Cambodian Buddhism: History And Practice by Ian Charles Harris

By Ian Charles Harris

The examine of Cambodian faith has lengthy been hampered by way of an absence of simply available scholarship. This outstanding new paintings via Ian Harris hence fills an incredible hole and gives English-language students a book-length, up to date therapy of the non secular facets of Cambodian tradition. starting with a coherent heritage of the presence of faith within the state from its inception to the current day, the ebook is going directly to provide insights into the specific nature of Cambodia's vital but ignored manifestation of Theravada Buddhist culture and to teach the way it reestablished itself following nearly overall annihilation in the course of the Pol Pot interval.
Historical sections disguise the dominant function of tantric Mahayana ideas and rituals below the final nice king of Angkor, Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1220); the increase of Theravada traditions after the cave in of the Angkorian civilization; the effect of overseas affects at the improvement of the nineteenth-century monastic order; and politicized Buddhism and the Buddhist contribution to an rising feel of Khmer nationhood. The Buddhism practiced in Cambodia has a lot in universal with parallel traditions in Thailand and Sri Lanka, but there also are major changes. The ebook concentrates on those and illustrates how a exceptionally Cambodian Theravada constructed by way of accommodating itself to premodern Khmer modes of notion. Following the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk in 1970, Cambodia slid swiftly into illness and violence. Later chapters chart the removal of institutional Buddhism lower than the Khmer Rouge and its sluggish reemergence after Pol Pot, the recovery of the monastic order's prerevolutionary institutional varieties, and the emergence of latest Buddhist groupings.
Cambodian Buddhism: heritage and Practice synthesizes an immense variety of scholarship (most of it in French), complemented via the author's personal fieldwork in smooth Cambodia. the result's a wide-ranging, well-documented, and accomplished account of a missed Southeast Asian culture.

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Conversely, if we see ourselves as superior to others, then while outwardly disdainful of hardship, we are tormented by humiliation when it defeats us. We 4 3 STEPHEN- BATCHELOR shun the friendship of those who might help dispel the conceit that traps us in yet another cycle of anguish. Self-confidence is not a form of arrogance. It is trust in our capacity to awaken. It is both the courage to face whatever life throws at us without losing equanimity, and the humility to treat every situation we encounter as one from which we can learn.

Something in us insists on a static self, a fixed image, impervious to anguish, that will either survive death intact or be painlessly annihilated. immediacy of life is as deepseated as it is relentless. Even with the ardent desire to be aware and alert in the present moment, the mind flings us into tawdry and tiresome elaborations of past and future. This craving to be otherwise, to be elsewhere, permeates the body, feelings, perceptions, will—consciousness itself. aftershock of having erupted into existence.

Even if our aim in life is to be totally in the here and now, free from past conditioning and any idea of a goal to be reached, we still have a clear purpose—without which life would be meaningless. A purpose is formed of words and images. And we can no more step out of language and imagination than we can step out of our bodies. STEPHEN- T H E PROBLEM IS B A T C H E L O R not that we lack resolve, but that it so often turns out to be misplaced. The meaning-laden feelings do not last. We resolve to become wealthy and famous, only to discover in the end that such things are incapable of providing that permanent well-being we initially projected onto them.

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