How does one overcome Karmic causes and conditions, thus achieving a necessary condition for Enlightenment? The Buddhist tradition has provided two complete blueprints to aid practitioners in this goal – the respective Paths of the Arhat and the Bodhisattva.
Often seen as at odds with one another, the distinction between the Arhat and the Bodhisattva is subtler than is often acknowledged. The differences center on one key question: What is the most effective way to embody the perfection of Buddhist morality? The answer to this question also colors the respective approaches to other key elements of Buddhist practice - the perfection of Meditation and the perfection of Wisdom. Based on studies of both esoteric and exoteric bodhisattva precept texts, this talk will seek to provide some tentative answers to these essential questions.
Dermott J. Walsh teaches Yoga and Buddhism within the Yoga Studies MA program at LMU. He is a Phd. Candidate in Buddhist Studies at UCLA. Dermott’s main area of interest concerns Precepts, and moral philosophy more broadly, in East Asian Buddhism. He is currently undertaking Phd. research at Komazawa University in Japan, focusing on the role of the Bodhisattva precepts in the work of Japanese monastic Myōan Eisai (1141-1215).
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