Appearance and Reality: The Two Truths in Four Buddhist Systems

Appearance and Reality: The Two Truths in Four Buddhist Systems

Appearance and Reality: The Two Truths in Four Buddhist Systems

Appearance and Reality: The Two Truths in Four Buddhist Systems

Synopsis

When someone seeks to understand Buddhism, where should one start: With the elaboration on what it means to take refuge in the three jewels?

Excerpt

When someone comes to you seeking to understand Buddhism, where should you start? Should you elaborate on what it means to take refuge in the three jewels? Should you analyze the four noble truths, taking a cue from the Buddha's first sermon?

Joshua Cutler (Director of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, New Jersey) asked the Dalai Lama this question, and the Dalai Lama suggested that for many in the West today, the two truths— conventional truth and ultimate truth—is the best place to start. He argued that it is best to lead people into dharma via exposure to philosophical reasoning and analysis of the nature of reality. Based upon this advice, Joshua organized a seminar, inviting Tibetan and Western scholars to teach about the two truths in the Buddhist systems they knew best. He sent tapes of these talks to me; I listened to them carefully and was inspired by them as I wrote the first draft of this book for use at the center. Others who found value in that draft asked that I publish it.

What is Real?

When the Buddha awoke from the dream we still dream, he saw the ultimate reality of things just as they are. And yet, motivated by concern for our welfare, he worked within the world of conventional appearances, using the conventions of language to point us in the right direction. Buddhist philosophy attempts to clarify the philosophical and intellectual content of this core Buddhist story. It is a story which . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.