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A path of learning : Indo-Tibetan Buddhism as education MacPherson, Sonia 2000

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A path of learning: Indo-Tibetan Buddhism as education by Sonia MacPherson B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1985 A Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Centre for Studies in Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A A p r i l 2000 © Son ia (Seonaigh) A n n MacPher son , 2000 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department Date DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T A B S T R A C T This study chronicles a non-modern pedagogical tradition, Indo-Tibetan (Gelugpa) Buddhis t education, as it negotiates a modern, global context in exile in India. A s an enlightenment tradition, B u d d h i s m emphasizes investigative inquiry over scriptural or thodoxy and belief, making it compatible wi th some aspects o f modern, secular culture. This is a study o f the relationship between these t w o educational cultures wi th in one educational ins t i tu t ion—Dolma L i n g Nunnery and Institute o f Dialect ics in the Indian Himalayas. The text i tself is arranged in the form o f a mandala, w h i c h is divided into five sections or stages o f learning: intention, path, inference, experience, and realization. The intention section highlights the value o f cultural and educational diversity, and includes a b r ie f synopsis o f Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t educational history. The path section describes specific Buddhis t approaches to ethnography and social research. The inference chapter is the empirical (ethnographic) component o f the study, and considers the practice o f dialectical debate as a case o f what Wittgenstein called a "language game." This chapter includes photographic documentation and the text o f a public (Western-style) debate held at D o l m a L i n g on the subject o f the merits o f their traditional debate system. The experience chapter considers the unique role o f direct perception (experience) in Buddhism, and h o w it can be educated through combined meditational and testimonial practices. The author explores the tendency to segregate experiential from rational paths, especially when l iminal experiences o f suffering, bliss, and death are involved. She concludes that such experiences strain our powers o f reason and, in some cases, representation, resulting in a tendency to marginalize such experiences wi th in formal, rational education systems and their knowledge bases. Narrat ive, poetic, and direct experiential methods o f meditation are better suited to deal w i t h these subjects. The "real izat ion" chapter discusses conceptions o f realization, praxis and embodiment, that is, rational inferences translated into direct experience and action, as o f particular relevance to educators. In the Buddhis t v iew, such realizations are the desired end o f all inquiry. This end is accomplished through creative and direct "conversations" (testimonies, dialogues) between reason and direct experience on the path o f learning. i i Table of Contents: Abstract P- » List of Figures P- v i i Preface P v i i i Acknowledgements p ix P R E L I M I N A R I E S ...embarking on a journey p 1 Chapter one: W H I T E ...intention p 16 Whi te luminous gates P 17 " W e exchange time for experience." p. 20 I. Introduct ion p. 26 A . Cul ture , time, global izat ion p. 26 B . Educa t i on in the global local/e p. 34 C . Tradit ions o f invention and education p. 37 D . T h e role o f desire p. 42 E . F reedom in modernity/ies P- 44 F . Quest ions to guide our inquiry p. 49 1. Comparat ive theories o f learning and knowledge p. 49 2. The outcome and purpose o f knowledge p. 51 3. The relation between tradition and modernity in "g loba l " education p. 52 4. Gender in Tibetan monastic and "g loba l" Educa t ion p. 52 5. Intercivil izat ion dialogue on "freedom" and "creativi ty" p. 53 II. Tibetan education: His to r ica l and contemporary contexts p. 54 A . His to r ica l context p. 55 B . Contemporary context p. 60 1. Tibet p. 60 2. In exile in India, Nepa l , and elsewhere p. 64 3. D o l m a L i n g p. 67 iii Chapter two: Y E L L O W ...path p 75 Oblique ye l low paths P- 76 T h e path o f research P 83 I. The research path as an "educational journey" p. 83 II. Grounds P 86 A . E th i c s P- 86 B . Intention p. 88 C . Ep i s temology P- 93 1. A question o f trust p 93 2. Enlightenment epistemologies p. 94 a) Western enlightenment epistemologies p. 96 b) Buddhis t epistemology and enlightenment p. 102 III. Paths P- 106 A . Appren t ic ing the path p. 106 B . The conceptual/experiential divide p. 108 1. Reason and direct experience p. 109 2. Real iza t ion and embodiment p. I l l C . Mindfulness P 113 I V . Frui ts P H 5 A . Wel lbe ing P- 115 B . T h e realization o f emptiness as interdependence p. 121 C . Compass ion and w i s d o m p- 122 V . Conc lus ion p. 123 Chapter three: R E D ...inference p. 129 R e d fire, f l owing b lood p. 130 Debat ing dialectical debate: Reasoning education at D o l m a L i n g p. 134 I. Introduction p. 134 II. H i s to r i ca l and social contexts p. 138 III. Textual and oral practices in Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t education p. 142 I V . The monastic Cur r i cu lum p. 144 V . Introductory texts and topics p. 146 V I . The language game o f dialectical debate p. 146 A . W o r d s and sentences p 149 1. W o r d s as definitions, divisions, and illustrations p. 149 a) The language tree o f "Co lou r s and so forth" p. 150 2. Sentences: The logic , grammar, and discourse moves p. 151 a) The log ic p. 151 b) The "grammar" p. 153 c) The discourse moves p. 154 B . Instruments p. 158 1. Gestures p. 158 2. Patterns p. 166 C . Contexts p. 167 iv D . Characterist ic activity p. 167 1. A s an educational activity p. 167 a) D a i l y activities and groupings p. 167 b) A n n u a l activities and groupings p. 168 c) L o n g t e r m activities and groupings p. 169 2. A s a social izing activity p. 170 a) A s social ization into competi t ion/cooperat ion p. 170 b) A s social izing peer support p. 171 c) A s social iz ing through apprenticeship and guided participation p. 171 d) A s social izing and sublimating emotions p. 174 e) A s gender-socializing activity p. 176 f) A s socialization into community p. 181 3. Debate as integrated cognitive activity p. 181 4. Debate as dialectical (dialogic) activity p. 182 E . Antecedent training and learning in w h i c h rules are imparted p. 183 F . U s e o f components o f the language-game p. 183 G . Its point or purpose p. 183 V . Debat ing dialectics: The views o f the nuns o f D o l m a L i n g p. 184 Chapter four: G R E E N ...experience p 209 Remember ing green. K a n g r a wheatfieldnotes on skydancing & other feats o f grace p. 210 Songs o f experience p. 227 I. The nuns' experiences P- 229 A . Ose l Kha rgyen p. 230 B . M e t o k Y a n g s o m p. 235 C . N g a w a y n g Sangdrol , the nun who never made it to D o l m a L i n g p. 238 D . K u n s a n g D o l m a p. 240 E . The L i thang nuns p. 242 II. Exper ience p. 246 III. L i m i n a l experiences: Suffering, bliss, and death p. 252 A . Suffering p. 253 B . B l i s s p. 258 C . Dea th p. 262 I V . Educa t ing experience p. 264 A . Educa t ing emotions: Test imony and meditation p. 266 1. Test imony p. 266 2. Med i t a t ion p. 269 B . Educa t ing powers o f reflection: Ana ly t ica l meditations p. 273 C . Educa t ing attention: Single-pointed and mindfulness meditat ion p. 274 1. Single-pointed meditation p. 275 2. Mindfulness meditation p. 275 D . Educa t ing the bodymind: Tantr ic meditation p. 277 V . Gender ing experience p. 281 v Chapter five: B L U E ...realization p. 286 A spacious blue P 287 Real izat ions p. 290 I. The conceptual/perceptual divide P- 290 II. F reedom in debate p 294 III. Rea l iza t ion p. 301 POST-SCRIPT ...on completing a journey p. 305 Post-script o n complet ing a journey p. 306 A . A path o f learning p. 306 B . Pedagogical methods p. 307 1. aspiration, ritual p. 307 2. explicit , examined, and apprenticed processes p. 307 3. dialogue, analytical meditation p. 307 4. mindfulness, single-pointed, or Tantric meditation p. 307 5. the event—bodhicitta, mahamudra, and interdependence . . . p. 307 R E F E R E N C E S p. 312 vi F I G U R E S : Photographs and charts 1. A stone path i n the K a n g r a V a l l e y near D o l m a L i n g p . 1 2. G r o u n d p lan o f a sample (Zhi khro) mandala p. 14 3. Three-dimensional structures o f Zhi khro mandala p . 15 4. Whi t e pictures (Whi te Tara, K a n g r a wheatfields, D o l m a L i n g nunnery) p. 19 5. Y e l l o w pictures ( H H the D a l a i L a m a , Sera monks , margolds & bee) p. 82 6. R e d pictures (the nuns o f D o l m a L i n g ) p. 133 7. D i a g r a m I: Conversa t ion dec is ion-making tree p. 136 8. Figure I: Def in i t ions , d iv i s ions , & illustrations for "Co lou r s and so forth" p. 152 9. Sarnath Un ive r s i t y ruins i n Sarnath, near Varanas i , U P , India p . 159 10. " L e a r n i n g to debate" i n classrooms and courtyards p . 160 11. "Peer ins t ruct ion" among the nuns p . 161 12. The m o n k teachers and debate dialogues p. 162 13. "Tant r ic arts:" T h e nuns learning and pract is ing Tantr ic arts p. 163 14. " L e a r n i n g Tibe tan secular and re l igious m u s i c " p. 164 15. "Respond ing to contemporary issues:" Debat ing debate; refugee chi ldren . . . p . 165 16. Green pictures (a b i rd i n B o d h G a y a ; scenes f rom the K a n g r a V a l l e y ) p. 226 17. B l u e pictures (Tibetan f lag; Tibe tan C h i l d r e n ' s V i l l a g e students) p. 289 vii P R E F A C E : I use var ious designations for B u d d h i s m in this text, and the reader should consider B u d d h i s m identified as designating the scope o f the c la im made. So, i f I say the more generic " B u d d h i s m , " then this indicates that the c la im is being made for all paths o f Buddh i sm. I f "Tibetan" B u d d h i s m is used, then it identifies a phenomenon or practice developed after B u d d h i s m was established in Tibet. "Ge lugpa" Tibetan B u d d h i s m refers to a specific practice o f the Ge lugpa lineage o f Tibetan Buddhism. Overa l l , I refer to "Indo-"Tibetan rather than just "Tibetan" B u d d h i s m to reinforce the historical continuity o f many o f the textual and pedagogical contents and practices that developed i n India and went to Tibet w i th the spread o f Buddh i sm. It helps to remind us o f the cultural and geographic flexibil i ty o f Buddh i sm, w h i c h has been engaged i n cross-cultural conversations since its inception. Indeed, perhaps the B u d d h i s m discussed i n these pages might be cal led " Indo-Tibetan-Nor th A m e r i c a n " Buddh i sm, since it no doubt has gone through yet another permutation as I have attempted to understand it wi th in the contexts o f the Western academy. F o r now, I w i l l keep the "Indo-Tibetan" label as we begin to sort out just what N o r t h Amer i can B u d d h i s m is in the process o f its emergence. I have used E n g l i s h translations o f Tibetan and Sanskrit terms in this text. T o clarify any ambiguity, where it seemed helpful I have added the Tibetan or Sanskrit terms in parentheses. The Tibetan language is difficult to transcribe into Eng l i sh because o f its complex spelling and reliance on silent letters not pronounced in spoken Tibetan. T o help wi th the pronunciat ion, and to remind readers that it is a l iv ing , spoken language, I have capitalized the transcribed letter that is first pronounced. I have not done so w i t h the Sanskrit terms as it is no longer a spoken language. viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I w o u l d l ike to thank the many people who have supported me directly and indirectly in undertaking the research and wr i t ing o f this text. In particular, I am indebted to H H the D a l a i L a m a for his luc id and accessible teachings, to the late V e n . T a r a T u l k u for his compassionate care, to Zazep T u l k u Rinpoche for his community, to Cec i l ie K w i a t for her meditational mentoring, and to H H the 16 t h K a r m a p a and N a m g y a l R inpoche (George D a w s o n ) for opening this path to me. A t the Univers i ty o f Br i t i sh Co lumbia , I w o u l d l ike to thank my supervisors, D r . C a r l L e g g o and D r . B o n n y (Peirce) N o r t o n o f the Department o f Language and Li te racy Educat ion , whose combined patience and inspiration were a constant source o f encouragement. I w o u l d also thank the other members o f my doctoral committee, D r . W i l l i a m Bruneau, D r . Danie la Boccass in i , and my comprehensive exam supervisors, D r . T e d A o k i and D r . Pat r ic ia DufF. Thanks are o w e d to D r . K a r e n M e y e r , Di rec to r o f the Centre for Studies o f Cur r i cu lum and Instruction, for her co-creating and sustaining such a creative intellectual community. F o r their editorial comments and tireless support, I thank my fel low graduate students and dear friends loanna Carson, A n n e Bruce , and Ange l a Hryn iuk . Credi t for having the courage to teach me the Tibetan language are due to the N a m g y a l Institute in Ithaca, N Y , and Tashi and L o s a n g Rabgey and their parents o f Lindsay, O N . In addition, I w o u l d l ike to acknowledge the considerable contribution and ideas o f D r s . Humber to Matu rana and B r i a n G o o d w i n , w i t h w h o m I studied at Schumacher Col lege , U K , in M a r c h o f 1999. Prof . D r . T u W e i m i n g o f the Harva rd -Yenchen Institute inspired many o f my reflections on the need to bring more dialogue between traditional and modern cultures. I met D r . T u at the M i n d and L i f e dialogues in Dharamsala and again, w i th his wife Rosanne H a l l , in Cor tona Italy and in B o s t o n in the autumn o f 1999. In India, my research w o u l d have been impossible without the k ind support o f all the nuns o f D o l m a L i n g , and in particular o f the senior administrator o f the Tibetan N u n s ' Project, the V e n . L o s a n g Dechen. I w o u l d also l ike to thank K a l o n Rinchen K h a n d r o Choegya l and D r . El izabeth Napper o f the Tibetan N u n s ' Project for we lcoming me to stay and to study at D o l m a L i n g for the duration o f my research. A b o v e al l , I w o u l d l ike to thank the then Pr inc ipa l o f D o l m a L i n g , Gen . Pema Tsewang Shastri, whose cri t ical mind, astute translations, scholarly advice, teaching, and care made my stay there both comfortable and worthwhi le . Final ly, I w o u l d l ike to thank the monks o f Seramey, and in particular the acting abbot, Geshe Rabga, for their kindness and hospitality during my month there. I am grateful for the generous financial assistance o f the Socia l Sciences and Humanit ies Research C o u n c i l o f Canada, the K i l l a m Trust, the Webster Foundat ion, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (Language and W o m e n & Development fellowships), the Univers i ty o f Br i t i sh Co lumbia , Canadian Air l ines , and Schumacher Col lege , U K . I w o u l d also l ike to thank D r . George Tilser for his "dental" scholarship, and the late M a r i o n Macpherson , my aunt whose support was pivotal in easing financial strains during the final year o f this process. Final ly , I w o u l d l ike to thank my mother, Bever ley M a c P h e r s o n , for so many reasons, not the least o f wh ich for being my confidante, bank manager, secretary, and friend through these, and many more, years! ix PRELIMINARIES: ...embarking on a journey Preliminaries1 for embarking on a journey: The intel lectual landscape o f our times cries out for perspective-—for o v e r v i e w and distance, and a type o f integrated cosmolog ica l awareness the academe sacr if iced w h e n it abandoned G o d . T o convey this sense o f universal responsibi l i ty , I beg in w i t h the universe, where in w e f ind a galaxy w i t h a particular solar system on its orbital edge. Inside this solar system is a blue planet i n the pr ime o f its youth, a planet constituted o f many sentient beings w h o act to sustain its oxygen- r ich system, where in one above a l l predominates—homo sapiens or human beings. N o w these human beings have proliferated to such an extent that they are eradicat ing most other species o f the planet 's system, w h i l e con t inu ing to starve and k i l l one another. In their place, humans have re-organized matter to create sophisticated geometric structures and technologies. Throughout a l l this, the planet and its l ife forms continue to change—evolve perhaps, devolve perhaps 2 . U n t i l most recently, the pattern o f this change has tended towards greater complex i ty and divers i f icat ion, both i n phys ica l and cogni t ive qualit ies. T h i s has reversed i n recent t imes, w i t h a dramatic loss o f divers i ty i n species forms, and a concurrent loss o f forms o f consciousness (experiences, cultures). A t the same t ime, more subtle qualit ies o f awareness appear to be eroding as human beings increas ingly attend to material development, technologies and abstracted experiences o f corporate bureaucracies and mass media . They are preoccupied w i t h the signs rather than the substance o f we l lbe ing , disassociated as they have become f rom a connect ion w i t h the depth, quali t ies, and potential o f embodied experience. E m b o d i e d experience is phenomenal rather than " p h y s i o l o g i c a l " per se; it nonetheless invo lves a complex interaction between mul t ip le direct sensory and perceptual experiences and the 2 phys io log ica l responses to those experiences. It is an interconnected web o f relations situated i n the body rather than i n a disembodied, abstract conceptual or imaginary domain . It is just such embodied experience that can be said to evolve—matter just changes alongside it. In this respect, I w o u l d contend that it is experience that drives evolu t ion , as sentient beings reach to enhance the qual i ty o f their experience towards greater happiness and we l lbe ing . In this I f o l l o w the th ink ing o f the C h i l e a n b io logis t Humber to Maturana (1987, 1990, 1997, 1998) who considers evolu t ion f rom the perspective o f the continuous shifting and habits o f a manner o f l i v i n g . F r o m this perspective, human evolu t ion and we l lbe ing is enhanced by awareness (i.e. ref lect ion and ref lex iv i ty combined) , where in such habits and shifts are recognized and i n certain cases altered. Educa t i on is an important human adaptation used to further cult ivate these habits, shifts and, to va ry ing degrees, qualities o f awareness required for more intentional shifts i n our manner o f l i v i n g . Th i s function is not a lways expl ic i t ; it can arise i m p l i c i t l y i n an unstated, and sometimes unconscious, hidden cur r icu lum. N o w , I am a human be ing and not an omniscient G o d . So , m y perspective is necessari ly arr ived at inside consciousness, and to be more specific, inside a human consciousness condi t ioned as it is by human sense organs, patterns o f perception, and language (that is , cultured contexts). It is easy to over look the quest ion o f consciousness as it is so famil iar as to be inv is ib le i n ordinary experience. Af te r a l l , experience is the ha l lmark o f consciousness, and it is imposs ib le to step outside o f experience per se. So , the awareness o f experience or consciousness is something rather subt le—diff icul t to cult ivate and easi ly lost. T o reflect on experience i t se l f requires a combina t ion o f meta-3 awareness and reflect /reflexivi ty that comes w i t h a wel l -cu l t iva ted qual i ty o f attention and invest igative inqu i ry (that is, question). Education, l i tera l ly "to d raw out," or more formal ly as the systematic attempt to teach and learn the knowledge o f a culture, and socialization as the informal equivalent o f education, combine to condi t ion experience. Together, they cond i t ion both the content and qual i ty o f experience, but they do not necessari ly cult ivate such an awareness o f experience itself. Wha t constitutes a human consciousness i n particular? O u r phys io log ica l hardware is an insufficient though necessary condi t ion for the experience o f be ing human. Instead, our comple t ion as a human be ing is something that arises i n a soc ia l , languaged environment. Indeed, so dependent have we become on such a social w o r l d that a human c h i l d w i l l die i f left i n the wilderness on its o w n . 3 It is on ly w i t h language and the conceptual development that accompanies language that such su rv iva l—even i n a wilderness bereft o f people—becomes secured. So, a human consciousness or human experience combines a part icular pattern o f sensory perception w i t h a conceptual overlay o f language and culture. In turn, this abstract rea lm creates condi t ions whereby the reflect ivi ty, re f lex iv i ty and meta-awareness required to recognize experience or consciousness as such becomes possible. Through this path f rom socia l interaction to language, culture and meta-awareness, w e learn to distance f rom, and gaze back upon, consciousness, a l l the w h i l e necessarily remain ing inside it . A c c o r d i n g l y , human meta-awareness is a developmental phenomenon that arises f rom human communi ty , patterns o f emot ion , language, and interactions to meta-conception and meta-awareness. The study o f experience and its relat ion to conceptual thought and reason is a necessary component o f this development, and for this reason such studies are o f personal , socia l and even evolut ionary interest to the we l lbe ing o f human beings and our societies. A s is love, for the social m i l i e u i n w h i c h language emerges is constituted by h igh ly re inforc ing feelings that encourage h igh degrees o f interaction and phys ica l and emot ional in t imacy and affection. Other sentient beings—at least some birds and m a m m a l s — m a y have the experience o f love , and indeed there m a y be an aspect o f what we c a l l " l o v e " that is the " s t u f f o f sentience i tself . 4 Y e t , certain patterns and expressions o f such affection can be said to be uniquely human and even b i o l o g i c a l l y human (Maturana 1997b, B u n n e l l & Forsythe 1999). Par t icular ly unusual is what might be ca l led "a l t ru i sm," that is the abi l i ty to cultivate feelings o f in t imacy and concern for those not i n one 's immediate f ami ly or group. Such an altruistic attitude is made possible i n part by language and conceptual thought, though just l ike meta-awareness, it is not necessari ly present i n every human being but probably requires some form o f learning and educat ion . 5 One important expression o f that altruistic awareness is the abi l i ty to see the necessary connect ions between our o w n pursuit o f w e l l b e i n g and a sense o f responsibi l i ty for universa l we l lbe ing . The patterns o f cultural organizat ion and education referred to as "modern" have p roved h igh ly effective i n curb ing popula t ion. Access to such education, especial ly for w o m e n , is one o f the clearest predictors o f a reduct ion i n birth rates, more than access to technologies o f bir th control per se. In rural India , for example , w h e n such technologies became accessible o n a nat ion-wide basis, it made li t t le appreciable dent o n popula t ion g rowth levels . Educa t ion has helped to sustain the voluntary reduct ion o f reproduct ion m u c h more ef fec t ively . 6 There is something about the shift to l i teracy and abstract 5 t h ink ing that encourages or enables w o m e n to establish a qual i ty o f l i fe less predicated on reproduction. Unfortunately, formal ly organized education systems encourage w o m e n and men to replace the desire for babies w i t h the desire for consumer goods. A l t h o u g h there may on ly be one person where there were once ten, the one consumes considerably more resources than i n past t imes. The net effect o f such "educat ion" is to reduce col lec t ive we l lbe ing even / / enhanc ing personal we l lbe ing . A n d that is an "if" wr i t large, for the quest ion remains whether qual i ty o f l i fe is i n fact enhanced by modern consumpt ion patterns or whether what is i n fact being consumed are signs o f qual i ty without ever rea l i z ing the promise they represent. In modern society and its formal education systems, at least tacit concern for i nd iv idua l qual i ty o f life is g iven precedence over col lec t ive interests. The path to qual i ty o f l i fe is c o m m o n l y defined to mean a nuclear f ami ly where in one reproduces one 's o w n communi ty , an occupat ion where in one produces lots o f currency for exchange, and the consumpt ion o f large amounts o f processed materials and resources. Thus, our cultural fo rmula for enhanced qual i ty o f life is at odds w i t h the formula for enhanced col lec t ive we l lbe ing—for example , reducing popula t ion and consumption. Unde r an attitude o f universal responsibi l i ty , the massive export o f modern education poses a p rob lem since it recommends such a pattern o f experience and desire to a w ide audience. M e a n w h i l e , this "modern" formal educat ion replaces loca l and indigenous educational arrangements— formal and informal—as chi ldren lose direct connect ion w i t h tradit ional communi t ies . One tradit ional educat ion system is h is tor ica l ly l i nked to popula t ion stabili ty, modest consumpt ion, and an exp l i c i t commitment to enhance happiness and we l lbe ing . The system I refer to is Indo-Tibetan B u d d h i s m , and the monastic form o f that education i n 6 particular. O f course, the decline in populat ion is accounted for most directly by the fact that the nuns and monks are celibate, but what may be over looked is that many j o i n such communities out o f a desire to be free o f the burden o f reproduction and product ion in the first place. H a v i n g l ived in these communit ies—both communities o f nuns and m o n k s — I can attest that they enjoy a remarkably high degree o f energy, relatively l o w signs o f depression, and a seemingly high quality o f life (that is, wellbeing, happiness). So , in most cases the l o w birth and consumption rates do not appear to be secured through repression or oppression—that is, at the expense o f their happiness or realization as human beings. Indeed, i f one contrasts their quality o f life to the harried existence o f many seemingly successful, modern people, subject as w e have become to high suicide, homicide, divorce and mental illness rates, one can't help but wonder i f there isn' t something deceptive in the modern "story" o f our increased quality o f life. Wha t Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t monastic communities do offer is a path to personal wel lbeing (that is, quality o f life) that appears to be more complementary wi th our collect ive path to wellbeing, whereby "col lec t ive" refers to all sentient, not just human, life. A s a religious community, their lifestyle may seem distant and difficult to emulate wi th their complex v o w s and rules o f organization; however, I am convinced that modern, secular society has something to learn from their example. In particular, I am interested in their unique approach to learning and knowledge, where patterns o f desire and experience are so significantly socialized and instilled. In this respect, the primary intention o f this w o r k is to learn about learning in and from lndo-Tibetan Buddhism. I use the preposit ion in to suggest that I am a participant in the system, wh ich I am; only in this way can I hope to get at the subtle ways in wh ich education conditions experience 7 and desire. A s w e l l , I use the preposi t ion from to indicate that I a m also an outs ider—a modern subject speaking to other modern subjects, imbued i n this culture that has become so ubiqui tous i n our contemporary era, attempting to describe and represent people and systems that are s t i l l largely non-modern. The use offrom reflects m y inference that modern cultures and those people imbued i n its sensibil i t ies can benefit f rom engaging i n meaningful dia logue w i t h non-modern cultures and peoples, so that the dynamic o f cul tural change becomes reciprocal rather than unidirect ional . O n a more personal note, this is a w o r k that began over 23 years ago w i t h a paper I wrote i n m y f ina l year o f h i g h school on the subject o f creativity. It combined a literature r ev iew w i t h a conceptual and empi r i ca l study, w h i c h spanned 80 hand-writ ten pages when completed. M y conc lus ion was that i f creativity cou ld be educated, then it required a specia l ized t raining l ike meditat ion to cultivate. O n l y i n this way cou ld education enact the required change i n the way we think and experience the w o r l d , beyond a s imple shift i n curr icular contents. H a v i n g arr ived at such a wel l - reasoned inference, I spent the f o l l o w i n g year bu i ld ing the courage to undertake t ra ining i n meditat ion myself , w h i c h I f ina l ly d id . Since then, I have let m y l i fe , m y experience be m y experiment (from the c o m m o n L a t i n root experiri, meaning to test, to try). T h i s document is m y attempt to share w i t h y o u the f inding o f those experiments w i t h experience. A c c o r d i n g l y , m y experiences are part o f m y credentials. T h i s accords w i t h the Tibetan Buddhis t understanding that one 's direct experiences s tudying w i t h lamas o f various lineages i n oral instruction is o f greater value than one 's credentials i n reading or wr i t i ng texts. A t the beginning o f any teaching, lamas w i l l usual ly articulate the lineage 8 o f lamas f rom w h o m they received the particular teachings involved. In my case, dur ing these intervening 23 years, I have studied and practiced w i t h some o f the leading Tibetan Buddhis t teachers and meditators in the w o r l d . These include H i s Hol iness ( H H ) the D a l a i L a m a , H H Sakya Tr is in , his sister Jetsun Chime L u d i n g , H H the 16 t h Karmapa , the V e n . Ta ra T u l k u and V e n . L a t i Rinpoche. In addition, I have studied wi th less w e l l 1 k n o w n but nonetheless accomplished figures such as Namgya l Rinpoche , Cec i le K w i a t , Zazep T u l k u Rinpoche , and the Khyentse Rinpoche o f Namgya l Monas te ry in Ithaca. D u r i n g this same period, I have visited and l ived in multiple countries and cultures in the w o r l d , including Greece, Sri L a n k a , India, England, Italy, and the U S A . Throughout , I can say wi th all sincerity that I have tried my best to understand, practice, and realize the Buddhis t path o f learning single-mindedly and to the best o f my ability. D u r i n g the four years it took to complete this document, I completed a series o f initiations, teachings, retreats and fire pujas o f the Manjusr i /Yamantaka Tantric meditations associated w i t h reason, language, debate, and Father Tantra, as we l l as the Heruka/Vaj rayogin i initiations, teachings, retreats and fire puja connected wi th the cult ivat ion o f pristine awareness (direct perception) and M o t h e r Tantra. The latter I completed immediately pr ior to complet ing the final draft o f the section on experience. In both cases, insights gained during these retreats informed the wr i t ing o f these pages. I have arranged the text as i f it were a mandala, a Sanskrit term meaning mind tool.1 I do so to reflect m y aspiration that, l ike the Tibetan mandala, this text might become a technology to expand awareness. Today, mandalas tend to be used exclusively for Tantr ic initiation, but Tsongkhapa (1977) points out that entrance into a mandala and initiation had been conducted separately but became almost synonymous. These days, 9 with the desire to share their culture with the world, Tibetans like H H the Dalai Lama are encouraging the construction of mandalas outside of the strict context of initiation, for example in museums, to educate other countries and peoples about Tibet and its Tantric arts. Yet, mandalas are used for much more complex purposes than the visual arts we are accustomed to. As Tsongkhapa reflected: A mandala is said to be extremely profound because meditation on it serves as an antidote, quickly eradicating the obstructions to liberation and the obstructions to omniscience as well as their latent predispositions. It is difficult for those of low intellect to penetrate its significance, (p. 77) Mandalas come in different forms, but are commonly circular, two-dimensional representations of divine abodes, whose third dimension is generally enacted in consciousness itself (that is, in the imagination). They are often divided into four quadrants, distinguished visually by differing colours, with a fifth area in the centre inhabited by the deity of the mandala. Each quadrant, as well as the central platform, has an entrance or gate. Accordingly, I have organized the text into five distinct chapters distinguished by a particular order of colours—white, yellow, red, green, and blue.8 I have organized these five chapters into contents and titles that reflect the sequence of learning 1 have come to appreciate as representative of the Buddhist path of learning: 1. Intention (white) 2. Path (yellow) 3. Inference (red) 4. Direct experience (green) 5. Realization (blue) W h i l e the journey reflects m y personal journey o f d iscovery, it also represents the op t imal journey o f students through the system o f Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t monast ic educat ion as constituted i n the G e l u g p a system. W h i l e the structure might be considered to be gener ical ly Buddhis t , I have chosen to illustrate its part icular manifestat ion i n the Tibetan G e l u g p a system. I have tried to clear ly dis t inguish any c la ims I make about the more generic Buddhis t path f rom the more specific Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t path f rom the even more specif ic Gelugpa Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t path, but i f there is any quest ion then the reader should assume that I a m referring to the latter. T h e gate to each o f these chapters is created through a rather abstract, loose associat ion between the particular colour and experiences associated w i t h that colour . I have done this i n an attempt to anchor m y awareness, and subsequently m y reader's awareness, i n perception and form to remind us o f their difference f rom abstract concepts, w i t h w h i c h this textual mandala is necessarily constructed. A t the same t ime, I do so to r emind the reader that pr ior to be ing constituted o f words , this text was constituted o f systematic t h ink ing and l i v e d experiences, w h i c h I have here reconstituted i n its pages. L i k e the Tibetan mandalas, its th i rd d imens ion is constructed i n turn by the experience o f your o w n consciousness, w h i c h is ul t imately your purv iew. .. . N o w I invi te y o u to j o i n me on the journey, w h i c h knows no destination apart f rom the g o i n g . . . T o be m y companions , readers, I ask o n l y one th ing: that y o u commence this journey w i t h an open heart /mind. S u c h openness, i n turn, requires three qualit ies: attention, interest, and question. So, i f y o u are agreeable, then take m y hand . . .here it i s . . .and o f f we go . . . 11 Notes: 'in employing the term "preliminaries," I am adapting the Tibetan Buddhist term, (ngon dro, or 'first going), which refer to reflections on the "four thoughts that turn the mind:" 1) the rare and precious human birth; 2) death and impermanence; 3) karma (cause and effect); and 4) samsara (suffering or struggle). There is no direct correspondence between these four topics and the substance of this preliminary discussion, but there is a sufficient parallel to merit using the same term. 2 Indeed, there is mounting speculation that human beings in affluent societies may have stepped outside of evolutionary pressures to a great extent through the intervention of technologies. There is in this the sense of the evolution of a collective technological body rather than the evolution of individual corporeal bodies. I do not believe we have stepped outside of nature or evolution in this respect, and would contend that such a view is predicated on a narrow interpretation of evolution from natural competitive selection. Modern affluent humans are just adapting and evolving to a more socialized and technical environment, and the changes (that is, adaptation and evolutionary shifts) arise through our manner of living, as discussed in the evolutionary theories of Maturana (1987, 1990, 1997, 1998), rather than exclusively through genetic competition and survival. 3 This is evidenced in the few cases of children found to have been reared by wolves, known as the "wolf children," who died soon after being reclaimed by human society (see Maturana and Varela, 1987, p. 128-129). 41 am here referring to the attention and care required for sentient beings to survive. Minimally, this means attention and care on one's own survival. In mammals, offspring require the attention and care of mothers to survive. These mammalian mothers suspend their own interest and wellbeing for their offspring. Whether or not such actions are intentional or spontaneous, these are the roots of love, which in human beings can be developed into more intentional attempts to recognize the legitimacy of others and the needs of others to find happiness and relief from suffering. Even the most despicable human being would not have survived without some degree of care and attention from others. Even as wounded adults, these people harbour at least a faint flame of love for themselves or some others, even if most of their relations are driven by hatred or greed. 51 say this because the mere act of conceptualizing a world beyond our direct perception requires the intervention of language and socialization. The ability to conceive of a "universe" and to reverse a certain innate self-centred, according to Buddhism, requires the intervention of concepts and analysis. Indeed, HH the Dalai Lama (1996) claims analysis is the principal way to cultivate altruism, more than single-pointed meditation. 6 This is discussed extensively by Planned Parenthood and other international development organizations. See Bumiller (1990) for a good discussion of the issues and practices of population control in India. She discusses the remarkable success of the state of Kerala, where women are considerably more literate than elsewhere without an appreciable higher expenditure by the state on education (p. 276-277). 7 For discussions, explanations, and photographs of various types of mandalas used in the Tibetan Tantric arts, see Brauen (1997), Bryant (1992), or Rhie & Thurman (1991). 8 The order of colours varies with different deity yoga meditational mandalas. The order given here corresponds with the sequence found in, for example, the Zhi kho mandala depicted in the photographs on page 14 and 15 (from Brauen, 1997). This is also the sequence of colours found in White Tara's longevity visualization. In the Kalachakra sequence of colours, the fourth quadrant is dark blue not green. The colours correspond to the five Dhyani Buddhas. On a deeper level, just as all colours are wavelengths of light translated into human experience, the colours of mandalas have both a physiological and phenomenological metonymic (rather than metaphoric) significance. They correspond, respectively, with: 1) white as vajra, purification (Mirror-like Wisdom); 2) yellow as ratna Gewel), generosity and increasing (Wisdom of Equanimity); 3) red as padma, passion and bliss (Wisdom of Discrimination); 4) green as karma, activity (Wisdom of All-accomplishing action); 5) blue as Buddha, primordial intelligence and awareness (Wisdom of All Encompassing Space) (Trungpa, 1973/1987). These colours appear in the form of different meditative deities as well, whose colours depend on their particular meditative function. White (for example, White Tara or Chenreisig) is associated with the desire realm, red (for example, Vajrayogini) with the form realm, and dark blue (for example, Kalachakra) with the formless realm. Yellow is highly energetic (for example, Sakyamuni Buddha and some versions of Manjusri) and green (for example, Green 12 Tara) is both active and protective. The principle of the Lower Tantric practices are to visualize all daces as dmne abodes, a.l beings as Buddhas, and a.l resources as amrit nectar. In v i s u a l ™ ^ a s pU >n this way, one experiences happiness and trust. The mandala meditation involves an outer and inner med.tat.onaI pract.ce. The outer mandala, as described in the structure of this text, is a way of conceiving of the Phenomenal un.verse. The inner mandala translates this outer mandala into the human body (tsrauen, 1997). 