I recently had the opportunity to help volunteer with one of our sister organizations, Light of the Buddhadharma Foundation International (LBDFI), who was hosting a recitation of some of the Tipitaka over the course of a few days. The Tipitaka is a massive text, thousands of pages, written and chanted in Pali, which is like a more hipster version of Latin. I understood none of it but like most things around here I just tried my best to show up and be helpful, hoping something rubs off.
The word itself means "three baskets" - those baskets being:
- Vinaya - basically rules of conduct for monks, but also the reasons the Buddha gave for those rules of conduct.
- Sutta - discourses attributed to the Buddha and some of his close disciples
- Abhidamma - a framework of the discourses in the Sutta that give a psycho-philosophical way to understand the nature of reality, mind, and matter.
I had the opportunity to work with some of the lovely people from other organizations, drive some monks around town, eat great vegetarian food, and wander around Berkeley. All in all not a bad experience.
I also took some photos, below:
Some more from the walk:
This set contains one of my favorite shots, the movie theater with promotional text, the monks and the shopping cart setup in the entryway make for a lot of content in one shot:
Finally some shots from around Dharma College, where I slept, and Berkeley's waterfront: