Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

21 Pages of Term Paper Written

I have 21 pages of my term paper written for my class at the Institute of Buddhist Studies on Esoteric Buddhism. It is a 20 to 25 page paper but that’s fairly rough.

I decided to remove my discussion of the Susiddhikara Sutra because after writing my introduction, the history section on it and the Mahavairocana Sutra, a short introduction on esoteric Buddhist terminology (mandala, mantra, mudra, etc.), and then summarizing the ritual content of the seven fascicles of the Mahavairocana Sutra, I had 18 pages written. If I had added a summary of the ritual contents of the Susiddhikara Sutra, it would have been another eight to ten pages and then I would had to have written my comparison and conclusions. A 35 page term paper is half or a third of a Master’s thesis and I’ve already done one of those…

So my paper is now a discussion of the history of the Mahavairocana Sutra and its ritual contents with some discussion of modern uses (like in the Juhachi-do) mentioned at the end. I ran this by the professor and he had no issues with it. I removed the Susiddhikara Sutra material and then worked on stuff a bit more, taking it up to 21 pages. I have to rework/finish my summary of the last fascicle of the Mahavairocana Sutra, which is really a ritual manual, and then write my conclusions. This is due in a week and I have a three day weekend coming up so I’m in fairly good shape, all things considered.

Going over things today, the paper actually reads fairly well right now, which makes me happy. I tend to start an evening’s or afternoon’s writing on papers by going over what I’ve already written. This helps me rewrite or redraft constantly and also helps make sure I’m consistent in tone and not repeating myself. It also warms me up for the new writing at the end of it. Unfortunately, I can sit down to do this, as I did this evening, and spend two and a half hours reworking existing material and not writing that much which is new.

This is what the floor next to my desk (also heaping full of things) looks like right now. I’ve never been a tidy person but this needs to end soon:

Books in Hell