|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.
|22/10/2017 09:32 (GMT+7)|
India is the motherland of Buddhism and a great source of knowledge and wisdom. In August, I had the honor of teaching a series of lectures on Buddhism in India. I was invited by the Centre for Indology at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan—an internationally reputed institution dedicated to the promotion of education and culture, founded in 1938 by the Indian politician, writer, and educationist Dr. Kanhaiyalal Maniklal Munshi (1887–1971). My lecture series on Buddhism in Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, and Bulgaria was organized by the dean of the Center of Indology, Prof. Dr. Shashi Bala, with the support of the director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Ashok Pradhan.
|16/10/2017 18:26 (GMT+7)|
As citizens of Earth, we have layers of identity that make us unique from those around us as well as affiliating us with certain groups. Religion usually plays an important role in forging our personal identity. In developed countries, you don’t necessarily have to subscribe to a particular organized religion, although the same is not true in countries where theocratic governments demand that their citizens pledge allegiance to a particular faith. Moreover, the law in these societies doesn’t permit people to convert from one religion to another—such governments often have a declared state religion that allows adherents from other traditions to join, but not the other way around.
|09/10/2017 16:34 (GMT+7)|
The Five Mental Hindrances are:1. Sensual desire2. Ill will3. Sloth and torpor4. Restlessness and remorse5. Skeptical doubt
|27/09/2017 17:56 (GMT+7)|
The previous articles in this series on my seven years of lily padding—a combination of location-independence and letting the Dhamma take the lead—described how the practice of tonglen, metta, and shoshin can help dissolve various fears encountered along the way. This month, I look at how lily padding has taught me to travel light, both physically and metaphorically; or, in other words, how it taught me to embrace the fear of emptiness.
|23/09/2017 12:04 (GMT+7)|
In our monastery, there is a practice for those who are really upset with someone else. They’re told to give the other person a gift. It’s usually the last thing that anyone in this situation wants to do, yet it can bring about great transformation. I haven’t had to do this—I don't know if it’s that I’m able to keep good relationships for the most part, or if I’m simply conflict-avoidant—but there are plenty of times that I’ve felt irritation, anger, or ill will mount up in great piles until I feel lost in it. The version of gift giving that I've taken on in these circumstances is to offer the gift of loving-kindness, called metta in the earliest recorded discourses of the Buddha. It may take me a while, but once I notice that I’m stuck in ill will I make a point, during either our sitting or walking meditation periods, to send that person the energy of loving-kindness.
|19/09/2017 12:01 (GMT+7)|
People believe that everything they see and conceive of, including their so-called bodily selves, is fixed and permanently there to be used for fulfillment and enjoyment, yet this is not true and is based on delusional wrong view.
|13/09/2017 09:25 (GMT+7)|
While many people have expressed concerns about fighting addiction with medication and counseling, Noah Levine, “a tattooed, gold-toothed, punk-loving Buddhist from Santa Cruz” and counterculture Buddhist teacher, has introduced an alternative approach to combating addiction that draws on the Buddhist practices of mindfulness and meditation. His approach, called Refuge Recovery, is gaining ground in the United States (and in other countries), with centers across the nation, albeit in a strictly non-theistic form. (Valley News)
|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.