An interview with Bhikkhu Bodhi
Is it true that you have decided to re-settle in this country?
I originally intended to stay in the U.S. only as long as necessary to treat the headache and then return to Sri Lanka. Over the past few months, however, two thoughts grew increasingly compelling in my mind: first, that I should be closer to my father in his old age; and second, that I might be able to contribute more to the Dhamma here in America than in Sri Lanka. At the beginning of this year I formally retired as editor for the Buddhist Publication Society, and thus I no longer felt obliged to reside in Sri Lanka.
During my first six weeks in the U.S. I had been staying in the crowded and bustling New York Buddhist Vihara. In July I met by chance an old Chinese Dharma master and his translator, a young Chinese-Canadian monk, who invited me to visit their monastery in New Jersey. I expected it to be a busy devotional temple in a run-down urban ghetto, but to my pleasant surprise it turned out to be a serious study monastery located on quiet and spacious grounds in rural New Jersey, with wooded hills all around and herds of deer grazing on the lawns. Master Jen Chun and I took an immediate liking to each other, and he invited me to stay as long as I wish.
So you will live as a Theravada monk in a Chinese Mahayana monastery?
In ancient India it was not rare for monks of different Buddhist schools to dwell peacefully in the same monastery. I have found Master Jen Chun to be one of the most admirable monks I have ever known: vastly learned, with profound understanding of Buddhism, yet utterly simple, humble, and selfless; strict in discipline yet always bubbling with laughter and loving kindness. He is, moreover, an authority on the Agamas, a body of literature in the Chinese Tripitaka that corresponds to the Pali Nikayas. Thus I find his approach quite congruent with my own. He has asked me to give teachings at the monastery on the Pali suttas and the Pali language, and the resident monks and many lay followers are keen to attend both courses. We hope to make the monastery a place where well-disciplined monks of any authentic Vinaya tradition can reside and live together harmoniously. The place, incidentally, is named Bodhi Monastery, but it is sheer coincidence that I wound up at a monastery that bears my name.
Bhikkhu Bodhi was also at Chuang Yen Monastery.
This may answer some of your questions :
http://www.dharma.org/ij/archives/2002b ... _bodhi.htm
Peter wrote:From the website...
"The origins of Bodhi Monastery lie in the comprehensive, non–sectarian vision of Master Yin–Shun, the foremost Chinese scholar–monk of modern times, whose work has inspired a Buddhist intellectual renaissance in Taiwan. In line with the vision of Master Yin–Shun, Bodhi Monastery aims to promote the study and practice of Buddhism as an integral whole rather than to focus on the teachings of a particular Buddhist sect or branch.
"Bodhi Monastery aims to promote the study and practice of Buddhism as an integral whole, with special focus on the clear and direct teachings of ancient Pali Buddhism and their philosophical and ethical elaboration in the early Mahayana. The monastery thus represents a unique, spiritually enriching synthesis of these two major Buddhist traditions.
"Bodhi Monastery was founded in January 2000 by Master Jen–Chun, a senior disciple of Master Yin–Shun..."
His comments on Buddhism and psychology and pure vipassana meditation and on the weaknesses of western Buddhism and his comments on the possibilities and hopes found in western Buddhism made me thoughtful.
Chris wrote:Hello sher,His comments on Buddhism and psychology and pure vipassana meditation and on the weaknesses of western Buddhism and his comments on the possibilities and hopes found in western Buddhism made me thoughtful.
What sort of thoughts?
And why ought it to be of concern that one sees the commonalities across all schools of Buddhism - there is, after all, one Buddhadhamma.
Sher wrote:Peter: Do you have any thoughts regarding this approach toward synthesis of tradition? Sher
Peter wrote:To elaborate on that... I find it takes all my time and energy just to try to understand one tradition. Trying to understand many traditions and then trying to merge them together is just more work than I am interested in.
Chris wrote:On a side note, a friend of mine who is assisting with the finalisation of BB's Anguttara translation, was in the U.S. for a few weeks and spent some time with BB. Apparently the headaches are continuing unabated and are quite severe, so the printing of the full english Anguttara translation by BB may now be back to as late as 2010.
Chris wrote:Hello Ngawang Drolma, all,
Bhikkhu Bodhi has had these headaches for many many years. He has attended doctors and specialist clinics as well as consulting alternative health practitioners. He has undergone probably every test in existence in different parts of the world - even an acupuncturist in HK.
AFAIK, he is not ill - it is just the same old headaches which impede correcting the final draft of the text, as well as meditation.
This is a page maintained by a student with his permission on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/friends/?ref=tn ... 108&ref=mf