13 Ground plan of a three-dimensional Zhi khro mandala 7 6 ... which rests on two crossed vajras and is enclosed (east at bottom): interior of the palace ... In/ a loins-flower circle ... followed by further circles: chamel-grounds, vajras ... 18 ... and, on the outside, flames. The four entrances to the palace are clearh/ visible ... 19 ... which together with the transparent walls support the palace roof. 20 Complete Zhi khro mandala viewed from abo 21 ... and from the south side WHITE: ....intention Chapter one... White luminous gates: . . .A single granule o f sugar i l luminated by a certain l ine o f l ight. The l ight collapses i n exp lod ing photons o f br i l l iant white , leaving crystal geometries and a deep-be l ly l augh b e c o m i n g infinite, deep, blue-black, out o f w h i c h a p r imord ia l vo ice speaks o f things to pass. I quake w i t h the revelation. M y entire body shakes as I open to an expanse o f whi te eyes arching to summits o f b lack penetrating pupi ls , at whose centres sit p inpoin t craters o f space—holes to let l ight enter. B l a c k pupi l s frame the holes; p igmented irises frame the pupi ls ; whi te cornea frame the irises; and friends' faces frame the cornea. Outside, snow falls for the first t ime that winter, sparkl ing as it catches the l ight m o v i n g f rom our r o o m into the darkness o f night. W e go outside to unravel tongues, l i c k i n g snowflakes from the sky. Some land on m y mittens, and we congregate to study the white crystals revealed to our naked eyes. Defining "white": An achromatic colour of maximum lightness, the complement or antagonist of black, the other extreme of the neutral grey series. Although typically a response to maximum stimulation, white appears always to depend upon contrast.1 The paradox of white. "An achromatic colour ": a non-colour . "A response to maximum stimulation": a who le colour . 17 W h i t e is a colour / non-colour emerging from a l l colours? The paradox o f white: W h i t e is achromatic w h i l e the entire colour spectrum is i m p l i c i t i n it. R a i n b o w s are i m p l i c i t i n white. A s white wanes, so too do lightness and colour . The first debates i n Tibetan monasteries concern colour , where white is a colour , unequivocal ly—a pr imary , root co lour . In their Tant r ic meditations, whi te arises as rainbow l ight arises, a whi te that is s imultaneously part and whole—root and spectrum combined . . . . W h i t e is a co lour o f c r ea t ion -p r imord ia l white photons o f l ight; p r imord ia l whi te semen; p r imord ia l whi te ra inbow light becoming . . . . . .a dictatorship o f white . The entire landscape is patrolled by whi te—chrome and wh i t e—from labyrinthine ha l lways and sterile uniforms to the starched sheets and safety bars I peer between as I am rol led , prostrate, to the operating room. Inside, whi te lights vanquish the l inger ing shadows. The last vestige o f colour disappears as the whi te-masked anaesthesiologist removes m y over-washed blue-grey g o w n to uncover m y chest and bare a rm as he transfers me to a white-sheeted surgical bed. H e warns me o f an impend ing p r i c k as he administers a l oca l anaesthetic to e l iminate the sensation o f the tube he is about to introduce into m y arm. A s the metal l ic tip o f the syringe slides under m y sk in , I feel a st ing and a surge o f bitter f lavoured sa l iva erupting f rom m y tongue: 1. [experience] "I tasted that y o u k n o w " , I say, l o o k i n g up at h i m , s m i l i n g . 2. [experience invalidated] " N o y o u didn ' t . Y o u couldn ' t have." 3. [experience reiterated] " W e l l I d i d . " The conversat ion stalls. 4. [experience obliterated] H e inserts the tube and blackness prevai ls . ' From Houghton-Mifflin Canadian dictionary of the English Language. (top left) White Tara for longevity (top right) The fields and mountains next to Dolma Ling (below) Dolma Ling ("Tara's place") \ "We exchange time for experience." - Mark Strand, poet In an hourglass, it would have seemed more convincing, moving in an orderly passage of sand, particle by particle. Such a measure might have given Time that irreproachable aura of gravity, and averted the question that was to preoccupy the remainder of my days. But in the stovetop clock, with hands prone to irregular jolts emanating from a common joint long in need of oil, time betrayed its illusory face and so my life shifted direction irrevocably. Even to my seven-year-old sensibility, time equalled pain, that is, the pain of change with its sense of loss, the pain of punctuality and of being late, the pain offacing an uncertain future and an all-too-fixed past. My first conscious memory is running out of it—running out of time, I run to get a dime from my mother to buy a cone from the ice-cream man. My older brother runs faster, past me to my mother's last coin, so by the time I arrive, her wallet is empty and the ice-cream little more than a fading bell in the distance. Something of life came to ring with that bell and time with its fading... the frenetic pain of desire, of unrealized desire, ofpromise & of loss. Three years later, on the last day of kindergarten, I arrive at my street corner as the sun peers between the leaves of the large trees lining the road down to where my house waits beyond view. The moment of turning brings a surge of sunlight and with it an excitement somewhere between my belly and my heart. With it comes a deep contentment, even bliss, and a vivid awareness of my body walking... the rhythm of my feet...walking. ...One foot rising as the other touches the ground, settling, lifting, rising...as the other foot settles again... Why, these feet carry me at the end of 20 kindergarten as they will one-day carry me through to the end of grade six! ...So that is time... I know, you see, that there is something about this moment; and if there isn 't now, there will be. Somewhere, something, between the light and my feet, will survive to grade six. In grade six, I will walk down the street and remember these feet that carry me home so well on this, the final day of kindergarten. ...All those years ago. I don't know what it was about transitions between home and school that made it such fertile ground for childhood experiences. Perhaps it was its gaping quality, uncertain yet freeing, a gap between a personal and public self where I could wonder and wander at will even when in conflict with what lay on the other side—that is, the school. There was something about its very absence that invited presence, sometimes ominously. Take, for example, grade two: After lunch, I stood in a crowd waiting to return to class. The bell sounded. We were nearing the school doors when I realized I was chewing gum. I couldn't reach the wastebasket, and so surreptitiously dropped the gum in the palm of my hand. That year my teacher was, shall we say, strict. Some gum adhered to my hand, which I struggled to remove with my remaining hand as I walked past the supervisor. Yet, the gum only spread further, to the fingers and palm of the other hand, like a leprosy in fast-forward motion. The stain of sin drove me inexorably towards the nightmare of my teacher's gaze. With a head hung in shame, I approached. Her nostrils widened noticeably with a sardonic grin betraying itself in the corners of her eyes— " Why, you don't belong in grade two; you don't even belong in grade one. " With that, as if to demonstrate my displacement, she led me before the grade one class for a lesson in humiliation. She was sure, she said, none of them would behave in such a reprehensible fashion, and wasn't it true I wasn't fit for grade one never mind 21 grade two! She called my mother to fetch me. By the time my mother arrived, I had lost my breath somewhere between shame and hysteria. At home, my mother's kind voice comforted me all afternoon, as my tears mixed with the soapy water of the bathroom sink where together we scrubbed the sign of my banishment from my humiliated hands. In grade three, it was the clock that found me waiting, now more anxiously than before. Lunch was finished but Hercules still leapt across the television screen in the backroom—that meant, what the clock confirmed, that it wasn't quite 12:30, the time I usually left for school. In fact, the clock barely moved, but sat there as an insipid ennui of waiting seeped into and tore at my seams. The irritation was palpable as Ifixed my attention on the minute hand, which steadfastly refused to move. Since my eyes were obsessively preoccupied with the clock anyway, I thought to learn more about time—to locate, attend, and examine time to discover just what it was all about. Fixing on the clock's hands, I waited to witness directly their incremental progress towards my departure. The long hand didn 't move for some time... then—jerky jolt—a minute and a half forward in one movement. Well, a lot had happened in the period when that long minute hand had stood still, all my impatient irritation and efforts at concentration, the Herculean sounds in the distance, and the breeze from the window arising and subsiding. Those changes, it seemed to me, were time, while the clock hands stood still. Why, the clock's hands didn't even follow the rules I learned in school—that 60 seconds brought the long hand forward a full minute in measured motion. Instead, it stood still ...then leapt irregularly as though a minute was a variable from 30 to 90 seconds in duration. Then where was time? Perhaps the clock was a crude, mechanical contraption to mark a more subtle passage of experience. With that, my attention turned inside to locate 22 the smallest discrete moment of time hiding behind the busy crowds of thoughts arising and passing away. Yet, no matter how introspective I became, how confined and directed my attention, I could locate no discernible, identifiable and distinct moment to the stream of changes in my body/mind. It was baffling, as if time didn't exist except as an illusion created and sustained by crude time-contraptions like clocks and less-crude distractions like thoughts. Time was instead a continuum of change. Not a collection of moments of discrete and concrete atoms of experiences and reactions accumulating, but a continuum ofprocesses....of some sort of transformation. ... and so time passed learning ABC's and 123's between recesses spent skipping double-Dutch and dressing Barbie dolls for social teas (or as a squeeze for Ken). Yet I remember little of it. How could one spend so much time in the temple of learning and remember so little? Boredom took its toll as I and others sought solace in alcohol, marijuana and LSD. It was dark, this deep dark chasm of a sad blue-black. Yet there was space, sufficient to rest one's heart intermittently in its soothing grace. ...Boredom left me talking to telephones, gossiping and talking about nothing in particular, and otherwise gazing at my reflection. My mother lined the walls of our house with mirrors: "They make a room look larger, " she said. With three siblings and six of our various friends around at any given time, the walls were further populated with people replicating in reflections. I used to play a game arranging a triptych mirror in the bathroom in such a way that my own image reproduced itself inside an infinity of mirrors. In the dining room, as I sat on the telephone for hours droning on.hours, I would watch my reflection in the tall mirror. It was then I learned to fix on my eyes, 23 inside pupils, to the point at which my awareness went... click... and I could watch myself from outside of myself; sometimes I found my form shifting and reforming as I did so. In grade 13, I took on a special project on the subject of creativity, in which I concluded that meditation was the most efficacious way to educate for creativity. Having argued the fact, I spent the subsequent year convincing myself to spare the $80 to receive training in TM myself. As my classes at university drew to a close, I booked an appointment with an instructor, who gave me an elaborate initiation ritual and a short mantra to recite before leaving the room so I could practice. I settled into a deep calm, from which there arose the sound of a single sparrow singing in a nearby tree. The sweetness of that song filled me until there was no me, only song...as if I was hearing sound for the first time, as if my senses, long numb if not dead, found rebirth in its notes. I practised this mantra diligently for the next six months, and initially the quality of my life and experience improved dramatically. I had a noticeable increase in both energy and willpower, sufficient to start to rise early, stop smoking and exercise regularly. Yet, I was alone in my efforts and soon isolation eroded my discipline and resolve, and with it other aspects of my life began to unravel. I became involved with a group of students interested in phenomenology and mysticism, with whom I shared heady conversations over backgammon and coffee. One of those friends began experiencing difficulties from doing too many drugs—street drugs combined with tranquillizers she'd received from a shrink. I suggested she might meditate. Feeling rather hypocritical having abandoned the practice myself, I tried meditating again. The very next morning I recited the mantra, and an image of two round lights appeared in my mind—one green and the other red. I found myself lifting my foot in the vision, clad in my very own tan 24 raw hide cowboy boots. My foot lifted in the air and came down determinedly on the green light. As I did so, it was as if I said "GO " and a food of bliss arose in my body/mind. I didn't quite know what was happening, but went to university slightly giddy that day. This experience unfolded in a chain of events that led me to the door of an anthropology professor I barely knew, a specialist in Tibetan Buddhism. Within a week, in spite of an "A " average, I quit my near-completed degree program in Economics—to the consternation of my family and some of my friends. I learned to meditate, and within a few months found myself in Woodstock, NY taking refuge with the head lama of the Kargyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism—HH the 16th Karmapa. From there, I made my way to Europe, Greece, and Sri Lanka for a year, accompanied by the Anthropologist, where I had time to cook, study, meditate, and compose poetry. This period was my sojourn from the race, gracing me with sufficient recuperative time to face (albeit barely) what was to prove the blackest of nights. ...I now believe that the suffering that ensued was related to a medical intervention I had received as a teenager. This intervention was the result of an unconscionable series of decisions by manufacturers, medical doctors, my mother, and myself. It was not until many years later that I learned a possible connection between this intervention and my suffering, but suffer I did, without knowing why, from a barrage ofphysical and psychological sufferings of an extreme order. Throughout this period, I sought and found solace in Tibetan Buddhism and the community offriends Ifound there. Ten years later, when I found myself at the feet of HH the Dalai Lama during a "Kalachakra—The Wheel of Time " initiation, my suffering seemed the greatest blessing I 25 could have asked for. Not only because it led me there, but because it created a space and openness for me to begin to experience and understand the vast depth of this tradition and its teachers. It is to those teachers, friends, and the continuity of the Tibetan Tantric tradition that I dedicate this work. I. Introduction A. Culture, time, and globalization: This study addresses the dialogue between conservation and creativity in culture; accordingly, it implicitly concerns the phenomenon of time. As Agamben (1993) argues, "Every culture is first and foremost a particular experience of time, and no new culture is possible without an alteration in this experience. The original task of a genuine revolution, therefore, is never merely to 'change the world', but also—and above all—to 'change time'" (p. 91). To change time is to alter the way we remember and what we remember. In this study, I attempt to convey a sense of time and memory as continuity and change within a "traditional" education system facing the ruptures, accelerating forces, and collapsing spaces of modernity and globalization. Globalization, which is never really global but transnational or even post-national, as Appadurai (1996) suggests, is the prevailing term used to describe a constellation of phenomena characterizing a rupture in contemporary sociocultural experience and space/time. While Appadurai's work focuses on the rupture generated by migration and global media on post-colonial Indian experience, this study considers globalization instead from the perspectives of migration and education, and, by inference, development, in post-exile Tibetan experience. In particular, it will focus on the disjunctures and conjunctures of Tibetan 26 traditions in the face o f modernization, and h o w such modernizat ion impacts on traditional and popular conceptions o f freedom among Tibetan refugee nuns. B y "modernizat ion," I refer to a sequence o f events whereby a tradit ion comes into contact w i t h and is affected by "modern" values and institutions, rooted in, but not necessarily enacted through, contact wi th Western European Enlightenment values and institutions. Th i s "moderni ty" I and others (for example, Habermas, 1985/1987) refer to reaches back to Enlightenment thinkers, w i th distant roots in Descartes and B a c o n but more particularly in the 18 t h century wi th Kant , Vol ta i re , and Mendelssohn to name a few. The values and institutions o f "moderni ty" reached a pinnacle in the high modernism o f the early to m i d - 2 0 t h century, reflected in its distinctive aesthetic and rationalized organization o f the state. The aesthetic valor ized technology and innovation, and paradoxical ly combined a celebration o f the individual-as-creator w i th the anonymity o f "mass" culture. This aesthetic is typified architecturally in the sky-scraper (named after a man or his company), poetically in the works o f T S E l i o t and Pound , and artistically in the cubism o f Picasso. Eisenstadt and Schlucher (1998) identify the "or ig ina l" European code o f modernity as a particular construal of: "man's active role in the universe, .. .the concept ion o f cosmological t ime and its relation to historical time, the bel ief in progress, the relation o f progress to history, the relation between the individual and the col lect ivi ty and between reason and emotions" (p. 4). Charles Tay lor (1992) identified individual ism and the rise o f instrumental reasoning, and its impact on social , technological , and economic alienation as principal culprits in what he calls the "modern malaise." 27 Exper ience arises w i t h i n the dynamics o f a consciousness interacting w i t h the w o r l d . It has an elusive quali ty insofar as w e are necessarily inside o f it, but also because it eludes quantitative control and representation. A l t h o u g h at its root experience and t ime are connected, i f not synonymous , this relationship becomes obscured when t ime is represented. H i s to r i c a l l y , the tendency i n "Wes te rn c i v i l i z a t i o n " has been to represent t ime and indicate its passage w i t h quantifiable spatial metaphors and markers. The Greco -Romans represented t ime as a repetitive c i rcular continui ty constituted o f discrete though infinite instances. Ar i s to t le recognized such c i rcular i ty as metaphoric, but jus t i f ied it because "human affairs.. .seem to be i n a way circular , because a l l these things come to pass i n t ime and have their beginning and end as it were ' p e r i o d i c a l l y ' ; for t ime i t se l f is conce ived as c o m i n g round. .. .Hence, to ca l l the happenings o f a th ing a c i rc le is saying that there is a sort o f c i rc le o f t i m e . . . " (Agamben , 1993, p. 92). T h i s c y c l i c understanding o f human experience is found as w e l l i n the Buddhis t no t ion o f "the whee l o f l i f e " where suffering is rooted i n the " c y c l i c existence" o f sentient l i fe . T h i s focus on a geometric metaphor o f t ime had the effect o f situating t ime i n the study o f phys ics rather than experience (that is, culture or history). The not ion o f t ime as a c i rc le constituted o f discrete points or instances o f duration reif ied the concept ion o f t ime and experience as possessions o f subjects to be accumulated, depleted, squandered or hoarded. T h i s v i e w proved resilient i n spite o f changes i n the scientif ic concept ion o f t ime, most notably the theories and evidence that t ime is a relational or relative phenomenon. In the Chr i s t i an concept ion, under Judaic and Zoroastr ian influences, t ime became represented as a l inear rather than c i rcular phenomenon, as something propel led towards 28 eventual destruction and emancipation/perfection. T i m e as history developed a beginning and end—from M o s e s and the bir th o f Chr is t to its end i n a messianic , universal redemption. A t the same t ime, there emerged a sense o f a clear d is t inct ion between a discrete human moment o f t ime and an eternity o f d iv ine t ime. Eterni ty was the o r i g i n o f t ime, w h i l e its l inear appearance was an epiphenomenon o f humani ty ' s l imi t ed perception. T h i s l inear perspective conserved the sense o f t ime as a discrete, phys ica l property w i t h geometric and spatial dimensions, and i n some cases even inc luded the class ica l c l a i m o f an under ly ing c i rcular i ty to t ime ' s apparent l ineari ty. F o r instance, d ' A u v e r g n e ' s de Universo contended, " . . .whenever the wheel o f t ime touches the whee l o f eternity, the contact occurs on ly at a regular point i n its rotation; this is w h y t ime is not simultaneous [and appears l inear ]" (Agamben , 1993, p . 96). W i t h the Chr i s t i an l inear concept ion o f t ime came an understanding o f a disjuncture between the experience o f t ime and its representation i n signs, as indicated i n Augus t ine ' s The Confessions among others (Stock, 1996). H i s reflections on t ime framed Augus t ine ' s theory o f the separation between subjective and objective experience (p. 235): Wha t is t ime? W h o can exp la in what it means, s imply and br ief ly? E v e n when there is an understanding i n thought, who can express it adequately i n words? Y e t there is no w o r d that we recognize more readi ly or k n o w better than ' t ime . ' Augus t ine argued that "the present has no length" (Agamben , 1993, p . 95), because i f one were to analyse a moment, one w o u l d on ly f ind the future dr if t ing into the past. T h i s is a nascent insight into emptiness as understood i n the Buddhis t tradit ion, where the present is constituted o f no length (that is , t ime) but as nonetheless capable o f being experienced. Such an experience is experience beyond concept ion. In the v i e w 29 subscribed by H H the D a l a i L a m a and many Tibetan Buddhis ts , this experience is not a mere negation o f experience but constitutes an experience o f the nature o f experience itself, w h i c h is clear and k n o w i n g . In such an experience, t ime, w h i c h is necessari ly conceptual as a measured phenomenon, cannot be posited to exist. So , w h i l e d rawing attention to the present moment can be said to be a Buddhis t practice, it is not that such a present moment is conce ived to exist i n some inherent or fundamental way ; it is , instead, an experience o f empty, clear, luminous k n o w i n g . A s Ben jamin (1968) and others have argued, the advent o f moderni ty brought w i t h it a secular ized experience o f t ime, adapted f rom the earlier rectil inear, quantifiable phenomenon but w i t h no foreseeable end, just a continuous, un i form before and after. S u c h a mono l i th i c t ime continued to be conceived o f as a series o f d is t i l led instants analogous to geometric "points" i n t ime. A g a m b e n (1993) argues that: T h i s representation o f t ime as homogeneous, recti l inear and empty derives f rom the experience o f manufacturing w o r k and is sanctioned by modern mechanics . . . .The experience o f dead t ime abstracted f rom experience, w h i c h characterizes life i n modern cities and factories, seems to g ive credence to the idea that the precise fleeting instant is the on ly human t ime. (p. 96) Furthermore, the effect o f this extension o f the spatial (as points or lines) to apply to the temporal is that, just as mo t ion i n space is reversible, so is the modern concept ion o f movement through experience. Th i s is quite contrary to the Buddhis t concept ion o f ka rma and the i r revers ib i l i ty o f t ime. E v e n w i t h i n the scientific communi ty , the recogni t ion o f this bias has led the Italian biologis t T i e z z i (1996) to argue for a reconfigurat ion o f our understanding o f nature from spatial to temporal terms: 30 . . .In m y op in ion , we apply a Gestalt o f space to the concept o f t ime. Space is reversible and isotropic, t ime is irreversible and anisotropic. In our th ink ing , t ime is an interval . F o r space we are accustomed to say: S ix ty ki lometres from Florence to Siena or 60 k m from Siena to Florence. W e do the same w i t h t ime: 20 years ago or 20 years unt i l the year 2016; whereas t ime should be thought o f as irreversible and expressed i n terms o f negentropy, stored informat ion, b iodivers i ty , number o f correlations, events, interactions. 1 T h i s modern ized isotropic, mechanized and spatial concept ion o f t ime came to affect the narrative cont inui ty o f a human l i fe , according to T a y l o r (1989) who argues that the 2 0 t h century "modern" aesthetic rejected both the o p t i m i s m o f disengaged reason as progress and o f R o m a n t i c i s m as the re-integration o f feel ing and reason. In m o v i n g away f rom a l inear concept ion o f t ime as progress and an organic concept ion o f t ime as a spiral or cyc le , modern society also eroded the sense o f an organic continui ty and developmental growth to human experience. "Some o f the major writers we think o f as modernist carry us quite outside the modes o f narration w h i c h endorse a life o f cont inui ty or growth w i t h one biography or across generations" (p. 464). A c c o r d i n g to Tay lo r , this displaced the centre o f gravity f rom a sense o f se l f to a f l o w o f experience , complement ing the inwardness that was the hal lmark o f the i n d i v i d u a l i s m o f early modern i sm. Superf ic ia l ly , such a decentred inwardness appears to accord w i t h the " t rad i t ional" non-modern Buddhis t inward reflections on no-self. Y e t the two differ substantially i n that the Buddhis t process o f decentred inwardness is designed to real ize interdependence rather than ind iv idua l i sm, and speci f ica l ly interdependence as it arise i n a causal progression (karmic l inearity) within a c y c l i c continui ty (reincarnation i n c y c l i c 31 existence) o f time. Accord ing ly , for B u d d h i s m the f low o f experience has a directed, progressive trajectory, whi le the quality o f such experience is o f great import as it aspires to a state o f perfection free o f the suffering o f cyclic existence and rebirth. This attention to causality and development corrects some o f the nihilistic tendencies that arise w i t h a tri decentred sense o f self and identity. The decentred inwardness o f 20 century modernism, for instance, is deeply imbued wi th nihilistic tendencies, w h i c h have deep roots in the Western Enlightenment tradition (Gil lespie, 1995). A c c o m p a n y i n g mechanized time and decentred identities, modernity fo l lowing W W I , according to Benjamin (1968) brought w i th it a "poverty o f experience" characterized by a loss o f what he referred to as "the aura" that gave perception its sense o f authenticity and significance (p. 223). In its place grew an abstracted, mass re/produced experience in wh ich the singularity o f experience became lost. There may have been a f low to experience, but it became something mass produced and no longer unique, reflected in Pound ' s (1956) poem "In a Station o f the M e t r o " : "The apparit ion o f these faces in the c rowd; / Petals on a wet, black bough." This poverty o f experience was ushered in by a disruption in what Benjamin called "historical t ime," that is, an experience o f t ime that arose w i t h the participation in stories o f personal and collect ive pasts—the narratives o f traditions: It is as i f something that seemed inalienable to us, the securest among our possessions, were taken from us: the ability to exchange experiences. One reason for this phenomenon is obvious: experience has fallen in value. A n d it l ooks as i f it is continuing to fall into bottomlessness. .. Experience wh ich is passed on from mouth to mouth is the source from wh ich all storytellers have drawn. A n d among 32 those who have wri t ten d o w n the tales, it is the great ones whose wri t ten vers ion differs least f rom the speech o f the many nameless storytellers, (p. 83-84) W h i l e W W I served as the catalyst for such a dissociat ion f rom direct experience according to Ben jamin , A g a m b e n (1993) argues that today such a state is pervasive and no longer needs such catastrophes to come into being. Instead, it has become the very cond i t ion o f da i ly , modern urban l i fe , where the experience o f t ime has become bereft o f both history and direct perceptual experience. O u r accelerating " rush" is mir rored i n the steadily increasing speed w i t h w h i c h we communica te—in both wr i t i ng and speak ing— and hence i n our interpersonal relations. Indeed, our estrangement f rom ourselves (as experience) and history (as tradition) has accompanied an equal ly t roubl ing estrangement f rom one another. Paradoxica l ly , the very pervasiveness o f the effects o f this acceleration and dissocia t ion has made it inv is ib le , or at least diff icul t to recognize, for those without the means to step outside its way o f being. That w o u l d require either systematic analyt ical reflection, or, more effectively, the direct experience o f a different w a y o f be ing i n t ime and hence i n the world—that is , another manner o f l i v i n g i n t ime and invent ion. Instead, tradit ion tends to be treated as some conservative and sentimental attachment to the past. I use the term " t radi t ion" to refer to a manner o f l i v i n g o f human beings i n a part icular space-time cont inuum. Tradi t ions arise as uninterrupted cycles o f narrative (that is , t ime) and experience (that is , space). " M o d e r n i t y , " on the other hand, can be dis t inguished f rom tradi t ion insofar as it arises as a rupture or jump (depending on whether the change is perceived as harmful or beneficial) . In this sense, w h i l e modernity suggests an accelerat ion o f temporal change and globalization its spatial equivalent, such 33 a d ichotomous v i e w is over ly s impl is t ic . In altering the way we l ive i n t ime, moderni ty has impacted s ignif icant ly on the w a y we l ive i n space v i a architecture, transportation, and technologies. It has changed the way we "use" space—where the idea o f using rather than inhabiting space is i t se l f a modern re l ic . A c c o r d i n g l y , moderni ty and g loba l iza t ion are rec iproca l ly related. F o r instance, the compress ion o f space associated w i t h g loba l iza t ion has been enacted through the compress ion o f t ime created by "mode rn" technologies o f informat ion, communica t ion , and transportation. Indeed, this temporal d imens ion o f g loba l iza t ion is sometimes referred to as the g lobal " n o w , " a term used by Appadura i (1996) w i t h early precursors dating back to Ben jamin (1968). E lec t ron ic med ia i n part icular have contributed to the experience o f g lobal immediacy . G l o b a l i z a t i o n has impacted most s ignif icant ly on education through the migra t ion o f peoples—whether as refugees, foreign students, development consultants, foreign workers , immigrants , or tourists. W i t h such migra t ion comes the g loba l movement o f development dollars and hence o f "values ," and w i t h them the modern iza t ion o f tradit ional perspectives, institutions, cultural practices, and the systems o f education that support them. In this respect, g lobal iza t ion and the process o f modern iza t ion has been and continues to be rec iprocal ly related, and nowhere more than i n education. B. Education in the global local/e: Norbe rg -Hodge (1991, 1997), i n her studies o f ecology and culture i n L a d a k h , and W o l f g a n g Sachs (1992), i n his ca l l for "commoners" to rec la im the loca l "p lace" over the g loba l "space," understand cultural knowledge to be situated i n lineages o f relations between loca l peoples and eco logica l niches or places. Coe rc ive aspects o f co lon ia l , neo-colonia l , modern state and n o w globa l economic interventions continue to enact ruptures i n loca l people ' s connections to ecologica l , geographical , and s y m b o l i c (for example , cultural) situatedness. A s i d e f rom extremes o f legislated and enforced changes, the process is complex and often involves the c o m m o n people ' s c o m p l i c i t y as they attempt to negotiate g loba l and loca l knowledge; they are not passive agents i n the process. It is a dialogue i n w h i c h the desires o f the people interested i n the cont inui ty and we l lbe ing o f their loca l cultures and places negotiate w i t h what can be either a conf l ic t ing or compat ible desire for the experience o f the modern, g lobal " n o w . " A g a i n this reinforces the d i f f icu l ty o f representing freedom on a s imple consent/coercion cont inuum. H o w free can people be said to be to negotiate potent ial ly conf l ic t ing interests and desires w h e n subject to subconscious manipula t ion by signs p romis ing satisfaction i n the absence o f any tangible evidence or means to such satisfaction? Norbe rg -Hodge (1997) cr i t ic izes g lobal iza t ion for its impact on the loca l autonomy and eco logy o f loca l , rural economies. She distinguishes between the Buddhis t no t ion o f interdependence and the g loba l dependence generated by corporate g loba l iza t ion . W h i l e interdependence i n B u d d h i s m leads to a healthy relat ionship between the loca l and the col lec t ive , d rawing on to the "uni ty o f a l l l i fe , the inextr icable web i n w h i c h nothing can c l a i m a separate or static existence," g loba l dependence, on the other hand, threatens loca l economies and cultures. " G l o b a l i z a t i o n means the undermin ing o f the l ive l ihoods and cultural identities o f the majori ty o f the w o r l d ' s people ." B u d d h i s m provides both a mot ive and means to counter this (p. 3) : In effect, g loba l iza t ion means the destruction o f cultural diversi ty. It means monocul ture . Cul tu ra l diversi ty is a reflect ion o f people 's connect ion to their 35 loca l environment, to the l iv ing w o r l d . .. . I f globalizat ion is bringing monoculture, then its most profound impact w i l l be on the Th i rd W o r l d , where much o f the w o r l d ' s remaining cultural diversity is to be found. . . . A s Buddhis t faced w i t h the reality o f a global economic system bent on destruction, w e have little choice but to become engaged. B u d d h i s m provides us w i th both the imperative and the tools to challenge the economic structures that are creating and perpetuating suffering over the wor ld , (p. 3-6) L o c a l cultural differences necessarily involve some degree o f educational differences, insofar as culture is learned or enacted through formal or informal education. W h i l e pedagogical differences exist wi th in and between Western communities and states themselves, there are sufficient similarities across such differences to refer to a global (that is, transnational) phenomenon o f modern, Western public education. This is the dominant form o f education exported to the developing wor ld , first through colonial and n o w through neo-colonial development initiatives. Furthermore, there are few alternative models o f education readily accessible to modern experience that do not fit somewhere on the historical lineage o f this European system, wh ich grew out o f industrial economies o f the European Enlightenment and its related Romant ic backlashes. Accord ing ly , "educat ion" has become increasingly equated wi th this particular lineage and model , w h i c h includes a specific pattern o f disciplinary organization, literacy practices, teacher-student relations, student-student relations, and crit ical styles (or lack thereof), wh ich are often consistent across vastly diverse geographical and cultural differences. This study is based on the author's experience l iv ing and studying in various Tibetan refugee communities, where educational modernizat ion has been negotiated over 36 the four decades since their exodus from Tibet. I focus my study on a traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t monastic curr iculum, wh ich conversely developed over several millennia in an Indian and later Tibetan lineage unconnected to the European. I do so both to appreciate its considerable differences and to examine h o w those differences are negotiated by students reacting to various forces o f globalization and modernizat ion both in Tibet and in exile in India. Furthermore, the study concerns women—nuns—who were formerly excluded from the traditional curr iculum under study. In this respect, the site selected for the study is i tself a sign o f the complex dialogue between tradit ion and modernity, whereby access to the curr iculum by this heretofore disenfranchised group was procured in large part by the effects o f global , modernizing development influences. C. Traditions of invention and education: Educa t ion is a significant site wherein our collective remembering and forgetting transpire, and so contributes to our experiences o f time and continuity and connection wi th the past. W i t h the term "education," I refer most specifically to formal, institutionalized, o r at least systematized, attention and efforts both to "draw out" the unique and more "human" abilities and interests o f students, while social izing them in particular wor ldv iews and practices across generations. In the latter role, formal education serves as institutionalized remembering, both in the contents and process o f explicit and hidden curricula. In this respect, formal education is i n part a "communi ty o f memory," what S imon and Eppert (1996) describe as: . . . structured sets o f relationships through wh ich people engage representations o f past events and put forth shared, complementary, and/or competing versions o f 37 what should be remembered and how. W i t h i n these relationships people make topical the significance o f their understanding o f past events, arguing over the rework ing o f narratives and images w h i c h embody and elicit l i v ing memories. Wha t binds people wi th in such relationships is the promissory relation o f memory to redemption, (p. 17) M e m o r y , o n w h i c h our experience o f t ime is predicated, establishes a sense o f interdependence, interrelatedness, and interconnection across var ious experiences, both wi th in one 's o w n life and w i t h those o f others. Col lec t ive memory is encoded i n "traditions," wh ich are not just memories but knowledge recreated in direct experience, often through rituals o f engagement wi th in formal and informal education. A t the same time, the seeming extreme polarities o f tradition/modernity, continuity/discontinuity and conservation/creativity are i n part artefacts o f conceptual language and its tendency to construct d ichotomous oppositions. T o reify such polarities distorts the complexi ty o f l ived experience. 