The Awakening of Faith in Mahayana: Retreat with Bhante Dhammadipa
Retreat with Bhante Dhammadipa: The Study of Mahayana Shraddhotpada Shastra (Attributed to Ashvaghosha)
In the Mahayana tradition, one is encouraged to combine Shamatha and Vipassana even before realizing the Ultimate Reality. In the non-dual tradition, Shamatha is the base for the penetration of the non-dualistic nature of the mind. This penetration is done either on the Alaya tradition, or on the basis of the Buddha-nature tradition. Both are traced back to the teachings of the Bodhisattva Maitreya.
In this course, Bhante Dhammadipa will explore Shamatha practice from the point of view of Buddha-nature (Tathagatagarbha), explained with reference to Alaya or store-consciousness. We will discover meditation as the base for insight into the non-dual nature of mind, the mind which is pure and always present, and the application of this method in understanding not only the Zen tradition, but also Tibetan Vajrayana (Dzogchen / Mahamudra).
The Awakening of Faith in Mahayana is a text attributed to Ashwaghosha, who was clearly a Shravastivada poet and philosopher. In the Chinese tradition this text is widely studied as the philosophical foundation of the Zen tradition, and it is also related to the Pure land tradition.
This retreat is suitable for those with some knowledge of Buddhism and some experience in the practice of meditation.
About the Teacher: Bhante Dhammadipa was born in Czech Republic, where he studied Chinese literature and philosophy. He later pursued his studies in Jerusalem, Berlin and Paris, before enrolling at the Nalanda University in India to study Sanskrit and Buddhist philosophy. He then lived in Japan, Sri Lanka and Burma, studying and practising as a Buddhist monk under renowned contemporary masters of Buddhism. One of his principal teachers was the Burmese meditation master Pa Auk Sayadaw, who recognised him as his first Western disciples qualified to teach meditation. Today, he is one of the foremost teachers of Shamatha meditation. He has taught the Dharma extensively, in both theory and practice, and led students in meditation retreats in Europe, North and South America, India, China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia.
Bhante Dhammadipa was instrumental in developing the outreach project, Jetavan, in collaboration with Godavari Biorefineries Ltd and the Centre for Buddhist Studies at KJSIDS, Mumbai.