|16/06/2017 17:54 (GMT+7)|
It is often said in Chan literature that there are 84,000 doors to the practice and 84,000 obstructions. The door that resonates with my practice are the teachings of Master Lin-Chi. “Teachings” is a misnomer, however, as there is nothing to teach and no one to learn.
|14/06/2017 11:09 (GMT+7)|
A long-time Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner, Helene Rein moves seamlessly between contemplation and immersion in the natural environment of tactile crafts. As a child growing up in Norway, Helene created homemade gifts, such as embroidery, cross-stitched pillows, lavender sachets, and wall-hangings. Her mother embroidered all the flowers and designs on her bunad, a traditional Norwegian costume. She attended the Waldorf High School in Stavanger which helped deepen her experience of making things by hand. Helene’s Buddhist meditation teacher Lama Padma Drimed Norbu, also likes making things. Helene says he exemplifies making practical items that are pleasing and functional as a practice, and they both enjoy arranging beautiful objects in unusual ways, from small offerings to large retreat spaces.
|11/06/2017 11:17 (GMT+7)|
The Buddha said, “Contentment is the greatest wealth.”His statement holds a timeless truth that rings true today more than ever. We are living in an age of unparalleled consumerism and materialism in which contentment is becoming an extremely rare commodity. Our society demands that we should yearn for more than we have and, as a result, many people feel that they have not yet reached the finish line in the game of “success.” This makes them feel profoundly inadequate and painfully envious at being unable to “keep up with the Joneses,” and invokes a hidden inferiority complex that can lead to harmful mental states and behaviors, such as self-hatred and addiction.
|08/06/2017 17:59 (GMT+7)|
To establish deep faith in Amitabha’s deliverance in the context of “a person (a Buddha),” Master Shandao indicates that, in addition to the fifth kind of deep faith, a Pure Land aspirant should have deep faith in the truths spoken by the Buddha. He states as follows:
|04/06/2017 09:03 (GMT+7)|
During his recent tour of the United States, Buddhist monk Tenzin Tsultrim Palden visited Forest Hills Elementary School in Oregon, where he spoke to the students, parents, and teachers about meditation and controlling one’s emotions. According to the school’s principal, Amy Blakey, “Most of the kids and the adults have not had an interaction with a Buddhist monk,” so the school invited Tenzin Tsultrim Palden as a guest speaker to “share his story and unique cultural background.” (Pamplin Media Group)
|03/06/2017 20:32 (GMT+7)|
Sometimes, dance is what philosophy looks like. Only rarely in my long years of dance research has a painted image been so arresting with its mysterious presence that I would spend years unraveling both a choreography and an underpinning cultural, religious, or philosophical system. The dancers in the murals of the Etruscan Tomb of the Triclinium were the first; then the Daoyin Tu gymnastics of the Chinese Han dynasty Mawangdui scroll. Later, after I first saw one of the many extraordinary painted dancers from the Dunhuang Caves in far western China, the encounter opened an area virtually unexplored by Western dance and movement researchers.
|01/06/2017 10:18 (GMT+7)|
As an active member of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order, Venerable Dr. Juewei (覺瑋) is a lecturer of Applied Buddhist Studies and the director of the Humanistic Buddhism Centre at Nan Tien Institute (NTI) in Australia—the only institute of higher education in Australasia that bases its educational philosophy on Buddhist values and wisdom. In addition to Buddhist Studies, Ven. Dr. Juewei obtained postgraduate degrees ranging from Computer Science, Business Administration, to Future Studies. With her diverse academic and professional background, she has been effectively employing technology and social media to spread the Dharma. In this interview, Ven. Dr. Juewei shares her inspiring thoughts and adventures with loving-kindness.
|28/05/2017 11:06 (GMT+7)|
Politics has always been a part of people’s lives, but today the relevance of politics feels more pronounced when compared with the relatively quiet late 1990s and early 2000s. The reasons for this are varied: technology and social media have brought the world closer together and have made it easier to learn of important events around the world and to grasp their significance. Furthermore, there is an incredible level of dissatisfaction with conventional politics in much of the West, which has led to a series of seismic events—the volatile Trump presidency, Brexit, and the rise of the populist right in Europe* are just a few manifestations of the profound impatience with (and even despair at) a myriad of social, economic, and political problems in Western society today.
