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Living Yogācāra: An Introduction to Consciousness-Only Buddhism

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  15 Ratings  ·  1 Review
Yogācāra is an influential school of Buddhist philosophy and psychology that stems from the early Indian Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition. The Yogācāra view is based on the fundamental truth that there is nothing in the realm of human experience that is not interpreted by and dependent upon the mind.

Yogācāra Buddhism was unable to sustain the same level of popularity as other B
Paperback, 153 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Wisdom Publications (first published 2001)
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Doug M
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a rare insight into the once broad and influential Yogacara school of Buddhism that predominated much of East Asian Buddhism (and late Indian Buddhism as well). Yogacara has largely faded, but still maintains a small presence in Japan in such temples as Kofukuji in Nara. While the school has largely disappeared, it's particular interpretation to the mind and how it perceives the world still has much influence in Buddhism, particularly Zen.

I liked this book because it was a gentle ov
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Venerable Tagawa Shun'ei is Abbot of Hossō Zen Temple of Kōfukuji, a World Heritage cultural site, in Japan's Nara Prefecture
“We carry out our lives assuming ourselves to be something substantial and unchanging, and we become deeply attach[ed] to this assumed self (this attachment is known in Sanskrit as ātma-grāha). But we attach to more than simply a notion of a self. We also reify the things that we see, hear, and think, into substances, and attach to them as well. This is called attachment to dharmas (Skt. dharma-grāha). Among these two attachments, it may be the case that we can earnestly reflect and bring ourselves to the awareness of our attachment to self, making an effort to avoid it. But attachment to dharmas occurs at such a subtle level that stemming it based on conscious reflective awareness is practically impossible for most people. We grasp at all dharmas (all phenomena), despite the fact that they are nothing more than a provisional combination of elements according to certain conditions. Taking these as the framework created from our past experiences, along with accordance to our individual circumstances, we see, hear, and think. When we regard the content of such seeing, hearing, and thinking to be accurate, attachment to dharmas ends up being far more difficult to come to reconcile than attachment to self. How do you deal with something that is virtually unnoticeable? This attachment to dharmas engenders the cognitive hindrances (jñeya-āvaraṇa), while attachment to self engenders the afflictive hindrances
(kleśa-āvaraṇa). Nirvāṇa is said to manifest based on the removal of the afflictive hindrances, while bodhi is obtained by the elimination of the cognitive hindrances.”
“We live our lives based on the assumption that we directly perceive, and are accurately interpreting, objects with a fair amount of accuracy. Since we naturally assume that we are apprehending objects of cognition as best as possible, it does not occur to us that we are purposely twisting the object before our eyes to fit our own convenience.” 1 likes
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