when he realized that writing, and writing often, was the only thing he knew how to do.
He joined The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh during the headiest days of Scottish nationalism and in was hired by the Sunday Times in London, where he was financial reporter, editor of an Insight investigative unit and a writer and editor for the paper's Spectrum feature pages.
Things can be just too agreeable -- and predictable. In , he ran off to the Bahamas, discovering painfully that tax havens are much less attractive when you have no money in the first place, and found himself drawn more and more to New York.
Even this semi-nomadic, demi-glamorous life palled; and in he went to write in the foothills of the mountains that divide Portugal from Spain. He has published ten books, and is proud of some of them: