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How to Heal the World: A Study of the Vimalakirti Sutra

Wednesdays, January 27th, 2021 - April 21st, 2021 from 4:15pm-5:45pm, ET and Zazen from 6:00pm to 7:15pm

How to Heal the World: A Study of the Vimalakirti Sutra

with Dr. Annabella Pitkin

 

Twelve Wednesday afternoons, January 27th, 2021 – April 21st, 2021
from 4:15pm-5:45pm, ET and Zazen from 6:00pm to 7:15pm

 

The Vimalakirti Sutra has delighted and fascinated readers for centuries. Filled with humor and mind-blowing special effects, it also asks questions we urgently care about today: What is the role of the bodhisattva? How can a bodhisattva help living beings who suffer with the many forms of sickness – physical, mental, emotional, social – in our world? What would it mean to try?

 

Although the sutra comes to us from many centuries ago, its concerns are fresh and relevant to us today. The Vimalakirti of the title is a lay practitioner, whose activities raise questions about lay versus monastic practice, and about wealth, privilege, exclusion, and social power.

 

The sutra also radically questions what we think we know about gender. It upends gender identity and power dynamics and suggests gender is actually mutable, a mere convention.

 

As a work of literature, the sutra is poetically beautiful, sometimes dramatic, often funny, and enjoyable to Buddhist and non-Buddhist readers.

 

In fact, storytelling, and language itself, are front and center in the sutra. Its deepest questions are about how we communicate and understand, how we use words and how we go beyond words, and how all of our senses play a role in communication, experience, and healing.

 

Open to anyone, this course is also part of the track to becoming a Formal Zen Student. To learn more about becoming a Formal Zen Student, please click here.

 

To learn more and register for this event click here.

 

About the Teacher:

Annabella Pitkin is Assistant Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions at Lehigh. She researches and writes about Tibetan, East Asian, and transnational Buddhism, exploring themes of modernity, community, power, renunciation, and yogic display. Her teaching includes courses on Buddhism and Asian religions; environmental ethics; race, sexuality and gender; life-story writing; and new technologies.

Details

Date:
January 27
Time:
4:15 pm - 5:45 pm