Mandala Online: Buddhist Conduct in the Modern World

Mandala Online: Buddhist Conduct in the Modern World

Dr. José Cabezón giving a talk at Maitripa College, Portland, OR, US, September, 2016. Photo by Laura Miller.

This month’s Mandala online feature discusses an important new book: The Just King: The Tibetan Buddhist Classic on Leading an Ethical Life, recently published by Snow Lion/Shambhala.

The book presents a lengthy work on ethics by Tibetan luminary Jamgön Mipham (1846-1912) translated by distinguished scholar-practitioner and former Sera Je monk Dr. José Cabezón.

Courtesy of Shambhala Publications

Mipham’s text is one of the most comprehensive works on Buddhist ethics ever written, and deals with ethical self-cultivation, interpersonal behavior, social justice, criminal justice, government, management, taxation, the environment, and many other topics. Although Mipham was a Nyingmapa, his text is a summary of Indian sources foundational for the Gelug and other Tibetan schools. It draws on several sutras, including the Sutra of Golden Light, a favorite of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, to which Mipham devotes an entire chapter; and several Indian ethics and advice texts, including Precious Garland, Letter to a Friend, and The Staff of Wisdom by Nagarjuna. Mipham synthesized these works with the popular “mi-chö,” or “folk” teachings of Tibet concerning proper or beneficial conduct. Thus, his book is quintessentially Tibetan Buddhist, drawing on both canonical Indian Buddhist sources and traditional Tibetan wisdom.

In the Mandala online article, The Just King is reviewed in the context of some reflections on the teaching of Buddhist ethics from FPMT-registered teacher Don Handrick.

Read the full article here:

Go to the FPMT Online Learning Center’s Discovering Buddhism course to learn more about the ten non-virtues, karma, and other topics related to this article as taught by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and FPMT-registered teachers.

Mandala is offered as a benefit to supporters of the Friends of FPMT program, which provides funding for the educational, charitable, and online work of FPMT.