Without Possession, by Beopjeong Sunim

I’m a simple mendicant. What I have is an eating bowl that I used in prison, a can of goat’s milk, six pieces of worn-out loincloth, and a not so great reputation. That’s all.

Mahatma Gandhi http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi said this in September 1931 to the Marseilles customs officer who was examining his personal belongings. Gandhi was on his way to the 2nd round-table conference in London. As I read this in Kripalani’s book on the life of Gandhi, I became ashamed. Because I thought my possessions were too many, even for a person like me.

In truth, when I came to this world, I didn’t bring anything. After living out my life, I will leave empty handed from this earth. However, as I lived my life, I’ve accumulated my share of things, this and that. Of course, these things can be said to be of use in everyday life. However, are these so indispensable that I couldn’t live without them? When I think about it, there are many things I could do without. Continue reading

Developing an attitude towards meditation, by Ajahn Sumedho

When one composes one’s mind and looks inwards, there is a sense of coming to one point. If we are not caught in the thinking process, we can be aware of the here and now, the body, the breath, mental states, moods; we can allow everything to be what it is.

Ajahn Sumedho Buddhist Summer School 2001.The attitude of many people in meditation is that there is always a need to change something. There might be an attempt to attain a particular state or some kind of blissful experience they have had before, or even if they haven’t had anything like that, they might hope that if they continue to practise, they will. When we practise meditation with this idea of getting something, then even the idea of practice, even the word ‘meditation’, can bring up this conditioned reaction of: ‘There’s something I’ve got to do. If I’m in a bad mood I should get rid of that mood. I’ve got to concentrate my mind.’ If the mind’s scattered and we’re all over the place, ‘I should make it one-pointed; I’ve got to concentrate.’ And so we make meditation into hard work and there is a great deal of failure in it because we’re trying to control everything through these ideas. But this is an impossibility. Continue reading

Guilt and Tendencies towards Negativity, by Ajahn Sumedho

Hedge in flowerIt is interesting that there are now all kinds of stress reduction programmes; people are aware of stress and tension in society. A modern life is a very stressful one and things move too quickly for us, actually. We’re propelled through high technology and a fast-lane type of life whether we like it or not, and this does affect us. We get a sense of this kind of driven quality, this quality that makes us very restless, and we tend to distract ourselves endlessly. This then creates tension and stress and when we do this to the body, the body stops. It can’t take it any more and starts creating problems for us. Relaxation is therefore something that is encouraged now very much in our society, just on a popular, worldly level. Continue reading

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

Watch the other videos

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

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