October 18, 2023 6:00pm

Shiny Things and Bitter Fruits: the Buddha’s Teachings on Fantasy, Craving, and Renunciation in the Udānavarga

David Mellins | Kaia Fischer



2 Day Workshop

Tuesday, October 18 & Wednesday, October 19

6-8pm ET

$25 each | Hybrid

Buddhist teachings commonly explore the relationships between desire, craving, and suffering, and advise a variety of approaches for confronting these challenging experiences. Interestingly, the term desire (kāma) goes unmentioned the Buddha’s earliest sermons, such as the Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, which teach that craving (tṛṣṇā), leading to grasping, is the cause of suffering.

In the scripture known as the Udānavarga, the Buddha warns acutely against the hazards of desire—such as ignorance, harmful acts, and further entanglement in saṃsāra—which hinder the cultivation of ethics, meditation, and wisdom.

In this workshop, we will investigate the distinction between desire and craving, using as our guide this lyrical but poignant scripture. Together we will aspire to a more constructive understanding of these powerful psychological states and their complex relationship to spiritual development.

Additional information

Pricing Options

Tuesday October 18 In Person $25, Tuesday October 18 on Zoom $25, Wednesday October 19 In Person $25, Wednesday October 19 on Zoom $25, October 18 & October 19 In Person $50, October 18 & October 19 on Zoom $50

Type: Recurring Meeting

Shiny Things and Bitter Fruits: the Buddha’s Teachings on Fantasy, Craving, and Renunciation in the Udānavarga

Next Occurrence:
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2023 06:00 PM

Click to See All Meeting Occurrences

Timezone: America/New_York
  • Wednesday, Oct 18, 2023 06:00 PM
  • Thursday, Oct 19, 2023 06:00 PM



Kaia Fischer


Kaia Fischer is a translator, writer, and musician living in New York City. They received their M.A. from Union Theological Seminary, and for five years acted as personal assistant to the eminent professor, lama, and translator Dr. Lozang Jamspal of Ladakh, who was among the first Tibetan lamas to arrive in the United States.

For more than a decade, in concert with Dr. Jamspal, Phakyab Rinpoche, Dr. David Mellins and others, Kaia has translated The Hundred Deeds Sūtra and numerous other Buddhist canonical scriptures for 84000.co. They are a frequent contributor to Tricycle Magazine, and guitarist for the musical Rainer Maria.

David Mellins


David Mellins is scholar of Buddhism, Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit Poetics. He received his PhD in Sanskrit from Columbia University. While at Columbia, he studied Buddhist philosophy and textual hermeneutics with Robert Thurman. He has has taught at Columbia, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Yale Universities and served as an initial co-director of the Buddhist Translator’s Workbench, a Berkeley-based digital resource providing contextualizing lexical tools for Buddhist translators working across multiple source languages. He currently works as a translator of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist scriptures for 84000 where he specializes in Dhāranī and Sutra literature. He has lectured at conferences and seminars

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