Here are the ELEVEN Major Topics (easily identified, in RED), followed by content bits, video links and JOURNAL Qs. As stated in the Journal instructions (Assignments Tab), keep your journals running, in a WORD DOC, throughout the semester, and PASTE them all into the Assignment Submission box (ASSIGNMENTS TAB), at the END of the semester (please, no links to Google docs, etc.). Please present them in a numbered & organized way, as further illustrated in that ASSIGNMENT submission box. You may work through these prompts at your own pace while we are still online.
# 1: Journal Questions (Based on Syllabus) Uploaded in files
1. What are some of the new terms you’ll learn?
2. What is “grade grubbing?”
3. How many EC assignments are allowable?
4. How many quizzes are given?
5. What will you start this week?
6. How many points is the feature project worth?
7. How should you approach services like “Homework Helpers?”
# 2: Intro: Eastern Holism & Western Dualism
Me… on the basics of east & west (western dualism & deconstruction)
1.In your own words, what is deconstruction?
2.What does deconstruction have in common with eastern holism?
3.Meditate: Choose a track on your guided meditation CDs (links on syllabus), and meditate. Say which track you chose, and share your experience, in a couple of sentences or a paragraph.
# 3: Intro Hinduism
Video 2. An Animated Summary
What Is Hinduism? (Links to an external site.)This is simply a fun and highly visual summary, which will round off your understanding.
1. According to Alan Watts, how does “hide and seek” play into your understanding of eastern mythology?
2. How is the notion of “Brahman” different than the western notion of God?
3. According to Watts, how have we “reversed” the notion of the word “person?”
4. What is the central goal of a Hindu?
5. What is “Transmigration?”
# 4: Hinduism Continues
1. Me… on the Basics of Hinduism
1. What is the relationship between Atman & Brahman?
2. Explain pantheism.
2. What is the significance of the forehead markings on the deities’ foreheads?
3. Please select two tracks from the meditation CDs you purchased (link on syllabus) and meditate on TWO different occasions. Describe your experiences… how they were alike or different… what kinds of challenges you may have had… what kinds of benefits you may have had, etc.
# 5: Yogic Philosophy & Sadhus
– The Four “YOGAS”
– The FOUR STAGES OF LIFE
– The SADHUS
*Note: The Fourth stage of life is known as “renunciation.” This fits properly into the first of The 8-Limbs of Raja Yoga, which concerns setting up a disciplined lifestyle in which that which doesn’t support a life of non-violence (ahimsa) is let go of. Those who take to this path (by choice) are known by various names: “Sadhus”… “Yogis” (Female: “Yoginis”)… “Wandering Holy Men/Women”… “Sannyasins”…
1. Video 1 (9 parts): Me on The Yogas (when I was YOUNGER! LOL)
*This is video 1/9… Make sure to follow all NINE PARTS!!! They should follow automatically from #1.
2. Pictorial on the Sadhus:
3. Video 2: The Way Home; A Sadhu’s Journey
4. Read about the Siddhis (in the Pages section).
1. Describe “The Four Main Yogas.”
2. What do renunciates (sadhus) renounce?
3. What is the historic significance of the swastika symbol?
4. Was your initial reaction to the Siddhis article, one of disbelief? Why or why not. Do you remain in disbelief about these types of cases?
# 6: Buddhism
This week’s assignment features ME introducing the core Buddhist Teachings (The Four Noble Truths) by way of a collection of stories I wrote for this purpose.
Here is the video:
And here are the 10 Houses in print:
1. What do the 10 houses have in common?
# 7: Buddhism Continues
15m Video on Hinduism (Advaita Vedanta) Vs Buddhism, including “Anatman”:
Also, more journal questions based on my video presentation called “The 10 Houses of Suffering,” which you already watched (link above). This video introduces the basic tenets of Buddhism by way of 10 short stories.
1. What does Buddha mean by suffering (duhkha)?
2. Using the Language of the Four Noble Truths, what is the root cause of their suffering?
3. Is the 6th House an exception (sick woman)? Why or why not?
4. What are the five aggregates, according to Buddhism?
5. How does the Swami define Nirvana?
# 8: Buddhism Continues (Emptiness)
Here is PART 1 of a 5 PART lecture I did on Buddhism and the notion of Emptiness. Wasn’t it fortuitous that it was recorded? Came in mighty handy in the age of pandemic! PLEASE WATCH ALL FIVE PARTS! They should follow naturally, from part 1.
1. What does “inter-connectedness have to do with “emptiness?”
2. According to the story written by Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, why doesn’t the cloud have a birthday?
# 9: Buddhism Continues (Zen)
1. Zen Video: Vintage documentary, featuring the famed author and expert on eastern wisdom, ALAN WATTS
2.Meditate: Choose a track on your guided meditation CDs (links on syllabus), and meditate. Say which track you chose, and share your experience, in a couple of sentences or a paragraph.
1. Describe your meditation experience. Which track did you choose & why?
2.Why is it difficult to describe Zen, according to Alan Watts, in the Zen presentation?
3.Why does the teacher say to the student “I have nothing to teach,” according to Alan Watts in this video?
4.What is a Koan, according to Alan Watts, in this video?
5.What role does doubt play in the monk’s journey?
# 10: Chinese Philosophies (Taoism)
Below is the link to my own lecture series on YouTube, from many years ago (I was a baby!). As before, I will link to the first one, then the others should show up (there are nine parts at 10 mins each.)
Journal Qs: (based on lecture series above)
1. Explain the notion of “wu wei” along with an example from your own life, saying where “wu wei” may be, or should’ve been, applied.
2. How does the story of the farmer & the horse illustrate the idea of “relativity?”
# 11: Chinese Philosophies Continues (Taoism, Confucianism & Buddhism)
Watch the following two videos before answering the questions that follow:
Journal Qs: (based on lecture series above)
1. According to Taoism, how is government an impediment?
2. In a succinct summary statement, what is the focus of “China’s Three Great Teachings?”
3. What is one of the major differences between Confucianism & Taoism?
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