3 I f such experience is to be located, it is in the ambiguous, generative space o r gap distinguishing such concepts. Furthermore, only in such ambiguity where concepts somehow collapse can w e assert a viable freedom that is more than conceptual; it is the promise o f the experience o f a freedom beyond words—a freedom to be ra//ized. Modern i ty , o n the other hand, has tended to focus o n freedom as procured and realized through laws, rational principles and reason or ratio—that is, as freedom o f choice, thought and speech. The difficulty wi th such an approach is that any impact reason exerts on experience and decision-making is negotiated through desires, w h i c h are prone to t r e a s o n a b l y manipulate our reasons into rationalizations. Unde r such circumstances, even the crudest forms o f usury and exploitation are rationalized wi th in 38 modernism—both capitalist and communist. This has been further reinforced by a v i e w o f creativity in w h i c h it is purportedly necessary to destroy the o ld to create a space for the invention o f the new, thereby exacerbating the perceived polar izat ion o f conservation/creativity. 4 What has ensued is an acceleration o f time and desire, w h i c h has planted the seeds o f a g rowing sense o f discontent, ennui, dissociation, disconnection, and alienation from both memory and direct experience. The rupture between history as tradition and the experience o f modernity arises as cultural and temporal discontinuity. In such a discontinuous state, even in the face o f col lect ive and personal acts o f remembering through ritual, history is disengaged f rom any meaningful connection wi th daily experience. There is a loss o f a sense o f interconnection and interrelations across time, and so history becomes something remote and disengaged from our daily experience. In the ensuing vo id , the place o f ritual is replaced wi th the consumption o f the material signs o f such traditions and memories without any corresponding connective transformation in experience. Ri tuals and traditions conserve qualities o f experience across successive generations; in interrupting such traditions, modernity has left a paucity o f experience in its wake , and a v o i d to be inadequately fil led by disposable consumer goods. Accord ing ly , non-modern cultures l ike Tibet 's , still steeped in the sense o f ritual and the sacred, offer a w i n d o w into a different v i ew and experience o f time, memory, tradition, and creativity. The creativity o f the people tends to be expressed collect ively rather than individually, and the remembering tends to focus on community traditions rather than on personal history. In the last four decades, Tibetans have attempted to conserve this collect ive memory, inscribed in Buddhis t culture, texts, and educational 39 institutions, against the massive rupture posed by the violent invasion and occupat ion o f Tibet by M a i n l a n d Chinese military forces. Accompany ing and trai l ing this literal invasion was an equally violent and destructive symbolic invasion that was couched wi th in a modernist development agenda. The Cul tura l Revo lu t ion became a concerted and violent attempt to enact the forgetting needed to bring about the creative " revolu t ion" so characterized and coveted by the modern obsession wi th innovation. This concerted, violent attack on traditional culture has continued unabated in Tibet and C h i n a up to the present, in spite o f the purported end o f the official capital "C"-cap i t a l " R " vers ion . 5 The opposi t ion o f conservation and creativity as mutually exclusive binaries has become so reified in contemporary life that terms l ike conserving, tradition, and even continuity have become pejorative in their conventional use, often associated wi th right w i n g views. L i k e w i s e has the overstated opposi t ion between modernity and tradition encouraged a subtractive extremism, in wh ich one is asserted to negate the other, or vice versa. What such subtractive logic over looks is that to conserve experiences o f time and patterns o f relations as "culture" in the face o f continuous change requires considerable creativity, inventiveness and even freedom on the part o f the people participating in conserving such traditions. Indeed, more than anything else, culture is a creative strategy to conserve such experiences and patterns o f relations across time. T o focus on the cultural as creative, Cl i f ford (1998) refers to "traditions o f invention," to correct some o f the biases and dangers suggested by the idea o f the "invention o f tradit ion." The problem w i t h the concept ion o f tradit ion as invented, that is, w i th "the invention o f tradit ion," is that it suggests tradition is comparable to any disposable human (marketable) product, something to be invented, consumed, disposed of, and re-invented for another market. O f 40 course, moderni t ies and global izat ion/s are themselves cul tural ly invented traditions o f invent ion i n the process o f be ing passed d o w n through generations. At tempt ing to understand alternative "traditions o f inven t ion" offers those o f us concerned by the pauci ty o f experience i n the g lobal " n o w " a means to begin to learn alternative strategies for integrating his tor ical and inter/personal connections. Over t co lon ia l occupat ion and the forced moderniza t ion that tends to accompany it, as i n the case o f Tibet , is fo l lowed by a per iod i n w h i c h overt v io lence becomes progressively supplanted by what B o u r d i e u (1991) cal ls symbol i c v io lence . S y m b o l i c power is exercised p r inc ipa l ly through the g iv ing o f a "gi f t" that creates an obl iga t ion i n the oppressed such that their freedom is curtai led symbo l i ca l l y rather than through force or coerc ion . In such circumstances, domina t ion and force become ve i l ed beneath relations that appear reciprocal and voluntary. In the case o f g loba l iza t ion through educational development, this idea o f a fo rm o f power and v io lence exercised s y m b o l i c a l l y through the g i v i n g o f a gif t—for example, language, education, and economic development. The phenomenon o f symbol i c v io lence challenges the enlightenment d ichotomy between freedom as consent and lack o f freedom as overt force and constraint. A s B o u r d i e u (1991) explains, " A l l symbol i c domina t ion presupposes, o n the part o f those w h o submit to it, a form o f compl i c i t y w h i c h is neither submiss ion to external constraint nor a free adherence to values. . . .The distinctiveness o f symbo l i c domina t ion lies precisely i n the fact that it assumes, o f those who submit to it, an attitude w h i c h challenges the usual d ichotomy o f freedom and constraint" (p. 50-51). 41 D. The role of desire: T h i s introduces the rather paradoxica l role o f desire. 6 M o r e than any other factor, the power o f want and desire drives the g lobal development agenda—it gives the " n o w " its particular qual i ty o f urgency. Af ter a l l , cultural and educational modernizat ions are not enacted exc lus ive ly nor even p r inc ipa l ly through top-down structures related to the movement o f development pol ic ies , capital , and/or educational programs and teachers. The failure o f development pol ic ies a imed at implement ing med ica l i zed bir th control is a good example o f the shortcomings o f attempts to change desires through ra t ional ized top-d o w n pol ic ies and structures, except when backed by totalitarian state forces l ike those i n M a i n l a n d C h i n a . Rather, modernizat ion, i n this case educational moderniza t ion , tends to transpire as an enactment o f the agency and desires o f students and teachers, and varies w i t h their ab i l i ty to articulate and communicate those desires w i t h i n the system. T h i s raises the quest ion o f the relat ionship between desire and qual i ty o f l i fe when med ia and advert is ing intervene, w h i c h , i n turn, begs the question: " W h o s e desires are being satisfied by the sys tem?" A s A d o r n o (1957/1993) points out, " A m a n k i n d w h i c h no longer k n o w s want w i l l begin to have an i n k l i n g o f the delusory, futile nature o f a l l the arrangements hitherto made to escape want, w h i c h used weal th to reproduce want on a larger scale" (p. 156-157). The accelerat ion o f t ime/change accompanying the g lobal " n o w " can also be understood as an intensif icat ion and acceleration o f desire. Unde r such pressure, people reach more and more beyond immediate, spat ial ly- temporal ly situated experience i n search o f meaning and satisfaction. People are pressured to accept things they don ' t or can ' t have, and this creates a frustration and dr ive to push beyond loca l cul tural , 42 economic and eco log ica l l imi t s . W h i l e the most obvious antidote to want is satiation, rather paradoxica l ly , the route to such satisfaction is not necessarily through procur ing what it is one desires. E v e n ordinary experience tells us that the act o f rece iv ing what w e think we want can produce even greater desire. Strategies for e l imina t ing want as a negative aspect o f human experience are at the root o f B u d d h i s m , even i n Tantra where a path is accessed by means o f desire itself. So , to study Buddhis ts and B u d d h i s m interacting i n moderni ty offers a w i n d o w into a deeper understanding o f the role o f desire i n the process o f modern iza t ion and global iza t ion. B e n j a m i n (1955/1968), inf luenced by his in-depth studies o f Judaic m y s t i c i s m and the events leading up to the Holocaust , reflected at length o n t ime-consciousness and the modern "now- t ime . " F o r h i m , the greatest expectations, those for just ice and emancipat ion f rom oppression, are what dr ive experiences into a future, but emanate f rom the expectations o f the peoples o f history and the past. B e n j a m i n argued that t ime i n the modern consciousness was represented i f not experienced as empty and homogenous, as i f the past existed on ly i m p l i c i t l y i n a crys ta l l ized , future-oriented present. H e offered an alternative rendering o f modern t ime as "now- t ime , " w h i c h was not even un ique ly "mode rn" but a messianic concept ion o f t ime, such as the Jewish idea that "every second o f t ime was the strait gate through w h i c h the M e s s i a h might enter" (p. 264). It is a concept ion o f t ime as something fu l l o f the creative poss ib i l i ty o f desires and hopes ar is ing from the past. In m y reading o f his rather crypt ic annotations, Ben jamin (1955/1968) refuted the modernist v i e w o f progress, i n w h i c h the present was represented as the cu lmina t ion o f a discrete series o f past experiences accumulat ing l ike "beads on a rosary." Instead, he 43 understood the present as ar is ing f rom expectations rooted i n past injustices. N o doubt inf luenced by the events unfold ing i n Europe i n the 1930s, he wished to interrupt the future-orientation o f modern i ty ' s faith i n progress by posi t ing that the cont inuat ion o f t radi t ion c o u l d be secured as m u c h by barbarism as by culture (Habermas, 1987, p. 14). A c c o r d i n g l y , he reconfigured the t ime-consciousness o f moderni ty , founded as it was on the idea o f progress as a cont inuum connect ing a prehistory o f t radit ion w i t h a future-orientat ion o f the present, to one i n w h i c h the focus is instead turned towards the sense o f responsibi l i ty towards the remembrance o f the past. H e argued that the present was not so m u c h an empty, homogenous disjuncture i n w h i c h tradit ion and innovat ion creat ively m o v e d into a future, but was instead a cont inual c a l l to remember and remain accountable to the unfinished projects o f the past—the desires o f the past. In the process, he p r iv i l eged remembrance over the modernist preoccupat ion w i t h future-oriented revolu t ion as the path to l iberat ion and just ice. E . Freedom in modernity/ies: Libe ra t ion and just ice constitute two o f the p r inc ipa l r a l l y i n g universals o f the Enl igh tenment . 7 T h i s century, these ideals became eroded as meaningful constructs as they became equated w i t h unbr idled capi ta l i sm and rational, self-interested i nd iv idua l i sm . Indeed, so dissociated have they become from moderni ty that its current \ incarnat ion as g loba l iza t ion has come under severe cri t ique on the very grounds that it threatens to el iminate freedom and choice through a loss o f cultural and loca l diversi ty. The p r inc ipa l perpetrator o f this threat, according to T a y l o r (1992), is instrumental ra t ional ism. H e faults moderni ty on the basis o f three pr inc ipa l malaises: 1) the rise o f 44 individual ism; 2) the disenchantment that comes wi th the primacy o f instrumental reason; and, 3) the industrial-technical alienation arising from such instrumental reasoning and the loss o f freedom, choice, and diversity it entails. The experience o f such modern malaise has given rise to /?os/-modernist, feminist and cultural studies' perspectives oriented o n cri t iquing and correcting aspects o f the Western Enlightenment project (for example, Foucault , 1965/1988, 1984; L y o t a r d , 1988/1991; G i r o u x , 1991, B o r d o , 1987; Hard ing , 1991; andBhabha , 1994). Others, l ike Habermas (1985/1987), in an attempt to salvage the Enlightenment 's promise o f freedom and justice, have argued that modernity and rationalism are incomplete projects, which , in shifting from subject- to system-centred rationalities, are coming to address these shortcomings. Horkhe imer and A d o r n o (1972/1996) launched an early crit ique o f modernity c la iming that the dialectic o f the Enlightenment was self-negating and w o u l d lead inexorably to totalitarianism by emptying i tself o f all religious and metaphysical value wi th only power and self-interest remaining in their wake. One can see this in the degree o f self-interest and corrupt ion found and often tolerated in both communist and capitalist secular democracies today. In both systems, "commoners" exert little influence over their governance, whi le the gap between the r ich and the poor has widened demonstrably in the last decade wi th increasing economic global iza t ion. 8 It is difficult to see K a n t ' s (1784/1970 version/1996) dream o f freedom as an end to "self-incurred immaturi ty ," where "immaturi ty is the inability to use one's o w n understanding without the guidance o f another" in today 's bureaucratized, technocratic and specialized society (p. 51-57). A d o r n o (1966/1973), responding to the Holocaus t as the ultimate end o f modern instrumental rationalism, argued for a philosophical rationality in wh ich thinking 45 subverts i tself through a negative dialectics to permit the emergence, expression, and recogni t ion o f both nature and experience. T o do so, he contended, dialectical negation must be corrected o f its tendencies both to reconcile opposites in idealized reconcil iat ion and to forcibly suppress opponent views. It is this v i ew I return to often as it closely approximates the Buddhis t interpretation o f the necessary ethical relation between reason and direct experience. Another important contemporary opposi t ion to modernity, not directly l inked to the post- and late modernists ' critiques, comes from those articulating a role for traditions to temper the excesses and ethical shortcomings o f modernit ies. 9 After Benjamin 's early w o r k on the interruption o f historical narratives and time, the role o f traditions in modernity has been taken up by some contemporary scholars, w h o differ in the extent o f their critique o f modernist values. These include Al i sda i r M c l n t y r e (1984), T u W e i m i n g (1985, 1998a, 1998b), Rober t Thurman (1984), B o w e r s (1993), and Thomas B e r r y (1988, 1996). These "traditions" critiques focus to varying degrees on moderni ty 's deleterious effects on the experience and idea o f community and ecological interdependence, its attempts to rationalize and devalue "habits o f the heart," and its tendency to be mis/represented as a monol i thic Western enterprise rather than as a culturally diverse manifestation. A s T u W e i m i n g (1998) suggests: . . . Under ly ing this reexamination [of modernity] is the intriguing issue o f traditions in modernity. The dichotomous thinking o f tradit ion and modernity as two incompatible forms o f life w i l l have to be replaced by a much more nuanced investigation o f the continous interaction between modernity as the perceived outcome o f "rat ionalizat ion" defined in Weber ian terms and traditions as "habits 46 o f the heart" (to bo r row an expression from Alex i s de Tocquevi l le) , enduring modes o f thinking, or salient features o f cultural self-understanding. The traditions in modernity are not merely historical sedimentation passively deposited in modern consciousness. N o r are they, in functional terms, simply inhibit ing factors to be undermined by the unilinear trajectory o f development. O n the contrary, they are both constraining and enabling forces capable o f shaping the particular contour o f modernity in any given society, (p. 9-10) Habermas (1985/1987) suggests that in this century, rationalism, the principal phi losophical discourse o f modernity (for example, Kant , M a r x , and Habermas himself), became progressively dissociated from modernizat ion as social, educational, and economic development projects, wh ich n o w propagate under the phenomenon o f "global iza t ion." Habermas argues the need for an ideal public sphere o f rational debate to critique and keep in check the social and economic manifestations o f modernity. H e claims that this dissociation o f modernity as a rational intellectual project f rom modernity as an economic development project may have enabled the exploitative and oppressive dimensions o f economic modernizat ion to propagate unabated. F o r him, modernity is an unfinished project, and it is the responsibility o f engaged intellectuals to serve as ethical arbiters to ensure the project is carried to complet ion. So, although the economic and cultural manifestations o f globalizat ion are the factors most directly threatening the interests o f "the l oca l " as economic, cultural and ecological diversity, the modernist intellectual legacy has exerted a significant, albeit indirect, role. A s L y o t a r d (1988/1991) suggests, "Capi ta l is not an economic and social phenomenon. It is the shadow cast by the principle o f reason on human relations" (p. 69). 47 L y o t a r d is referring to that particular manifestation o f reason associated wi th the rational (Enlightenment) organization o f society and property. What he neglects to consider is that other cultures w i th highly rational systems o f thought did not generate economies organized to the same degree around personal, capital accumulat ion (most notably, in this case, Tibetan society). W h i l e reason is part o f the human endowment, it arises uniquely across diverse cultural, even perhaps ecological , contexts. W h e n "tradi t ional" education systems are exposed to modernizing and global iz ing influences, they come under the influence o f certain approaches to knowledge and experience imported f rom other cultural and ecological contexts. A s benign as modern education may appear to be, i f L y o t a r d is right, it w i l l nonetheless condi t ion much more than intellectual ideas as its effects come to be felt in a community. It w i l l directly condi t ion a people 's experience o f time, their desires, and the quality o f their experience from something ecological ly and historically connected into something more in accord w i t h the dissociat ion and dispossession o f late capitalism. The culprit is not the form o f logic o f Western rationalism per se, but rather the complex colonia l and culturally invasive education systems and practices used to instil it. Cummins (1988, 1989, 1991a, 1991b, 1992) calls this "cultural invasion," a subtractive interaction between t w o cultures where a dominant culture is inculcated at the expense o f the loss o f a first or mother language and culture. A s Cummins argues, formal education is the site where such invasion is most significantly enacted. H i s research considers immigrant experiences, but the model is applicable to the developing w o r l d , as attested to in the w o r k o f the Afr ican author and social crit ic N g u g i w a T h i o n g ' o ' s (1986, 1993) commentary o n the co lon ia l legacy o f the E n g l i s h language and education system i n K e n y a ( M a c P h e r s o n , 1997). I have engaged i n this cri t ique o f the g lobal iza t ion o f education not to v i l i f y g loba l , modern education, but rather to convey the need to complement i f not counter its cul tura l ly invas ive tendencies w i t h safeguards for cul tural and eco log ica l diversi ty. I have done so w i t h the hopes that cultural ex/change w i l l become more creat ively and rec iproca l ly directed between the developed and developing wor lds . In this part icular study, I w i l l focus o n ar t iculat ing such a space for Tibetan Buddhis t education, w i t h the hopes that others w i l l take m y cue and consider other formal and informal tradit ional or "al ternative" education systems f rom the developing w o r l d i n a s imi l a r way . N o w I w i l l out l ine the specific questions that guide this particular inquiry . F. Questions to guide our inquiry: 1. Comparative theories of learning and knowledge: What is different about the presentation and education o f reason i n the Indo-Tibetan tradit ion that makes its effects any different f rom elsewhere? H o w do such differences, i n turn, interact w i t h modernizat ion? Differences i n epis temology can create confl ic ts for students hav ing to negotiate disparate home and school cultures. In the case o f European secular ra t ional ism, its epis temological differences w i t h Indo-Tibetan B u d d h i s m are not as extreme as w i t h other re l ig ious systems because B u d d h i s m rejects va l ida t ion by scripture or the word . Nonetheless, there are epis temological differences, and i n part icular concern ing the relat ion between reason and direct experience. It is important to consider h o w such epis temological differences are translated into the 49 educational practices and texts used to acculturate students into the monastic culture and system. B y conduct ing this inquiry as an ethnographic study, I am interested in juxtaposing phi losophical [e.g. rationalized] narratives about reason and direct experience w i t h the educational practices and l ived experiences o f my participants. A d o r n o (1966/1973) argues that where, in the Enlightenment, certain problems were set aside to prevent a dogmatic authority from deciding on what eluded rationality, eventually the very existence o f such problems became dismissed on the basis o f being too imprecisely defined. "What may or may not be reflected upon, however urgent, is regulated by a method blithely model led after the current methods o f exact science. .. Experiences that balk at being unequivocally tagged get a dressing-down: the difficulties they cause are said to be due solely to loose, pre-scientific nomenclature" (p. 211). Similarly, I am interested in considering h o w the highly rational system o f philosophical training found in Tibetan (Gelugpa) Buddhis t monasteries interacts w i th the challenges o f the l ived experiences o f students engaged in the training. What , i f anything, is left out? The education o f experience is conducted more directly in the meditative (tantric) tradition, formally studied in Ge lugpa monasteries only after the conclus ion o f the 15-20 year philosophical (sutra) program o f studies. Y e t , students are immersed in l iv ing, not just in meditative experiences, and h o w effectively the system offers insight into those experiences bears significantly on the ability o f the system to realize their col lect ive and individual wellbeing. Is the rational educational system able to respond to the complexi ty o f personal experiences, especially those that elude rational representation l ike sufferings associated wi th torture and genocide? What experiences 50 are legitimately addressed in the system and wh ich ones are neglected or marginalized? D o the rational and experiential streams o f the education interrelate, and, i f so, how? 2. The outcome and purpose of knowledge: What are the purposes and ends o f knowledge, and do they affect patterns o f educational practice? In the contemporary modern Western context, knowledge tends to be dr iven by economic interests. Th is is not only a mot ive o f the hidden curr iculum, but is often explici t ly stated in curricular rationale, even at the primary level in purportedly child-centred p rograms . 1 0 Furthermore, in spite o f attempts by such notable educational philosophers as D e w e y (1929, 1916/1944) to place direct experience i n the centre o f curricula, abstract conceptual thought continues to be the desired end o f knowledge. So, a student is a success i f s/he graduates wi th good ideas (that is, expressed in essays and grades) and a job! In Buddh i sm, by contrast, knowledge is valued most explici t ly for its soteriological or liberatory value, and, less explicit ly, to bui ld community cohesion. "R igh t " l ive l ihood is one o f eight aspects o f the "Nob le Eight fo ld Pa th ," the foundation o f the Buddhis t educational path. The emphasis o f such l ivel ihood concerns procur ing the necessities o f l iv ing through ethical actions. A s T h i c h Nhat H a n h (1998) suggests, it is " a way to earn your l iv ing without transgressing your ideals o f love and compassion" (p. 113). Furthermore, just as the end o f knowledge is to be embodied in body, speech, and mind, so is the end o f education. T o realize knowledge, the historical B u d d h a advocated the threefold path o f hearing, thinking and meditating. The question o f what it means directly to realize and embody knowledge, and the path to such realization, pervades both Buddhis t , and hence this, study implici t ly i f not explicit ly. The very form o f its composi t ion seeks to be a mirror o f realization. 51 3. The relation between tradition and modernity in "global" education: This dialogue between reason and direct experience makes its way into dialogues, discussions or conflicts between what is deemed traditional and modern in the "g loba l " modernizat ion o f education. I use the term "g loba l" to indicate a large cultural and geographic span, but w i th the understanding that there is no monoli thic "g loba l" phenomenon. The conditions in w h i c h traditional education systems negotiate modernizat ion—whether they are creatively open or imposed—offer an important indicator o f whether such educational development is as a finely masked case o f neo-colonial cultural and economic invasion, or benign socio-economic "development." Compl ica t ing the tradit ions/modernization relationship is the fact that modernizat ion tends to introduce a particular concept ion o f the nation state that, i n the case o f Tibet, was not present pr ior to the Chinese occupation. Wha t are the points o f overlap and tension between the rise o f nationalism, part o f the Tibetan experience o f modernization, and their attempts to safeguard their traditions o f Tibetan monastic education? In what way are traditions and nationalism compatible and in what way are they in conflict? 4. Gender in Tibetan monastic and global education: M y principal research site is a nunnery. G l o b a l development creates particular struggles for women , w h o often gain much greater access to education and personal development only to find themselves in direct conflict w i th traditional responsibilities to conserve ethnicity, traditions, and community wellbeing against the deleterious effects o f modernizat ion. D o l m a L i n g is a community o f women , though some students prefer to refer to themselves exclusively as "nuns" rather than women. B y whatever name, they are being educated for the first time historically in the traditional monastic curr iculum, a 5 2 are being educated for the first t ime his tor ical ly i n the tradit ional monast ic cu r r i cu lum, a shift that has come through forces o f moderni ty and g lobal iza t ion . W h a t confl icts do w o m e n i n particular face i n negotiating moderni ty and tradit ion i n a monast ic educational cu r r i cu lum? A l s o , after struggling to gain equal access to a system o f education f rom w h i c h they h is tor ica l ly were excluded, are the nuns o f D o l m a L i n g able to adapt it to serve their learning styles, desires and needs? C a n the cu r r i cu lum be considered "gendered" i n the mascul ine after exc lud ing w o m e n for m i l l e n n i a f rom the system? H o w is the education system changing to suit more effectively female students? A t D o l m a L i n g , h o w does the presence o f a modern (that is, A n g l o - I n d i a n colonial-based) secular cu r r i cu lum impact on processes o f curr icular change i n the more tradit ional Buddhis t cu r r i cu lum? H o w do gender and nationalist ic interests, i n part icular the l iberat ion o f Tibe t f rom the Chinese occupat ion, correspond or confl ic t? G i v e n 2 0 % o f the nuns were impr i soned and tortured for po l i t i ca l actions i n Tibet , their nationalist ic sentiments are strong. D o these extend to a desire for emancipat ion as women? These are important considerations to untangle so that we might understand better the impact o f g loba l educational development o n the quali ty o f w o m e n ' s experience. 5. Intercivilization conversations on "freedom" and "creativity": In what w a y can a resuscitated concept ion o f education as a path to a more eco log ica l appreciat ion o f freedom and creativi ty help realize forms o f development that enhance the qual i ty rather than the quantity o f experience? B y " e c o l o g i c a l " I mean a form o f freedom and creativi ty based i n an understanding o f the interdependence and situatedness o f a l l experience. The abi l i ty to attend to experience more deeply can be learned such that one gets more pleasure out o f consuming less. In a related ve in , i n what 53 w ay can education come closer to offering students greater degrees o f satisfaction and wellbeing? H o w do competing modernist/traditional interpretations o f freedom play themselves out in the context o f Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t educational reform? H o w do post-modernist and pre-modern (for example, Buddhis t ) v iews compare? H o w are creativity and change negotiated wi th in such an educational system, and what are the circumstances that appear to facilitate or restrict such creativity? II. Tibetan education: Historical and contemporary contexts The principal impetus for this study came from a deep desire to understand and communicate my experience o f the Tibetan religion, people, and culture. In this respect, I do not l ook through the lens o f Tibetans and Indo-Tibetan B u d d h i s m as just one among many interesting cases. They are a people w h o have conserved a highly rational and erudite literate tradit ion against centuries o f Islamic, Western and Chinese colonial expansionary incursions. O n l y in the latter ha l f o f this century has Tibet come under significant moderniz ing influences, and then only under circumstances in wh ich change was brutally imposed rather than wi l l ing ly adopted through the imperialistic policies o f the Chinese Communis t regime. F o r Tibetans, it is a painful irony o f history that the occupat ion and coloniza t ion o f their country took place at the very time the rest o f the w o r l d was extricating i tself from co lon ia l i sm. 1 1 Y e t , it has meant they have faced highly unusual and largely supportive circumstances in exile, where n o w many o f the traditions so painstakingly conserved have adapted wi th in an Anglo-Indianized and Amer ican ized context. In India, Tibetans skilfully negotiate their interests in a modern, post-colonial 54 circumstance, trading a r ich cultural and spiritual resource for economic, institutional, pol i t ical and cultural s u r v i v a l . 1 2 A. Historical context: B u d d h i s m developed in India from the 5 t h century B C E until the 1 3 t h century C E , when it was effectively eliminated from India, most probably as a consequence o f a series o f external (for example, M o g u l aggression) and internal factors (for example, disciplinary degeneration 1 3 ) . It wasn ' t until as late as the 8 t h century C E that it made its way into the high altitude plateau o f Tibet, wh ich was then dominated by an animistic rel igion called Bon. Systematic, formal and literate education accompanied B u d d h i s m to Tibet, alongside the impetus to develop a writ ten script based on the Sanskrit alphabet. B u d d h i s m has relied heavily on its more rational education to lend it the resiliency and strength to establish i tself across diverse geographical and cultural milieus. U n l i k e many other A s i a n religious traditions that remained tied to a particular culture (for example, Hinduism) or relied on force to accomplish expansion (for example, Christ ianity or Islam), B u d d h i s m expanded across a large area principally through education—that is, through teachers, texts, and philosophical debates and teachings. 1 4 A l t h o u g h feats o f supposed magic and mystery enhanced Buddh i sm ' s appeal to the popular imagination, it was systematic education and monastic institutions that secured its existence in the face o f inevitable and often ruthless poli t ical and cultural struggles. Tibetans identify the 8 t h century Indian Padmasambhava as the key figure to have introduced B u d d h i s m in Tibet. W i t h the support o f the reigning k ing K h r i - s r o n g lde-btsan (756-797), this Indian Buddhis t yogi or mahasiddha, often referred to as G u r u 55 Rinpoche , was able to teach and impart the most esoteric o f Tantr ic Buddhis t lineages to the Tibe tan people--what was to become the N y i n g m a or " O l d S c h o o l " o f Tibe tan B u d d h i s m . T h i s lineage was j o i n e d by three predominant lineages i n succes s ion—Karma K a g y u , Sakya , and (Kadampa) Gelugpa . A s these lineages appeared, some schools emphasized medi ta t ion and m y s t i c i s m and others monastic d isc ip l ine and reason 1 5 . Today , such differences are the most meaningful dist inctions to be d rawn between the four p r inc ipa l sects and their forms o f education, apart f rom certain regional or loca l loyal t ies . A l l schools offer monastic education i n both sutra (scholastic, rational) and Tantra (meditative, mys t i ca l , imagina l and experiential) , but w i t h significant differences i n emphasis and practice. So, the N y i n g m a and K a r g y u emphasize Tantr ic meditat ion w i t h a " foundat ion" focus on the comple t ion o f a series o f spiri tual meditat ion exercises, whereas the S a k y a and G e l u g p a tend to emphasize analyt ical medi ta t ion and sutra-based t ra ining i n reason and debate as their p r inc ipa l foundation and educational p rac t ices . 1 6 A d m i s s i o n to monast ic schools was open to a l l strata o f society, except w o m e n , so l ong as one was ordained; furthermore, one 's abi l i ty to rise up through the educational administrat ive branch o f the monastic system was based largely on meri t and one 's accomplishments i n debate. So, monastic education became an important avenue for upward m o b i l i t y i n Tibetan society, w h i c h was otherwise mi red i n aristocratic p r iv i lege . E v e n then, aristocrats and incarnate lamas (often from humble famil ies) d i d have certain advantages over their cohorts (Golds te in , 1989). Success i n scholarship was a necessary step to ensuring the respect and power needed w i t h i n a monast ic communi ty to secure, i n turn, posit ions o f influence w i t h i n the governing institutions o f Tibet . A l t h o u g h lay people occupied some cabinet and 56 administrative positions, these individuals were invariably sons o f aristocrats. The most accessible path to upward mobil i ty in Tibetan society was through the monastic education system, where intelligence or g o o d fortune could compensate for less-than-blue b lood . The most upward mobi l i ty was found i n the educational administration o f monasteries, wh ich included the abbot and three "religious heads" or ucho (chanting master, disciplinarian, and principal). The managerial administration (financial) tended to be dominated by the children o f aristocrats, and it was this group that tended to have the closest ties w i th the central government, also dominated by aristocrats (Goldstein, 1989, p. 31-32). Nonetheless, the upward mobil i ty that did exist in the monastic system made its education o f great social value, in spite o f its being more preoccupied wi th abstruse points o f epistemology and philosophy than wi th issues o f poli t ical and social theory. A l t h o u g h the meditative tradition encouraged wi thdrawal and reclusivity, the scholarly education system developed a complex and reciprocal relationship wi th the secular powers and state. F o r these and other reasons, the system became entrenched and unprepared to face shifting circumstances. Furthermore, though the dialectical debate and scholastic tradition had merits, its association wi th the secular state gave it more power and influence than was justified by its scholarly and pedagogical value. In some cases such power was exercised against other less "scholarly" and "monast ic" schools, as in the Jonang or later in the N y i n g m a cases . 1 7 The effect o f the pol i t ical alignments between monastic society and the Chinese emperors, v i a the institution o f the Da la i L a m a , added to the highly scholastic education o f the monastic system, was the progressive separation literate/monastic from secular/lay communities in Tibet. E v e n inside monasteries, literacy education involved an emphasis 57 on reading rather than on wri t ing , wh ich encouraged the transmission rather than creative adaptation o f the Indian Buddhis t system as it became established in Tibetan monastic culture. Furthermore, the male monastic community was considerably larger than the female, thereby gendering the secular/monastic separation by leaving a larger propor t ion o f the lay communi ty female. The further gendering o f literary/oral cultural distinctions was bolstered by the fact that the nuns did not participate in the literate education enjoyed by monks, thereby tending to accentuate the separation even further. Tibetan scholarship became equated wi th Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t [male] scholarship . 