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By Sue Erica Smith

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Various practices have been added and endemic rites have been absorbed into some rituals, but authentic lineages have nevertheless continued. These trends are characteristic of Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. Hence Buddhist practices are apparent in many different forms. The tenor of the Mahayana is articulated in more humanist terms than, superficially at least, in the Theravada. To absorb the different traditions in a single program, the Buddhist metaethics – wisdom and compassion – guided the program’s development, teaching and learning rather than adherence to traditional or religious observances.

Finding truth in these relationships is established through analytical investigation and mindfulness of motivations and actions. Only by developing mindful attention and inquiry to one’s experiential being can confidence in its veracity develop. In this regard, even when Buddhism is cast as a religion, faith is never requisite. Rather the contrary as Dhammananda (1988) has unequivocally explained: Faith in the Buddhist perspective derives through proper understanding and realisation of truth and not through fear of the divine or a need to satisfy the emotions.

Pervading methodologies either favour case-specific reactive approaches, and good results are shown from cultivating virtues and positive qualities such as gratitude, courage and so on, but from a Buddhist viewpoint these approaches are still lopsided. What appear to be missing are technologies to assist students to think about internal and external changeability in their lives, their happiness and their choices at a daily and personalised level. In Chapters 6 and 7 ways in which these principles were applied in classrooms is discussed.

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