The Relatable and Extraordinary Life of Sera Khandro Dewé Dorjé

As the most prolific historical Tibetan Buddhist woman prior to the 1950s, Sera Khandro Dewé Dorjé presents a candid and nuanced female perspective on what it means to embody Vajrayana Buddhist ideals. The eloquent and subtle Tibetan prose and verse that comprises her long autobiography is as inspiring as it is intensely expressive of a range of relatable human emotions, including rage, grief, love, and humor. In this talk I will share some tastes of a project I am currently immersed in to translate the richness of both the relatable and extraordinary elements of Sera Khandro’s writing from Tibetan into English.

The Role of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Buddhist Practice by Prof. Imre Hamar

In Chinese Buddhist art, Samantabhadra, representing Buddhist practice, forms a sacred Trinity along with Mañjuśrī and Vairocana. This Trinity was inspired by the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra, translated as Huayan jing華嚴經 into Chinese, and has been a popular object of worship up to the present. This lecture attempts to give a comprehensive understanding of the depiction of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhist art and its role in Buddhist religious practice.

The Universe of Buddhist Canons

Buddhism has a multiplicity of canons. There is no agreement on the definition or range of the term ‘Buddhist canon’ or ‘Buddhist canons’—to the point that we may speak of a "loose canonicity." Buddhist scriptures are an endless universe (ananta-cakkavāḷa). Out of the galaxy of Buddhist canons, I will focus on Indic or South Asian canons and give a few close-ups of the grand tapestry of the Buddha’s words. There are many canons and many fascinating points to consider, including textual transmission, canonization, canon formation, orality and the movement from orality to writing, hermeneutics (embedded and secondary/external), classical and vernacular canonicities, intertextualities, translation and the role of translation, and so on. In the short talk I can only touch on a few of them.