1 8 L a y people have access to less formal oral teachings given by lamas, generally in large, public gatherings, but on subjects quite distinct f rom the monastic education tradition. A l t h o u g h monks and nuns often j o i n the audiences for such teachings, these studies are perceived to constitute informal rather than formal education for the monks and nuns. In the Ge lugpa lineage, the group o f Buddhis t teachings commonly presented to such lay, public gatherings are commentaries on Atisha's Lctmrim or " L a m p for the Pa th to Enlightenment" teachings. At i sha (982-1054) was an Indian monk w h o came to Tibet in the 1 1 t h century; he distrusted the highly scholastic and rational tradition o f dialectical debate, then popular in Indian monasteries (Dreyfus, 1997, p. 21-23). A t i sha believed it was more important to apply Buddhis t teachings to the experience o f daily life in Tibet through analytical reflections on such topics as karma, suffering, impermanence, and the rare and precious human birth. Whi l e lay people did have access to formal instruction o f this nature, they were largely excluded from the more scholarly activities o f monasteries and hence remained largely non-literate w i th the exception o f members o f a few aristocratic families. Indeed, no viable secular system o f education emerged in Tibet 58 unti l long after the Chinese occupat ion o f 1949. U n t i l then, only the most privi leged o f L h a s a aristocrats sent their children either to basic training programs for public servants in L h a s a or outside Tibet to Darjeeling or other Himalayan hil l stations to attend Jesuit-run schools. This further secured the poli t ical and secular power o f the monasteries over the administration o f Tibet, and contributed, many Tibetans believe, to their vulnerable posi t ion in 1 9 4 9 . 1 9 Since H H the 3rd Da la i L a m a in the 16 t h century, the Gelugpas maintained administrative control over Tibet, wh ich was nonetheless so decentralized that such influence was difficult to meaningfully secure except in the region o f the capital o f L h a s a (the capital during and after the reign o f the 5 t h Da la i Lama) . The conservative administration o f Tibet pr ior to 1949 served to keep colonial and modernizing influences out o f Tibet through explicit policies, such as encouraging border regions not to feed or support any foreigners crossing from the H i m a l a y a s . 2 0 These attitudes and policies kept large Chris t ian missions and other colonial institutions o f modernizat ion out o f Tibet. The first significant colonial incursion into Tibet came in 1904 wi th the Eng l i sh Br i t i sh invasion, and later in 1910 wi th the Chinese invasion that forced the 1 3 t h D a l a i L a m a into exile under the protect ion o f Bri t ish-India until 1913. So, while there was some knowledge o f the w o r l d beyond their borders, Tibetans conserved a protective distance from the events o f that w o r l d . The geography o f Tibet, situated on a plateau that is over 15,000 ft. high, made such an isolationist pol icy easy to enact. The only problem is that it backfired when, after the 1949 invasion by Communis t China , the w o r l d ignored the pleas o f Tibetans for assistance, including the Br i t i sh w h o were in a unique posi t ion to vouchsafe and promote Tibet ' s statehood status to the Uni t ed N a t i o n s . 2 1 Indeed, it was the Irish, perhaps propel led by their wounded historical relations wi th the Br i t i sh , w h o finally introduced the subject o f Ch ina ' s invasion o f Tibet onto the f loor o f the U N Assembly in 1961. B. Contemporary context: 1. Tibet: F o l l o w i n g the intensification o f the Chinese occupat ion o f Tibet after the Lhasa uprising o f 1959, over 120,000 Tibetans went into exile as refugees, seeming to fulfill Padmasambhava's 8 t h century prophesy portending that, "when the Iron B i r d flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people w i l l be scattered like ants across the w o r l d . " In 1959, Lhasa was bombed and, thereafter, what was left o f the monasteries was further dismantled before and during the Cul tura l Revo lu t ion between 1966-1976. It is estimated that over one mi l l ion p e o p l e 2 2 o f a total Tibetan populat ion o f six mi l l ion died during the years o f the invasion and Cul tura l Revo lu t ion from violence, persecution and the starvation resulting from failed collect ivizat ion. Before 1959, the number o f monks is estimated to have been between 16% to 2 5 % o f the total male popu la t ion . 2 3 E v e n the propor t ion o f nuns, though substantially lower, represented the largest community o f nuns in the world—27,000 nuns occupying 818 nunneries concentrated in the provinces o f Utsang and K h a m , wi th a small number from A m d o . 2 4 In spite o f the fact that pr ior to the Chinese occupation most monastic and lay people alike led a materially challenged, subsistence existence in T i b e t 2 5 , afterwards Chinese persecution focussed on nuns and monks in particular. Be tween 1950 and 1970, those few w h o were able to survive did so by going into exile or by g iv ing up their 60 monast ic l ifestyle. A t the same t ime, their nunneries and monasteries were destroyed en masse and their re l igious art objects p i l laged. O n l y 300 o f T ibe t ' s o r ig ina l 6,000 monasteries remain standing, and many o f those have been rebuil t i n the last 15 years. A c c e s s to these monasteries is t ight ly control led and restricted, so that the desire to become a m o n k or nun i n no way assures one can do so ( T C H R D , 1997, p. 42). In ex i le , many o f the G e l u g p a nuns (the most populous school) ended up at Gaden C h o e l i n g N u n n e r y i n Dharamsala . One o f these nuns describes these years: "The Chinese at the t ime o f their worst atrocities d i d not on ly destroy our nunneries, they also went to great length to eradicate the very concept o f nunhood f rom the minds o f Tibe tan w o m e n , but i n va in . It l ives o n i n many o f our sisters i n Tibet , and those o f us who were able to escape to India and those who have not even become aware o f it yet" (Dev ine , p. 17). In 1980, dur ing a fact-finding vis i t to Tibet , the C o m m u n i s t Party general secretary H u Y a o b a n g found Tibetan infrastructure p i t i fu l ly inadequate, the economy i n ruins f o l l o w i n g forced co l lec t iv iza t ion , and the morale o f the people devastated. H e is purported to have to ld Party cadres: " T h i s reminds me o f c o l o n i a l i s m " (Schwartz , 1994, p. 15). A s a result, he recommended a s ix-point reform p o l i c y for Tibet that inc luded r e v i v i n g Tibe tan culture, education, and science " w i t h i n the socialist f ramework" (p. 15). It recognized the difference between the Chinese and Tibetan cultures and made possible a r ev iva l o f re l ig ious and educational practices that had been v io len t ly suppressed i n the preceding decades. D u r i n g the ensuing years, serious negotiations began w i t h H H the D a l a i L a m a to return to Tibet , w h o sent his brother and sister as his delegates to check condi t ions i n Tibet i n the mid-1980s . Thereafter began the dramatic r ev iva l o f r e l i g ion and a per iod o f nationalist intensification again headed by the monast ic communi ty . 61 D u r i n g the early and mid-1980 ' s , Tibetans were able to begin reconstructing some o f the nunneries and monasteries wh i l e resuming some fundamental components o f the tradit ional cu r r i cu lum under the watchful eye o f communis t party cadres. B y 1987, w i t h the number o f nuns and monks swe l l ing , organized protests and demonstrations began i n Lhasa , w h i c h were v io len t ly suppressed by Chinese mi l i t a ry forces. N u n s and monks became central figures i n these protests, as nat ional ism and re l ig ion became uniquely combined i n the life and lifestyle choices o f Tibetans. A s these protests intensified through 1989, the T iananmen Square tragedy and the awarding o f the N o b e l P r i ze for Peace to H H the D a l a i L a m a led to the c los ing o f the borders o f Tibet to tour ism and a further intensif icat ion o f mi l i ta ry oppression. In the ensuing years, the Chinese regime focused their socia l control po l ic ies and practices on the nunneries and monaster ies . 2 6 T h i s cu lmina ted i n the banning o f H H the D a l a i L a m a ' s photo and the extensive re-education program o f the mid -1990 ' s when surveil lance teams o f party cadres inhabited monast ic communi t ies , expel led dissident monks and nuns, and introduced addi t ional courses on communis t propaganda. A d m i s s i o n to monasteries and nunneries was 27 severely restricted and many aspir ing or expel led nuns and monks were forced to leave Tibet to pursue the tradit ional Buddhis t monastic education i n India. D u r i n g these years, a system o f pub l ic and private secular education developed under the (People ' s Repub l i c o f C h i n a , PRC, controlled) government 's supervis ion. A c c e s s to educat ion i n the Tibetan language is l imi ted for the most part to the first few years o f elementary school ing , wh i l e most secondary and post-secondary educat ion continues to be conducted i n M a n d a r i n . A s out l ined i n a study conducted by the Tibetan Centre for H u m a n Rights and Democracy ( T C H R D , 1997), these d iscr iminatory language 62 policies combine w i t h culturally invasive curricular contents to undermine the Tibetan language, culture and r e l i g i o n . 2 8 Tibetan history and culture are steadfastly ignored in the curr iculum, and when they are present, they are denigrated in an ideological manner. The T C H R D reports that 9 3 % o f the children they interviewed received no education in Tibetan history or culture during their years o f schooling inside Tibet (p. 46). A l s o , Tibetan children have been targeted for brutal corporal punishment typical o f racist attitudes and policies in colonial c i rcumstances. 2 9 A d d i n g to this mistrust o f the Chinese dominated education system is the fact that many academically successful Tibetan students have been removed from their families and taken to M a i n l a n d C h i n a . 3 0 W h e n they return, they are often hired in entry-level positions as prison guards to oversee the punishment o f Tibetan pol i t ical pr isoners 3 1 . A s a response to this abuse, and out o f a desire to conserve their language and culture, Tibetan parents, even senior government cadres, have continued to send their children, sometimes unaccompanied, into exile in India where they are educated and cared for by the exile community. One 12 year o ld boy interviewed by T C H R D (1997) was sent to Dharamsala " i n order to receive education and because his parents feared that i f he spoke only Chinese in school he w o u l d lose his Tibetan Backg round . H e was also afraid o f ill-treatment by the Chinese" (p. 68). In this case, the boy had been punished severely in his school ing in Tibet, "lashed wi th a rubber w h i p " on his bare bo t tom repeatedly. O n one occasion, a Chinese student tripped on h im and said he had done it intentionally. The teacher made the Tibetan boy get sand wh ich he mixed w i t h broken glass and water. "I then had to kneel for one hour this mud. The glass cut into my knees and into my feet. It hurt very much and my knees were bleeding. .. .1 still dream about it. 63 H e was subsequently sent to a hospital where he received stitches and remained for a month w i t h a related infection. Another Tibetan boy who received a similar punishment ended by having his leg amputated. So, Tibetan parents continue to send their children into exile for an education. In turn, the Chinese administration in Tibet has banned sending children to Indian schools and enacted severe penalties for those w h o defy the b a n . 3 2 B y eliminating access to education in the Tibetan language, history and culture, senior Chinese pol icy-makers intend to eradicate Tibetan nationalism by undermining the culture (see ICJ Report of 1997; or Tibetan Information Network). 2. In exile in India, Nepal, and elsewhere: There are n o w Tibetan Buddhis t nunneries, monasteries and branch monasteries established throughout India, Nepa l , and in various sites in N o r t h A m e r i c a , Europe , Aus t ra l ia and elsewhere. The three large Ge lugpa monastic universities (Sera, Ganden, and Drepung) were established in South India, and house about 5,000 monks each, many o f w h o m come voluntari ly or are sent by their parents from Tibet. These monasteries offer secular programs for young monks, as we l l as the traditional phi losophical debate curr iculum. The dialectical debate program takes about 15 years to complete, and culminates in a geshe degree. The most distinguished o f the geshe degrees is the geshe lharampa. Af ter graduating wi th a geshe degree, the most serious w i l l attend a two-year post-graduate program in Tantric meditation in one o f t w o Tantr ic co l l eges—Gyume in South India or G y u t o in Nor thwestern India (there is a new branch in the K a n g r a valley). M u c h o f this two-year per iod is spent in meditation. Other monks graduate from the debate program and go on to become administrators or teachers at the monastery, and more recently it has become very popular to go to the West , especially to the U . S . A . 64 There continue to be a smaller number o f nunneries, and those are concentrated in Nor the rn India. M o s t o f these nunneries are administered or supported by the Tibetan N u n s ' Project, a joint Western and Tibetan women ' s initiative to support the nuns. The curr icula vary in emphasis, but many have instituted traditional debate programs, though as yet no nun has been graduated wi th a geshe degree. M a n y combine secular courses w i t h the more traditional subjects and activities. Other nunneries, such as the N y i n g m a Shungsep Nunnery in Dharamsala, emphasize rituals or meditation. A l s o , there is a g rowing interest in service vocations among nuns and monks, a recent innovat ion and possibly a result o f increasing exposure to the Cathol ic model o f monastic l i f e . 3 3 The secular system o f Tibetan private and public schools became as extensively developed as the monastic programs early on in the establishment o f the Tibetan exile communit ies in N e p a l and India. Under Nehru ' s direction in 1961, the Indian government immediately designated numerous large public schools for Tibetan refugee children, as for example those found in Dalhousie and Darjeeling (Samten, 1994, p. 20). A t the same time, H H the D a l a i L a m a established a successful network o f private residential schools called Tibetan Chi ldren ' s Vi l lages for those left orphaned by the large number o f Tibetans w h o died in Tibet and during the early years in exile in India and Nepa l . Today, Tibetans continue to send their children into exile to be educated in these T C V s , many o f w h o m return to Tibet after graduating. B y 1985, most students attended one o f the 35 public Tibetan schools joint ly administered by the Tibetan Department o f Educa t ion in Dharamsala ( D O E ) and the (Indian) Central Tibetan Schools Adminis t ra t ion. The D O E independently funded and administered 16 other schools, whi le 14 privately funded schools such as the T C V s continue to be administered 65 independently. A t the same time, there were 15,000 students out o f a total populat ion o f 100,000, w h i c h suggests they enjoyed near-universal educa t ion . 3 4 The curr iculum in the Tibetan schools, both public and private, employed Eng l i sh as the language o f instruction unti l the early 1990's when there began a Tibetanization program in many elementary schools (Samten, 1994). The curr iculum is based on the Indian system, w h i c h was fashioned on the B r i t i s h colonial system o f education wi th its Western organization o f subjects and teaching styles, w i th some local content. India continues officially or unofficially to tolerate the arrival o f "educat ional" refugees 3 5 f rom Tibet, in spite o f the consistent and sometimes virulent opposi t ion o f the M a i n l a n d Chinese government. The reasons for this support are complex, and include the historical spiritual and cultural connections between Indian and Tibet, and the ongoing pol i t ical tensions between India and C h i n a . 3 6 Y o u n g children, monks and nuns are still able to stay without interference from the Indian government, though they may find it difficult getting documents to travel outside o f India. In the last decade, a large number o f uneducated or poor ly educated Tibetan youth (that is, 16-25 year olds) have come to India in search o f education. The Indian government tends to tolerate these youth, w h o have no official recognized refugee status. They are housed and accommodated in one o f a number o f craft and education centres designed to train and educate them. These institutions keep the local officials at bay by bribery and diplomacy, such that i f and when their program ends, i f they haven't secured a job and permit, the Tibetan students have little recourse but to leave India (to the U S A , Europe , or back to T i b e t ) . 3 7 6 6 3. Dolma Ling: The pr inc ipa l site o f m y research was D o l m a L i n g N u n n e r y and Institute o f Dia lec t i cs . It was established i n the early 1990s to respond to the increased number o f nuns c o m i n g into ex i le i n pursuit o f rel igious and educational freedom. Some o f these nuns—roughly 2 0 % today—spent t ime i n pr ison, many o f w h o m were tortured dur ing that per iod. Others were expel led f rom nunneries or unable to gain admiss ion to nunneries whose numbers were t ight ly restricted dur ing this t ime. A large number o f the n u n s — 6 0 % at the t ime—came as part o f a large group o f nuns and monks w h o comple ted a two-year prostration p i lgr image across Tibet f rom far-eastern K h a m , on ly to be denied entrance to Lhasa , their destination. So, instead they went into exi le late 38 i n 1990 to Sarnath, where H H the D a l a i L a m a was g i v i n g a Ka l achak ra Init iat ion. I attended that Ka lachakra , and afterwards went o n to Dharamsala where I first met the nuns where they were temporar i ly housed. One year later I j o i n e d them i n the K a n g r a V a l l e y where I taught them E n g l i s h and oversaw their immediate med ica l referrals and first-aid needs. The nunnery n o w has property and n e w l y constructed bui ld ings w h i c h 39 continue to expand. M o s t o f the construction was f inanced by Western donors. The nunnery is administered j o i n t l y by the Tibetan N u n s ' Project (Tibetan w o m e n , lay and ordained, as w e l l as Western lay women) and a nunnery adminis t ra t ion (Pr inc ipa l , teachers, accountant, drivers, cooks, and so on). D u r i n g m y research tenure there, the P r inc ipa l was G e n . P e m a Tsewang Shastri who had spent years as a T C V pr inc ipa l i n K u l u - M a n a l i . H e instituted and integrated a comprehensive secular system w i t h the more tradit ional ph i losophica l debate program. Th i s is unusal g iven most secular programs, i f present at a l l i n monastic institutions, are kept quite distinct f rom the 67 Buddhis t d ia lect ical debate program. The administrat ion based D o l m a L i n g ' s debate cu r r i cu lum on that developed i n the equal ly innovat ive Dia lec t i c Schoo l i n Dharamsala , f rom w h i c h it draws many teachers, and i n the southern monast ic universi t ies. T h e nunnery struggles to find and to keep both secular and ph i losoph ica l debate teachers, i n spite o f its beautiful locat ion and fair ly generous salaries. A l t h o u g h a large number o f monks graduate w i t h geshe degrees every year, as yet D o l m a L i n g has had no debate teacher w i t h a geshe degree. Th i s is a continuous struggle and concern for the administrators o f the nunnery. There are complex reasons for the di f f icul ty D o l m a L i n g has experienced getting and ho ld ing onto qual i f ied Buddhis t debate and phi losophy teachers, but there is lit t le quest ion that at root the p rob lem is sexism. The education o f nuns is being i m p r o v e d and financed largely through the support and pressure o f Western (women) donors. W h i l e there is a stable and commit ted number o f lay Tibetans i n the administrat ion o f D o l m a L i n g and the umbre l l a Tibe tan N u n s ' Project, they are a smal l number (f ive or s ix) . Part o f the d i f f icul ty is the fact that Tibetan nuns on ly h o l d novitiate ordinat ion because the ful l -ordinat ion lineage o f nuns d ied out i n Tibet . So , Tibetan people bel ieve that the meri t accrued f rom he lp ing nuns is less than the meri t accrued f rom he lp ing monks . W h i l e the nuns tend to a l ign themselves w i t h the communi ty o f monks , i n m y t ime i n Sera Monas te ry , I d i d not find the male monastics reciprocated those sentiments as a general rule. There are, o f course, exceptions. One m o n k who teaches the nuns, a graduate o f the Dia l ec t i c Schoo l and hence not a geshe, was very commit ted and appeared to see it as a permanent j ob . The indifference o f the monast ic communi ty to the p l ight o f the nuns can even become belligerent when faced wi th the prospect o f the nuns 68 becoming geshes (from a conversat ion I had w i t h a Sera monk) . The southern monasteries w i l l need to agree to graduate any nuns as geshes who complete the ful l monast ic education process, so this issue must be more direct ly addressed at some point. A t present, the nuns ' p r inc ipa l monastic a l ly seems to be H H the D a l a i L a m a , w h i c h is o f great s ignif icance but regrettably insufficient. The p r inc ipa l tenure o f m y research at D o l m a L i n g was between October o f 1997 and June o f 1998. D u r i n g the winter months (Dec. 15-Jan 31)1 went to the south to v i s i t Sera monast ic univers i ty and to the north to v i s i t B o d h G a y a , where H H the D a l a i L a m a was g i v i n g teachings on B u d d h i s m and Buddhis t phi losophy. D u r i n g m y per iod o f tenure at D o l m a L i n g , there were about 150 nuns registered at the nunnery. 1 0 % o f those nuns were f rom the Indian and other non-Tibetan H i m a l a y a n states; a l l the remain ing nuns were refugees f rom Tibet—a sma l l por t ion o f day students but most ful l - t ime residents. The nunnery was bu i ld ing several new residential w ings at the t ime, but the construct ion w o r k was progressing s l o w l y . In addi t ion, there were c lassrooms, a temple, a l ibrary, offices, workshop space, a guesthouse, staff housing, gardens, a k i tchen, and a d in ing room (see photos). N e x t door is the large Tibetan arts communi ty , store, museum and temple, N o r b u l i n g a . B e y o n d that is the smal l Indian communi ty o f M o l i , and, beyond that, i n one direct ion, Dharamsala and the Tibetan communi ty o f M c L e o d - G a n j , and i n the other, the c i ty o f Kang ra . I have inc luded photographs to convey the embodied nature o f the debate and Tantr ic arts (for example , the mandala). G i v e n the importance o f colour and direct experience i n this dissertation, I felt it important to give the reader some f lavour o f the r i ch textures, colours and experiences diff icul t to convey i n words alone. Educa t iona l 69 practices that k n o w few analogies i n the Western system, l ike mandalas and dialect ic debate, are m u c h easier to appreciate when experienced v i sua l ly or direct ly, to complement the more abstract explanations and texts . 4 0 A l t h o u g h this study began as an ethnography, it has become so permeated w i t h B u d d h i s m that it has become more o f a hyb r id Buddhis t - soc ia l scientific method. So, i n the next chapter, I introduce Buddhis t theories o f va l id i ty (vis-a-vis reason and direct experience) and some o f its practices o f compass ion and mindfulness to articulate a fo rm o f research that is more compat ib le w i t h B u d d h i s m . N o t on ly have I done so to harmonize it w i t h the v iews and values o f those I a m studying, but also because I a m conv inced that the Buddhis t understanding o f learning and educat ion has something to offer socia l research and educat ion i n general. 70 Notes: 1 I attended a talk Tiezzi gave at Cortona, Italy during the "Science and Wholism" conference convened there by ETH-Zurich in Sept. 1999. He discussed this and other topics related to ecology and time. John Wolf Brennan, who also attended this talk, sent this translation to me via email (hence no page noted). 2 See Jean Jacques Rousseau (1964, 1987/1996) for some classic representations of the Romantic view of a more organic and developmental view of time and experience. In Rousseau's (1964) Julie, for instance, the author argues: "'Nature,' continued Julie, 'means children to be children before they become men. If we deviate from this order, we produce a forced fruit, without taste, maturity, or power of lasting; we make young philosophers and old children. Childhood has ways of seeing, thinking, and feeling peculiar to itself. Nothing is more foolish than to wish to substitute our own: I would sooner expect a child to be five feet in height than to be able to reason at ten years of age" (p. 28). 3 For instance, there is a tendency to see traditions as conservative and modern culture as creative. In fact, all cultures have traditions of creativity and invention. For a discussion of forms of creativity across diverse cultures see Lavie, S. et.al. (1993). 4 Picasso, in a typical spirit of high modernism, said: "The artist must kill his father" (documentary, A&E Biography, 1999/ In a climate in which the novel invention is perceived to be in conflict with, and superiority to, the mastery of tradition, then individual production will come to supplant in importance and value apprenticeship and the sharing of skills and aesthetic appreciation. In such a context, one would predict a devaluation of the arts because of the alienation of audiences and even students from traditions of invention and creativity. 5 While there was a considerable loosening of controls and sanctions restricting the expression of Tibetan culture in the mid-1980's, the ensuing pro-independence activities led to a systematic targeting of religion and culture as the source of the independence movement and hence of repression. By the mid-1990's, this resulted in the Re-education Program in monasteries. Repression in Tibet tends to be followed by similar policies in Central China. So, for example, following the harsh crackdown on protests in Lhasa in 1987-88 came the Tiannamen Square massacre of 1989, and following the Re-education policies in Tibet begun in 1994 came the crackdown in 1999 on the Falung-gong movement in Central China. 6 For discussions of desire in Buddhism and its application to issues in Western education see my earlier papers (MacPherson 1996, 1997). For discussions of desire in colonial perceptions and practices, see Young (1995) and Stoler (1995). 71 use "modernity" here in the singular to signify the fact that all the various modernities that arose directly or indirectly from the Western Enlightenment participated in some way in addressing these universal "ideals," albeit in very different and even contradictory ways. 8 In his doctoral research, Peter Urmetzer (1999) chronicles this widening gap in Canada. 91 use the plural here to indicate that modernization has taken very different routes across diverse cultures. This is the thesis of an upcoming edition of the journal Daedalus (Spring, 2000) looking at late modernities and of an earlier edition (Summer, 1998) that looked at Early Modernities. Yet as the authors indicate, these originary codes have been altered significantly as forces of modernity moved outside of Europe, where they developed unique cultural and institutional expression. This is the meaning of the pluralized "modernities." As the authors argue, "The cultural codes of modernity... have been shaped by the continuous interaction between the cultural codes of these societies and their exposure to new internal and external challenges" (p. 5). 1 0 This is the case in British Columbia, where the K.-7 Instructional Resource Package, the official curriculum of the province, identifies the creation of human resources as the outcome of the system, even at the kindergarten level. This contradicts the supposed child-centred philosophy of the system, and reflects the conflicts between the contributors to the program, which included business and labour interests in addition to professionals and educators. " One effect of this has been to place the fate of Tibet in the hands of modern institutions like the UN, an organization from which Tibet is excluded because of the very historical isolation that enabled it to conserve its culture and tradition during the colonial period. While Tibetans have no representation on the UN, China, its aggressor, has veto power. So, Tibetans resort to extreme forms of non-violent or self-sacrificial actions to attempt to negotiate their position within the UN (MacPherson, 1998). 71 1 2 A South African colleague recounted visiting Nepal in the sixties with her husband, where they were met by a surreal scene of Tibetan monks, lamas, and lay people in exodus from Tibet being greeted by young, white Western people collapsing inchoate on cannabis, if not heroine or LSD. How strange the world sometimes seems. 1 3 This came to me by way of HH the Dalai Lama (personal communication). Apparently the Moslem repression of Buddhism in the 11th and 12th centuries in India was furthered by the perceived profligacy of Buddhism that came with a too loose and open Tantric practice—monks dropping their robes and taking up consorts, drinking alcohol, and manifesting a form of spirituality that went beyond and often transgressed strict, monastic discipline and vows. This made Buddhism very vulnerable to criticism and attack by more abstemious Moguls. 1 4 This may be true as well for Confucianism, which like Buddhism, can be called "an enlightenment philosophy." Enlightenment philosophies are those based on reason and education, with an end to an appreciation of univeral freedoms, rights, responsibilities, and laws. This is a term applied to Confucianism by Prof. Tu Weiming (1999, personal communication) and to Buddhism by Prof. Robert Thurman (1984). 1 5 A lineage refers to an unbroken succession of teachers and students, while the school refers to the institutions, texts, educational and meditative practices that emerged around a certain line of interconnected lineages. 1 6 Dreyfus (1997) makes the same claim in his comparative study of Gelugpa and Nyingma monastic universities in South India. He says the real distinction between the two curricula is the worldview to which students are enculturated~a sutra and tantra worldview, respectively. 1 7 This may have contributed to the recent tragic conflict between the southern monasteries, principally Seramey and Ganden, and the Office of HH the Dalai Lama, over the latter's attempt to discourage if not ban a particular practice of placating a protector. This practice was seen as aggressively inimical to the Nyingma school, and encouraged what HH the Dalai Lama referred to as "fundamentalism." Gareth Sparham (1998, personal communication) speculates that this fundamentalism was principally the wish to return to a time when the monasteries wielded strong political and secular power. 1 8 There are some significant though rare exceptions, such as an early, pre-Buddhist animistic text on the signs of the raven (Rabsel, 1998). 1 9 See Melvyn Goldstein, (1989). 2 0 This is recounted by Heinrich Herrar (195-) in his book Seven years in Tibet where he and his companion were denied food and provisions shortly after reaching Tibet after escaping an Indian prison during WWII. 2 1 The negotiations following the British invasion were conducted exclusively between Britain and the government of HH the 13th Dalai Lama. The fact that no Chinese representatives were consulted is a precedent that could have been used to further Tibet's claim that it was a sovereign state invaded by China, and so win the support of the UN. Indeed, the British were in a unique position to understand the basis of Tibetan cultural and territorial claims. Yet, they backed down from supporting the Tibetans in their hour of need, and came to advise Nehru to do likewise to minimize the possibility of aggression from their northern (Tibetan, hence then Chinese) borders. 2 2 Some figures go as high as 1.2 million people, but such estimates are at best very rough. This figure comes from a pamphlet from the Canada-Tibet Committee in Vancouver. Most of the figures come from such politically-motivated sources. The fact is that it is impossible to arrive at an accurate figure given the lack of a general census and statistics on pre- and post-invasion Tibet. Even today, demographic figures provided by Mainland China are unreliable and should be considered suspect. For example, they only treat "Tibet" as a small plateau region of the territories inhabited by ethnic Tibetans (whose regions include parts of Chinese provinces such as Szechuan Province). These figures tend to underestimate figures on Han and other non-Tibetan population transfer figures, for which they have received international censure. 2 j Indeed, one report (TCHRD, 1997) claims that every third child (son?) was sent to a monastery, which would put the figure even higher than that quoted in the text. 2 4 These figures come from a 1984 report by the Council for Religious and Cultural Affairs of the Tibetan exile government, reproduced in Carol Devine (1993), Determination: Tibetan women & the struggle for an independent Tibet. Appendix A, p. 101. 2 5 The late Tara Rinpoche (personal communication) told me that he too, even as a senior reincarnate lama, lived through the cold Tibetan winters with little heat and subsistent food and lodging. The Tibetan plateau is a marginal ecosystem, unlike the more highly populated Tibetan-Himalayan valleys of Kham and parts 72 of Amdo. Some of the largest monasteries and universities were situated on the plateau, where there was little water to bathe in, nor opportunity (i.e. respite from the cold) when there was. It is not uncommon for people in Western Tibet to live on barley flour (tsampa) and tea through the winter (Tenzin Atisha, OUR, personal communication). Tibetan continue to have one of the shortest life expectancies in the world; when I taught the nun in 1992, for instance, most of them were 10-15 years younger than me yet many had lost their mothers and were shocked to learn that my grandmother was and continues to be alive. 2 6 For more detailed explanations of the issues and human rights abuses in Tibet, see Lazar (1994), Schwarz (1994), and Amnesty International (1996). 2 7 These data come from Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy documents, 1) (1997) The next generation: The state of education in Tibet today, p.42-43; and 2) (1998) Fearless Voices: Accounts of Tibetan former political prisoners. 2 8 In my research, I found this to be true of Utsang and Kham in particular. Amdo has a reputation for being more literate and, perhaps because of their geographical proximity to the Uighers who have access to education in their first language through to post-secondary levels, the Tibetans in this region of what is now Quinhai have access to education in Tibetan up to post-secondary level. Indeed, there is a large teacher education college in Xining, one of the largest cities, where Tibetans learn to be teachers for the numerous public schools that offer classes in the Tibetan language. In exile, it is often these students from Amdo that become the leading journalists, scholars and social critics who are capable of taking on the nationalists project with a critical awareness of Tibetan culture and history. 2 9 This information comes from an extensive series of interviews with children sent into exile to be educated by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala (TCHRD), (1997). 3 0 TCHRD (1997) quotes Chinese sources that state that "29 provinces and municipalities in China had formed 'Inland Tibetan Classes' with a total enrolment of 12,590 Tibetan students, including 6509 of lower middle school, 1604 of senior middle school, 3195 of secondary vocational schools and 1282 of secondary normal schools" (p. 52). 3 1 As I point out in Chapter 4, one of the more literate and intelligent nuns, who I call Osel Khargyen, had a brother who had been taken to China to be educated. When he returned, he was given a job as a prison guard. She was later put in prison for her political activities, where he would visit her. This shows the divisive effect that politics and education exert on the personal lives of Tibetans. The prison guards used to torture Tibetan political prisoners are often Tibetans, a fact that causes great distress to the prisoners (1992, in my own interviews with the nuns). 3 2 In an attempt to control this exodus of young Tibetans to Dharamsala for education, the government threatened all government employees with loss of position if they were found to have sent their children into exile (T.I.N.). 3 3 Traditionally, the service role of monastics was limited to politics and medicine, and education to within the monasteries by and large. Many of the TNP and Tibetan lay administrators of the nunneries have been exposed through education or experience to the model of service orders in Catholicism. Also, there have been repeated exchanges between Roman Catholic orders and Tibetan Buddhist monastic orders in recent years. These may have encouraged the service model of education and training. Also, HH the Dalai Lama encourages some degree of such service. In Dolma Ling, for instance, several nuns are being trained in program to educate monastics to become Tibetan language teachers, and some others are being trained in health care work. These nuns express the desire to be teachers, doctors, and nurses not just for nunneries but in secular society. These days, monks and nuns can be found employed or working as secular school teachers, environmentalists, Tibetan medicine doctors, and politicians. Indeed, the nun in charge of the Tibetan Nuns' Project, Ven. Losang Dechen, was employed as a teacher in a Tibetan school prior to taking on her role with the TNP. 3 4 These figures come from the Council for Tibetan Education, 1985, as they appear in Dhondup Samten (1994). 3 5 Though some monks and nuns and lay people are strict political refugees in that they are fleeing potential torture, incarceration, and isolation for their political sentiments and actions, most by far come for access to education (and indirectly, for access to their culture). Access to education is not recognized as a viable cause for claiming refugee status but it is my hope that there will be increasing discussions of the need to do so. Access to culture and education are recognized as a right by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (TCHRD, 1997), which suggests that denial of such access constitutes an abrogation of fundamental rights. Some good sources looking at the question of language rights (in education) as human rights are 73 Tollefson (1995), Peirce (1989, 1990) Pennycook (1994), and in particular Kutnabb-Kangas & Phillipson (1995). 3 6 A recent example is the exodus from Tibet of HH the 17th Karmapa, who India appears willing and ready to offer refugee status in spite of the vociferous objections of the PRC. This may not be entirely altruistically based, as China attacked India's borders in the early 1960's and has since provided nuclear weapons' and political support to Pakistan, India's rival. j 7 This information came to me through numerous interviews with these students. Also, I worked on several development project in the early 1990's that worked with some of the programs for these youth in Bir, HP, Inida. 3 8 For a detailed account of this pilgrimage, see Myers (1997). 3 9 The principal financier was the German government through the Green Party (via the Heinrich Boll Foundation), as well as individual Tibetan, Swiss and some US sponsors. The guesthouse was funded by CIDA (Canadian government). 