Jewels of the Middle Way

Jewels of the Middle Way

Jewels of the Middle Way documents an important tradition of Madhyamaka and provides insight into both the late Indian Buddhist blend of Madhyamaka and tantra and the Kadampa school founded by the Indian Buddhist master Atiśa.

This book presents a detailed contextualization of the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) school in India and Tibet, along with translations of several texts in the Bka’ gdams gsung ’bum (Collected Works of the Kadampas), recently recovered Tibetan manuscripts that are attributed to Atiśa and Kadampa commentators. These translations cohere around Atiśa’s Madhyamaka view of the two realities and his understanding of the practice and the nature of the awakening mind.

The book is organized in three parts based on the chronology of Atiśa’s teaching of Madhyamaka in India and Tibet: (1) Lineage Masters, the Mind of Awakening, and the Middle Way; (2) Articulating the Two Realities; and (3) How Mādhyamikas Meditate. Each part focuses on a specific text, or set of texts, specifically related to Atiśa’s Middle Way. The authorship and date of composition for each work is discussed along with an outline of the work’s textual sources followed by an analysis of the content.


“The great Bengali master Atiśa, esteemed for his role in restoring the Dharma to Tibet in the eleventh century, has long been a figure more revered than read. This problem is eloquently solved with James Apple’s study, which contains translations of works by Atiśa and his followers that had been long forgotten. This single volume reshapes our understanding of the origins of Madhyamaka in Tibet.”

—Donald S. Lopez Jr., Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, University of Michigan

“In recent years, James B. Apple has established himself as one of the leading scholars of the contributions made by Atiśa (d. 1054) and the older Kadampa thinkers to Madhyamaka philosophies and theories of liberation. Apple’s scholarship is marked by careful translations and analyses of the relatively little-known and only recently published Tibetan works on which he has focused his attention over the last decade. Consisting in part of a revision of his own previously published work, the present volume is a highly welcome addition to the field and adds much to our understanding of the way in which Indian Madhyamaka philosophy and soteriology was introduced in the Tibetan world and how it was received and developed in certain intellectual circles. Jewels of the Middle Way is an excellent introduction to an important phase of Tibetan Buddhist intellectual and religious history.”

—Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp, Harvard University

A Tribute to Greg Underwood of Vallonia, Indiana

If you attended Salem High School in the late 70’s and early 80’s, you knew Greg Underwood. Maybe not personally, but he was hard to miss: tall, dark-haired, good-looking kid who moved with athletic grace and had a million dollar smile. When he stepped onto the basketball court, there was magic. Greg, a point guard, was a marvelous basketball player with a powerful shot, graceful athletic moves, and strong leadership skills. In my mind’s eye, I can see him charging down the floor as he brought up the ball, forceful and determined, a scoring plan swirling in his brain. It was a joy to watch him play.

I met Greg when he was a student in my Senior English class. English was not his favorite subject, but he was polite and cooperative. He quickly learned that I knew nothing about basketball plays or tactics. Greg liked to kid people and he was totally amused that he knew something that I didn’t. We joked about that a lot, all year. Mrs Arnold, his freshman English teacher, and I often traveled to his away games together. I am happy to remember that Greg knew his English teachers admired and supported his success.

My step-son, Steve Bedwell, another SHS basketball record holder, became friends with Greg in the 1978-1979 season. “I was on the floor,” Steve said, proudly, “when Greg made his first appearance as a varsity player.” Steve was a senior and Greg was a freshman. Many times, Greg was a welcome guest in the Bedwell home and many times Steve drove out to northern Washington County, the Mill Port Knobs, to take Greg to and from practice and games. In my Apple home, Greg was a HERO. My middle school son, Jimmy Apple, loved basketball and Greg was all that Jimmy wanted to be as a player. We attended all of Greg’s games and Jim worked on modeling Greg’s moves and shots. We were there on that glorious night when Greg scored 1000 points and the game was stopped for a picture. We glowed with pride when Greg completed the season in 1982 and set the Salem High School scoring record.

Greg set many SHS records and still holds several SHS records. He scored 1110 points and is now the second leading scorer in Boys Basketball at SHS. He holds the season and career records for assists: 143 and 477. He shares the game record for steals: 8 and holds the career record: 197. He shares the game record for free throws: 15. He holds the record for game free throw percent: 15-15. Those records were set from 1978-1982—almost 40 years ago, a strong indicator of his powerful basketball skills. If you talk to Coach Jerry Warriner, you would learn about even more scoring records that are not up on the SHS record board in Brooks Memorial Gymnasium.

Sometime after he graduated, Greg married his sweetheart Gina Bowman and they had a son named Josh. Josh and his wife Mallery now have two young children. Greg and Gina’s family was part of a large and loving extended family. Later Greg began preaching at a small church in northern Washington County. He was so successful that the church grew and grew, attracting hundreds of members. Eventually, they built the spacious and beautiful Faith Southern Baptist Church on North Highway 135.

Greg worked at a number of enterprises, one of which was well-known in Salem. He and some friends purchased the pizza recipe from a couple in Brownstown. Using that recipe, they opened Main Street Pizza in Salem. Eventually that business was sold to another SHS basketball player, Tommy Weeks.

Greg was taken from us far too soon. He leaves an example of a life well-lived in service to God, to his family, and to his community. He was a man who inspired the young. So many boys and girls watched his games and dreamed of playing like Greg. He set an example for young and old alike with a happy marriage and a strong family life. Greg built a large church family, bringing love, salvation, and Christian fellowship to many. As an athlete, Greg’s success inspired our community and later as a man of God he enriched his community with love and care. His passing leaves an aching void. So many of us, friends and family, will miss him always. We both mourn his passing and celebrate his life and work.

** In 1987, Jimmy Apple, broke his hero’s scoring record.

Joy: 1 January 2018

Today I begin my study of Joy as it unfolds in my life. My plan is to read The Book of Joy, by HH, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams, and examine the ideas and principles. After reading the introduction, by the talented writer Douglas Abrams, I read through Chapter 1. One of the ideas that struck me was this: how central relationship and friendship are to our experience of joy. As I was pondering that idea, the phone rang and grandson Rod announced that his father was bringing over two of our Greats, Evan 7 and Madelyn 8, for an impromptu visit. They are here from Las Vegas, visiting their father and numerous relatives. Suddenly, they were at the door with hugs and kisses. Quickly, the living room was strewn with toys, questions bounced off the walls, and all was happiness. We were allotted two hours before their grandfather came back and carried them off to supper. Soon after they came, their grandmother arrived. We all had a jolly time together, and when the children were tired of tinker toys, coloring, and building with blocks—well, my two ipads were just the thing. A long quiet day was what we expected—but excitement, happiness, and joy just fell into our laps. What a joyful surprise!! We were so exhausted when they left that we ordered a pizza—and took a long rest in our recliners.

The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy