Volume 2 1995
Meditation as Ethical Activity
Despite the fact that the various Tibetan Buddhist traditions developed substantive ethical systems on the personal, interpersonal and social levels, they did not develop systematic theoretical reflections on the nature and scope of ethics. Precisely because very little attention is devoted to the nature of ethical concepts, problems are created for modern scholars who are thus hindered in making comparisons between Buddhist and Western ethics. This paper thus examines the continuity between meditation and daily life in the context of understanding the ethical character of meditation as practiced by Tibetan Buddhists. The discussion is largely limited to the practice of meditation as taught in the lam rim (or Gradual Stages of the Path).
Volume 2 1995
Cutting the Roots of Virtue: Tsongkhapa on the Results of Anger
Anger is the most powerful of the kleśas that not only “plant seeds” for suffering but also “cut the roots of virtue” for periods of up to a thousand aeons per instance. This article examines and assesses the exegesis by Tsongkhapa, founder of the Tibetan Gelukba order, of Indian sources on the topic of anger. It argues that despite Tsongkhapa’s many careful qualifications he may not be successful in avoiding the conclusion that if the sūtras are to be accepted literally, there almost certainly will be persons for whom liberation from saṃsāra is precluded.
Volume 17, 2010
Buddhism, Brain Death, and Organ Transplantation
Goldsmiths College, University of London
This article raises concerns about the degree to which potential donors are aware that their layman’s understanding of death may not be the same as that enshrined in protocols employing the criterion of brain death. There would seem to be a need for greater public education of a kind which acknowledges the debate around the practical and conceptual difficulties associated with brain death, and makes clear what the implications of a diagnosis of brain death are for the donor and his or her relatives. The remainder of the article explores the discrepancy between the modern concept of brain death and the traditional Buddhist understanding of death as the loss of the body’s organic integrity as opposed to simply the loss of its cerebral functions.