4 01 do so aware of the historical tendencies and problems in representing and "making strange" those of non-Western cultures (Edwards, 1992). I have tried to include only those photos that assist the reader to visualize the context in which the study was conducted. Most sites used to research Western educational are familiar to most readers, and these become images "read" between the lines of texts. I have included the photos in part to interrupt those images so that the reader recognizes that we are dealing with a complex combination of cultural difference and similarity. 74 YELLOW: ...path Chapter two... Oblique yellow paths: Obl ique y e l l o w bands o f i l l umina t ion . That . . .certain slant o f sunlight emerging f rom a frost-stained morn ing w i n d o w . L i g h t l ingers on ice-crystals l ike so many stars, entertaining white before emerging y e l l o w again to betray empty air as i n fact constituted o f th ick dust and particulate matter. A B u d d h a i n B o d h G a y a , his robes fo ld ing y e l l o w i n the hue and fashion o f Tibetan refugee nuns. Outside i n the nunnery garden, seed-laden Canad ian sunflowers lean languid ly amid the pervasive scent o f a y e l l o w rose, whose petals soothe and placate a certain yearning o f sk in . . . .The sound o f L o u i s A r m s t r o n g and Beethoven. The taste o f lemonade. Raincoats and galoshes. E v e n Indo-Tibetan enlightened thought incarnates y e l l o w i n a sword- and b o o k - w i e l d i n g Man jush r i . The bright borders o f the Tibe tan f lag w i t h its sun-as-centre, resurrected behind H i s Ho l ine s s the D a l a i L a m a i n a f lood o f sunlight or i n the y e l l o w robe he greets us i n as he passes by . The m e m o r y o f a Madagascar ci tr ine gemstone; dandelions, and their ye l low-mean ing -marriage (or not?) shadow o n the underside o f ch in . Nicot ine-s ta ined sk in . D y i n g leaves. Jaundice. U r i n e . Y e l l o w is the colour o f the earth i n c lass ical Buddhis t meditations, the ground I w a l k o n . . .one foot lifts and reaches and places w h i l e the other lifts again.. . M o v i n g between two places without resting i n either one. A l r e a d y m o v i n g into the other as I settle into the one. M o t i l i t y i n space/time, mot i l i ty n o w and then. . .the m e m o r y o f l i f t ing , m o v i n g , p l a c i n g . . . w a l k i n g through spaces m i n d reconstructs as experiences i n time. M i n d memor i zes . . . memor ia l i zes . . .and translates into experiences o f t ime. T i m e as mot ion ; t ime as change. T i m e as mot i l i ty . M o t i l i t y is the def ining pr inc ip le o f l i fe . 76 W e interact across space-touching-space, as bodies appear to move through t ime and earth. Part icles and molecules alter such that what was once o f body becomes o f the earth—earth becoming body becoming earth. The humous o f the human. I f matter moves readi ly across porous borders separating life f rom non-l ife , then what constitutes the difference? W h a t is l i v ing? W h a t is l ife? A h is tory . . . aprocess , . . . a gap, ...a gate? A gap as a gate to pass through, leading.. . In one instance, to a y e l l o w road i n the land o f Oz, where a young g i r l named Doro thy transforms the l ives o f her mot ley crew o f companions. O f course, the tale transpires i n a distant place over the ra inbow because on ly i n such a cul tural and geographical imaginary w o r l d c o u l d a g i r l be real ized free o f interfering adults w h o have that nasty tendency to come to the rescue at the slightest s ign o f impend ing adventure! W e l l , a land free o f most interfering adults, notwithstanding the wi tches and the rather pathetic expatriate professor, the W i s e - O d d - W i z a r d o f O z . It is a documentary o f hope j ou rney ing through the imaginat ion, an archetypal odyssey that culminates i n a homeland transformed—not p h y s i c a l l y but by a changed v i e w — a r r i v e d at by a journey a long a y e l l o w road. A l l these years later, this is h o w I see the journey o f m y o w n l i fe , and the research that has preoccupied the last f ive years o f it i n particular. Having written this about Oz, I go for a walk along Jericho Beach, In the parking lot, I see a man and woman walking towards me, laughing. Looking at me, the man calls out, in a jocular tone, "The wicked witch of the West is dead!" After wincing initially at the unwanted attention, I am struck by the strange coincidence of his words. Carl Jung called this "synchronicity, " a phenomenon suggesting relations between mind and matter are not what they seem. Co-incidence, indeed, but what is co-inciding? 11 W i t h D o r o t h y ' s quest through Oz carved into the grottoes o f m y imagina t ion , it is lit t le wonder I learned to dream heroic scenes. A t seventeen, I dreamed m y s e l f a student i n a residential h i g h school i n Eng land , w i t h gothic stone bui ld ings surrounded by a w a l l and moat. In the busy corridors on what I thought was an ordinary (dream) day, I began to notice that the students had peculiar , hypnot ic expressions, and soon discovered that the school authorities had g iven them p i l l s to put them under their control . A s I t r ied to return to m y dormitory , I was caught and taken to a basement room, where I faced a severe- looking m a n i n a whi te lab coat w h o proved to be the school master. H e handed me the p i l l , and though I pretended to take it , i n fact I let it come to rest under m y tongue as I performed the trance, w h i c h permitted me to leave unattended. I c l imbed the stairs and w a l k e d outside the bu i ld ing , where I spat the p i l l out o n the ground. It was dark that night as I made m y way across the desolate schoolyard towards the stone w a l l , w h i c h I scaled w i t h some dif f icul ty . A s m y legs harnessed the top, m y arms pu l l ed the remainder o f m y body up. I stood to gaze at the ho r i zon stretching into darkness on the other side. M o o n l i g h t glistened o n the surface o f the moat. I l ooked back at the antiquated stone structures, so l id yet lifeless i n the empty schoolyard . A certain intensity o f feel ing t inged w i t h melancholy pervaded m y m i n d as I v o w e d to return one day to help. Somewhere out there, beyond the mote, beyond the dark inchoate ho r i zon n o w barely discernible, I w o u l d te l l m y story and return one day to help those I was leav ing behind. F a c i n g the water resolutely, I dove; m y body s l i d inside the c o l d water o f the moat l ike a second sk in . Breathless w i t h exhilarat ion, v i ta l i ty , and determination, I s w a m rhy thmica l ly through its moonl i t waves. 78 These days, the image o f a K a l a h a r i bush w o m a n hangs i n m y ha l lway . H e r finger points accus ingly i n m y direct ion, under w h i c h is writ ten: " W h a t is your s tory?" The K a l a h a r i bel ieve everyone has a story, and i f y o u don ' t te l l i t y o u w i l l be unhappy. I te l l her so I w o n ' t be sad. I te l l her because happiness is m y va l id i ty . In 1987, the search for such va l id i ty took me to another y e l l o w g a t e - Y e l l o w s t o n e N a t i o n a l Park. It was M a y and the tourist bus service wasn ' t yet operative; so, I had no alternative but to hi tch-hike rides f rom brush-cut stalky men under the l o o m i n g shadows o f rifles strapped to truck-cabins. Before m y descent into the Y e l l o w s t o n e canyon, " w i l d " was der ived f rom something y o u drank; afterwards, i t was something I shared w i t h a l l sentient hearts, even i f most o f us forget. M y Y e l l o w s t o n e education began as I returned late one afternoon to m y cabin , when I not iced a herd o f buffaloes approaching f rom behind. The buffalo had t rampled someone to death that year, and so I began to w a l k a litt le faster. W h e n I g lanced back, I saw they had begun stampeding i n the dust as the distance between us narrowed. The buffalo cont inued to gal lop forward, w h i l e I tr ied to remain ca lm , c o n v i n c i n g m y s e l f that what I was exper iencing was just fear. I turned again to see the s t i l l considerable space between us narrow. It was then I felt a certain surge rise up i n m y bel ly—that particular sensation that is the determination to survive . I had never experienced such a desperate and dis t i l led p r imord ia l w i l l , and it washed a l l inhibi t ions and arrogance away as I ran unabashedly to safety. W h e n I reached the cabin , breathless yet ecstatic w i t h the sense o f hav ing earned the right to be there, the s ign o f that right was wa i t ing at the foot o f the cab in door—a tuft o f buffalo hair. 79 The journey into the canyon o f the Y e l l o w s t o n e R i v e r took about three hours. The trails were w e l l maintained and easy to use, naturally i l luminated w i t h br i l l iant p ink and g o l d oases o f surging water and stone. A t the t ra i l ' s end, f raming the r iver , rose the spectacular y e l l o w w a l l f rom w h i c h the r iver took its name. I set up m y lean-to, hung m y food o n a distant tree, and began to prepare m y c o l d dinner o f trai l m i x , fruit, bread, and cheese. The sun set and m y courage went w i t h it. I j u m p e d at the slightest rustle o f a tree, as imaginary g r i z z l y bears appeared i n the shadows o f the sounds. I c a lmed m y s e l f by l o o k i n g at the stars and constellations, and compar ing them to m y new astronomer 's guide. T h e first constel la t ion I recognized was O r i o n , w i t h h is large b o w and arrow. I read the descr ipt ion attached to his name—Orion, the bear hunter. I laughed i n amazement at the encounter between this universal bear hunter and the bear o f m y o w n frightened imagin ings , a l l set i n such w i l d solitude! W h i l e the buffalo taught me to harness the force o f fear, the bear taught me to move beyond it—courageously and w i t h interest. The stars too had their lesson—the protect ion garnered f rom a shift i n v i e w . A s d i d the f i e ld mouse w h o came to col lec t m y hair as I lay d o w n to sleep. She taught me the power o f humour, for, th ink ing her a g r i z z l y out for some dinner, I screamed i n terror before rea l i z ing she was o n l y . . . a mouse. T h i s journey to the canyon o f the Ye l lows tone R i v e r is m y mode l o f the research journey. It introduces some o f the same fears I faced i n research, and the adventure and hero ism needed to transform them. It reminds me that research is an endeavour o f courage, and that the root o f such courage is love . It is one i n w h i c h many warn us away f rom our deepest interests, t ry ing to persuade us to be "prac t ica l , " w h i l e s t i l l others ca l l on us to be courageous—the human and non-human friends and mentors w h o help us o n 80 our way . It is a journey i n w h i c h we rely on plans and maps to f ind order out o f chaos because we are afraid and confused. Y e t , i n the end, i f open to the wonder o f the w o r l d , serendipitous, "researchable moments" arise outside those plans and maps to provide the unexpected, l i v i n g creative learning we hope for. Those are the moments o f insight towards w h i c h the most powerfu l and meaningful ethnographic research is directed. I f the w o r l d we research is the wilderness, then our research method is the path through that wilderness . It is the path that enables us to enter that wilderness, a w o r l d we experience both as fami l ia r and al ien, as both inhabitants and outsiders. O u r journey through that w o r l d is one i n w h i c h we, as researchers, are transformed. Y e t , the path is never prepared for us entirely; to some extent we make our path i n the act o f w a l k i n g through that wilderness , and i n do ing so we change that wilderness just as it changes our direct ion. In this sense, research might be l ikened to a spiri tual journey, a p i lgr image . Y e t , i n a p i lg r image , there is a k n o w n destination, a "p lace" that is the end and the catalyst for transformation. In research, there is no such place towards w h i c h w e can direct our act ions—no final end. So, perhaps it is better to understand our role as touris ts—eco-touris ts—in a foreign land. A t least w i t h eco-tourism one's travels are designed to educate onesel f and to benefit the w o r l d , whether or not they fu l f i l such a lofty a im . The idea o f ethnography as tour ism cou ld add fuel to cr i t ics who c o m p l a i n o f its exploi tat ive and invas ive characteristics. Y e t , i n the sense meant here, a l l ethnographic participants, both researchers and the researched, are tourists. W e cannot real ly possess a land, its resources and cultures, but instead m o v e through ecosystems and w o r l d cultures as guests r e ly ing on and co-creating natural/cultural environments for our mutual we l lbe ing . 81 The path of research: ...Aspiration for Culture and Knowledge: The most excellent virtue is the brilliant and calm flow of culture: Those with fine minds play in a clear lotus lake; Through this excellent path, a song line sweet like the pollen's honey, May they sip the fragrant dew of glorious knowledge. H H 17 t h K a r m a p a , 2 0 0 0 1 I. The research path as an "educational journey:" B u d d h i s m is presented through the metaphor o f a path, s igna l l ing the natural, developmental , and transformative bases o f its practices. Just as one travels a path to move through geographical space, so i n B u d d h i s m one travels an educational and spir i tual path to move through experiential space. T o do so, one s imultaneously traverses both a graduated system o f educat ion and a spir i tual l i fe journey, whereby the path as rule and ri tual becomes the path as the direct real izat ion o f our nature, w h i c h is clear and k n o w i n g . In this respect, the path i n B u d d h i s m is both cul tural ly invented as education, and spontaneously rea l ized i n natural, embodied interaction w i t h that path. E v e n the his tor ica l B u d d h a said the path (as realization) was something he discovered rather than invented, and hence something o f natural rather than supernatural or igins . B u d d h i s m is quite exp l i c i t l y represented i n educational rather than re l ig ious terms, as constituted o f teachers, texts, and a communi ty o f students. Rather than engaging i n worsh ip , Buddhis ts tend to refer to themselves as rece iv ing "teachings," s tudying, or meditat ing. Furthermore, the soter iological end o f B u d d h i s m is referred to as w i s d o m , l iberat ion, and enlightenment rather than "sa lva t ion" as found i n paths o f 83 re l ig ious revelat ion. A fundamental premise o f this enlightenment is that it is repl icable i f certain causal condi t ions are met, and its path is accessible to anyone, so long as they have access to enlightened teachers (Buddha) , texts (Dharma), and c o m m u n i t y (Sangha)--The Three Jewels o f refuge. Emphas i s is p laced on learning—that is , on qualit ies o f m i n d l ike attention, investigation, and interest. E v e n mora l d i sc ip l ine tends to be jus t i f ied by its effects on these other qual i t ies . 2 So , for instance, d i sc ip l ined behaviour is said to cultivate powers o f attention (that is , mindfulness) and t ranqui l l i ty (that is , c a l m abiding) . In Tantr ic B u d d h i s m i n particular, the "teacher" (guru, bLama) p lays a central role i n cul t iva t ing the m i n d o f enlightenment (see Gyatso , 1988; Tsongkhapa, 1999). A t other t imes, for equal ly sound pedagogical reasons, the Buddhis t path is presented as a spir i tual l i fe jou rney—more natural and developmental , and less formal and inst i tut ional ized than suggested by the term "educat ion." T o convey this more natural process, Buddh i s t t ra ining is designated as grounds, paths, and fruits. Th i s reflects the fact that Buddhis t enlightenment transforms both the body and the m i n d through the un ion o f c a l m abid ing and special insight. Calm abiding establishes the phys ica l and mental ground needed to di rect ly experience and embody the path (that is , emptiness); it is a state o f one-pointed concentration and attention characterised by both mental and phys ica l p l iancy . Special insight, on the other hand, arises when an interested and investigative m i n d is cul t ivated as a path w i t h i n such a ca lm ground. The invest igative path, also k n o w n as analyt ical meditat ion, gives rise to questions concerning the nature o f experience itself. These questions are l i ke seeds i n the path that enable the insight o f emptiness (and interdependence) to arise, l ike a plant that inevi tably appears when a healthy seed is sown i n nutritious so i l . The plant is the frui t ion or embodiment o f 84 when a healthy seed is sown in nutritious soil . The plant is the fruition or embodiment o f the path, referred to as liberation. T o best include both o f these s treams-the path as education and the path as spiritual life jou rney~I conceive o f this research as an educational journey. T o render a method o f research "Buddhis t , " or simply compatible w i th B u d d h i s m here in the Wes t is possible without compromis ing the fundaments o f either B u d d h i s m or the Western scientific/philosophical perspectives. This is because, in principle, B u d d h i s m does not recognize validat ion by either textual (that is, scriptural) authority or by divine revelation. Rather, knowledge is something successively validated and then realized through analytical reasoning and direct perception. So, the Buddhis t path is not fundamentally in conflict w i th Western scientific epistemology, the dominant model o f Western social research, based as it purportedly is on reason and empir ic ism combined; there are, however, differences that merit the articulation o f a distinctive "Buddhis t " research path. F o r a path to be compatible w i th B u d d h i s m does not require that it be labelled so. Instead, a Buddhis t path is any teaching featuring the fo l lowing three characteristics: "1) a teacher w h o has extinguished all faults and completed her or his g o o d qualities; 2) teachings not harmful to any sentient being; and 3) the v i ew that the self is empty o f being permanent, partless, and independent" (Sopa, 1976, p. 54-55). The " g o o d qualities" alluded to are the six virtues or "perfections" (paramitas) in part icular— generosity, moral discipline, patience, perseverance, concentration, and w i sdom. A s for the last two points, I w i l l attempt to articulate Buddhis t principles o f harmlessness and selflessness that can be adapted and applied wi th in the context o f social scientific 85 research. To map such a path, I borrow from the threefold division of Buddhism into grounds, paths, and fruits3 to frame the intentions, methods and outcomes of research. II. Grounds: The grounds of social research are the intentions and bases on which it is conducted. These include considerations of ethics, intentions, and epistemology to address why certain methods (path, or how) and contents (fruits, or what outcomes,) are adopted. I include a rather lengthy comparison of Buddhist and Western Enlightenment epistemologies to provide the grounds to address why such a method and research topic are unique and beneficial for a contemporary, secular Western constituency. A. Ethics: Suffering is the ground on which Buddhism is founded. This is articulated in the historical Buddha's first teaching, the Four Noble Truths, in which he identified the following four fundamental tenets of his path: 1) suffering pervades existence; 2) suffering is caused; 3) as it is caused, so it can cease, and 4) the path to such cessation. The term suffering is translated from the Sanskrit term dukkha, which connotes a state of dissatisfaction or struggle rather than pain per se. Accordingly, Buddhism recognizes as suffering states not characterized as such in the conventional use of the term. More subtle states of dissatisfaction-as-suffering tend not to be recognized as suffering, and so require an open, honest and mindful attention to be discerned. Then, once suffering and its causes are recognized and acknowledged, one requires motivation to be free of their influence. This requires the confidence that such suffering can cease and that a path exists to do so. This confidence is most firmly established through personal, direct experience, but is initiated or enhanced through encounters w i th others w h o embody such liberation f rom suffering in their o w n lives—that is, the Sangha as teachers and students. Another , albeit more disputed, ground o f B u d d h i s m is the not ion o f karma—that is, the "theory" that experiences arise as an effect o f previous action, speech and thought . 4 Buddhis t ethics and moral discipline are framed by an understanding o f karma—that is, by the understanding that unwholesome actions o f body, speech, and mind br ing unwholesome effects, rather than on fear o f punishment by a creator-god. Fundamental to Buddhis t ethics is to avoid harming sentient beings. F o r activities o f the body, this means not k i l l ing , stealing, or perpetrating sexual misconduct. F o r activities o f speech it means not lying, gossiping, chattering, or creating d iv is ion in the community. F o r activities o f the mind it means not acting on the basis o f greed, i l l - w i l l , or w r o n g views. M o r e generally, Buddhis t ethics calls for mindfulness rather than obedience to guide one's actions, making possible the Mahayana Buddhis t ethic, w h i c h can be simplified in the axiom: " D o good , and i f y o u can't do good , at least don ' t do harm." Buddhis t ethics begin in a series o f v o w s called Pra t imoksa or Individual Libera t ion vows . They are most elaborately represented in monastic vows , but have simplified lay versions as we l l . These are directed at moral behaviour, but are designed to encourage an attitude o f renunciation. Renunciat ion is an important state o f mind or intention in the Buddhis t path, wherein one turns away from ego-driven, worldly motivations for fame, success, wealth, prestige and even for high rebirth, wh ich is not necessarily ego-driven, towards an unworldy motivat ion for liberation from suffering. It is wwworldly w i t h respect to socially-established values, motivations, and decision-87 m a k i n g cr i ter ia that emphasize self-protection, po l i t i ca l strategizing, compet i t ion, success, and ego-aggrandizement. The M a h a y a n a turn i n B u d d h i s m came w i t h the idea that the desire for l iberat ion be extended f rom personal l iberat ion to include a l l sentient beings. The cul t iva t ion o f such universal responsibi l i ty , enacted through a path o f compass ion entai l ing s ix virtues or perfections, characterizes the M a h a y a n a intention under ly ing Indo-Tibetan B u d d h i s m . The Tantr ic turn contributed the no t ion that, by means o f its unique meditations, such a compassionate enlightenment cou ld be accompl i shed i n one rather than innumerable l ifet imes. In this respect, ethics and intention are c lose ly interwoven, but it is the intent and effects o f actions that create the karma, rather than the act per se; there are no actions that are inherently right or wrong . B. Intention: A c c o r d i n g l y , i n B u d d h i s m the qual i ty o f one 's intentions are considered to have a profound impact on the course and effects o f one 's actions. It is s imi l a r ly important to clar i fy intentions i n research. In attempting to articulate a Buddhis t -based mindfulness inqui ry i n socia l research, Ben tz and Shapiro (1998) identify the intention to learn as the first p r inc ip le . B y intending to learn, one opens to conversations and experiences o f insight and growth. One doesn't begin by intending to get a doctorate or degree or j o b , but to learn. Furthermore, "to intend to learn" requires intending to stay interested and engaged i n whatever arises, without d i sc r imina t ion or preferences. Mindfu lness and equanimity , even love , quite naturally accompany such an intention ( N a m g y a l R inpoche , 1992). 5 88 W h e n interest is turned on the suffering o f sentient beings, it becomes compass ion , and when efforts are made to universal ize such compass ion, it becomes the intention cul t ivated i n M a h a y a n a schools o f B u d d h i s m l ike Tibe t ' s . Compass ion is associated w i t h perfectionist schools o f ethics (Yea r l ey i n G o l e m a n , 1997). Indeed, the foundat ion o f M a h a y a n a ethics are referred to as the s ix perfections: generosity, moral i ty , patience, energy (persistence), concentration, and w i s d o m . Y e a r l e y points to the perception o f a tension or conf l ic t i n certain streams o f Western ph i losophy since the Enl ightenment between a compassion-based ethics o f virtue and one based o n ra t ional ized universal r ights . 6 H e summarizes four p r inc ipa l c r i t ic isms o f compassion-based ethics: 1) the idea o f universal rights are required to safeguard against injustices that compassion-based ethical systems may tolerate; 2) compassionate feelings are elitist and stable i n very few save an elect; 3) compass ion functions o n a person-to-person leve l and cannot generate general guidelines to run a just society; and 4) compass ion produces paternal ism, or at least problemat ic hierarchies, between the compassionate and their objects (p. 15-16). I w i l l take up each o f these arguments i n succession. The not ion that a society or ind iv idua l chooses between an ethic o f universal rights or an ethic o f compass ion to guide their actions, as i f the two were somehow i n confl ic t , sets up a false d icho tomy between questions o f just ice (that is , rights) and compassion. T h i s supposi t ion appears to be based on an under ly ing separation between reason (mind) and feelings (body). In the Buddhis t v i e w , a l l sentient beings are understood to share a c o m m o n desire for happiness. A s the D a l a i L a m a ( in G o l e m a n , 1997) explains, this is the nature o f sentient l i fe , and our "equal r ights" can be founded on this desire to be happy and free o f suffering. Such rights, i n turn, become the basis for art iculating and 89 understanding a sense o f universal responsibi l i ty to b r ing this c o m m o n desire into frui t ion. So , the M a h a y a n a art iculat ion o f B u d d h i s m combines this sense o f universa l rights w i t h a sense o f universal responsibi l i ty: . . . [a] person wants happiness just l i ke m y s e l f and has every right to be happy and to overcome suffering just l ike myself , whether that person is close to me or not. So long as they are a sentient being, par t icular ly a human be ing w i t h s imi la r desires and rights, o n that basis I develop compassion. That type o f compass ion is based o n the equali ty o f s e l f and others. There 's no r o o m there for feel ing superior. So actually first y o u realize that others have rights, and on that basis y o u develop the sense o f concern and responsibi l i ty. (p. 22-23) A s for the argument that compass ion is somehow accessible to on ly a few, a subl ime and rarefied vir tue experienced by a spir i tual or feel ing elite, accord ing to B u d d h i s m , compass ion does not arise as a particular personali ty trait or as a qual i ty o f grace. Instead, it is paradoxica l ly both pervasive i n nature yet capable o f be ing perfected (that is, learned). A Chenre i s ig meditat ion, for instance, refers to compass ion as a natural and omnipresent phenomenon, pervading the depths of samsara (i.e. the suffering and struggles o f existence). Y e t , at the same t ime, B u d d h i s m offers systematic methods to cultivate compass ion through analyt ical and meditat ive practices l ike The Four Brahma Viharas (The Four Immeasurables i n Tibe tan Buddh i sm) : 1) loving-kindness (wish ing a l l beings happiness) 2) compass ion (wish ing a l l beings free o f suffering) 3) sympathetic j o y (rejoicing i n the happiness o f others), and, 4) equanimity (equal feelings for a l l sentient beings). 90 A s for the th i rd argument, that compass ion arises i n person-to-person exchanges and cannot serve as the basis for running a just socie ty 7 , as the previous quote by H H the D a l a i L a m a indicates, an ethic o f universal compass ion is i n fact compat ible w i t h an ethic o f universa l rights. In this sense, compass ion is understood as the universa l responsibi l i ty to act on the basis o f the interests o f a l l sentient beings, as i f the we l lbe ing o f every sentient being, i nc lud ing myself , were o f equal concern. It is accompl i shed through cul t iva t ing equanimity towards a l l beings by such methods as analys ing the ways i n w h i c h one 's enemy is l ike a friend or strangers might once have been one 's mothers. Indeed, compass ion offers a much-needed complement to rights-based ethics by cul t iva t ing a sense o f universal responsibi l i ty to balance the sense o f universa l rights. It is a hyb r id feeling-insight that arises i n part through means o f reason—that is , analyt ical reflection. The f inal c r i t i c i sm concerns the purported paternalism o f compass ion, w h i c h is based o n the erroneous understanding o f compass ion as pi ty or chari ty directed towards others as somehow separate f rom oneself. In B u d d h i s m , compass ion does not i nvo lve p i t y , 8 nor is it restricted to charity i n the convent ional sense o f the t e rm. 9 Char i ty and pi ty are responses to a part icular fo rm o f suffering, that being the suffering o f pa in , whereas B u d d h i s m acknowledges two other forms o f suffering—the suffering o f change and the suffering o f suffering (or al l -pervasive suffering). The suffering o f change is the suffering that comes w i t h the knowledge that even the greatest pleasures are impermanent and unstable. The suffering o f suffering is endemic to a l l beings who inhabit a sentient body, as i n the dissatisfaction that leads us to shift our pos i t ion or take i n another breath. In acknowledg ing the near-universal scope o f suffering, and the universal desire to be 91 free o f such suffering, the Buddhis t v i e w o f compass ion offers a w a y to reduce and eventual ly to el iminate the sense o f separation between ourselves and those perceived to be i n need o f assistance. Th i s appears i n Santideva 's Bodhisattvacharyavatara (1979) i n the pledge to assume responsibi l i ty for the suffering o f every last sentient being: " F o r as l ong as space endures / A n d for as l ong as l i v i n g beings remain / U n t i l then m a y I too abide / T o dispel the misery o f the w o r l d " (p. 193). In B u d d h i s m there is less o f a separation between the m i n d (rational and otherwise) and "the heart," the l i teral site where in compass ion and w i s d o m are said ul t imately to be reconci led . A c c o r d i n g l y , I place compass ion rather than cr i t ica l reasoning or socia l c r i t i c i sm per se at the heart o f m y research because it offers the greatest promise for a w ay to integrate research as reason (establishing what is "right") w i t h responsibi l i t ies (as embodied experiences and activit ies o f care). Compass ion offers a l iv ing-centred rather informat ion- or theory-centred research e th i c . 1 0 A s d isembodied abstract c r i t i c i sm, research becomes prone to inf l ic t ing harm under the guise o f objective, intel lectual freedom. T h i s doesn' t mean there is not a place for righteous indignat ion, a point H H the D a l a i L a m a (for example , Gyatso , 1996, p. 179) has repeatedly reiterated. In the face o f confl ic t , compass ion is part o f any meaningful socia l just ice and vice-versa . A s Carter H e y w a r d (1984) argues: L o v e , l i ke truth and beauty, is concrete. L o v e is not fundamentally a sweet feel ing; not, at heart, a matter o f sentiment, attachment, or being ' d r a w n toward . ' L o v e is active, effective, a matter o f m a k i n g reciprocal and mutual ly beneficial relat ion w i t h one 's friends and enemies. L o v e creates righteousness, or just ice, here o n earth. T o make love is to make just ice. 92 E v e n post-structuralist philosophers l ike Foucaul t (1965, 1984) or Der r ida (1982, 1985, 1992), whi le cr i t iquing the not ion o f a rational, monoli thic truth, still wr i te and present their ideas in the highly arcane and abstract language o f a disembodied rationalism wi th little attention paid to feelings and issues o f love and compassion (see L o y , 1992). Compass ion provides an important intention and centre to the research process as a means to bring the more disembodied philosophical enterprise o f scholarly inquiry into an embodied realization o f our ecological embeddedness and interdependence, and hence o f our true indebtedness to all l i f e . 1 1 A s poet and ecologist Ga ry Snyder (1998) suggests, it is a quality capable o f transforming the hyper analytical project o f rational post-structuralism (and the Derr idean process o f analytical "deconstruction") into a path closely aligned wi th Buddhism: .. .Deconstruct ion, done wi th a compassionate heart and the intention o f gaining w i sdom, becomes the Mahayana Buddhis t logical and phi losophical exercise, wh ich plumbs to the bot tom o f deconstructing and comes back wi th compassion for all beings. Deconst ruc t ion without compassion is self-aggrandisement. C. Epistemology: Epis temology, h o w w e establish "the true," is learned through patterns o f trust w i th respect to conceptual assertions about the wor ld . In this respect, trust is not just a factor o f feeling, but influences our approach to knowledge and experience. Just as it is a ground o f ethics and intention, trust is an epistemic ground that affects the choices and knowledge w e use to construct our research, w o r l d , and life. 93 1. A question of trust: Trust. The question o f trust underlies a l l epis temological and methodologica l concerns. W h a t w i l l serve as the basis o f our trust? D o we trust what others te l l us about our w o r l d ? D o we trust our o w n powers o f reason? D o we trust our o w n experience? W h e n i n confl ic t , w h i c h do we trust more? It seems necessarily the case that we learn what we l i ve , but do we trust such learning, or do we instead look elsewhere, to authorities to te l l us what our o w n direct experience cannot or what we are unable to trust o f i t? O f course, the imperat ive o f being al ive w i l l reassert i t se l f i n the end, for there is no actual path made by p lanning, reasoning, and strategizing, on ly by w a l k i n g the contours o f experience. D o w e trust our life to make such a path by w a l k i n g ? 2. Enlightenment epistemologies: Thurman (1984) identifies the acceptance o f diverse and mul t ip le "age-old ' tradition(s) o f o r ig ina l i ty , ' the enlightenment traditions that have f lourished i n a l l cultures" as an asset, i f not precondi t ion, to any meaningful in te rc iv i l i za t ion dialogue (p. 8). Creat ive , open dialogue between the various enlightenment traditions offers the greatest promise for tempering the deleterious effects o f more cul tural ly invasive processes o f modernizat ion—the effects o f the Western Enl ightenment t radi t ion m o v i n g w i t h capi ta l i sm into a g lobal arena. It is a question o f adapting change to suit l i v i n g beings and their wor lds rather than rejecting moderniza t ion per se, w h i c h seems unfeasible. A s the Confuc ian scholar T u (1998) suggests: The poss ib i l i ty o f a rad ica l ly different ethic or a new value system separate f rom and independent o f the Enl ightenment mentali ty is neither realist ic nor authentic. It m a y even appear to be either cyn ica l or hypercr i t ica l . W e need to explore the 94 spiritual resources that may help us to broaden the scope o f the Enlightenment project, deepen its moral sensitivity, and, i f necessary, transform creatively its genetic constraints in order to realize fully its potential as a w o r l d v i e w for the human condi t ion as a whole, (p. 5) B u d d h i s m and the Western Enlightenment tradition have sufficiently similar underlying epistemic assumptions to permit creative dialogue between them. F o r instance, B u d d h i s m shares wi th the Western scientific tradition, one significant offspring o f the Western enlightenment, a cause-and-effect explanation o f phenomena, free o f any reference to an intervening Crea to r -God . Y e t , rather than a materialist causality, the Buddhis ts propose a central role for consciousness, for wh ich they have a nuanced and complex understanding. Suffice to say that consciousness is considerably more than intentional thought, as reflected in the opening lines o f one o f the earliest o f Buddhis t texts, the Dhammapada: " A l l is generated from mind—great mind, creative mind ." In Buddh i sm, it is understood that our w o r l d is constructed through an interdependent relation between mind and matter that does not privilege either side. V a l i d phenomena (that is, phenomena established on the basis o f a correct inference or direct experience) cannot be said to arise exclusively from consciousness or matter, nor from both or neither, but from the complex, interdependent relations between the t w o . 1 2 The doctrine o f karma (literally, activity) suggests a causal relationship between mind and matter, such that what we think, both individually and collectively, impacts on our experiences in the material wor ld . A l l experiences have latent or direct causes based in the mind, as w e l l as present supporting circumstances that arise in material phenomena as wel l . K a r m a is considered to be in a class o f "extremely hidden phenomena" that make it 95 very difficult to understand completely through either analysis or direct experience. A complete understanding o f karma is one o f the fruits o f the full realization o f the human potential as a Buddha . In addit ion to this assumption of, or trust in, causality, there are other characteristics B u d d h i s m shares wi th the Enlightenment. These include an emphasis on: 1) universal principles; 2) reasoned argumentation; 3) open debate; 3) access to education; and, 4) a systematic path to freedom. These overlapping characteristics constitute adequate grounds to make feasible the not ion o f a hybrid path—a Buddhis t -inspired social research method. T o do so, I w i l l first attempt a comparison o f the epistemological grounds o f Western and Buddhis t educational traditions. a) Western enlightenment epistemology: It is wor thwhi le point ing out that as Western scholars we enter any meaningful intercivi l izat ion dialogue wi th a consciousness imbued in perceptions and wor ldv iews condit ioned by Eurocent r ic and N o r t h A m e r i c a n modernity (for example, individualism, progress, and mechanized time). Recogn iz ing this bias challenges us to scrutinize the w ay we understand and represent differences between traditions o f historical experience as they interact w i t h forces o f modernization. A s Eisendstadt and Schluchter query: I f there are multiple modernities, then the question arises: T o what extent have they been shaped by the historical experience o f their respective societies? The very posing o f this question invites another: A r e the concepts developed in Western social science, and above all in the social-scientific literature on modernity and modernization, adequate for the analysis o f these historical experiences? (p. 5-6) 96 T h i s quest ion led me to articulate and enact a fo rm o f socia l scientif ic inqui ry compat ible w i t h Buddhis t ethics and epistemology. I began w i t h a c r i t ica l inqui ry into the dominant N o r t h A m e r i c a n paradigm o f research. Th i s led me back to the European Enl ightenment , and i n particular to Germany as the country that focussed most o n enlightenment as an epis temological , rat ional , and mora l ph i losoph ica l projec t . 