Posted on 31 January 2013 by Buddhism Now
The Buddha approached the spiritual path through the noble truths. These are based on the existential reality of suffering. This is where many people in the West misunderstand Buddhism. They compare it to other religions and come out with statements about it being a negative approach, and that Buddhists don’t believe in God. There is this idea that it’s some kind of atheist religious form. But if you contemplate the Buddha’s teaching, the important thing to realise is that it’s a teaching of awakening rather than of grasping any kind of metaphysical position.
The first noble truth, suffering (dukkha), brings us back to a very banal and ordinary human experience. The suffering of not getting what we want is common to all of us. We all experience suffering from being separated from what we like and love, and having to be with what we don’t like. So we can all relate to it, rich or poor. We all have to experience old age, sickness and death, grief and sorrow, lamentation, despair, doubt—these are common to every human experience. There is nothing particularly unusual about this suffering; it’s ordinary. But it is to be understood. And in order to understand it, you have to accept it. (more…)
Filed under: Ajahn Sumedho, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Theravada | Tagged: Amaravati, bhikkhus, Buddhist Sangha, defilements (kilesa), Four Noble Truths, Monastic life, Photos: Janet Novak, Vinaya | 5 Comments »
Posted on 26 January 2013 by Buddhism Now
A certain Mr Porng went to visit the abbot of a nearby monastery, and he asked, ‘Luang Por [Reverend Father], the Buddha taught that everything is not-self and is without an owner—there is no one who commits karma and no one who receives its results. If that is the case, then I can go out and hit somebody over the head or even kill them, or do anything I like, because there is no one committing karma and no one receiving its results.’
No sooner had Mr Porng finished speaking than the abbot swung his walking stick down like a flash. Mr Porng could hardly get his arm up fast enough to ward off the blow. Even so, the stick struck solidly in the middle of his arm, giving it a good bruise. Clutching his sore arm, Mr Porng said, ‘Luang Por! Why did you do that?’ His voice trembled with the anger that was welling up inside him. (more…)
Filed under: Books, Buddhist meditation, Encyclopedia, Karma & Rebirth, Theravada | Tagged: Bhikkhu Puriso, kamma, Karma, Luang Por, not-self, Photo: Hazel Waghorn, spirituality | 1 Comment »
Posted on 22 January 2013 by Buddhism Now
The bright mind is balanced and the defiled mind is imbalanced. When defilements (kilesa) come in, they take over. Then things are no longer in balance. And when the mind is out of balance, sometimes it goes off to the left, sometimes to the right, sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, or there is too much, or too little. This is what happens with defilements—the natural, pure balance of the mind is interfered with. This shows the importance of getting away from the influence of the defilements in order to live in the balanced Middle Way.
When the instincts are out of control, they become selfish, and this gives rise to all the defilements. The out-of-control instincts pull the mind off the Middle Way into the dead-end of the kilesa (the mental defilements). This is very important to know.
We often call these things the defilements, but we can see that they are just instincts which are out of control. Seeing this gives us an insight into how to bring them under control so that they no longer become defilements. This is something to be very interested in in order to get back on the path, to return to the balanced, right state of mind. To make it easier to understand, we can look at certain pairs of things which take us off the Middle Way. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Theravada | Tagged: defilements (kilesa), Dependent Origination (paticcasamuppada), idappaccayata (this is, Middle Way, this becomes | 1 Comment »
Posted on 18 January 2013 by Buddhism Now
This was said by the Lord.
“Bhikkhus, whatever grounds there are for making merit productive of a future birth,[i] all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness.[ii] The mind-release of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines forth, bright and brilliant.
“Just as the radiance of all the stars does not equal a sixteenth part of the moon’s radiance, but the moon’s radiance surpasses them and shines forth, bright and brilliant, even so, whatever grounds there are for making merit productive of a future birth, all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness.
“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the sky is clear and free of clouds, the sun, on ascending, dispels the darkness of space and shines forth, bright and brilliant, even so, whatever grounds there are for making merit productive of a future birth, all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness…. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Books, Buddhist meditation, Encyclopedia, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: Buddhist Publication Society, compassionate mind, John D. Ireland, loving kindness, Pali Canon, The Udana and The Itivuttaka | 2 Comments »
Posted on 11 January 2013 by Buddhism Now
Awakening: The Five Spiritual Powers (Faith, Energy, Mindfulness, Serenity, and Wisdom).
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Golden Buddha Centre Totnes Nov 2012 (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhist meditation, Theravada, Video | Tagged: Ajahn Chah, Energy, Faith, Five Spiritual Powers, Golden Buddha Center, Mindfulness, Serenity, wisdom | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 12 December 2012 by Buddhism Now
The Buddha’s Teaching of Mindfulness
There is this one way for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrows and griefs, for the going down of sufferings and miseries, for winning the right path, for realizing nibbana, that is to say, the four applications of mindfulness.
Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying among the Kuru people in a township called Kammassadhamma. While he was there, the Lord addressed the monks: ‘There is this one way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrows and griefs, for the going down of sufferings and miseries, for winning the right path, for realizing nibbana*, that is to say, the four applications of mindfulness. What are the four?
[* Nibbana (Pali), Nirvana (Sanskrit): The unborn; the utmost security from the bonds of greed, hatred and delusion; beyond eternity and annihilation; beyond description and conception; the very basis and foundation of what we are and of all that is.] (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Books, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Theravada | Tagged: Buddha, Four applications of mindfulness, Mindfulness, nibbana, Nirvana, Pali Canon, Photos: Paul Heatley & Janet Novak, Satipatthana Sutta | 1 Comment »
Posted on 30 November 2012 by Buddhism Now
You see people sometimes trying to have right speech: ‘I’m going to vow not to talk badly about anybody! I’m not going to gossip any more. If I speak it will just be on the dhamma! I’m not going to talk about worldly things like politics and football or anything like that.’ So I make this vow before the Lord Buddha. It might work for a while. Then you have tea with the bhikkhus and they are talking in very worldly ways about what kind of cheese they like and so on, and you think, ‘I’m not going to join in with them,’ in a rather supercilious way. So you then go and sit, or read a dhamma book, or find someone who wants to talk about serious things.
You might try your very hardest to live up to this vow, but one day you lose it and start talking in foolish ways. Perhaps somebody starts criticising other people and you get caught up in your own views about them. And then suddenly you think, ‘Oh gosh, I got lost again. Here I go gossiping; saying bad things about others; being foolish. Oh, my vow!’ Then comes remorse and often feelings of despair and just hating yourself. (more…)
Filed under: Ajahn Sumedho, Beginners, Buddhism, Theravada | Tagged: bhikkhus, Buddhist blog, Dhamma talk, Eightfold Path, religion, spirituality | 4 Comments »
Posted on 14 November 2012 by Buddhism Now
This talk was given while teaching a small group at Sharpham Barn meditation retreat centre Totnes, Devon, UK.
Topics: Equanimity, Anger, Meditation, Religion, Belief and Faith, Trauma, etc.
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Mahesi Caplan initially trained as a photographer and then ordained in the Buddhist Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah at the age of 22.
His Buddhist training was all in European monasteries and his interest in synthesizing western and eastern influences is ongoing. He disrobed after 15 years and has continued teaching contemplative practices to small groups in Totnes Devon.
Inspired by life, monastic training in the Theravada Forest Tradition and inspirational teachers he shares what he can with the intention of exploring ways to practically engage & accelerate the process of cultivating unconditional contentment.
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Metta, Theravada, Video | Tagged: Anger, Barn meditation retreat, Belief and Faith, equanimity, meditation, religion, Sharpham, Trauma | Leave a Comment »