A Buddhist Refuge

The Triple Gem

The Triple Gem is the name given to the Buddha, His teaching and His followers. They are called gems because they are considered to be very precious. Taking refuge in the Triple Gem is adopting a certain attitude of mind; it is adopting a Buddhist way of life.

I take the Buddha Dharma Sangha as my refuge

Refuge in the Buddha means: to incline towards enlightenment; to realise the Buddha-nature of one’s own mind.

Refuge in the Dharma means: to tread the path; to live in a straightforward mindful way, free from all defilement; to live in accord with one’s Buddha-nature.

Refuge in the Sangha means: to adopt the way of the wise, to act skilfully; to abandon the way of the foolish whose acts are unskilful.

All those who tread the Buddhist path are members of the Buddhist Sangha.
This is taking refuge in Buddha Dharma Sangha.

 


The Eightfold Path

Wheel and Dear on roof of Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Photo © Lisa DiaxThe Eightfold Path

Right View

Right Purpose

Right Speech

Right Action

Right Livelihood

Right Endeavour

Right Mindfulness

Right Concentration

THE GREAT FORTY
being a discourse on The Eightfold Path

Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta Grove in Anathapindika’s monas­tery. While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying, ‘I will teach you the ariyan [noble] right con­centration with the causal associations, with the accompaniments. Listen to it, attend carefully and I will speak. Continue reading

There is a treasure in our own house, by Trevor Leggett

Temple Building. Photo: © Paul HeatleyThere is a treasure in our own house which we often don’t see. We can say, ‘Well, how can there be?’

One of the Indian stories tells how the merchants in some of the towns (when India was the richest country in the world) were very strict about business ethics. One man cut some cor­ners. Well, they used to expel such people from the city and stone them ― not kill them ― but stone them and drive them away. So they took everything this man had, tied him to a stake outside the city, held back his wife and child, and threw stones.

There was a little boy there, the son of one of the big merchants. Not often you get the chance to throw a stone at a grown-up! He picks up a sharp stone, and he throws it. It catches the man on the face and just misses his eye. The blood pours down. Continue reading

The Four Noble Truths

Ganharan Buddha Head V&A
Four Noble Truths

The truth of anguish
The truth of the arising of anguish
The truth of the stopping of anguish
The truth of the course leading to the stopping of anguish

Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Benares in the deer-park at Isipatana. While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying, ‘The matchless Wheel of dhamma set rolling by the Tathagata, the perfected one, the fully Self ­awakened One in the deer-park at Isipatana near Benares cannot be rolled back by a recluse, brahman, deva, Mara, Brahma, or by anyone in the world. It was a proclamation of the four ariyan [noble] truths, a teaching, a laying down, an establishing, an opening up, an analysing, and a making of them plain. It was a proclamation of the ariyan [noble] truth of anguish, of the arising of anguish, of the stopping of anguish, of the course leading to the stopping of anguish. Continue reading

Ego and Mindfulness, by Corrado Pensa

Standing Buddha Sri Lanka. Photo © Hazel WaghornI would like to consider the words of Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu when he said that many people suffer mental disorders, but a much more common disease is a spiritual disease which goes by the name of ‘me’ or ‘mine’. Most of us, it seems, need to work to be healed from this illness.

What is it, then, that we usually refer to in this way? What is it that we call ‘ego’, ‘me’, or ‘mine’? Ego is the totality of what is classically called ‘afflictions’, the afflictions being attachment, aversion, and ignorance; ego is our deep habit for attachment, aversion and ignorance. In other words, ego is being attached to attachment, being attached to aversion, being attached to ignorance. Unless we taste real peace, we tend to be attached to desire. We see desire as having a value in itself, something energetic, as something which can for a while take us from our boredom and depression, etc. Continue reading

Compose your minds, by Ajahn Sumedho

Stone Buddha. Photo: © David BlancoCompose your minds, look inwards and become aware of the here and now ― the body, the breath, the mental state, the mood you are in ― without trying to control or judge or do anything; just allow everything to be what it is.

For many people the attitude towards meditation is one of always trying to change something, always trying to attain a particular state or recreate some kind of blissful experience remembered from the past, or of hoping to reach a certain state by practising. When we practise meditation with the idea of having to do something, however, then even the idea of practice ― even the word ‘meditation’ ― will bring up this idea that ‘if I’m in a bad mood, I should get rid of it’, or ‘if the mind is scattered and I’m all over the place, I should make it one-pointed’. In other words, we make meditation into hard work. So then there is a great deal of failure in it because we try to control everything through these ideas, but that is an impossibility. Continue reading

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