1 3 In the late 18th century, interest i n this project sparked a series o f publ ished debates that appeared i n Ge r ma ny under the challenge: " W h a t is En l i gh t enmen t? " 1 4 M o s e s M e n d e l s s o h n (1784), an early contributor to the debates, contended that enlightenment, culture, and educat ion formed an interrelated tr iad that cou ld s ignif icant ly improve a socie ty 's we l lbe ing . H e defined "enlightenment" as a people 's rat ionali ty and "cul ture" as their aesthetics, socia l mores and habits. H e contended that enlightenment related to culture as theory to practice, and together they influenced the educational system that emerged i n their wake . F r o m this perspective, i n the case o f Europe and N o r t h A m e r i c a , [scientific] rat ionali ty was its enlightenment and m o d e r n i t y 1 5 its culture, w h i c h combined to influence modern , secular education. The other respondents to the " W h a t is Enl igh tenment" debate, both cr i t ica l and supportive o f the Enl ightenment , seemed to concur w i t h this understanding o f enlightenment as reason. Immanuel K a n t was the respondent most renowned to posterity, and I w i l l use his v i ews as a w i n d o w into the Enl ightenment . I do so i n part because his was an attempt to moderate the extremes o f science and safeguard a role for mora l i ty and re l ig ion i n the Enl ightenment . H e was a moderate i n this respect, but a h igh ly inf luent ial one as w e l l . H i s v i ews can be taken as both emblemat ic and formative o f the epistemic traditions that have emerged i n the wake o f the European Enlightenment . F o r K a n t (1784/1996), 97 enlightened reason was not abstract but rather practical. H i s jus t i f ica t ion for the supremacy o f pract ical reason was premised on its abi l i ty to generate: 1) autonomy (through epis temology and pol i t ics ) ; 2) categorical imperatives (through ethics); and 3) in te l l ig ib le knowledge o f the w o r l d that is not direct ly apparent i n the sensible (that is , sensory) w o r l d (through scientific and phi losophica l reflection). A c c o r d i n g to Kan t , "Enl ightenment is mank ind ' s exit f rom self-incurred immaturi ty . Immaturi ty is the inabi l i ty to make use o f one 's o w n understanding without the guidance o f another" (p. 58). A few years later, K a n t expressed this more direct ly, "L ibe ra t ion from superstit ion is enlightenment" ( in Bit tner, 1996, p . 351). Superstit ions, as he understood them, are fuelled by fear, and reason offers the most effective method for e l imina t ing such fears. K a n t ' s v ind ica t ion o f reason is made o n the premise that it is the most effective means o f e l imina t ing superstitious and authoritarian tendencies i n both societies and ind iv idua ls through the cu l t iva t ion o f autonomy.16 A c c o r d i n g l y , K a n t identifies rel iance on . authorities as the antithesis o f enlightenment, w h i l e reason was sel f -moni tor ing and therefore offered its o w n authority. K a n t assumed a sceptical pos i t ion w i t h respect to direct experience, w h i c h he understood to manifest i n three ways : 1) i n sensory experience; 2) i n the imaginat ion; and, 3) i n apperception. In spite o f his endorsement o f the "p l a in o f experience" as the basis o f pract ical reason, K a n t contended that reason based on empi r i ca l pr inc ip les (that is , direct perception) was "degrading" because it encouraged sensuous incl inat ions . T h o u g h less conv inced o f the detrimental mora l effects o f the imagina t ion turned o n super-sensorial objects such as vis ions and G o d , he concluded that the mora l applicat ions o f such mys t i ca l "enthusiasm," a hyb r id o f intui t ion and feeling, was accessible on ly to 98 an elite and so was ul t imately insufficient for the mora l we l lbe ing o f the c o l l e c t i v e . 1 7 K a n t ident i f ied subjective and personal experience as unreliable and even pathologica l , w h i c h , ep i tomized i n the dream, was to be dist inguished from the objective, pub l ic experience o f emp i r i c i sm . K a n t went so far as to suggest that subjective experiences associated w i t h m y s t i c i s m be perceived as an illness o f the m i n d . In his extensive cri t ique o f the then-popular spiri tual mys t ic Swedenborg , 1 8 K a n t concluded that this spirit-seer suffered " a real i l lness" and was a "candidate for the mental hosp i ta l " ( B o h m e & B o h m e , 1982/1996, p. 444). K a n t ' s turn against metaphysics and m y s t i c i s m constituted the critical turn,19 w h i c h was founded o n sceptical ly de l imi t ing , d i sc ip l in ing , and pa tho log iz ing a l l but the most objective and pub l i c ly verif iable experiences. These "prac t ica l " experiences c i rcumscr ibed the l imi ts o f what he ca l led "prac t ica l" reason. What is deemed objective i n the sense o f empi r i ca l by K a n t is not something that is s imp ly experienced direct ly b y the senses, but something that is capable o f be ing publicly val idated. F o r Kan t , human beings l ive i n two wor lds—"the sensible wor ld . . . under laws o f nature" and "the in te l l ig ib le w o r l d . . .under laws w h i c h .. .have their ground i n reason alone." ( O ' N e i l l , 1989, p. 67). The in te l l ig ib le w o r l d is not a metaphysical , transcendent rea lm, but rather one der ived f rom the sensible w o r l d ; it is constituted o f formal pr inciples o n w h i c h the sensible w o r l d appears to function. In spite o f a tacit acknowledgement o f the leg i t imacy o f both, K a n t emphasized the role o f the intelligible domain o f conceptual , analyt ical abstractions over the sensible domain o f non-conceptual , direct perceptions. K n o w l e d g e was, for Kan t , a process o f progressive abstraction f rom the basis o f the sensible w o r l d 99 but ending, quite consistently, in the abstract, intelligible w o r l d o f concepts and principles. F o r Kan t , what lay beyond the l imits o f a constraining reason was an ominous, abjected state w e "have no opt ion save to abandon." H i s cosmology was constructed instead o n the basis o f a domesticated "pla in o f experience" delineated by practical reason, w h i c h in turn was constrained and defined on the basis o f pure reason. Wha t lay beyond the purview o f that "plain o f experience," was denigrated publicly by K a n t as tantamount to mental illness. What was unknown or not understood, and what defied the existing abilities o f human beings to define, measure and represent, became pathologized as it was once divinized/demonized, rather than remaining open to speculative inquiry as phenomena yet to be understood. Whi l e K a n t contributed to this pathologizing o f the imagination, in his more personal wri t ings he betrayed considerable doubts and uncertainties, as in the fo l lowing section o f a letter to Mendelssohn. In this letter, he considers the feasibility o f the claims o f his nemesis, Swedenborg: " A l s o wi th regard to the spirit reports, I cannot restrain myself from a small attachment to these sorts o f stories, nor can I help nourishing some suspicion o f the correctness o f their rational basis" (Bohme & B o h m e , 1983/1996, p. 443). Wha t is perhaps most interesting is that in public K a n t condemned venomously what in private he openly considered and even held in credulity. Such discrepancies between his public and personal points o f v iew, wh ich some might call hypocrisy, are consistent w i th his tendency to demarcate the public and personal domains. F o r instance, his defense o f autonomy was made on behalf o f the public domain, wh ich for h im meant public intellectual exchanges, and not the personal domain where one executed one's 100 off ic ia l office and role w i t h respect to fami ly , communi ty and state. Th i s finds paral le l ar t iculat ion i n a w o r k K a n t (1960) publ ished entitled Pedagogik or Educat ion, i n w h i c h he describes the importance o f the "art o f d i s s imula t ion" and the "art o f d isc losure" i n the education o f chi ldren. In exp la in ing these arts, he posits that for a c h i l d to learn discretion, one o f three pr inciples o f "pract ical educat ion" alongside skills and morality, the c h i l d must: .. .acquire prudence, he must learn to disguise his feelings and to be reserved, w h i l e at the same t ime he learns to read the character o f others. It is ch ief ly w i t h regard to his o w n character that he must cultivate reserve. . . . F o r this end a k i n d o f d i ssembl ing is necessary; that is to say, we have to hide our faults and keep up that outward appearance. Th i s is not necessarily deceit, and is sometimes a l lowable , although it does border c lose ly on insinceri ty, (p. 96) Here K a n t betrays what appears to border on a repressive v i e w o f personal experience, w h i c h runs throughout his work . In the same text, he argues that ch i ldren should be discouraged f rom acting o n the basis o f feelings but on ly on a sense o f duty, as feelings can turn from posi t ive to negative. Feel ings , instead, become aspects o f human experience i n need o f mask ing , h id ing , and being made impenetrable to the pub l ic gaze. Y e t , this very tendency created condit ions i n w h i c h public (that is , col lect ive) faults were able to persist unchal lenged by personal experience, doubts and contradictory feelings. Indeed, aspects o f the Enl ightenment and its related modernizat ions have proved i n some instances to be as dogmatic as the C h u r c h doctrine it was proposed to remedy, and more totalitarian i n its po l i t i ca l extremes (for example, pos t -Revolut ionary France, N a z i Germany , the U S S R , and the P R C ) . Consider , for example, the dogmatic tendencies i n 101 w h i c h scientif ic knowledge tends to be presented i n classrooms and i n the pub l i c . The pr inc ipa l difference i n this respect between dominant Western epistemologies and the Buddhis t t radi t ion is that i n B u d d h i s m knowledge based on direct, embodied (for example , personal) experience is considered to offer the most trust and confidence, b) Buddhist epistemology & enlightenment: B u d d h i s m is grounded i n an understanding o f enlightenment as first and foremost a process t ransforming sentient persons rather than abstract publics. In M a h a y a n a B u d d h i s m , the mot iva t ion for universal l iberat ion became accentuated, rendering the understanding o f enlightenment as not just i/rtrapersonal but also interpersonal, yet s t i l l a imed at something natural—tathagatagarbha, the innate m i n d o f enlightenment, translated as B u d d h a Nature—rather than based on socia l , insti tutional or pub l ic reform. T h i s emphasis on the l iberat ion o f persons, fundamental to B u d d h i s m , is predicated on the v i e w that m i n d rather than matter is most direct ly responsible for generating experience. T h i s emphasis o n consciousness, i n turn, led to an understanding o f v a l i d knowledge as predicated on a v a l i d consciousness. A v a l i d consciousness is one that k n o w s its object on the basis o f v a l i d direct perception (that is , the real) or v a l i d inference (that is , the true). A s such, epis temology (establishing what is true) and onto logy (establishing what is real) became interconnected i n B u d d h i s m . A Buddhis t system o f epis temology was developed by D i g n a g a (480-540 C E ) and Dharmak i r t i (600-660 C E ) 2 1 to defend and differentiate B u d d h i s m from compet ing Indian traditions, such as H i n d u i s m and Ja in i sm. It established c o m m o n cri ter ia to conduct conversations across these various re l igious traditions w i t h terms and forms o f discourse 9 9 • • to articulate their s imilar i t ies and differences. B u d d h i s m was min imal i s t i n its 102 acceptance o f only t w o forms o f val id knowers or pramana—direct perceivers and inferential cognizers. Restr ic t ing formal validity to these t w o appeared sceptical in contrast w i t h the considerably more elaborate forms o f val id knowledge advocated by the other schools. The H i n d u Vedanta, for instance, identified four other forms o f va l id knowledge: testimony, analogy, presumption, and non-apprehension. These w o u l d not be accepted as val id proofs on the grounds o f reasoning established by Dignaga and Dharmaki r t i , though testimony by one who can be reasoned to be trustworthy is considered acceptable under certain conditions (that is, for knowledge not accessible by reason or direct experience). N o t only were " w r o n g " perceptions and reasonings rejected as invalid, but so too were poor ly developed "convic t ions" or knowledge heard but not reasoned through sufficiently to constitute a val id inference for the knower.23 Another Indian tradition, the vyakarana or phi losophy o f grammar, shared some classes o f va l id knowers w i t h B u d d h i s m but differed in the value assigned to each type o f validity; so, they held direct perception and reason as the weakest validation and testimony and scripture as the strongest, in ascending order. What is unique about Buddhis t epistemology w i t h respect to other formal epistemologies in India and elsewhere is its high valuat ion o f direct perception, w h i c h is understood to include direct sensory perception, direct mental perception, and yog ic direct perception. This high valuation o f direct experience corresponds wi th a supposit ion that whatever can be val idly inferred to exist can be val idly experienced as existing, and thereby be realized in the continuum o f one's embodied experience. Enlightenment is predicated on a special form o f direct experience or perception called "yogic direct 103 percept ion," an experience beyond K a n t ' s ordinary "p l a in o f experience." In particular, Buddhis t education is interested i n the direct experience, that is , insight, o f emptiness or what is speci f ica l ly defined i n the P ra sang ika -Madhyamika school o f Tibe tan B u d d h i s m as "the lack o f inherent existence." W i t h this special experience (insight, yog i c direct perception), a series o f effects and actions result w h i c h can be said to be the real izat ion o f emptiness as interdependence. 2 4 Such a real izat ion is said to transform and liberate the person f rom states o f suffering. Related yog i c direct perceptions include those i n v o l v i n g impermanence, suffering, and selflessness, that have va ry ing degrees o f "h idden" aspects that are not readi ly accessible to ordinary sensory direct perception. In most cases, these insights can on ly be experienced direct ly by first constructing a v a l i d (rational) inference and then meditat ing upon that inference. L ibe ra t ion arises f rom insight into emptiness (that is , the direct experience o f the lack o f inherent existence), w h i c h is generally predicated o n first deve lop ing a v a l i d inference o f emptiness. Kensu r Y e s h e y Tubden (1994) describes this inference i n the f o l l o w i n g terms: A l l phenomena are identical i n be ing signless. A l l lack signs or reasons that w o u l d establish them as exis t ing f rom their o w n side or, to put this another way , w o u l d prove them to inherently exist. B e i n g without inherent existence signifies that things lack their o w n character i n the sense o f l ack ing a nature that exist f rom its o w n side. Thus , a l l phenomena are the same i n being characterless; that is , a l l are empty o f hav ing their o w n inherent nature. (p. 94) T h i s v i e w finds resonance i n the w o r k o f A d o r n o (1966/1973) w h o also points to the difference between concepts and existence: " N o matter h o w hard we try for l inguis t ic 104 expression o f such a history congealed in things, the words w e use w i l l remain concepts. Their precision substitutes for the thing itself, without quite bringing its selfhood to mind; there is a gap between words and the thing they conjure" (p. 52-53). A d o r n o understood that this experience o f a gap between concepts and "a history congealed in things" arises w i t h analytical reflection: "The test o f the power o f language is that the expression and the thing w i l l separate in reflection. Language becomes a measure o f truth only when w e are conscious o f the non-identity o f an expression wi th that w h i c h w e mean" (p. 111). So articulated, A d o r n o ' s v i ew on language and reason corresponds closely w i t h the Buddhis t v iew. This condi t ion o f recognizing a certain negation implici t in any assertion o f truth is an ethical condi t ion insofar as understanding the difference between concepts and direct experience a l lows us to separate from the deleterious effects o f conceptual constructions involv ing essentialized identities, propaganda, and oppressive cultural practices or institutions. It is, in other words , the basis o f freedom—both in the Buddhis t sense o f liberation and in the Western sense o f liberty. Furthermore, l ike A d o r n o , B u d d h i s m argues that the role o f concepts should be to enhance not negate existence. A l t h o u g h it advocates the negation o f inherent existence, it cautions practitioners against negating existence per se. T o conceptually negate existence w o u l d constitute an error o f nihil ism, wh ich is far more serious than an error o f reification for it tends to lead to the negation o f ethics (hence to ethical and karmic degeneration). 2 6 In Buddh i sm, knowledge derived from val id direct experience is deemed more stable and confident than that derived from val id inferences because one has witnessed the object as directly as possible. In this respect, the most stable ground o f knowledge is experience, understood as both sensory and yogic (that is, subtle) direct perception. Y e t , 105 although a direct perception offers more confident knowledge o f the thing, an inference (that is, thought consciousness) is nonetheless valuable for its superior ability to ascertain (that is, understand, draw inferences about) that thing, and in particular what is hidden or partially hidden from sensory exper ience. 2 7 The classic example o f an inference is that w h i c h discerns a fire when one sees the sign o f smoke, or, to use a modern example, what discerns gravity when an apple falls f rom a tree. Indeed, reason was affirmed as an important ground o f knowledge in the Buddhis t educational dating back to the teachings o f the historical B u d d h a himself, w h o implored his students to test his words against the litmus o f their o w n reason and experience, "as a goldsmith w o u l d test a nugget o f g o l d . " m. Paths: Paths refer to "method" in traditional research lexicon; more generally, it can be understood to address the question, How? H o w is the research path learned? H o w does one seek and validate one 's knowledge? H o w does one learn, and h o w does one translate that learning to others? F o r a research path to be Buddhis t , it must include a path o f direct realization, so h o w does make it so? A . Apprenticing the path: The field o f Buddhis t -Chr is t ian comparative rel igion adopted the term "orthopraxis" to describe, "a set o f experiences and techniques, conceived as a ' w a y ' to be fo l lowed, leading one to relive the founder 's path to enlightenment" (Carruthers, 1998, p. 1). It distinguished from "or thodoxy," wh ich involves learning by explicat ing canonical texts or creeds. A l though the challenge o f orthopraxis is to progress f rom texts 106 to a lineage o f experience, it is diff icul t i f not imposs ible to transmit such a lineage conceptual ly , especial ly i f one attempts to do so through orthodox communica t ive conventions. A s a consequence, "instead o f normative dogma, [orthopraxis] relies upon patterns o f oral formulae and r i tua l ized behavior to prepare for an exper ience . . . " (p. 1). Carruthers points out that, w h i l e orthopraxis describes a tradit ion o f education i n monasteries, it has precedents i n the apprenticeship craft traditions: .. . M o s t o f this knowledge cannot even be set d o w n i n words ; it must be learned by pract ic ing, over and over again. Monas t i c education is best understood, I think, on this apprenticeship mode l , more l ike masonry or carpentry than anything i n the modern academy. It is an apprenticeship to a craft w h i c h is also a way o f l i fe . It is 'pract ice ' both i n the sense o f being 'preparation' for a perfect craft mastery, w h i c h can never fu l ly be achieved, and i n the sense o f ' w o r k i n g ' i n a part icular way . (p. 1-2) W h i l e there are, no doubt, some intact apprenticeship lineages o f craft or practice i n the academy, f rom mus ic to medic ine and education, for the most part these concern a v i s ib le s k i l l and product; h o w more chal lenging when the s k i l l and product are the m i n d and experience itself. T o translate such an experiential lineage into the academy is a lofty project indeed, and one I can on ly env i s ion i n opt imist ic moments. Nonetheless, insofar as there are people do ing research who are a part o f such an embodied lineage, then perhaps the effects w i l l be felt by whatever name it is g iven. A s H H the D a l a i L a m a described i n oral teachings he gave to Westerners dur ing a large K a l a c h a k r a in i t ia t ion i n Sarnath, India: 107 .. Whenever B u d d h i s m moves to a new culture, it takes on a new form. Certa in fundamental and necessary principles are conserved, but around those develop cultural practices unique to a particular culture and people. Through the act o f l iv ing in and from your o w n culture as Buddhists , s lowly a path best-suited to y o u and your culture w i l l emerge. B. The conceptual/experiential divide: Translat ing a lineage o f realization or experience into a new culture requires a more subtle appreciation o f culture and its effect on thinking and experience than is ordinari ly apparent. One has to be an ethnographer regardless o f one 's method, because one faces the continuous challenge o f wr i t ing and translating similarities across cultural differences. Cul ture involves a web o f conceptions about life and experience that affect h o w w e experience the w o r l d , rendering the gap between such concepts and experience difficult to discern. Nonetheless, w i th sufficient analytical reflections and experiences o f the w o r l d , such a gap can be known. Accord ing ly , I organized my research study to cultivate such awareness by paying attention to distinctions between reason and direct experience. Since culture and cross-cultural dialogue is so central to this process, I chose an ethnographic format, as a pre-existing Western social research template, to dialogue wi th a Buddhis t method. I have intentionally resisted taking the traditional path o f Buddhis t studies in the literary and phi lological tradition because it tends to neglect B u d d h i s m as a l iv ing culture and system o f educa t ion . 2 8 So , in enacting the path, I attempted to integrate reasoned inferences (from philosophical inquiry) w i t h direct 108 experience (from "empir ica l" field observations and direct experiences), and to directly realize and embody those insights. 1. Reason and direct experience: Scholar ly and popular representations o f Indo-Tibetan B u d d h i s m in the West have tended to depict it in one o f two extremes—either as a dry, rationalist tradit ion or conversely as an anti-rational undertaking in wh ich reason and language are objects o f refutation i f not r i d i cu l e . 2 9 Part o f my motivat ion in undertaking this study has been to counteract such misrepresentations. A s has been mentioned, reason is useful on the path to construct va l id inferences about the wor ld , which , in turn, a l low more uncommon and inaccessible experiences to be directly known . A val id inference is not a theory so much as knowledge inferred on the basis o f reasoning. In science, the force o f gravity might offer a suitable example o f such a va l id inference, whereby an elusive phenomena becomes named, reasoned and inferred as a causal factor in the behaviour o f other phenomena. W h e n one investigates gravity sufficiently, it becomes a val id inference, and this a l lows the direct experience o f gravity on one's o w n bodi ly sensations. So, one uses inferential reasoning as an apprentice might use a master's directions to perfect a craft, or a wanderer might use a guide 's map to arrive at a particular locat ion (that is, experience) in the wor ld . In addit ion to this role, reason is considered to be the principal means to train the mind away from states o f anger and resentment towards states o f compassion, wh ich analytical meditat ion is considered well-suited to cu l t iva te . 3 0 There has been a tendency to separate paths o f philosophical rationalism (reason) from paths o f scientific empiricism (experience). In social scientific theses, for example, conceptual theses are distinguished from empirical studies. A third form o f research is 109 the performative dissertation, hitherto identified wi th M u s i c and the Fine Ar t s , wherein a student embodies research in a single performance. Performative research aims at the integration o f theory and practice, and the result is judged in part for its ability to do so. These three resemble the threefold divis ion o f learning I outlined above into: inference, direct experience, and realization, where the performance is the realization o f the other two . I have attempted to integrate these three types o f dissertations into one to reflect better the cont inuum o f reason, direct experience, and realization presented in Buddh i sm. T o accomplish this, first I engaged in philosophical and analytical investigations involv ing hearing (and reading), thinking, and meditating on texts, oral teachings, and conversations. Second, I was mindful o f memories and direct experiences relevant to my investigations, w h i c h were fo l lowed by observations and experiences both in Tibetan communit ies and in my experiences in the Canadian academy as I struggled to complete a doctorate. Final ly , I have attempted to make the research, wri t ing, and presentation o f this w o r k performative both in J L Aus t in ' s (1961) sense o f a transformative enactment and in Judith Bu t l e r ' s (1991) post-modern sense o f a "playful" performance. A u s t i n developed an understanding o f "the performative" as transformative speech. H e wanted to draw attention to forms o f speech in w h i c h things are not said but done through the utterance o f words. ( A n example is "I do" in a marriage ceremony, where the act o f uttering the words changes one's identity, at least w i th respect to the state.) A u s t i n restricted his use o f the term to ritualistic uses o f speech. F o r a more nuanced sense o f the term performative across diverse contexts, I draw on Judith Bu t l e r ' s explanation o f h o w identities are per/formed through playfully enacting the very thing one is learning (that is, roles, theories, insights). B y playfully acting out what it is one is 110 learning, knowledge transforms into embodied experience as we learn to l ive i n the w o r l d differently. In this respect, t ry ing to be an embodied researcher is comparable to Bu t l e r ' s (1991) descr ipt ion o f learning gender—that is , we become what we p lay at be ing (p. 18): T o say that I p lay at being one is not to say that I a m not one " rea l ly" ; rather, h o w and where I p lay at being one is the w ay i n w h i c h that " b e i n g " gets established, instituted, circulated, and conf i rmed. Th i s is not a performance f rom w h i c h I take radical distance, for this is deep-seated p lay , p sych ica l ly entrenched play. 2. Realization and embodiment: Transformat ion involves the direct real izat ion o f knowledge , w h i c h i n B u d d h i s m arises as the fruit o f a variety o f analyt ical and mindfulness meditat ive practices. In other words , it is a qual i ty o f embodied k n o w i n g that fo l lows analyt ical and experiential reflections. It may beg in intentionally as i n praxis, w h i c h is also predicated o n reflective experience, but to embody or realize knowledge is more spontaneous and integrated w i t h one 's w a y i n the w o r l d than conveyed by the term praxis . The direct rea l iza t ion o f knowledge has ordinary and more esoteric manifestations. F o r instance, I might develop a conceptual inference that exercise develops muscles, and even corroborate such an inference w i t h observations o f the musculature o f athletes and h o w their muscles change over t ime. Y e t , w h e n I adopt an exercise regime that leads me to direct ly experience a change i n m y o w n metabol i sm and musculature, then such knowledge can be said to be direct ly real ized. The knowledge accompanies a transformation, w h i c h alters the w a y I act both intent ional ly and unintentionally. Th i s knowledge m a y be said to have inf luenced m y l ifestyle and interactions w i t h the w o r l d . N o t on ly does the idea o f real izat ion suggest a more confident and stable knowledge than w h e n the knowledge is treated exclusively as an "objective" fact, but so too does it involve a deeper significance when understood as the embodiment and transformation o f action. F o r more subtle realizations, let us consider the case o f emptiness. A significant component o f this insight is the recognit ion that things do not exist under investigation as they appear to exist in ordinary, unreflective experience. This is an important insight when encountering obstacles to the fulfilment o f our happiness. W i t h the direct experience o f emptiness, one recognizes that the w o r l d arises as a projection, wh ich an untrained awareness sees as more solid and fixed than is the case. W i t h this realization, w e learn to respond to obstacles w i th creativity, understanding that they are less fixed and more mutable than they may appear. Seeing that we impute much o f the sense o f concreteness onto our experience, w e find it easier to recognize the fluidity o f such experience and its ability to change. Once realized, this a l lows us to l ive a more creative life that is able to accord better w i t h our hopes, aspirations, and happiness. Just as the concept orthopraxis facilitated scholarly comparisons and dialogues between B u d d h i s m and Christianity, similarly, the concept o f embodiment and enactivism have gained currency in cognit ive science in the attempt to compare and integrate Buddhis t and scientific conceptions o f identity, mind, and knowing . T o do so, cognit ive theorists l ike V a r e l a et. al. (1991) "propose a constructive task: to enlarge the hor izon o f cognit ive science to include the broader panorama o f human, l ived experience in a disciplined, transformative analysis" (p. 14). Recogn iz ing the limitations o f the scientific tendency to treat the mind exclusively from its objective bases in the brain, these scientific theorists have argued for an experiential appreciation o f mind to complement such objective understanding. " W e believe that i f cognit ive science is to include human 112 experience, it must have some method for exp lo r ing and k n o w i n g what human experience i s " (p. 23). Phenomenology init iated just such a project to articulate a science o f the m i n d and experience, but restricted i t se l f to rat ional, theoretical reflection. Instead, these authors ask, " W h e r e can w e turn for a tradit ion that can provide an examina t ion o f human experience i n both its reflective and its immediate, l i v e d aspects?" (p. 21): Wha t we are suggesting is a change i n the nature o f reflection f rom an abstract, d i sembodied act ivi ty to an embodied (mindful) , open-ended reflection. B y embodied, we mean reflect ion i n w h i c h body and m i n d have been brought together. Wha t this formulat ion intends to convey is that reflect ion is not just on experience, but reflect ion is a fo rm o f experience i tself—and that reflective fo rm o f experience can be performed w i t h mindfulness/awareness. (p. 27) C. Mindfulness: It is i n B u d d h i s m that V a r e l a et. a l . (1991) locate just such a t radi t ion o f mindfulness as embodied, open-ended reflection: "Mindfu lness means that the m i n d is present i n embodied everyday experience; mindfulness techniques are designed to lead the m i n d back f rom its theories and preoccupations, back from the abstract attitude, to the situation o f one 's experience i t s e l f (p. 22). Mindfu lness arises by attending to what was prev ious ly ignored, by " let t ing go o f habits o f mindlessness, as an / ^ l e a r n i n g rather than a learning. . . . W h e n the mindfulness meditator f ina l ly begins to let go rather than to struggle to achieve some particular state o f act ivi ty, then body and m i n d are found to be naturally co-ordinated and embodied" (p. 29). F o r example, i n our search for we l lbe ing and happiness, we may f ind ourselves passing through i l lness and grief; part o f the 113 heal ing o f those states requires that we first k n o w the nature and cause o f their suffering, w h i c h requires a bare, non-discr iminat ing attention. Th i s state becomes the condi t ion for the emergence o f wisdom-real iz ing-emptiness , w h i c h , when conjoined w i t h a compassionate mot ive to do so for the sake o f a l l sentient beings, generates (the Mahayana) enlightenment. Such compass ion arises as spontaneous ethical ac t ion w i t h i n the complex i ty o f situated experience: "Ano the r characteristic o f the spontaneous compass ion that does not arise out o f the vo l i t iona l action o f habitual patterns is that it fo l lows no rules. It is not der ived f rom an axiomat ic ethical system nor even f rom pragmatic mora l injunctions. It is complete ly responsive to the needs o f the particular s i tuat ion" (p. 250). Langer (1997) identifies various qualities that cultivate and mainta in mindfulness. She cal ls this "s ideways learning" to dis t inguish it f rom either top-down or bottom-up models o f research and education, characterized by "an openness to novel ty and act ively no t ic ing differences, contexts and perspectives" that make us receptive to an ongoing situation. Mindfu lness , according to Langer , has f ive qualit ies: 1) openness to novel ty; 2) alertness to dis t inct ion; 3) sensit ivity to different contexts; 4) impl i c i t , i f not expl ic i t , awareness o f mul t ip le perspective; and 5) orientation i n the present" (p. 23). Mindfu lness t raining is characterized by a loose, soft "v ig i l ance , " where in one attends wi thout interrupting or con t ro l l ing the chain o f b o d y m i n d experiences. A l t h o u g h there are mul t ip le and h igh ly special ised ways to cultivate mindfulness, one w a y to practice i n the context o f naturalistic research is to cont inual ly pose the question, " W h a t is it I a m not seeing or no t i c ing?" W h e n we are mindless, we tend to perpetuate incomplete rat ionalised stories about " rea l i ty" based on the indoctr inat ion o f our culture and 114 upbr inging by ignor ing what is appearing before us rather than by attending to the complex i ty o f a present (objective) circumstance. IV. Fruits: In soc ia l research, it is helpful to understand and articulate the outcomes or fruits towards w h i c h a research path is framed. Is it for informat ion, for w i s d o m , or for we l lbe ing , and i f so, for w h o m ? H o w is the research process related to those desired ends? A l t h o u g h research should envisage no pre-determined outcomes, a researcher may hope for results o f a certain k i n d . In the Buddhis t path, this is accompl i shed through a d iscuss ion offruits or fruition, where in the desired effect o f the path is "enl ightenment" and the var ious qualit ies associated w i t h such a state. Though not expl ic i t , the standard outcome o f socia l research cou ld be described as "pract ical reason," enlightenment as it was understood i n the Western European tradit ion. Converse ly , i n attempting to translate fruits as understood i n the Buddhis t path, I have identif ied we l lbe ing , the real izat ion o f interdependence, and compass ion and w i s d o m as important elements. A . Wellbeing: The most meaningful sense o f " k n o w i n g " i n B u d d h i s m suggests that to k n o w is to heal . A c c o r d i n g l y , this is the basic tenet o f the research path I here propose. K n o w i n g -as-healing does not arise f rom informat ion but f rom focussing quest(ion)s and interest o n experience, and par t icular ly on the experience o f suffering. Th i s gives knowledge an ethical depth, m a k i n g it accountable to a fundamental desire for happiness and freedom from suffering, w h i c h B u d d h i s m c la ims is intr insic to sentient existence. Theodor 115 A d o m o (1966/1973) suggests "the need to let suffering speak is the condi t ion o f a l l t ruth" ( in C o r n e l l , 1992, p. 13). H e argues that the "un i ty" that is the outcome o f the dialect ic o f the K a n t i a n Enl ightenment is i n fact the repression o f the natural (sensate) w o r l d by the rat ional ( in te l l ig ible) . A c c o r d i n g l y , the Enl ightenment dialect ic bears a n ih i l i s t i c seed i n w h i c h existence suffers under the attack o f reason. In the process, suffering tends to be denied, and w i t h it the values o f wellness and happiness that are predicated o n first r ecogn iz ing and acknowledg ing suffering. F o r A d o r n o , the route to salvaging that existence is , i n part, through aff i rming the ph i losophica l concept o f existence. " W h a t is true i n the concept o f existence is the protest against a condi t ion o f society and scientif ic thought that w o u l d expel unregimented exper ience—a condi t ion that w o u l d v i r tua l ly expe l the subject as a moment o f cogn i t ion" (p. 123). B y "unregimented experience," I understand A d o r n o to refer to a fo rm o f direct experience uncondi t ioned or m i n i m a l l y condi t ioned by soc ia l iza t ion and culture. In seeking a form o f k n o w i n g that brings w e l l n e s s 3 2 and happiness, I a m seeking a research program that a l lows the rat ional and natural, the rat ional and more experiential , to co-exist and interact without undermin ing and e l imina t ing their difference and respective value. The idea o f k n o w i n g as heal ing finds a distant cous in i n the Greek, proto-scientif ic thinker Epicurus (341 B C - 271 B C ) who contended that "empty is the argument o f the phi losopher by w h i c h no human disease is healed. F o r just as there is no benefit i n medic ine i f it does not dr ive out bod i ly disease, so there is no benefit i n ph i losophy i f it does not dr ive out the disease o f the soul ." In B u d d h i s m , such diseases o f the soul are understood to be caused by the mind—spec i f i ca l ly , by greed, hatred, and, most fundamentally, ignorance. Th i s v i e w compels students to move beyond intel lectual 116 inquiry to embrace the question and experience of suffering and its cessation in their lives and those of others. Similarly, I wish to articulate a path of social research capable of negotiating the gap between reason and experience. It is out of this gap, I contend, that existence, the natural or the real is capable of being intuited, i f not directly known and communicated, in a manner that can render such research as a healing. As a healing educational journey, the Buddhist path does not attend to isolated intellectual or discursive "facts" or practices but to the deep existential interests of living beings. In the case of human beings, our health is determined by our actions of body, speech, mind, and circumstances, which are themselves influenced by our explanations and worldviews. Accordingly, the health of activities, places, circumstances and views become relevant—whether they are "wholesome" sources of integrity (from the root whole) and wellbeing.3 4 This requires understanding the mechanics and experiences of suffering, the causes of such suffering, and ways to eliminate those causes. One of the oldest Buddhist texts, the Pali Abhidhamma called the Dhammasangam, identifies mental health or wellness not just as a fruit, but as a starting point of the meditative path: "When a healthy conscious attitude, belonging to the world of sensuous relatedness, accompanied by and permeated with serenity, and associated and linked up with knowledge, has arisen...," then we meditate.35 If we break these ideas down into distinct qualities of wellbeing, they would include: 1) health ; 2) mindfulness; 3) groundedness; 4) related and interdependent; 4) calm and serene; and finally, 5) knowing. I use the term wellbeing to distinguish the Buddhist conception of satisfaction from wellness, a term derived from Aristotle's eudemonia, literally "having a good guardian spirit," (Honderich, p. 2 5 2 ) . 