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Going beyond allegory – understanding the Buddha’s metaphors

  • Wellington Friends’ Centre 7 Moncrieff Street Mount Victoria Wellington (map)

In his discourses, Gotama used a huge number of analogies and similes, and they’ve been used in the various Buddhist traditions to illustrate the teachings. But how are these old stories relevant to us?

Zooming in from Southampton in the UK, Jim Champion will speak to us on ways we can interpret these metaphors that are closer to our lived experience. So, instead of reducing them to rigid dogma, he will argue that we can allow them to speak to us in a more flexible way giving them relevance to our lives, whether we consider ourselves to ‘be’ a Buddhist, or not.

Jim will examine the Buddha’s metaphors from the perspective of the middle way. Metaphors such as the raft, the lute strings, the arrows, the ocean, the elephant and the snake, the wet piece of wood.

For this talk, te will be drawing on material synthesised by Robert Ellis in a book that is due to be published next year, The Buddha's Middle Way: experiential judgement in his life and teaching.

◼ Jim first encountered secular Buddhism in April 2016, and has been practising since then. He is a member of The Middle Way Society, and the international online community Re~Collective, and has been involved in the production of books for The Tuwhiri Project.