Prof. Evgueni A. Tortchinov
Departament of Oriental Philosophy and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Philosophy
St. Petersburg State University
This lecture provides an overview of some basic Buddhist concepts, with a focus on contemplative practices. Buddhism is a religion that is founded on contemplative, or mystical, practice, since the Buddha Sakyamuni, the founder of this way, achieved enlightenment only after prolonged time involved in intense contemplation. Supporting the view of Buddhism as a practical path to enlightenment is the fact that as a non-dogmatic approach Buddhism has a plethora of schools, while meditation remains as central to Buddhism as prayer is to Christianity.
The main contemplative practices common not just to Buddhism but to all derivatives of Indian religion are yoga, jnana, bhavana, and mantra. These are discussed in the presentation.