|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.
|18/08/2017 11:54 (GMT+7)|
I was introduced to the Chan Meditation Center in New York in 1997, when I came to work as a volunteer for almost a month. I arrived in the late afternoon just before the evening service had ended. When the door opened, I saw Master Sheng Yen (later, I called him shifu) walk into the reception area. We met each other face to face and he seemed to know that I was coming. I put down my luggage and stood before him. Without knowing any Buddhist etiquette, I simply nodded my head with smile, no prostration or bow, nor even joined palms. He looked at me kindly and told me in an encouraging tone, “You need to develop a good affinity with more people.” He then invited me to join them for supper.
|14/08/2017 11:36 (GMT+7)|
It’s often interesting to watch one’s own ego in action. I recently had a discussion with a couple of friends on life’s purpose and the value we place on the things we hope to accomplish.
|11/08/2017 22:29 (GMT+7)|
Venerable Nyanatiloka Mahathera cites the Word of the Buddha on the contemplation of feelings (Diga Nikaya 22):But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the feelings?In experiencing feelings, the disciple knows: “I have an agreeable feeling;” or: "I have a disagreeable feeling,” or: "I have an indifferent feeling;” or: “I have a worldly agreeable feeling,” or: “I have an unworldly agreeable feeling,” or: “I have a worldly disagreeable feeling,” or: “I have an unworldly disagreeable feeling,” or: “I have a worldly indifferent feeling,” or: “I have an unworldly indifferent feeling.”
|09/08/2017 12:08 (GMT+7)|
Recent years have seen a steady increase in scientific research into Buddhist beliefs and practices, in particular, research on mindfulness, which was pioneered more than 30 year ago, continues to attract mainstream attention. The large majority of this research, however, is conducted by Western researchers or Western Buddhists at universities in the West, and one starts to wonder whether the pursuit of finding scientific evidence for Buddhism’s religious claims is in fact a Western pursuit. It certainly ties in with the often-discussed observation of Tibetan masters who have taught in the West, that Western Buddhist are very good with knowledge, with trying to understand the teachings, but are somewhat lacking in the area of practice.
|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.