PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Yogācāra Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The Yogācāra tradition within Buddhism provides the seminal basis for many forms of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Yogācāra was the preeminent Buddhist school for many centuries in India, East Asia, and Tibet. Even after its relative decline as a distinct tradition, its teachings continued to provide the basis for both the theory and practice of subsequent Buddhist Mahāyāna schools throughout Asia, and it has seen a resurgence in the 20th and 21st century in Asia, including in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and among Tibetans.

Call for Papers: 

The Yogācāra Studies Unit is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver. We have one dedicated panel and can co-sponsor a second if another group is willing.

To date we have received three proposals for a text panel:

• The Mahāyāna-saṃgraha
(Douglas Duckworth:

• Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra Chapter Two
(John Dunne:

• The Bodhisattvabhūmi
Paul Hackett:
Anyone interested in participating should contact the panel coordinator. This panel will follow the standard format from previous meetings: 7-8 minute presentations designed to stimulate discussion on issues relating to the text, followed by close reading of versions in Asian languages (Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, etc.) and expanded discussion by attendees. Copies of the selected text will be placed in a Dropbox folder for those who plan to attend.

Suggestions for co-sponsored panels:

• Yogācāra’s Influence on Korean Buddhism
(Charles Muller:

• Theory and Practice of Yoga and Bodily Disciplines in India and China
We are taking the term “yoga” in a broad sense, to include bodily disciplines, hygienic regimens, inner alchemy, breathing techniques, body maps, pursuit of physical immortality, etc. Approaches can be historical, descriptive, theoretical, etc. The goal is to begin an informed exchanged of information between scholars working on Indian yoga traditions and those working on comparable practices in China. Comparative proposals are welcome, as are proposals focusing on a single work, lineage, set of techniques, etc. from either India or China. Co-sponsored session with Indian and Chinese Religions Compared Unit, the Daoist Studies Unit, the Tantric Studies Unit, and the Yogacara Studies Unit.
Dan Lusthaus, Harvard University (
Michael Allen, Univ. of Virginia (

E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)
E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail)
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Our unit fills an important niche in the Academy. We formed because there was a scarcity of specifically Yogācāra themed panels for years at AAR. The existence of our unit ensures that there will be at least two such panels at every annual meeting. This is significant because Yogācāra is one of the most influential traditions in Buddhism and has impacted developments in Buddhism in India, East Asia, and Tibet, Mongolia, and increasingly western countries. Its analyses of consciousness and techniques of meditation are central to many Buddhist traditions and are fundamental to current practice traditions.
ChairSteering Committee