James B. Apple: Stairway to Atiśa (#149)
This episode of the Wisdom Podcast features James B. Apple, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary. James’ research focuses upon critical analysis of Mahāyāna sūtras and topics within Indian and Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism. His numerous books and articles include Stairway to Nirvāṇa, A Stairway taken by the Lucid, Jewels of the Middle Way, Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Illuminator of the Awakened Mind, and An Old Tibetan Dunhuang Manuscript of the Avaivartikacakrasūtra.
In this episode, host Daniel Aitken and James discuss
- how college athletics set James on his path to Buddhism and academia;
- his investigations into the root of suffering with teachers such as Bhante Gunaratana, Gelek Rinpoche, and Geshe Lhundub Sopa;
- the unique lineage and views of the highly influential Indian master Atiśa Dīpankara Śrījñāna;
- fine points of Atiśa’s contemplative Madhyamaka philosophy and emphasis on meditation;
- Kadampa systems of Tantric practice and the Twenty-One Taras;
- Atiśa’s Mahamudra lineage and interactions with some of the Mahasiddhas;
- the secret stages of the path of Dromtonpa;
- and much more!
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About the Interviewee
James B. Apple is full Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary. He received his doctorate in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His current research focuses upon the critical analysis of Mahāyāna sūtras and topics within Indian and Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism. He has published over fifty peer-reviewed articles in international academic journals. His books include Stairway to Nirvāṇa (State University of New York Press, 2008), A Stairway taken by the Lucid: Tsong kha pa’s Study of Noble Beings (Aditya Prakashan, 2013), Jewels of the Middle Way, The Madhyamaka Legacy of Atiśa and His Early Tibetan Followers (Wisdom Publications, 2018), Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Illuminator of the Awakened Mind (Shambala, 2019), and An Old Tibetan Dunhuang Manuscript of the Avaivartikacakrasūtra (Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, 2021).