Week One – Overview

This week provides an overview of the Mahayana, or “Great Vehicle,” including its historical development, inspiring teachings, relationship with Foundational Buddhism, and how it organized the diversity of Buddhist traditions into the three turnings of the wheel of dharma that is the framework for this series. Subsequent developments of second turning traditions in China and Tibet are also briefly explored. 

This week you will

  • Learn the distinctive attributes of the Mahayana
  • Understand the differences between the Mahayana and Foundational Buddhism
  • Gain knowledge of the historical relationship between Foundational Buddhism and the Mahayana, and of the historical emergence of the diverse forms of the Mahayana in India, China, and Tibet
  • Understand how the Mahayana organized the diversity of Buddhism into the three turnings of the wheel of dharma and the four schools in India
  • Develop insight into the ground, path, and fruition of the Mahayana path, namely, the two truths, the two accumulations of merit and wisdom, and the two bodies of a Buddha


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