Through Buddhist Eyes continues Sangharakshita’s five volumes of memoirs. Covering journeys across five continents and two decades, this volume is made up of nineteen travel letters and one talk. They are Sangharakshita’s heartfelt communications to the growing membership of the new Buddhist movement he founded: the Triratna Buddhist Order.
The journey begins with Sangharakshita’s return to India in 1979 after an absence of twelve years. There, the vision of Buddhism he longed to see in the land of the Buddha’s birth was already coming to fruition in the movement initiated by Dr Ambedkar. It was to remain a constant theme throughout his subsequent thought and writing. The growing network of friendships, teams and communities that make up this pioneering Buddhist movement then come alive in a late twentieth-century world of airports and motorways, of Beat poets, vegetarian pizzas, counter-culture and visionary social activism.
But the travel letters also have a deeper significance; these are, above all, spiritual communications. Whether awed by works of artistic brilliance or enveloped in moods of contemplation, Sangharakshita responds with a combination of keen observation and an ever-present imaginative engagement. Sangharakshita delights in culture, in art and particularly in literature in his letters. This volume supplements the accounts of his adventures with over 800 endnotes detailing the lives and achievements of artists, poets, writers, musicians, philosophers and members of the Triratna Buddhist Order that he references, plus twenty maps and illustrations.
Part reflection, part travelogue, part chronicle of a vibrant new spiritual movement, Through Buddhist Eyes opens a window on the inner life and the outer world of Urgyen Sangharakshita, one of the greatest Buddhist teachers of the twentieth century.