From Basketball to Buddhism: Jim’s journey

James B. Apple: Stairway to Atiśa (#149)

James B. Apple: Stairway to Atiśa (#149)


This episode of the Wisdom Podcast features James B. Apple, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary. James’ research focuses upon critical analysis of Mahāyāna sūtras and topics within Indian and Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism. His numerous books and articles include Stairway to NirvāṇaA Stairway taken by the LucidJewels of the Middle WayAtiśa Dīpaṃkara Illuminator of the Awakened Mind, and An Old Tibetan Dunhuang Manuscript of the Avaivartikacakrasūtra.

In this episode, host Daniel Aitken and James discuss

  • how college athletics set James on his path to Buddhism and academia;
  • his investigations into the root of suffering with teachers such as Bhante Gunaratana, Gelek Rinpoche, and Geshe Lhundub Sopa;
  • the unique lineage and views of the highly influential Indian master Atiśa Dīpankara Śrījñāna;
  • fine points of Atiśa’s contemplative Madhyamaka philosophy and emphasis on meditation;
  • Kadampa systems of Tantric practice and the Twenty-One Taras;
  • Atiśa’s Mahamudra lineage and interactions with some of the Mahasiddhas;
  • the secret stages of the path of Dromtonpa;
  • and much more