Volume 30, 2023
Lta sgom spyod gsum: A Tibetan Approach to Moral Phenomenological Praxis
Colin H. Simonds
Queen’s University at Kingston
This article unpacks the Tibetan framework of lta sgom spyod gsum, or view, meditation, action, and relates it to the Buddhist ethical project of moral phenomenology. It first investigates how the framework has been defined and used both descriptively and practically in Tibetan primary texts. It then nuances this usage by identifying key aspects of its deployment in Tibetan contexts, including how view is prioritized among the three limbs, how the unity of view and action is the intended fruition of practice, and how there is a specific order of operations in its implementation. This article then relates lta sgom spyod gsum directly to the ethical project of moral phenomenology and demonstrates how it can be mobilized as the practical arm of this unique¬ly Buddhist ethical theory. Thus, this article presents a robust reading of lta sgom spyod gsum in Tibetan Buddhist contexts, contributes to the ongoing development of the ethical theory of moral phenomenology, and provides further avenues for engaging the Tibetan Buddhist ethical tradition with the moral issues facing us today.