3 6 The Buddhist sense of wellbeing derives from an 117 integrated subjective/objective understanding o f satisfaction, but pr iv i leges the subjective insofar as the abi l i ty to experience happiness is more important than the presence or absence o f any specific objective circumstance or condi t ion . Such we l lbe ing f rom knowledge is connected to what A d o r n o (1966/1973) cal ls a philosophical experience: In sharp contrast to the usual ideal o f science, the object ivi ty o f d ia lect ica l cognit ions needs not less subjectivity, but more. Ph i losoph ica l experience withers otherwise. B u t our pos i t iv is t ic Zeitgeist is al lergic to this need. It holds that not a l l men are capable o f such experience; that it is the prerogative o f ind iv idua ls destined for it by their disposit ions and life story; that ca l l i ng for it as a premise o f cogni t ion is elit ist and undemocratic. (p. 40). In B u d d h i s m , we l lbe ing is achieved through enlightening as a verb, w h i c h is the process o f cul t iva t ing seven factors—mindfulness (sati), invest igat ion (dhamma-vicaya), energy (virya), bl iss/ joy (piti), t ranqui l l i ty /ca lm (passadhi), concentration /absorption (samadhi), and equanimity (upekkha), ( N a m g y a l , 1992, p. 91). I f one cultivates these qualit ies dur ing the process o f research, as i n any act ivi ty , then such are the fruits o f one 's endeavours; i n other words , one becomes what one does. Furthermore, as w i t h Ar i s to t l e ' s understanding o f eudemonia or wel lness , we l lbe ing i n B u d d h i s m arises f rom the practice o f ethics and virtue. In the modern med ica l interpretation o f health, such a connect ion has been lost, but i n both H i n d u and Buddhis t thought, we l lbe ing is understood to arise s ignif icant ly f rom ethical act ion (Kr i shna , 1998). In B u d d h i s m , the foremost ethic is compass ion or love, and so the path to we l lbe ing includes compass ion and love . T h i s is the conc lus ion o f C h i l e a n neurobiologist Humber to Maturana (1998) as w e l l , namely that most i f not a l l heal ing arises as a response to l o v e . 3 7 H i s not ion o f 118 wel lbe ing is o f a natural state that arises f rom l i v i n g "adequately" w i t h i n the f l o w o f relations between one's internal structures and eco-social niche, and it is love that a l lows the recogni t ion o f such adequacy to emerge. The Western Enl ightenment is an important his tor ical milestone for freedom i n the w o r l d , and part o f that can be accounted for by its strong emphasis o n rat ional e m p i r i c i s m over other modes o f val idat ion. Y e t , it is important not to exaggerate the powers and importance o f reason to human wel lbe ing . The N a z i G e r m a n state was perhaps the epitome o f the rat ional ized state and it was certainly N O T salvaged f rom the dark side o f human nature. Furthermore, it is c rucia l to interrupt the false d icho tomy perpetuated by the Enl ightenment between rat ionalism/science and i r ra t ional ism/re l ig ion. There are aspects o f science that are irrational and d o g m a t i c 3 8 and aspects o f re l ig ion that are open and rat ional . L i k e w i s e , the Western Enl ightenment has ideal is t ic and irrat ional aspects, as for instance, i n the very be l i e f that a ra t ional ized economic or socia l system could b r ing U t o p i a n progress, as i f humans are passive agents whose desires succumb to reason (rather than the other way around, as is often the case). The effectiveness o f the Western Enl ightenment project depends on its abi l i ty to engage w i t h other cultures and histories creat ively to amend the v i ews and institutions o n w h i c h it continues to rest. It is wor thwhi le to consider, albeit ambi t iously , just h o w important reason is and has been across diverse cultures and histories i n establishing healthy human beings and societies, and then to ask, " W h a t else is and has been important?" I f the legacy o f the Enl ightenment has been to curtai l and prevent these other factors f rom manifest ing, then such a legacy is i n need o f some c r i t i c i sm. I do so m y s e l f not to interrupt the role o f the rational altogether, but rather to reduce the harmful effects o f its suppression o f other 119 aspects o f human wellbeing, and to a l low these other aspects be vo iced , heard, and integrated into our personal and institutional experiences. These aspects include compassion, love, feelings, desire, and intuition. M y conclusion, after years o f reflections on the subject, is that reason is an insufficient, albeit partial, condi t ion for a w e l l person, a we l l human life, or a w e l l culture. In part this is precisely because it is connected to other factors, such as underlying feelings and desires, wh ich are too easily obscured or denied in the purportedly rational act. Reason must be tempered by love, compassion, and an openness towards what eludes rational representation. After all , there is a lot in our experience that does not fit w e l l inside a reasoned argument, but it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. T o temper reason wi th these other qualities in the process o f research asks us to attend to qualitative experience and not just to definitions, quantities o f objects, or rationalized subjects. This requires yielding to experience, not from a sense o f identification wi th our o w n subjectivity but w i th mindful attention, even when the experience defies our ability to represent it meaningfully wi th in a social wor ld . A s A d o r n o (1966/1973) argues, " T o yie ld to the object means to do justice to the object 's qualitative moments. Scientific objectification, in line wi th the quantifying tendency o f all science since Descartes, tends to eliminate qualities and to transform them into measurable definitions." T o k n o w wellbeing requires "y ie ld ing" in mindfulness to a qualitative moment, and in so yielding, to realize the interdependent nature o f our existence. 120 B. The realization of emptiness as interdependence: The principal fruit o f the Buddhis t path, on w h i c h any ultimate wel lbeing is predicated, is the realization o f emptiness. I say "ultimate" here in the sense o f a wel lbeing that is not contingent on conditions, wh ich are beyond our control . This realization entails the simultaneous realization o f interdependence. Emptiness and interdependence are mutually necessary conditions—that is, emptiness is possible because o f interdependence, and interdependence because o f emptiness, what Tsongkhapa called "The K i n g o f Reasons." The w o r l d o f phenomena come into being on the basis o f the dialogue between awareness and matter (that is, structure). Acco rd ing ly , w e cannot posit an existence outside or independence o f awareness. This is a v i ew shared by the scientific v i e w o f cogni t ion presented by Maturana (1998) and Maturana and V a r e l a (1986). C o l o u r is a classic case in point, wh ich both Matu rana and V a r e l a studied at length. W e perceive the redness o f a poppy as i f it were a characteristic o f the f lower itself, wi thout appreciating that the redness is created through the dialogue between our condit ioned senses, perception, and cogni t ion and the wavelength o f light reflecting of f the surface o f the phenomenon. In this, it can be said that the emptiness o f the poppy ' s redness is its interdependence on its parts (for example, saturation, lightness), causes for (that is, wavelength o f light and human senses and perception), and its imputat ion by a consciousness (labelling as ' r ed ' the colour o f a poppy.) Hence , its interdependence becomes the basis o f its lack o f inherent existence. The way w e become aware o f such interdependence is through both analysis and a quality o f mindful attention. The latter requires a focussed attention and interest on immediate experience. Such attention creates the conditions, in turn, for a type o f 121 va l id i ty I refer to as " eco log i ca l . " I label this as a fo rm o f va l id i ty because it is a s ign o f the truth value o f one 's research endeavour. E c o l o g i c a l va l id i ty confirms one is " m a k i n g a path by w a l k i n g . " Such va l id i ty arises spontaneously when one no longer needs to exert effort to investigate one 's subject by intentionally pursuing research sources or construct ing research condi t ions. It is an effortless act ivi ty where one 's entire l ife becomes the answer to one 's question, w h i c h one "suffers" unt i l such insight arises. A c c o r d i n g l y , one 's l i fe becomes one's research. Such eco log ica l va l id i ty is possible because o f our interdependence i n the web o f l i fe . It involves accepting knowledge as a gift o f both experience and the w o r l d , and then offering one's re/search back as a gift, i n turn. H e l e n Norbe rg -Hodge (1997) describes this Buddhis t understanding o f interdependence i n the words o f the foremost L a d a k h i Buddhis t scholar, Tash i Rabgyas : Take any object, l ike a tree. W h e n y o u think o f a tree, y o u tend to th ink o f it as a distinct, c lear ly defined object, and on a certain level it is . B u t on a more important l eve l , the tree has no independent existence; rather, it dissolves into a web o f relationships. The rain that falls on its leaves, the w i n d that causes it to sway, the so i l that supports i t — a l l fo rm a part o f the tree. Eve ry th ing i n the universe helps make the tree what it is . It cannot be isolated, its nature changes from moment to moment—it is never the same. Th i s is what we mean when we say that things are 'empty, ' that they have no independent existence, (p. 80) C. Compassion and wisdom: C o m p a s s i o n and w i s d o m , and their embodied manifestation i n a person—that is , i n a Bodhisa t tva or Buddha—are the fruits o f the M a h a y a n a Buddhis t path, where compass ion 122 is said to be necessary i n the beginning (intention); midd le (path); and end (fruit) o f the path. The part icular w i s d o m o f note i n B u d d h i s m is the w i s d o m rea l iz ing emptiness and interdependence. W h e n this w i s d o m arises as the experience o f a v a l i d direct (yogic) perception, it liberates the consciousness from at least some degree o f struggle (that is , suffering). Where one once bel ieved i n the superiority o f one 's wor th over that o f others, for instance, one comes to recognize one's o w n place i n relationship and can respond w i t h the larger interest i n mind . One can turn away f rom volat i le or damaging encounters, w h i c h one might otherwise have grasped onto i n habitual mind-states o f greed or hatred. T h i s creativi ty is what is meant by liberation or freedom i n B u d d h i s m , and it is the standard fruit by w h i c h a l l knowledge and paths are judged. A g a i n we f ind an echo i n A d o r n o (1974), w h o enjoins us to "regard a l l things as they present themselves f rom the standpoint o f redempt ion" (p. 247). Ben tz and Shapiro (1998) expla in : B y redemption he means whatever his tor ical , soc ia l , or po l i t i ca l process w o u l d el iminate the dominat ion and exploi ta t ion that keeps things f rom being i n accord w i t h their potential and thereby w o u l d "free" people and things to be what they truly are. The inquirer is reminded to see things i n terms o f their potential and o f their undeformed, undistorted nature. The standpoint o f redemption is something that one can adopt deliberately i n inqui ry , i n order to see this nature, (p. 166-167) V . Conclusion: W h a t B u d d h i s m asks o f learners is not s imp ly an immers ion i n experience, but the transformation o f experience through reflection and mindfulness. The Indo-Tibetan Buddh i s t v i e w is predicated o n a radical affirmation o f the power o f rat ional analysis to 123 reveal the nature o f any phenomenon. Wi thout such reasoned analysis, ordinary experience is deceptive. It has an il lusory element that is the product o f habits that arise from our personal and collective condit ioning, including the very structure o f our nervous system and senses. W e habitually experience whatever we have been condit ioned to experience in order to survive, but it erroneously appears to us that w e are experiencing a w o r l d "out there." Conversely, there are qualitative experiences that are not part o f our condit ioned habits that are only accessible through first engaging in analytical reflection. Just because they aren't accessible to ordinary experience doesn't mean they don ' t exist, anymore than the invisibil i ty o f gravity or infrared light suggests it does not exist. O n the basis o f a va l id inference, however, one can directly k n o w subtle, liberating experiences such as emptiness through a direct yogic perception that forever alters the way one understands, experiences, and abides (is embodied) in the w o r l d . The end is experience, but not ordinary experience; it is a quality o f experience transformed through reflection and realization. A l t h o u g h my treatment o f research principles has been more theoretical than practical, the remaining chapters convey h o w these principles became embodied in the process o f my research into Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t education. It is hoped that the reader has so far gleaned a sense o f the particular concept ion o f reason and direct experience presented in Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t epistemology. N o w , I w i sh to explore whether and h o w this v i e w is translated into practice in the l ived experience o f the students o f D o l m a L i n g Nunnery and Institute o f Dialect ics . In the Indo-Tibetan monastic tradition, the education o f reason takes place wi th in a very complex system o f dialectic debate that is 124 radically different from any practice I am aware o f in the w o r l d . E v e n the use o f the term "debate," as w e w i l l learn, is, shall w e say, debatable in this case. So, I invite y o u to "intend to learn," as w e continue our educational journey into the debate courtyards o f D o l m a L i n g , situated in the stunningly beautiful K a n g r a Va l l ey o f the Indian Himalayan state o f Himache l Pradesh. Notes: 1 This came to me through a friend who received it from the Federation for the Preservation of Mahayana Buddhism (FPMT) electronic news list in February of 2000. 2 These are three of seven factors of enlightenment, outlined by the historical Buddha. The seven are mindfulness, investigation, energy (interest, perseverance)*, bliss, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity (Namgyal Rinpoche, 1992). This comes from the Sanskrit term virya, which is commonly translated as "energy" or "perseverance." I prefer the use of the term "interest," as some IMF teachers and Namgyal Rinpoche (personal communications) sometimes use, for it gives the sense of an active energy that does not arise just by force of will, but by a more joyful engagement with the object of study or attention. I use the Sanskrit terms in the specification of the seven factors of enlightenment found later in this chapter to help those conversant with Sanskrit sort out the terms from their translations. 3 The term usually applied is "fruition" rather than "fruits," but I like the latter because it is more consistent with the naturalistic metaphor of ground and paths. 4 Some contemporary Western Buddhist teachers like Stephen Bachelor (1997) are attempting to move Buddhism away from a focus on the doctrine of karma, suggesting that it is not necessary to invoke for a path to be Buddhist. This is no doubt based on the fact that karma is an extremely hidden phenomenon that cannot be validly known (comprehensively) through either reason or direct experience, but instead is a fruit of the realization of Buddhahood. So, one must reason through one's trust in another (a Buddha) to accept its validity. This is considered a very weak form of knowledge—basically a reasoned "belief or theory. Others, like Robert Thurman of Columbia University {Tricycle magazine, summer 1997), argue that karma and reincarnation are necessary tenets to accept to safeguard an effective view and path. 5 This is based on the seven [interrelated] factors of enlightenment as taught by the historical Buddha. There are mindfulness, investigation, energy (that can be understood as interest and/or perseverance), rapture or joy (bliss), tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity (Namgyal Rinpoche, 1992). In oral teachings, Namgyal Rinpoche expressed the view that so long as one is in a state of interest, one is in a state of love—whether or not that interest is directed at a sentient being or a non-sentient or abstract subject. 6 Kant referred to "enthusiasm," a form of passion that could appears to be similar to compassion in that it is described by Kant as a feeling moving towards and ideal or "perfection" of virtue. While he favoured this over a narrow empiricism, he nonetheless felt it was unstable and elitist: "Mystical enthusiasm .. can never be a lasting condition for any great number of people" (Kneller, p. 464). He concluded that only reasoning through universal rights based on the principal of generalizing one's own actions across the population could offer an accessible and effective ethics for the masses. The argument against mixing feelings or a "virtue-based" ethics with a rational one continues to this day. As recently as the autumn of 1999 I heard a political philosopher from an Ontario university (CBC radio, "This Morning", October, 1999) arguing for rational universals and against compassion as the ethical foundation for a just society. In 125 this case, the speaker was concerned about a brand of "conservative" compassion mounting in the right wing politics of the USA, but extended it to a critique of compassion in general. 7 For a good discussion of the marginalization of charity, its gradual restrictive interpretation as philanthropy in Western post-Enlightenment thought, the privileging of rationalized rights over obligations (responsibilities), as well as a way to reconcile discussions of rational rights with virtues, see O'Neill (1989). 8 Compassion is not pity in the Buddhist practice, at least not in the conventional understanding of "pity". For instance, I was instructed to reflect on handicapped people with the understanding that it could be my own experience—to appreciate the suffering more personally and empathically, but minimizing the sense of separation. Likewise, one in the 8 stanzas of mind training one is instructed to look on beings who suffer greatly as like a precious gem, very difficult to find. The correct attitude here is to value or cherish others, especially those suffering for what both they and their suffering can teach us; not to pity them. 9 For a similar attempt to reclaim compassion in the Western Christian tradition from its association with pity and pain, see Mathew Fox (1979). 1 0 This is a criticism being made in feminist research theories as well. For a discussion of the philosophical struggles between Kantian autonomy and the ethic of care in feminist research, see Schott (1996, p. 480-483). '' The rational moral theories of the Enlightenment, which contributed to the marginalization of compassion as a significant secular ethic in Western thought (as opposed to practice), were associated with the emergence of the construct of the autonomous individual separated from and controlling others and the world. For a good discussion of the emergence of this notion of individual autonomy, see Schneewind (1998). This construct of autonomy is countered by reflections and actions of love and compassion, which arise in relation, that is, with the realization of interconnectedness and interdependence of one form of another. 1 2 This came from teachings I received from HH the Dalai Lama at Sera Monastery in December 1997 and January 1998. These teachings were a commentary on Kedrup Je's A Dose of Emptiness, see Cabezon (1992). 1 3 The Scottish Enlightenment tended to focus on technological innovations and economic (e.g. Adam Smith), the English on aesthetics and economics (e.g. John Stuart Mill), the Americans progress through economics and democratic politics, and the French Enlightenment on human rights, political theory and action (e.g. Voltaire). While all these countries had philosophers who contributed to defining the overall Western Enlightenment phenomenon, it was in Germany that it found the most sustained and systematic study of the epistemology of Enlightenment. Also, I wanted to narrow the spectrum of analysis to give the reader a flavour, rather than a smorgasbord, of enlightenment. 1 4 This debate began with an article in a Berlin journal that asked, "What is enlightenment?" Schmidt (1996) recounts: "For the next decade a debate on the nature and limits of enlightenment raged in pamphlets and journals. In the process, the ideals and aspirations of the Enlightenment were subjected to a scrutiny so thorough it is only a slight exaggeration to suggest that subsequent critics have raised few points that were not already considered in the 1780's" (p. ix). 1 5 See Chapter 1, note #1 for a detailed explanation of the sense in which 1 use the term "modernity." 1 6 See Schneewind (1998) for a good discussion of the intellectual development of the construct of autonomy as it culminated in the work of Kant. 1 7 For more discussion of this, see Jane Kneller, (1996). 1 8 Swedenborg was a popular mystic in Europe in the 18th century. Interestingly, he was an early teacher and spiritual guide of William Blake who is identified by many as the founder of English aesthetic Romanticism. Romanticism is often presented as a reaction against the Enlightenment, though 1 think its emphasis on revolution, ideals, and the perfection of humanity make it more compatible with Enlightenment than is often presented. The difference lies in the value Romantics place on direct experience versus reason. They privilege the nature and experience over reason, without abandoning the project of reason. 1 9 See Bittner (1996) for a discussion of the negative basis of Kant's view of Enlightenment as "not" superstition or self-incurred immaturity. This negative perspective became manifest as the critical basis of the Kantian tradition of practical reason. 2 0 For a discussion of this relationship between ontology and epistemology, see Dreyfus (1997) p. 48-49. 126 2 1 For further discussions of Dharmakirti's epistemology, see Samdong Rinpoche (1981b and c), Dreyfus (1997), Jackson (1993), or Klein (1991). 2 2 See Jayatilleke (1963) and Coward & Raja (1990). 2 3 This is articulated in the "Sevenfold Division" of consciousness into: 1) direct perceivers; 2) inferential cognizers; 3) subsequent cognizers; 4) correctly assuming consciousness (information heard but not reasoned through; also called a "conviction"); 5) awareness to which the object appears but is not ascertained (i.e. experience something but don't recognize it, as when you are distracted and a horse passes by but you don't see it); 6) doubting consciousness (two-pointed; undecided); and 7) wrong consciousness (e.g. see a snake but it's a rope). Of these seven, only the first two are considered "valid" in Dharmakirti's articulation of Buddhist epistemology. This does not mean that the others are "wrong;" indeed, doubt is considered an important state of mind for overcoming wrong views, and a correctly assuming consciousness is the precursor to a valid inference. This comes from Lati Rinpochay (1980) p. 15-16. Se also Perdue (1976). 2 4 In most Buddhist texts the direct experience of emptiness and the direct realization of emptiness are treated as synonymous. Mind and action are understood to co-inhere according to Buddhist understanding; so, the experience of emptiness is understood to unfold as if lawfully in the realization of the deceptive nature of appearances in one's overall experience of the world. This arises as an implicit or spontaneous appreciatation of phenomena as interdependently arisen on the basis of their parts, causes, and imputation by a consciousness. I treat direct experience and realization as separate only to assist readers to discern the fact that the insight of emptiness is not some disengaged nirvana but an insight that deeply affect the way one lives in the world. 2 5 Buddhists understand that aspects of the sensible world are inaccessible to ordinary sensory perception and have to be inferred through reasoning before they can be directly known—as Kant would say, these phenomena need to be reasoned first in the intelligible world. Buddhism doesn't see such differences in terms of sensible and intelligible worlds, of course, but rather as apparent, hidden, and extremely hidden phenomena. While an apparent phenomena is immediately accessible to direct sensory perception, a hidden phenomenon must first be known by constructing a valid inference, which can become a condition in turn for a direct realization of that phenomenon as & yogic direct perception. Extremely hidden phenomena, like karma, can only be known validly by a Buddha, and so must be reasoned on the basis of the trustworthiness of the source. 2 6 See Jose Cabezon's (1992). 2 7 For a good discussion of this, see Jose Cabezon (1994). 2 8 See Lopez, Jr. (1995). 2 9 For these and related orientalist critiques of Buddhist scholarship in the West, see Lopez, Jr. (1995). 3 0 In numerous contexts (for example, The Dalai Lama (1997) Healing anger, and the (1996) video Secular meditations). HH the Dalai Lama has reiterated that analytical meditation (systematic reflection and analysis) is more effective in overcoming anger than single-pointed meditation (i.e. holding a sustained object of concentration). Anger can prove an obstacle to the cultivation of compassion, so analytical meditation—i.e. thought and reasoning—is important to that end. I might add that not all anger is conceived to be negative though, as in the case of "rightful indignation" or as an energetic aspect of the human constitution that is used to draw out the skillful means needed to enact compassion. 3 1 Langer (1997) does not indicate whether or not her use of the term mindfulness is derived from the Buddhist tradition, but instead defines her understanding of mindfulness strictly within education, psychology and learning theory. 3 2 This idea of wellness and education emerged for me from two sources I feel obliged to credit. The first was a notable conference on Tibetan Medicine sponsored by George Washington University in November, 1998. The other source is the Society for Compassionate Education, and it was through our discussions that this took shape; in particular, I would mention Dr. Heesoon Bai who had begun to look at Aristotle's sense of healing and wellness in her own work in education. 2 8 Epicurus (1994). Thanks to Peter Raabe of UBC for this source. 3 4 For a discussion of the connection between ethics and wellbeing, see Bond (1996). 3 5 Guenther, Herbert. 1974, p. 4. 3 6 Eudemonia or wellness in Aristotle's sense is an objective understanding of being well in contrast to the more subjective sense of being happy. Such objective wellness, according to Aristotle, arises from physical 127 health and material security, which are insufficient conditions for wellbeing in the Buddhist sense of the term. 3 7 Candace Pert, Ph.D. (1997) has researched and written extensively on the connection between emotions and peptides, which in turn serve as the communication and hence regulatory system of the body. So, these are the probable physiological mechanism that would explain the direct healing effects of the state of love and compassion. 3 8 For any who are in doubt, I offer the following examples of irrationality in science and the scientific process: 1. Intuition plays a much greater role in scientific discoveries than tends to be acknowledged (reason has much more to do with the stage of justification, corroboration, and some aspects of explanation than with discovery) (see Boden, 1994). 2. Science is closed to consider certain subjects, no matter how rational and even empirically supportable they may be. So, for instance, in spite of extremely strong multivariate data analysis, the evidence supporting ESP as a statistically probable phenomena is ignored steadfastly by the mainstream scientific community as the quintessentially non-scientific claim! Furthermore, on rational grounds it would help explain many of the enigmatic findings in quantum physics, but as one physicist said to me, "it is not part of the givens!". 3. The results of scientific studies are often ignored if it contradicts orthodox understanding; in some cases, the knowledge eventually breaks through, but in how many cases does it not and remain forever ignored or unprinted in major journals. An instance of this is the discovery that most cases of ulcers are caused by a bacteria and hence treatable by antibiotics. This research was steadfastly rejected as that of a quack until a few scientist decided to test it out and repeated the findings. Candace Pert (1999) describes how much funding drives this process in the drug development research. 4. Some scientific research is potentially harmful to the wellbeing of life on earth—hence our personal and collective wellbeing as people and sentient beings—yet scientists persevere regardless. This could include research into military arms development, eugenics, some aspects of genetic engineering (arguably), and so on. 128 RED: ...inference Chapter three... Red fire, flowing blood M y cup runneth over, red, i n streaming flames to untamed seas. Un tamed red oceans o f b l o o d behind epidermal screens. . . oxygenat ing, creating, and learning to be. W e design our l i v i n g on sk in- f i lms stretching, forgetting the promise o f red, the promise that keeps us a l ive . V e i n s o f fire, flames o f b lood , streaming across poppy fields and cranberries, empty containers o f C o c a c o l a and C a m p b e l l soup, a Canad ian f lag. C o m m u n i s m . Marasch ino cherries, hot c h i l l i peppers, C h i l e a n wines . A Greek tomato. A gentle, w a v i n g ocean o f robes, above w h i c h float a fleet o f shaven heads poised to l isten. O r later, i n a courtyard f i l l ed w i t h questions, f lapping and c lapping thoughts into sails, s t i l l f i l l ed w i t h the breezy mantra-motion o f w i n d f rom red mouths m o v i n g . R e d coalesces i n bodies, sexy and tender, where nerves converge i n search o f one another—patches o f pleasure / buttons o f bl iss . W e lose ourselves, bathed i n the metamorphosis o f fire. The last colour to s lumber when the l ights go out. . . .The last co lour to s lumber when the lights go out. A s dayl ight d ims and the hues o f the w o r l d w i t h it, red alone remains. Cones o f photopic v i s i o n shut d o w n as scotopic v i s i o n turns on, co lour b l ind . In the transition, on ly red persists un t i l it too passes into night. R e d is a d is t inct ion no other creatures make. W e are born i n it and the w o r l d to us, through a red amniot ic v e i l . O u r faces emerge from the v e i l to w e d us everafter to a l ife o f red . . .to a l i fe , to a w o r l d , mapped red. L o o k to the legend; f o l l o w it to the heart. The red heart. S t i l l beating. S t i l l . Bea t ing . S t i l l , to dare to bear red! Indian w o m e n wear red; they w e d i n red as v e r m i l l i o n l ines weave across the pa lms o f their hands. T h e y mourn i n white , but for the heart they turn to red. I too dye m y body red. W i t h sk in stained scarlet, I paint b lood-veins for a 130 journey to the heart. I a m carried to the infra-zone, and bend b i o l o g y to witness. E lec t r i c l ines lead to v is ions o f ho ly men, a teacher, and a creature o f l ight. L o v e satiating a l l desire—impossibly br i l l i an t and beautiful. A l i q u i d red love to dye i n . . . ...a red to die i n , the face o f M a r s , the god o f war. The flesh and b lood o f bodies no longer contained, but sp i l l i ng red over battlefields. A n escarpment o f cascading red, un t i l f ields become f lowers and w e forget. . . In Flanders ' fields... It is v iscera l , this red—torturous yet touching. It is the sweet scent o f the vulnerable succumbing . O f desire, c o m i n g : " D r i n k this, a l l o f you . Th i s is m y b lood o f the new covenant that is shed for y o u . " M o r e than b lood , it tastes o f love, an in toxica t ing b l i ss . In its shadow, w e dissipate and dissolve . Desi re : " C O M E ! " / death: " S T O P ! " . Be tween the two, a b lack night. W e co lour the dist inctions o f our w o r l d red. October 1997, Journal notes: Dolma Ling, Sidhpur, HP, INDIA Something unusual happened yesterday. I was reviewing the debate vocabulary on cards and as I looked down at the Tibetan word for consequences, thel-gyur, I started to cry. My tears continued for several minutes. "Thel-gyur " refers to the form of consequentialist logic used to present philosophical views in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. I noticed how perfect the word appeared on the card, and it was as if I fell in love with it. I once read that a student is suitable to receive teachings on emptiness if tears (ofjoy) appear in their eyes on hearing the teachings, or even just the word.1 1 See Tupten (1994) p. 59. As Kensur Yeshey Tupten points out, such biological signs indicate a past life connection, and, paradoxically, are the principal qualification for a student to hear teachings on emptiness in this life. 131 Spelling out one possibility in red: A not B (a colour but not red) C: W h a t is the dis t inct ion between the two, colour and red? D : There are three possibi l i t ies . C: It fo l lows that there are not three possibi l i t ies . W h i c h pervades w h i c h ? D : Whatever is red is necessari ly a colour ; whatever is a co lour is not necessari ly red. C: I f there is no pervasion, posit something [i.e. a colour but not red]. D : The subject, whi te . C: It fo l lows that the subject, white , is a colour . D : I accept that whi te is a colour . C: The subject, whi te , is a co lour . . . D : Because o f be ing a p r imary colour . C: It fo l lows that whatever is a p r imary colour is necessarily a colour . D : I accept that whatever is a pr imary co lour is necessari ly a colour . C: It fo l lows that the subject, white , is not red. D : I accept that whi te is not red. C: The subject, whi te is not r ed . . . . D : Because the two , whi te and red, are mutua l ly exclus ive . C: It fo l lows that i f the two are contradictory, then white is necessarily not red. D : I accept that i f the two, white and red, are contradictory, then white is necessari ly not red. ( N a m g y a l , 1995, p . 15-19) 132 Debating dialectical debate: Reasoning education at Dolma Ling I. Introduction: The mil lennia-old practice o f dialectical debate is the principal means to cultivate reason and logic in the Ge lugpa monastic curr iculum o f Indo-Tibetan Buddh i sm. "Dia lec t ics , " in this case, closely resembles the classical Socratic sense o f a form o f reasoning that progresses through a sequence o f questions and answers. Buddhis t dialectical debate training differs from Socratic dialectics in emphasizing student-to-student interactions (that is, peer tutoring) rather than student-to-teacher interactions (that is, apprenticeship), though teacher-student exchanges are an aspect o f formal Buddhis t debate classes. A more contemporary understanding o f dialectics, wi th application to the Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t system, comes from M . I . T . communicat ion theorist Isaacs (1999) w h o defines dialectics as: "the productive antagonism o f two points o f view. A dialectic pits different ideas against one another and then makes space for new ideas to emerge out o f both" (p. 45). He re dialectics, a form o f discussion he calls "ski l led conversation," is analytical, "uses hard data to get to answers to problems," and makes explicit all reasoning (p. 41). Isaacs (1999) distinguishes such dialectical conversations from more defensive, adversarial forms o f debate found in modern parliamentary, public, corporate and pedagogical practices. These defensive, polarized debates do not even warrant being labeled as conversations (that is, as "turning together"), because they are ordinarily resolved "by beating d o w n " or defeating an opponent. A c c o r d i n g to Isaacs, they are 134 generated f rom a defensive posture, and extend through control led discussions based on "advocacy , compet i t ion and abstract verbal b r a w l i n g " (p. 41). H e c la ims that such patterns o f communica t i on stem f rom an ind iv idua l i s t ic ethos that has led people i n organizat ions and communi t ies to learn to th ink and communicate "a lone." A l t h o u g h advocat ing dialogue, Isaacs recognizes that when decisions need to be made, it is necessary to employ d iscuss ion rather than open-ended dialogue. Discussions, i n his use o f the term, necessari ly beg in f rom a defensive posture insofar as one is po ised to defend a choice, but a product ive use o f such defensiveness is through sk i l l fu l conversat ion and dialect ics. The more c o m m o n unproductive use o f such defensiveness, accord ing to Isaacs (p. 41), is through control led discussions and debate (Diag ram I, "Conversa t ion dec i s ion-mak ing tree".) In the Tibe tan practice o f d ia lect ica l debate, students rehearse and deepen their understanding o f the complex system o f definit ions and categories deal ing w i t h what cou ld broadly be ca l led Buddhis t " m i n d science." The format o f debate provides an effective method whereby students can practice the rather dry terms, defini t ions and log ic i n a soc ia l ly -s t imula t ing context through rapid sequences o f questions and answers punctuated w i t h dramatic phys ica l gestures. A t the same t ime, these r i tua l ized conversations ins t i l l a pattern and habit o f l og ica l reasoning and analyt ical th ink ing . So , the mot iva t ion for the debates is pedagogical (that is , to learn definit ions, categories, and reasoning) rather than to argue or establish mora l or ethical choices. Indeed, students can k n o w i n g l y present statements that are untrue to challenge their opponent, or to demonstrate the log ica l outcome o f a fal lacious l ine o f reasoning. S u s p e n d Listening without resistance; dis-identify C o n v e r s a t i o n k D e l i b e r a t i o n "to turn together" * "to weigh out" (Productive Defensiveness) D e f e n d "to ward off, protect from attack" (Unproductive Defensiveness) R e f l e c t i v e D i a l o g u e Explores underlying causes, rules, and assumptions to get to deeper questions and framing of problems S k i l l f u l C o n v e r s a t i o n Analytic, uses hard_ data to get to answers to problems; reasoning made explicit C o n t r o l l e d D i s c u s s i o n Advocacy, competing; abstract verbal brawline G e n e r a t i v e D i a l o g u e Invents unprecedented possibilities and new insights; produces a collective flow D i a l e c t i c Tension and synthesis of opposites D e b a t e Resolve by beating down 13Cp The debates are conducted i n pairs or smal l groups, for between two and three hours a day. The challenger assumes a standing posture, addressing a seated nun w h o is the defender (that is , o f the memor i zed text). F r o m m y observations and interviews w i t h students and teachers, I w o u l d conclude that these "debates" can fa l l into either o f Isaacs' product ive (dialectics) or unproduct ive (debate) categories. Chal lengers , for instance, are encouraged to understand their l ine o f questions as a way to help their opponent overcome fal lacious reasoning and doubt, and to thereby construct v a l i d inferences o n the topics discussed. T h e y are discouraged f rom engaging i n debate out o f compet i t ive mot ivat ions or a desire to "beat d o w n " their opponents. Nonetheless, I found evidence o f such compet i t ion and aggression, though among the nuns there was an overa l l impress ion o f co-operat ion and co-invest igat ion (that is , what Isaacs cal ls "d i a l ec t i ca l " discussions). The Tibe tan fo rm o f debate is h igh ly r i tua l ized w i t h complex gestures. Af t e r pos ing her question, the challenger claps, rotates her body i n a fu l l c i rc le . She waits for the defender to respond before commenc ing the complex hand and feet gestures as she articulates her next challenge, fo l lowed by a clap o f hands. There is no external judge or arbiter for these debates—the pair themselves witness; the log ic o f established reason judges; w h i l e reasons, experiences and memor ized passages o f text stand as evidence. These debates are he ld outside i n debate courtyards or on the monast ic grounds when the courtyards are fu l l . U s u a l l y , the debaters are spread evenly i n pairs or smal l groups, debating s imultaneously and w i t h vigour . O n l y i n certain ceremonies, competi t ions, or evaluations w i l l i nd iv idua l debaters perform ( in pairs or smal l groups) before an audience and/or judges. These pub l i c pedagogical events capture audience attentions w i t h their animated sounds, movements , and dialect ical dialogue—signs o f cooperative learning. 