We will have our normal practice, which includes meditation, recitation of the precepts, and chanting. We will also have a dharma talk on, and a discussion of, the book A Concise History of Buddhism by Andrew Skilton. This is the second of the three practices in which we'll be studying this book.
An enticing synopsis of A Concise History of Buddhism says:
Buddhism is a widely diverse religion, with many traditions handed down through the centuries. The newcomer seeking to understand the sometimes contradictory spiritual texts can find it daunting. A Buddhist and professor at Oxford University now unravels these varied religious threads and creates a wonderfully clear and compact look at Buddhist history. From the ancient Indian context to Buddhism in countries beyond, from the Mahayana sutras to Tantra, it presents an account of the religion's development up through the 19 the century, its doctrines and its schools. But the study also covers the context in which Buddhism developed, the external events that had an impact on the religion. Using the most recent scholarship available, it reflects on the Buddha and his teachings, the paths to awakening, the development in the Sangha, the Tripitaka and the Abhidharma, the end of Buddhism in India, and the practice of Buddhism all throughout Asia. A truly enlightening guide.
We will cover this book over three practices. The dates, sections and subjects we'll cover are:
1/18/2020 Part 1, Buddhism in India, Chapters 1-9 (Ancient context - Tripitaka)
2/1/2020 Part 1, Buddhism in India, Chapters 10-18 (Abhidharma - End of Buddhism in India)
2/15/2020 Part 2, Buddhism Beyond India, Chapters 19-28 (Sri Lanka - Persia)