PRESS RELEASE / Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies
Invitation to the BUDDHIST ACADEMY (Canadian and Global)
This year marks the 2600th WESAK Anniversary of the Buddha’s Sambodhi ‘Enlightenment’ (an event recognized by the UN)
Rejuvenate your personal saddha* to the Buddha and his Dhamma, by sharing your thoughts, in 600 words or less, on the following:
“What does the Buddha mean to me personally, and how will Buddhism carry me into the 27th (Buddhist) century?”
It is expected that your submissions will be published ONLINE as a Special Supplement or Monograph of the Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies.
Please send your submissions to:
Prof. Suwanda H J Sugunasiri, Founding Editor, Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies
DEADLINE: June 30, 2011
* A Buddhist practitioner with saddhā can be an objective Professor of Buddhist Studies:
The received wisdom, and fashionable stance, in Religious Studies is that a practitioner of religion cannot be an objective scholar. On the contrary, when it comes to Buddhism, the better the practitioner one is, the more authentically knowledgeable a Professor one can be!
The ultimate goal for the Buddhist practitioner is liberation from the life-cycle of samsāra, and this is to be gained through, literally, ‘seeing and understanding reality as it is’ (yathābhūta ñāõa dassana). The key term is ‘understanding’, not belief. And while the study of texts, critical studies, research and teaching may be helpful in arriving at this knowledge, the Buddha is unequivocal that there is no better way to gaining knowledge than through personal practice – meditation (samādhi), grounded in self-discipline (sīla), guided, as laity, by the Five Training Principles (a.k.a. Precepts): to abstain from taking life, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, harmful language and negligence with respect to alcohol. To the extent that a Buddhist is by definition a practitioner, albeit strung on a continuum, a Buddhist Academic is no exception. Meditation is the very empirical basis for objectivity that helps make for a better Buddhist scholar, in a sense deeper than understood in the Academy (see Sugunasiri, 2010).
In general, working within a materialist milieu, the practicing Buddhist scholar, both in the West and elsewhere in imitation, has for the most part kept her/his personal commitment private. The envisioned collection is intended to encourage Buddhist scholars, Canadian and Global, to come open about their practice (as more and more scholars are beginning to do), in particular making themselves a model to a growing generation of future Buddhist leaders, and to the society at large. Additionally, by providing a living counter example to the received wisdom, your contribution could also serve as a basis for theoretical advancement.
Suwanda H J Sugunasiri, May 2011
Sugunasiri, Suwanda H J, 2010, “‘Against Belief’: Mindfulness Meditation (satipaññhāna bhāvanā) as Empirical Method”, Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies, Number Five, pp. 59-96 (http://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/cjbs/article/view/12186).
Please send your comments, if any, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. And may you be well!
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