My name is Rowan, and I’ll be your host – it’s Pariyatti Party time!

This is a blog about Buddhism and philosophy, in the broadest sense – areas of interest include popular culture and discourse, continental philosophy, history, language and etymology, continental philosophy, critical theory, and nonhuman animals.

I’m a practitioner, and I’d describe myself as an ‘early’ and a ‘religious’ Buddhist – I take the Suttas and the Vinaya as my own canonical texts, and consider them the closest that we have to the original teachings of the historical Buddha. That doesn’t mean that I’m always a scriptural literalist, or that I believe that everything in those Pitakas is the word of the historical Buddha, or is unquestionable.

I like to think of my approach, firstly, as somewhere between the truth-ascertaining certainties of modernity and the self-critique of postmodernity; and secondly, as informed by the tradition of the German Biblical Higher Criticism.  That is, taking a text-historical and critical approach, while at the same time maintaining faith, belief and practice.

My own teacher is Bhante Sujato, of Santi Forest Monastery (Bundanoon, Australia), in the Thai Forest tradition.  I’m also particularly interested in Burmese and Sri Lankan traditions, and am currently in the (slow and imperfect) process of learning Pali.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t be discussing other texts and other Buddhisms, from Abhidhamma and Mahayana to contemporary New Ageism, secular Buddhism, or the Vipassana movement and MBSR.  I’m an academic by trade, but the approach I take in this blog is conversational rather than formal.

In Theravada Buddhism, ‘pariyatti’ forms part of a traditional division between pariyatti (theory), patipatti (praxis), and pativedha (insight).  The term’s literal etymological meaning is ‘to reach completely,’ and hence ‘to accomplish.’  Let’s you and I see what can be accomplished here…

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