|07/05/2017 18:02 (GMT+7)|
The first metaphysical thing I learned about Buddhist Cham dance was that the same monstrous deities appearing in the annual Cham performance will appear again in one’s mind during the process of dying. If one fears these fiery creatures and is spiritually unfocused, one will suffer in bardo—the intermediate state that follows death. But if one recognizes the wrathful deities for what they are—illusions; emanations of the mind—one can thereby attain emancipation and suffer no rebirth.
|03/05/2017 15:38 (GMT+7)|
Embracing the two kinds of determinant faith in aptitude and in the teachings (as taught by Master Shandao in his Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra) is a serious decision for a Buddhist practitioner. It is, in fact, a spiritual crossroads: to take the path of easy practice (total reliance on the Buddha’s power) or the path of difficult practice (partial or total reliance on self-power). The consequences of this choice are profound, and will directly influence the practitioner’s ability to leave the conditioned world of suffering (birth, sickness, old age, and death) and attain rebirth in the unconditioned realm of nirvana.
|29/04/2017 12:15 (GMT+7)|
There is a detail I have been pondering this semester. At least, it appears to be a detail, but it is one that challenges the very fabric of what education means to me. It arises near the end of an important Pali sutta. Poetically, I find myself at the end of a long semester. There is something fitting in that.
|19/04/2017 09:33 (GMT+7)|
Tibetan meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has long been a vocal advocate for the benefits of meditation, and in a recent interview he underscored the growing scientific evidence that supports his teachings.
|11/04/2017 12:07 (GMT+7)|
What are Right Action and Right Livelihood according to the teachings of the Buddha?
|09/04/2017 15:28 (GMT+7)|
Tara Choying Lhamo, an Austrian Buddhist who has been living in retreat for more than 20 years—12 of which were spend in Milarepa’s caves in Lapchi, Nepal—is now sharing her unique experience and insights with audiences in Australia and New Zealand.
|27/03/2017 12:02 (GMT+7)|
Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has said that adopting a vegan diet is the key to long-lasting happiness. In a video posted by PETA UK, Ricard explained that animals also deserve to live freely and equitably from suffering and abuse. “I am extremely concerned by the fate of the 8 million other species who share this world with us, and who, like us, wish to avoid suffering and live out their lives,” said Ricard. (PETA UK)
|24/03/2017 18:33 (GMT+7)|
Finding a meditation center close to where you live is hardly a challenge these days—they are everywhere. There are even smartphone apps aimed at helping us meditate. With mindfulness studios and workshops springing up in major cities from San Francisco to New York, and London to Hong Kong, it is no wonder why this ancient practice has gone mainstream in our current era.
|10/03/2017 22:50 (GMT+7)|
After his exegesis on the Sincere Mind, Master Shandao set forth to explain the meaning of the Deep Mind. The Deep Mind is the second of the Threefold State of Mind mentioned in the Contemplation Sutra. It is the longest passage among the three: the Sincere Mind, the Deep Mind, and the Mind of Merit-dedication and Rebirth-aspiration.
|08/10/2016 09:53 (GMT+7)|
We do not like to think that humans are inherently cruel or violent. Even the suggestion that homo sapiens might, as a species, be inclined to violence sits uneasily with all but the most cynical misanthrope. Yet this is what a Spanish team of researchers from the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA) has suggested. According to the study published in the scientific journal Nature, the team discovered that 2 per cent of our primeval ancestors’ deaths were down to violent means, indicating that at some point in the distant past, humans became accomplished at killing each other for a multitude of reasons. Lethal violence, the researchers say, might be a fundamental part of humanity’s evolutionary history.
|06/09/2016 17:24 (GMT+7)|
The Buddha’s teachings offers the most satisfactory explanation of where man came from and where he is going. When we die, the mind, with all the tendencies, preferences, abilities and characteristics that have been developed and conditioned in this life, re-establishes itself in a new being. Thus the new individual grows and develops a personality conditioned both by the mental characteristics that have been carried over from the previous life and by the new environment. The personality will change and be modified by conscious effort and conditioning factors like education, parental influence and society but once again at death, it will re-establish itself as life in a new being. This process of dying and being reborn will continue until the conditions that cause it, the mental factors of craving and ignorance, cease. When they do, instead of being reborn, the mind attains a state called Nirvana.
|03/05/2016 18:09 (GMT+7)|
The fourth Geshema examination began on Sunday at Gaden Choeling Nunnery in Dharamsala, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, representing a new milestone in the longstanding aspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Karmapa for female monastics in the Buddhist traditions of the Himalayas to have access to the same opportunities for formal Buddhist education as their male counterparts.