By Stephen Batchelor

On my own with Others is a uniquely modern consultant to realizing the undying message of Buddhism, and particularly its relevance in genuine human kin. It used to be encouraged through Shantideva’s consultant to the Bodhisattava’s lifestyle, the oral directions of dwelling Buddhist masters, Martin Heidegger’s vintage Being and Time, and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.

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Extra info for Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (Grove Press Eastern Philosophy and Literature)

Example text

More important than this, however, was the fact that as Tibet became more unified, the kings of Lhasa found that the old religion, Bon-po, could not contribute to their political ambitions to the same degree as could Buddhism. In addition, Tibet was coming to look beyond its own borders for the first time. During Songtsen Gampo’s reign, envoys were dispatched to India where they modified the existing Sanskrit script for use in writing Tibetan (no small feat given that the Sanskrit script is phonetic and Tibetan is a tonal language akin to Chinese).

E. , a Buddhist missionary called An Shih-kao is credited with translating Buddhist scriptures into Chinese for the first time. These translations were not of particularly high quality, since they necessitated the invention of Buddhist terms in Chinese and at first Taoist terms were used to convey Buddhist ideas. This was to lead to some intermixing of Taoist and Buddhist ideas in the Chinese mind. During these earliest days of Buddhism in China, short practical texts and handbooks on meditation, rather than long philosophical dissertations, were the first to be translated.

Both of these teachers were well known for their magical attainments, and Milarepa is recognized as the foremost poet of Tibet. The Kagyu were the first school to establish the concept of the tulku. A tulku is a highly developed monk, usually the founder of a particular order, who reincarnates and takes up residence in a new body time after time in order to resume his duties as head of his order. In much later times, the Kagyu order was one of the first to recognize the potential for expansion to Europe and America, and a number of famous modern monks such as Chogyam Trungpa and Chuje Akong belonged to this order.

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