137 II. Historical and social contexts: There is a long history o f dia lect ical debate practice i n India, dating back to at least as early as the Upanishads and hence pre-dating the life o f the his tor ical B u d d h a (c i rca 500 B C E ) , w h o used dia lect ica l debate as an important pedagogy and rhetorical device for exp la in ing and defending his v i e w . Samdong Rinpoche (1981a) points out that the B u d d h a appeared i n counci l s i n debate w i t h his disciples and opponent B rah mi n s (p. 22). Furthermore, i n the Buddha ' s t ime, w o m e n occas ional ly engaged i n debate as w e l l as men. In the Therigatha, for example, B h a d d a Kundalakesa , w h o met the B u d d h a when she was s t i l l a wander ing Ja in nun, is purported to have been famous for her mastery o f ph i losoph ica l debate. She converted to B u d d h i s m on the basis o f a debate she had w i t h Sariputta, a d isc ip le o f the Buddha , who , after answering a l l her debate questions, is purported to have queried her: "One , what is that?" W h e n B h a d d a rea l ized she cou ldn ' t answer, she asked to meet his teacher. She became the on ly nun to receive monast ic ordinat ion spontaneously f rom the Buddha , w h o d i d so merely by p r o c l a i m i n g "Bhadda , C o m e " when he saw her (Murcot t , 1991, p . 46-47) . 1 Dia l ec t i c a l debate assumed increasing importance i n the t ra ining o f monks w i t h the progressive inst i tut ional izat ion o f Buddhis t education i n India and the mount ing number and sophist icat ion o f the Buddh i s t corpus o f texts and commentaries. A t the same t ime, monast ic universi t ies l ike N a l a n d a and V a l a b h i emerged and expanded un t i l , by the 7 t h centuries, they drew thousands o f students that inc luded non-Buddhis ts and Buddhis t s alike—predominantly monks . The cu r r i cu lum began w i t h Sanskrit grammar and log ic , two topics connected i n Indian c lass ical studies, where students developed both l inguis t ic and reasoning sk i l l s through the practice o f debate; these inc luded discussions o f non-138 Buddhis t schools. These pre l iminary studies were fo l lowed by the core cu r r i cu lum, w h i c h inc luded the Buddhis t V i n a y a (ethics) and the M a h a y a n a texts o f A s a n g a and M a i t r e y a ( B u d d h a Nature) , D i g n a g a and Dharmak i r t i (epistemology), and the lineage o f Nagar juna ( M a d y a m i k a phi losophy) (Cook , 1992, p. 354-362). The Tibetan monast ic cu r r i cu lum has conserved aspects o f this f ramework to va ry ing degrees depending o n the school . There are conf l ic t ing accounts o f the importance o f debate i n these Indian Buddhis t monast ic universi t ies. Dreyfus (1997) suggests " i n tradit ional Indian B u d d h i s m , debate seems to have been an occasional s k i l l used most ly i n p u b l i c " (p. 46). Y e t , accord ing to Samdong R inpoche (1981) "the practice o f debate became indispensable i n the l ife o f the scholars o f Buddhis t monast ic institutions [in India] f rom A . D . 400 to A . D . 1200" (p. 22). T h i s is corroborated by the first-hand account o f the 7 t h century Chinese p i l g r i m Hsuan -tsang, who painted N a l a n d a as an insti tution m u c h more preoccupied w i t h intel lectual debate and d iscuss ion than w i t h single-pointed meditat ion, though it is diff icul t to k n o w h o w formal the debates were (Cook , 1992). Cer ta in ly the elaborate r i tual is t ic phys ica l gestures appear to be a later Tibetan addi t ion (Samdong Rinpoche , 1981a, p. 24) . Nonetheless , Hsuan-tsang presents N a l a n d a as animated w i t h debate: .. .The day is not sufficient for asking and answering profound questions. F r o m m o r n i n g t i l l night [the monks] engage i n discussion; the o l d and the young mutual ly help one another. Those who cannot discuss questions out o f the Tr ip i t aka are litt le esteemed and are obl iged to hide themselves for shame. Learned men f rom different cities, on this account, who desire to acquire q u i c k l y 139 a renown i n discuss ion, come here i n multi tudes to settle their doubts, and then the streams (o f their w i sdom) spread far and wide . (p. 359) Hsuan-tsang describes a practice I have heard recounted i n oral teachings by Tibetan lamas about Na landa : " I f men o f other quarters desire to enter and take part i n the discussions, the keeper o f the gate proposes some hard questions; many are unable to answer and retire. One must have studied deeply both o l d and new (books) before getting admiss ion" ( C o o k , 1992, p. 361). N a l a n d a is identif ied w i t h the scholastic t radit ion o f B u d d h i s m i n particular, and was the a lma mater o f many o f the foremost Indian Buddhis t scholars and commentators s t i l l studied and revered i n Tibetan B u d d h i s m , inc lud ing Nagarjuna, A r y a d e v a , Dignaga , Dharmak i r t i , Santideva, and Vasubandhu. Thu rman (1984) describes the typ ica l day o f one o f these teachers, Vasubandhu, w h o served as abbot o f Na landa . " [He] w o r k e d twenty hours a day, teaching and ordain ing monks i n the morn ing , teaching U n i v e r s a l V e h i c l e phi losophy dur ing the afternoon, sometimes for twelve hours at a stretch, and d i v i d i n g the night between a short sleep and periods o f medi ta t ion" (p. 43). T o this day, the images o f these great scholars, often depicted us ing debate gestures as they teach, are found i n Tibetan monasteries and universi t ies i n e x i l e . 2 The cont inui ty between Indian and Tibetan teachers, lineages, commentar ia l texts, and pedagogical practices has led many to identify the form o f B u d d h i s m pract iced i n Tibet as Indo-Tibetan B u d d h i s m . Tibetans ' strong identif icat ion and connect ion w i t h Indian B u d d h i s m dates back to a legendary debate i n Tibet dur ing the 7 t h century dur ing the re ign o f Srongtsen G a m p o ~ t h e Bsam yas debate between the Indian Buddhis t scholar K a m a l a s i l a and the Chinese Buddhis t scholar Hoshang . S igni f icant ly , this debate is purported to have concerned the role o f analyt ical th ink ing (that is , reason) and 140 conceptual thought i n the process o f enlightenment. Hoshang , who some scholars l i n k w i t h a fo rm o f Chinese H w a shang M a h a y a n a B u d d h i s m , 3 contended that "no conceptual izat ion should be used i n the course o f meditat ion and that every thought must be fenced off. H e said that thought-voidness is the instantaneous mode o f rea l i z ing the truth, [and] that the highest fo rm o f meditat ion is to el iminate the response o f the m i n d to external objects" (Rinpoche , 1981, p. 28). O n the other hand, K a m a l a s i l a , his Indian opponent, disputed this v i e w by c l a i m i n g that w i s d o m is predicated o n a fo rm o f conceptual introspect ion characterized by "analysis and argumentation" (p. 28). K a m a l a s i l a ' s v ind ica t ion o f log ic and analyt ical meditat ion continues to be argued i n Tibetan monast ic education, especial ly i n the G e l u g p a s c h o o l . 4 K a m a l a s i l a argued that his opponent 's pos i t ion suffered under the fault o f quie t i sm (van der K u i j p , 1986, p. 147). O n this basis, it is said that Tibet , under the authority o f the k i n g and aristocrats, accepted the Indian lineage o f B u d d h i s m as their o w n . A group o f Tibe tan scholars were sent to India to develop a wri t ten script based o n Sanskrit that cou ld translate Indian root and commentary texts into a language more accessible to Tibetans. D u r i n g the subsequent centuries, many Indian teachers and Tibetan students commuted across T ibe t ' s borders, i nc lud ing Padmasambava, M a r p a , and A t i s h a , the p r inc ipa l root lamas o f the N y i n g m a , K a r g y u , and Sakya /Ge lug lineages respectively. Be tween the 10 t h and 12 t h centuries, B u d d h i s m disappeared i n India under the assault o f T u r k i s h invad ing forces, but surv ived i n Tibet where it continued to be conserved and developed to the present day. Indeed, rather poet ical ly , though under regrettable circumstances, Tibetans have re-introduced the tradit ion i n India by re-establishing their 141 great monastic universities in refugee communities throughout India. One such university is Sera in Karna taka State in southern India . 5 III. Textual and oral practices in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist education: What designates a "tradit ion" as such is a consistent wor ldv i ew and culture (that is, a complex array o f practices informed by that wor ldv iew) and a community o f people w h o participate in the w o r l d v i e w and culture. Educa t ion , both formal and informal, is an important means to socialize people into a "tradit ion." The Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t tradition developed a system o f education based on a combination o f scholasticism and hermeneutics. In his comparative study o f scholasticism, Cabezon (1994) defines scholasticism, as found in Islamic, Hebrew, Christ ian and Buddhis t traditions, as the attempt to systematically reconcile the inconsistencies o f a tradition through reasoned analysis (p.53-55). A l l these traditions rely on a circumscribed set o f "scriptures" that form the corpus o f the articulation o f the central tenets o f the tradition's wor ldv iew. The difficulty is that there are inconsistencies in these scriptures that require interpretation to reconcile. O n this basis, these traditions all developed varying degrees o f hermeneutical practices that a l lowed a pattern o f interpretation that permitted the continuation o f a sense o f an integrated tradition. Hermeneutics is the theory o f scriptural interpretation and exegesis is its practice (p. 71). Cabezon (1994) conveys some o f the complexities o f the relationship between scholastic and hermeneutical practices in traditions: Scholast icism is a systematic and rationalist enterprise. A t the same time scholastics are committed to maintaining scripture both as the basis for and the testing ground o f philosophical speculation. B u t the scriptural canon, much to the 142 chagr in o f the systematician, is not un ivoca l—i t is f i l l ed w i t h internal inconsistencies; nor is it a lways rat ional—presenting us w i t h a plethora o f c la ims that challenge both experience and reasoning. Wha t this means, o f course, is that the implementa t ion o f the scholast ic 's rationalist, systematic, and hol is t ic v i s i o n requires sophisticated hermeneutical sk i l l s . . . .Scholast ic hermeneutics is essentially a ba lancing act, one whose a i m it is to s imultaneously upho ld the three things most dear to scholastics: scripture, rat ionali ty, and the ideo logy that constitutes its unitary v i s i o n o f the w o r l d . (p. 70) Hermeneut ica l practices permit students to re-invent the tradit ion and to re-frame the or ig ina l insights o f the B u d d h a w i t h i n their o w n literary and intel lectual contexts, reconstructing the history o f their tradit ion and culture i n a manner better suited to their inst i tut ional and socia l c i rcumstances. 6 Eventua l ly , commentaries themselves became the root texts o f the system, as is the case n o w w i t h i n the various monast ic schools and scholar ly programs i n Tibetan Buddhis t institutions. Th i s is one sense i n w h i c h the Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t t radi t ion can be considered an enlightenment " tradi t ion o f invent ion ." Indeed, interpreting commentaries has become a central exegetical preoccupat ion o f monast ic education, complemented by dialect ical debate, w h i c h is a more performative than textual exegetical practice. Together, they form the scholar ly basis o f monast ic education. Y e t , to draw too defini t ive a d is t inct ion between texts and oral performances misrepresents the complex i ty o f the system. A s the debate practice established i t se l f i n Tibet , for instance, there developed around it elaborate debate manuals. Samdong R inpoche (1981a) points out that these manuals were a dist inct ive Tibetan invent ion (p. 143 24). Furthermore, N e w l a n d (1996) suggests that the arcane logical and phi losophical differences between the debate manuals o f certain colleges are themselves performative in that they establish group (collegial) affiliations rather than meaningful intellectual distinctions (p. 208). L ikewi se , Dreyfus (1997) argues that the commentary tradition is not only a content but is performative insofar as it creates "textual communities, that is, actual social entities formed around common uses o f basic texts and their commentaries. . . . In this way, c o m m o n interpretive practices provide the focus for further insti tutionalization and the development o f rules. They also become the means through w h i c h new members are introduced to the communi ty" (p. 32). L i k e w i s e , the oral practices in Tibetan monastic education are not restricted to the practice o f debate. F o r instance, to study a Buddhis t text, a student is encouraged first to receive a ceremonial lung or permission blessing from one's lama in wh ich the lama reads the text orally at a very fast speed. Optimally, this ritual fo l lows or is fo l lowed by oral commentary on the text by the same lama. E v e n the five core texts o f the Ge lugpa curr icu lum and their corresponding debate manuals are read, chanted and memorized orally. Chant ing or rhythmic reading al lows students to memorize the material easier, a phenomenon described in this century by H o m e r i c scholars l ike M i l l m a n Parry and E r i c H a v e l o c k ( C B C Ideas, 1988) who explained the rhythmic and poetic stanzas o f H o m e r as mnemonic devices required in oral culture (p. 2). IV. The monastic curriculum: The debate tradition is the dominant pedagogical activity in the more scholarly and sutra-oriented G e l u g school o f monastic education, in contrast to the N y i n g m a school 144 w h i c h emphasizes commentar ia l exegesis and Tantr ic meditat ion. One might f ind a rough analogy i n the difference between the theological and contemplat ive emphases o f the D o m i n i c a n and Cis te rc ian orders, respectively, i n R o m a n C a t h o l i c i s m . Dreyfus (1997) compared the cu r r i cu lum o f a Ge lugpa monastic universi ty, Sera, w i t h the nearby N y i n g m a monast ic universi ty, Namdrol Ling,7 both located i n B y l a k u p p e i n Karna taka State i n southern India. (Sera monastery has over 3000 monks , and N a m d r o l L i n g over three hundred.) H e concluded that Sera was a debating inst i tut ion w h i l e Namdrol Ling was a commentary inst i tut ion, and that this constitutes the pr inc ipa l d is t inc t ion between the G e l u g and N y i n g m a educational traditions. Sera structures about 20 years o f study around five p r inc ipa l root texts and an elaborate program o f dia lect ica l debate. There are three stages to the cu r r i cu lum: 1) the pre l iminary stage last ing one to five years i n w h i c h students master the techniques and basic concepts needed to practice debate; 2) a central stage i n w h i c h five core exoteric subjects and texts are studied dur ing a 10-15 year per iod; and 3) a post-graduate stage i n w h i c h students engage i n esoteric studies o f Tantr ic texts and meditations (and the Guhyasamaya Tantra i n particular) over a two-year per iod i n a separate Tantr ic col lege, either G y u m e or G y u t o monasteries. In other words , the study o f (Tantric) meditations is not part o f the of f ic ia l cu r r i cu lum o f Sera at a l l but is instead handled by affiliated but distinct post-graduate monastic institutions. The N y i n g m a insti tution, o n the other hand, emphasizes the study o f commentar ia l texts—approximately 22 texts over a nine-year per iod. It too is d i v i d e d into three gradations: 1) one pre l iminary year (two texts); 2) fo l lowed by five years to study the thirteen great texts o f the sutra or exoteric path; and 3) two final years to study the tantric or esoteric texts (the Guhyagarbha Tantra i n particular). Whereas i n the G e l u g p a 145 sites, monast ic and scholastic institutions are c o m b i n e d , 9 i n the N y i n g m a case the monast ic and scholastic institutions are separated. O n l y a smal l propor t ion o f N y i n g m a monks participate i n the scholar ly cur r icu lum. M o s t monks are preoccupied instead w i t h meditat ions and rituals. Th i s difference is more muted but nonetheless apparent i n the nunneries i n ex i le as w e l l . 1 0 D o l m a L i n g , w h i c h is said to be non-sectarian (that is , Rime) but is i n fact mode led o n the G e l u g cur r i cu lum, emphasizes scholastics, whereas the m a i n N y i n g m a nunnery i n Dharamsala , a transplant vers ion o f the Tibetan Shungsep nunnery, puts more emphasis o n rituals and prayers . 1 1 His to r i ca l l y , nuns i n India and Tibet d i d not participate i n the scholastic cu r r i cu lum w i t h its combined commentar ia l and debate practices, regardless o f their part icular lineage. Indeed, nuns were rarely literate, but instead emphasized reci t ing prayers and conduct ing s imple rituals. Disappearance i n Tibet o f the fu l l ordinat ion lineage for nuns has on ly exacerbated gender inequities i n the system. N o w , to reinstate fu l l ordinat ion or institute a fu l ly-funct ioning debate cur r i cu lum, the nuns are hav ing to secure the support and compl iance o f the conservative establishment o f monk-administrators, and that is p rov ing d i f f i c u l t . 1 3 E v e n the most rudimentary stage o f f inding monk-teachers has proved diff icul t for D o l m a L i n g , where few geshes or monks have agreed to w o r k and those few who do have not remained long . V. Introductory texts and topics: In the tradit ional Ge lugpa monastic cur r i cu lum, after learning to read and w r i t e 1 4 and before c o m m e n c i n g the core cur r i cu lum, students spend anywhere f rom one to f ive years engaged i n m e m o r i z i n g root texts and part icipat ing i n pre l iminary debates o n basic 146 definit ions & categories, minds , and logic . Specia l debate classes are he ld w i t h qual i f ied ins t ructors 1 5 who scaffold students through the detailed debate manuals (mtshen nyipe cha), debate practices, and topics o f debate. The manuals m a y include expl ic i t sample debates, or the teachers themselves may mode l the debates based o n pr inc ip les introduced i n the manuals . These pre l iminary texts are a l l der ived from what Tibetans ca l l the Indian "Sautrant ika F o l l o w i n g Reason ing" school o f Buddhis t ep i s t emology . 1 6 T h i s is the ph i losoph ica l v i e w articulated i n the root text on v a l i d cogni t ion used i n the core monast ic cu r r i cu lum, Dharmak i r t i ' s v4 Commentary to (Dignaga's Compendium of) Validities (Pramanavarttika).77 "Root texts" generally refer to Indian ph i losoph ica l texts that served as the basis for subsequent Tibetan commentaries and debate manuals . A c c o r d i n g to Sautrantika F o l l o w i n g Reasoning , a l l phenomena are exhaust ively represented under two categories—permanent and impermanent. O f impermanent phenomena, there are three exhaustive subcategories—those w i t h phys ica l qualit ies (form); those w i t h qualit ies o f consciousness (consciousness); and those w i t h neither (composi t ional factors not associated w i t h mental factors, such as instincts and ' se lves ' or 'persons ' ) . In first ident i fying the difference between consciousness, fo rm, and selves, one can better recognize and investigate their interrelationship. The pre l iminary studies are i n three subject areas: 1) Collected Topics (bsdu gra)--'basic defini t ions, log ic , and debates focussing o n phys i ca l qualit ies (that is , form); 2) Types of Mind (bio rig)—the categorizat ion o f various types o f awareness or consciousness; and, 3) Types of Evidence (rtaks rigs)—signs and reasoning. These are presented and studied i n this order over a three to f ive year per iod. 147 VI . The language-game of dialectical debate: Indo-Tibetan Buddhis t debate t raining can be considered an intentional and elaborate language game that serves to socia l ize students into a new, more subtle awareness o f language and consciousness. "Language game" is a term co ined by Wit tgenste in (1953/1958): "The processes o f naming . . .and o f repeating words after someone might also be ca l led language-games. I shall also ca l l the whole , consis t ing o f language and the actions into w h i c h it is w o v e n , the ' language game ' " (p. 5). Charac te r iz ing certain systems o f human thought and language as a game accentuates the fact that it is rule-bounded, purposive, and embedded i n a particular socia l context. B a k e r and H a c k e r (1980) identify the f o l l o w i n g components o f a Wit tgensteinian language-game (p. 89-99), w h i c h I use to conduct an ove rv iew o f Tibetan debate t raining: A . words and sentences (terms and grammar or log ica l relation) B . instruments (gestures, patterns) C . context (history, background) D . characteristic act ivi ty E . antecedent t raining and learning i n w h i c h rules are imparted F . use o f components o f the language-game G . its point or purpose 148 A. Words and sentences: 1. Words as definitions, divisions, and illustrations: The c o m m o n adjective designating debate i n Tibetan is mTshen nyid (that is , debate, as i n debate class, debate school , debate text, etc.). Th i s term means "def in i t ions" rather than "debate," and highl ights the central role that language, defini t ions, and the categorizat ion o f terms have for the Tibetan system o f dia lect ica l debate. In this respect, it is analogous to learning a scientific t axonomy where strong emphasis is p laced o n the precise use o f language, categories, defini t ions, and log ic to establish terms and their relations. Indeed, the Tibetan term for science is mTshen rigs, a term that translates something l ike "def in ing types/reasons." The definit ions, their (sub)divis ions, and their relations are learned and constructed through dia lect ica l debate, such that each successive stage depends on the earlier vocabulary and log ic for its efficacy. Cons ide r the f o l l o w i n g sample debate between bsDu gra students at D o l m a L i n g ( A p r i l 18, 1998): C : Base being the water, it is not sound? D : I agree [it is not]. C : W h y is water not sound? D : Because it is not hearing. C : Does it pervade that what is not hearing is not sound? D : I agree. C : Isn't there sound to the water? 149 D : W h y not? C : T h e n is water sound? D : W h y so? That w h i c h has sound does not mean that it is sound [emphasis mine] . F o r instance, y o u have hands but y o u are not hands, are you? Here we have a case o f a repeated dis t inct ion being drawn between two mutua l ly exc lus ive phenomena (aGal wa). B o t h sound and water are subdivis ions o f form, w h i c h is d i v i d e d into five categories accord ing to the sense i n w h i c h that f o r m arises as an object. So , for example , the first d i v i s i o n is " fo rm sense-sphere" (subdivided into co lour and shape), referring to phenomena that arise i n v i s i o n . The remain ing subdivis ions o f fo rm are sound, odour, taste and tangible object sense-spheres. The tangible object sense-sphere has two d iv is ions—tangib le object as an element and tangible object arisen f rom the elements. Water is a case o f the first subdiv is ion , that o f the elements (earth, water, fire, w ind ) ( N a m g y a l Monas te ry , 1995, p. 3-7). Fo r this reason, water and sound are mutua l ly exc lus ive phenomena such that what is sound cannot be water and v i ce versa; a l though water can have sound it cannot be sound. W e see a paral le l pattern o f reasoning to that o f the L a w o f the E x c l u d e d M i d d l e o f Ar i s to te l ian log ic . a) The language tree of "Colours and so forth" In embark ing on the study o f the first chapter o f the Collected Topics, the p re l iminary debate text that covers the subject o f "Co lou r s and so forth," a student learns a series o f defini t ions, d iv i s ions (categories), and il lustrations. These form l inguis t ic or conceptual trees that are hierarchical ly arranged from a root a l l -encompassing category to the branch examples and their definit ions. T h i s taxonomy is exp l i c i t l y a s ign system; 150 students are learning the names and categories o f colours, not h o w to experience or to use such colours as an apprentice artist might. That comes later w i t h Tantr ic meditations and arts t raining. Debate teachers and texts do not exp l i c i t l y organise terms and d iv i s ions into v i sua l language trees; instead, the material is presented i n exposi tory and debate texts. The tree structure is nonetheless i m p l i c i t i n the organizat ion o f the terms, d iv i s ions , and their order o f presentation. The (upside-down) tree structure for the " C o l o u r s and so for th" chapter are depicted i n F i g u r e 1, and speci f ica l ly those deal ing w i t h fo rm and the form sense-sphere. 1 8 2. Sentences: The logic, grammar, and discourse moves a) The logic: The log ic o f Tibetan dialect ical reasoning is used to establish the relations between signs; such log ic is not conveyed symbo l i ca l l y as i n Western log ic (for example , mathematics or symbo l i c log ic ) , but through verbal i l lustrations. Nonetheless, we can make use o f the class reasoning o f Ar is to te l ian log ic to represent the four ways to log ica l ly compare any two phenomena ( A , B ) i n the log ic o f Tibe tan debate as fo l lows) : 1) M u t u a l l y inc lus ive or "one mean ing" (Dhon gCig), (al l A are B ; a l l B are A ) ; 2) Subset or "three poss ib i l i t i es" (Mu gSum), A not B , both A , B , neither A nor B ; 3) Intersecting set or "four poss ib i l i t ies" (Mu bShi), A not B , B not A , both A , B , neither A nor B ; 4) M u t u a l l y exc lus ive or "contradic t ion" (aGal Ba), no pervasion; contradictory, opposite ( i f A not B ; i f B not A ) , ( N a m g y a l , 1995, p. 2). Figure 1: Definitions, Divisions, and Illustrations for "Colours and so forth" Classifying Phenomena: I) Impermanent II) Permanent A) Form* B) Consciousness C) Non-associated compositional {what is suitable as form} factors • mutually inclusive with "matter" {what is atomically established} *External form Internal form Both internal and external form 1) Form sense-sphere {object of an eye consciousness} 2)Sound sense-sphere {object of an ear consciousness} 3) Smell sense-sphere {object of a nose consciousness} 4) Taste 5) sense-sphere {object of a tongue consciousness} Tangible object sense-sphere {object of a body consciousness} a) colour: {what is suitable as a hue} i) "root" primary colours {what is suitable as a "root"primary hue} • blue {what is suitable as a blue hue} (colour of blue cloth) • white {what is suitable as a white hue} (colour of a white religious conch) • yellow {what is suitable as a yellow hue} (colour of gold) 1 • red {what is suitable as a red hue} (colour of a ruby) ii) "branch" secondary colours [what is suitable as a "branch " secondary hue} • the colour of a cloud which is that... i.e. the colour of a secondary colour the colour of smoke which is that... the colour of dust which is that... the colour of mist which is that... the colour of illumination which is that... the colour of darkness which is that... the colour of shadow which is that... the colour of sunlight which is that... b) shape: *12 types {what is suitable as a shape} i) long ii) short iii) high iv) low v) square vi) round vii) level form viii) non-level form a) earth {hard and obstructive} (religious conch shell) b) water {wet and moistening} (soft drink) c) fire {hot and burning} (butter lamp) d) wind/air {light and moving} (lower base wind) (the colour of an orange cloud) (the colour of blue-black smoke) (the grayish colour of dust) (the bluish colour of mist in the east) (the whitish colour of illumination) (the colour of black darkness) (the colour of the shadow of a tree) (the colour of orange sunlight) 152 b) The "grammar:" There are two types of valid sentences that form the basis of Buddhist logical grammar: 1) syllogistic (sByor wa), and 2) consequentialist (Thai aGyur) statements. Syllogistic statements consist of a thesis and a reason stated together in a single sentence,19 whereas consequentialist statements are arguments structurally similar to syllogisms but include a word (Thai) indicating they are extensions or outcomes of a defender's reasoning. The difference might be between: 1) the syllogism: "Whatever is a product is impermanent" and, 2) the consequence: "It follows that the subject, colour, is impermanent because of being a product." Note the reversed order of sign and predicate (product and impermanent, respectively). Consequentialist statements dominate the engaged logic of debates, differentiating it from formal syllogistic logic as studied in the West, what Samdong Rinpoche (1980) calls (pure) "reasoning" (p. 26). Indeed, so pivotal is consequentialist logic to Tibetan Buddhism that the philosophical view of the Gelugpa school is referred to as Madhyamika-Prasangika, or the Middle Way Consequentialist school. In consequentialist logic, a question is posed to suggest a certain a line of reasoning. It is used pedagogically rather than to assert a truth claim. So, if a defender was to say, "the bird is blue," a challenger might answer, "It follows that the subject, the bird, is blue because of being a colour." The challenger's response is untrue according to Buddhist logic (birds cannot be colours because a bird is a "person, " a colour is a form, and persons and form are mutually exclusive phenomena). Nonetheless, it is a logical conclusion of the statement, "the bird is blue," (that is, blue is a colour, so therefore the bird must be a colour.) The challenger is in effect correcting the logical grammar of the 153 defender, w h o should have said, "the colour o f the b i rd is b lue ." The chal lenger 's response shows rather than tells the defender o f their error. c) The discourse moves: The term exchange was used by N u n a n (1993), based o n S inc la i r and Coul tha rd (1975), to describe teacher-students c lassroom transactions, w h i c h inc lude: 1) an opening m o v e ( ini t iat ion); 2) an answering move (response), and 3) a fo l low-up move (feedback) (p. 11). T h i s is the same pattern found i n Tibetan dialect ical debate, serving as the basis o f a conversat ion cyc le that a l lows the debate to continue for an extended per iod. The challenger initiates the dialogue and is free to select the topic o f debate. The answerer is required to respond, either by p rov id ing a defini t ion, i l lustrat ion, or evaluat ion o f a truth statement made by a challenger. There are four distinct speech acts—what N u n a n defines as functionally intentional utterances—a challenger can use, and four different ones a defender or opponent can use: 1) to establish the subject (Chos can)—that is , "The subject . . ." ; 2) to indicate a consequence (Thai)—that is , "It fo l lows that. . ."; 3) to show a reason (Phyir)—that is , "because o f . . . " ; and 4) to demand a reason (sTe)—that is , " W h y . . . ? " L i k e w i s e , the defender has four possible answers to these questions to indicate: 1) an aff i rmation (Dod) - "I accept;" 2) an incorrect reason (rTags ma Grub) - "The reason is not es tabl ished. . . ; " 3) the thesis not f o l l o w i n g f rom the reason (Khyab pa ma Byung) - "Non-pe rvas ion ; " and, 4) Demand ing a reason for thesis (Ci 'i Phyir) -" W h y not?" (dist inguished f rom chal lenger 's " W h y ? " ) . I f defender uses contradictory log ic or hesitates to answer, the challenger says, Tsa!2' In pub l i c debates, the entire nunnery or monastery w i l l j o i n the questioners i n c lapping their hands and shouting "Tsa!" three times. The other move is for the 154 challenger to shout "Khor gsum!" when the defender is confused and makes statements that are contradictory. When saying this, the challenger circles her right hands three times around the head of the defender. Here is an example of the pattern of debate discourse from the final examination held in the temple of Dolma Ling in December, 22 1997, and is a debate between two students of the Parchen 1 class: C : It follows that [the truly established] is existent because it is dharma (i.e. a phenomenon). D: I accept. C: What is the standard for truly establishing a phenomenon? D: That which is not conceptually designated, but established from the object itself. C: It follows that there is such a manner of establishing truth? D: No. C : It follows that the subject, the truly established, it is not truly established? D: I accept. C: Shame! (Everyone laughs) D: Because I haven't seen one. C: It follows then that a thing does not exist because you haven't seen it? D: I accept. C : It follows then that you do not accept that America exists? 155 D: W h y not? C : It fo l lows that it does not exist because y o u haven' t seen it. (Everyone laughs). T w o things are accompl i shed through this exchange. First , the debate is c la r i fy ing the def in i t ion and va l id i ty o f the Sautantrika v i e w that di rect ly-perceived phenomena (that is , particulars) are " t ruly established" i n a way that inferential ly-established phenomena (that is , generalities) are not. The second and more important point o f this exchange is to clar i fy what constitutes v a l i d cri teria to establish the existence o f any phenomenon, i nc lud ing "the truly established," as existent. The defender is , probable unintent ional ly, suggesting that on ly direct perception can v a l i d l y establish a phenomenon. (She doesn' t seem to intend to mean this, but is confused over the fact that the phenomenon i n question is "the t ruly established," w h i c h is based on the direct perception o f the object itself.) The challenger, o n the other hand, is t ry ing to lead the defender through her o w n logic to realize that any phenomena, i nc lud ing "the t ruly established," can be v a l i d l y established by w a y o f reason or direct experience. One does not have to "see" A m e r i c a to v a l i d l y established its existence, w h i c h is a part icular place that can be asserted as " t ru ly established" on the basis o f Sautantrika reasoning. It is important to note, however , that the poss ib i l i ty o f "the truly established" is refuted i n the more subtle and less accessible M a d h y a m i k a v i e w , w h i c h is introduced i n the advanced "grades" o f the monast ic education program. These pre l iminary debates reinforce the pr inc ip le that certain phenomena can o n l y be k n o w n initially as v a l i d inferences. B y debating epistemology, students are able to transform heard, read, or recited informat ion about the role o f reason and direct 156 experience into a v a l i d inference. T h i s inference, i n turn, inst i l ls confidence for students i n the value and power o f reason and direct experience, such that the epis temology becomes something spontaneous and l ived . In this respect, the system is ref lexive i n that its pedagogical contents are mir rored i n its pedagogical processes (that is , i n the debates.) Furthermore, the insight o f emptiness arises f rom a v a l i d inference, and it is o n the basis o f such an inference that emptiness can then experienced direct ly. In turn, through the direct rea l iza t ion o f emptiness, a student or practit ioner is "l iberated", w h i c h is o f profound soter io logical relevance i n B u d d h i s m ; indeed, it is its raison-d'etre. A c c o r d i n g l y , there is emphasis p laced on reason and t ra ining i n log ic through the in i t i a l years o f G e l u g p a monastic education. These analyt ical inquir ies are the antidotes to w r o n g v i ews , w h i c h are considered to have profound ethical impact o n the health and we l lbe ing o f the students and their communi t ies . " R i g h t v i ews , " o n the other hand, arise f rom the Dha rma , w h i c h can be either l inguis t ic (conceptual) or experiential . In this respect, "right v i e w s " have both an epis temological and ontologica l d imens ion (a concern w i t h both truth and reali ty). O v e r a l l , " w r o n g v i e w s " are classif ied as fa l l ing into one o f two onto logica l extremes—reif icat ion and n i h i l i s m . The extreme o f n i h i l i s m i n part icular can arise f rom four sources, according to K e d r u p Je: 1) onto logica l n i h i l i s m (refuting even the n o m i n a l existence o f phenomena); 2) l og ica l skept ic ism (repudiating the value o f log ic and noncontradict ion); 3) epis temological skept ic ism (repudiating pramana or v a l i d knowledge ; and, 4) soter iological n i h i l i s m (the v i e w that i n medi ta t ion the m i n d is to be emptied o f a l l thought, l i nked w i t h the " infamous" H v a Shang v i ew) (Cabezon, 1994, p. 148). G e l u g p a education is designed to lead students through "the midd le w a y " o f these extremes by educating for both conceptual and experiential real izat ions. 157 B. Instruments: 1. Gestures: Perhaps the most unusual facet o f the Tibetan debate as compared, w i t h its Indian predecessor or its European equivalent is the r i tual ized use o f phys ica l stances, postures, movements and gestures. Samdong R inpoche (1981) points out that when the log ic is "accompanied by phys ica l gestures and exclamations, they highl ight the wide commun icab i l i t y w h i c h is the intended purpose o f the Tibetan debater" (p. 24). The elaborate movements and gestures arise, for the most part f rom the questioner, and the sequence is as fo l lows : 1) right hand lifts up p a l m d o w n , as the body rotates forward and the left foot is l if ted o f f the ground and steps forward; 2)