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Rambles Around the Yogachara: Talk 1

by Subhuti

This is the first in a brilliant four-part series by Subhuti on the Yogachara school of Buddhist philosophy, which provides a comprehensive psychological overview of the workings of 'consciousness'. This talk introduces the whole (complex!) subject with an admirable easy humour, leading us through the mazy twists and turns of the mind. We won't even try to sum it up here - listen and marvel in an appropriately bewildered kind of way...

Please note, theses 'rambles' were given without notes and may contain quotational misrememberings and inevitable slips of the tongue!

Talk given at London Buddhist Centre, 2003

This talk is part of the series Rambles Around the Yogachara.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Introduction to the Yogachara; philosophy and experience in Buddhism (6:16) 
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2. Asanga and Vasubandhu; The Thirty Verses on Mere Experience; vijnaptimatrata - experience only (7:01) 
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3. Questioning our assumptions about experience; grasper and grasped - subject and object (6:26) 
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4. Misinterpretation of experience and suffering; in-built assumptions; happiness (4:41) 
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5. Two aspects - inward perceiving, outward perceived; ideas about what's there; mindfulness (5:37) 
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6. Experience, ideas, memory, self; why is the impression of subject and object so strong? (6:16) 
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7. A psychological model of how we come to experience the way we do; three phases of mind - resultant, thinking or discriminating, object perceiving; a cyclical process (6:44) 
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8. Karma with a twist - two aspects of consciousness, ethical and cognitive; habitual misinterpretation and ethics; alaya vijnana, manas, sense consciousness; twofold grasping (perfume - vasana); an overview (8:17) 
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9. Clarifications - the nature of the basic mistaken view; why we act unskilfully; shila (sila), samadhi and prajna - how they affect the manas; twofold grasping within skilful mental states (9:54) 
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10. The notion of vijnana through the ages; were Vasubandhu's ideas new? Correlation with the nidana chain (3:48) 
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11. Ways of talking about subject and object; scientific materialism and mind only; questions and understandings; the twofold grasping and sense consciousness (8:20) 
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12. Western philosohical and mystical terms - the difficulties of analogy; Kant in relation to Yogachara (3:54) 
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13. How to navigate all this; another presentation of the Middle Way; examining experience and interpretation; everything arising within experience (4:09) 
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14. Alienated and integrated awareness; manas as klishto-manovijnana; modifying our way of experiencing consciousness; western culture and eastern models - shila (sila) (10:58) 


Total running time: 1:32:21

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