The Six Paramitas, by Ringu Tulku

Six short films on the Six Paramitas; Giving, Conduct, Patience, Diligence, Meditation, and Wisdom.

Ringu Tulku speaks most clearly and eloquently, laying out the basis of Buddhism and the path to take for those who wish to practise.

The Perfection of Giving

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The Enlightened Body, by John Aske

One thing, 0 Monks, developed and repeatedly practised, leads to the attainment of wisdom. It is the contemplation of the body.

The Buddha

The Body

Wherever we go, all day long and all night long, we have a constant companion. We are joined at the hip and everywhere else. Yet we seldom consider this most profound of relationships. We pass it over without a thought, as if it were of no importance whatsoever. But in ignoring it, we ignore both the source and solution of many of our problems and put off our encounter with the mystery of our real nature.

Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Dartmoor, DevonOur bodies go back in a long chain of being to our most distant ancestors, and beyond them to microscopic plants and the inorganic matrix of the world. If over the billenia one tiny part had been different, we might never have existed. We are part of the great chain of being that nature is, part of that interbeing of which Thich Nhat Hanh speaks. Not only are we all made of the same stuff, but without one another we would almost certainly die. Not only do we have all that is necessary for that study at hand, but we can begin nowhere else.

How do we know about the world? — via the body, perception, sense consciousness and so on, all dependent on this embodied state. Continue reading

Buddhism a path of awareness. Diana St Ruth

Buddhism whatever else it is, is a path of awareness, awakening. Monju seated on a lion. British Museum. Photo by Mistvan commons.wikimedia.org.You sometimes hear widely accepted teachings in Buddhism being argued about and all but dismissed, but Buddhism is for testing. Isn’t that the whole point? But you do hear these tussles going on. There is one aspect I feel would be hard to reject by anyone and that is the emphasis on awareness—simply becoming clear about what is happening as it happens. We might be in the habit of getting caught up in day-to-day circumstances. Continue reading

Who are you? By Beopjeong

Tea cup with flowerHaving come down with a cold, I couldn’t properly smell or taste anything. Even though I hadn’t eaten seaweed soup (miyeokguk) for a long time, I was completely unable to know whether it was too salty or too bland. Feeling like that one bright morning, listening to the call of the the cuckoo from the forest nearby, I drank the nectar of the new tea sent from the Gwangju Tea Company, but it seemed like I could only taste the fragrance.

I set out the undergarments I had soaked yesterday in the brook to dry on the line in the backyard. Straightening up the jars of rice, I took some grains that had spilt out and set them on the windowsill for the birds to eat. In the field, I planted three rows of peppers and kale. Since frost comes here until the end of May, I purposefully planted them rather late. Continue reading

Notes on Sympathetic Joy

Here, O, Monks, a disciple lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of unselfish joy, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, everywhere and equally, he continues to pervade with a heart of unselfish joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, without hostility or ill-will.
The Buddha

Monk and Friend Art © Marcelle HanselaarThe virtue of mudita, (Usually rendered by unselfish, sympathetic, or altruistic joy.) i.e., finding joy in the happiness and success of others, has not received sufficient attention either in expositions of Buddhist ethics, or in the meditative development of the four sublime states (brahma-vihara),of which mudita is one. Continue reading

Is Your Hair On Fire? by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Burmese Stupa Photo © John AskeImagine a person who feels completely healthy, completely free of all illness, sickness and physical disability. Wouldn’t it be ridiculous for that person to get medicine? What would be the point of that? What would be the rationale in getting medicine when you feel completely healthy? Those people who don’t see any problems, who are not aware of any dukkha, unsatisfactoriness, in their lives, what would be the point in their attempting to study the dhamma and to practise meditation?

If you are new to this thing called ‘dhamma’, and new to meditation, then you are not expected to immediately agree that you have all sorts of problems and are suffering from many burdens in life. However, if you are not completely sure that your health is perfect, you could examine yourself, you could get to know yourself and find out what kind of shape you are in. Continue reading

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