In this ninth installment of the ongoing live series with Wendy Nash inquiring into meditation practice on and off the cushion we explore language and the variability in interpretation especially in the light of how we use English terms for ideas and may not actually understand them
I was thinking about the history of translating Pali terms and how culture has played a big role in poor translations, e.g. dukkha, sunyata, sati, dhamma, sangha, bodhi.
Now that you [Josh, me] live outside the US and are learning Danish, it gives a new perspective on how tricky it is to translate well and how easy it is to misunderstand what people are trying to convey in their own language.
We also mention Wendy’s work with transportation, home retreat, love, belonging, the myth of impartiality, dream like nature of reality, love (as demonstration), waking up, “what ever we think the truth is it’s always other than that,” etc.
And as far as translating Pali I found the following articles from puredhamma.net of particular interest, which we may or may not discuss some of:
- Misinterpretation of Anicca and Anatta by Early European Scholars
- Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta – Wrong Interpretations
- “Elephant in the Room” – Direct Translation of the Tipiṭaka
- Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa
- Preservation of the Buddha Dhamma
(Other ways to) join these Q & A’s when they happen live:
- via downloading the free Wisdom app in your app store or via: https://wisdom.audio where I’m @integratingpresence
- watch on my YouTube channel
*There’s naturally an ongoing open call for meditation (related) questions for the (roughly) monthly “Meditation Q & A” either by the various social media means listed; integratingpresence[at]protonmail.com or Wisdom App to type/ask live.*
Regular, current and past visitors to Integrating Presence may recall the monthly series “Ask Us Anything” I did with Denny K Miu from August 2020 until January 2022 — partially including and continuing on with Lydia Grace as co-host for awhile until March 2022.
For a few months thereafter I did various Insight Timer live events exploring potential new directions and/or a continuation of the Ask Us Anything format while weaving in other related teachings to these events.
Then, after chats with meditation coach Wendy Nash, it became clear to start a new collaboration similar to “Ask Us Anything” simply and clearly called “Meditation Q & A” especially due to the original intent of the Ask Us Anything’s being “discussions about meditation and related topics.”
Audio: Language: Meaning, Interpretation And Impartiality | May 25, 2023 “Meditation Q & A With Wendy Nash” #09
Past chats with Wendy: