Over a snack and tea, we will start by planning the day and a consideration of Sri Lanka’s religious history. We will discuss the Buddha in his historical context of the 5th c. BCE. We will ask ourselves, how did Buddhism differ from other contemporary Indian religious traditions, why and how did it travel beyond the borders of India? What did this religion bring to Sri Lanka, why was its message so compelling to Sinhalese society? After this introduction, we will go out to explore the arts and symbolism of a Buddhist temple. We will ask: how does the exuberant imagery define the religious message? What are the rituals and teaching methods of the faith? What is the difference between philosophical and performative traditions in Theravada Buddhism? What is the place of the monastic community? How is Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhism both similar and different from other expressions of the faith? What are the challenges facing Buddhism in the 21st century and how can Sri Lankan Buddhism adapt to the ethical concerns of an increasingly secular world? There will be time for photography and quick sketching, valuable observation skills. We will conclude our exploration with a traditional vegetarian meal and a brief discussion of the Dhammapada, an essential Theravada text, beloved by millions of Theravada practitioners.
I have lived in South Asia for 25 years. I have a MA in East Asian Studies (Stanford University 1986) and a Ph.D. in South Asian Art History (UCLA 1999). I am the author of numerous articles and a book on the religious arts of the Indian Subcontinent. I have taught art history and archaeology at both American and Indian universities. Classrooms are great places to learn, but on site exploration is priceless. Let me guide you on a visit to a local Buddhist temple and a consideration of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Learn the how and why of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and its long historic expression in the arts and architecture of the country.
Our meal will be a traditional Sri Lankan vegetarian Buddhist meal.
Drinks will be provided with a traditional Sri Lankan vegetarian lunch.
We will visit Buddhist temples in Galle Fort and at Yattigala., both temples have the basic structure: stupa, image hall and lecture hall. the Yattigala is famous for its ancient Bodhi tree and cave shrines. Our traditional lunch will be at Sri Mathie in Habaraduwa.
最多可供8位年滿15歲的旅人參加。 Guests should be able to stand for a 20 minute stretches. Very young children are discouraged.
Notebook and pen, camera or sketch pad
Please dress modestly, sleeves on shirts, long trousers or mid-calf skirts. Sri Lankans are deeply devout. It is traditional, although not strictly, necessary to wear white clothes when visiting a temple. Be prepared to remove your shoes.
Living Buddhist History