Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara – Friday, March 31
Ben Connelly will present a book reading on his Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara using examples from current events to talk about the practice of Yogacara.
Friday, March 31, 7:30 – 9 pm, by donation
San Francisco Zen Center, 300 Page Street
Ben Connelly’s Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara is a practical, down-to-earth guide to Vasubandhu’s classic work “Thirty Verses of Consciousness Only” that can transform modern life and change how you see the world. Connelly’s warm and wise voice unpacks and contextualizes its wisdom, showing us how we can apply its ancient insights to our own modern lives, to create a life of engaged peace, harmony, compassion, and joy. This is a great introduction to a philosophy, a master, and a work whose influence reverberates throughout modern Buddhism.
In fourth-century India one of the great geniuses of Buddhism, Vasubandhu, sought to reconcile the diverse ideas and forms of Buddhism practiced at the time and demonstrate how they could be effectively integrated into a single system. This was the Yogacara movement, and it continues to have great influence in modern Tibetan and Zen Buddhism. “Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only,” or “Trimshika,” is the most concise, comprehensive, and accessible work by this revered figure.
Vasubandhu’s “Thirty Verses” lay out a path of practice that integrates the most powerful of Buddhism’s psychological and mystical possibilities: Early Buddhism’s practices for shedding afflictive emotional habit and the Mahayana emphasis on shedding divisive concepts, the path of individual liberation and the path of freeing all beings, the path to nirvana and the path of enlightenment as the very ground of being right now. Although Yogacara has a reputation for being extremely complex, the “Thirty Verses” distills the principles of these traditions to their most practical forms, and this book follows that sense of focus; it goes to the heart of the matter—how do we alleviate suffering through shedding our emotional knots and our sense of alienation?
Ben Connelly is a Soto Zen teacher and Dharma heir in the Katagiri lineage. He teaches at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. Ben is also a professional musician and teaches mindfulness in a wide variety of secular contexts. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.