Posted on 24 February 2017 by Buddhism Now
We all like things to be regular, and what’s wrong with that, you might reasonably ask? We all want stable conditions as well. We don’t want anything to change, either — we want it to stay the same — or more or less, always.
Having a regular job, regular meals and somewhere regular to sleep at night can only be good, better than sleeping in a ditch and being hungry all the time. The gravedigger at Drewsteignton preferred to sleep under a hedge, he told me, because a roof ‘made the place stuffy,’ but he was an unusual man. Continue reading
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, John Aske | Tagged: Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Everyday Buddhist, Karma | 3 Comments »
Posted on 14 January 2017 by Buddhism Now
The meaning of the word Nibbana clearly extends to the absence of mental defilements the cause of Dukkha. So that at any moment that our minds are empty of ‘self’ and ‘belonging to self’ then that is Nibbana. For example, at this moment as you sit here I will attest that everyone, or almost everyone, has a mind empty of the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ because there is nothing engendering them. In listening attentively you give no opportunity for self – consciousness to arise. So look and see whether or not the mind is empty of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. If there is some emptiness (and I merely use the word some, it’s not completely or unchangingly empty) then you are dwelling within the sphere of Nibbana. Even though it is not absolute or perfect Nibbana, it is Nibbana just the same. Continue reading
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Buddhism, Foundations of Buddhism, Theravada | Tagged: nibbana, Sunnata | Leave a comment »
Posted on 1 October 2016 by Buddhism Now
Posted on 29 August 2016 by Buddhism Now
Have you ever noticed? If everything seems to be going right in your life, if everything seems to be perfect and you start thinking that this is the most perfect time in my life and it’s going to be wonderful from now on, your world suddenly falls apart. It’s a bit like that old board game of snakes and ladders where you throw the dice and climb the ladder to greater and greater heights, then encounter a snake and zoom down you go again, maybe even to a lower position than before.
Some people might say that this is a somewhat pessimistic view of life and that we should be more optimistic, but I have found that this sort of thing does happen quite often. The pinnacle of perfection is reached in terms of health and worldly well-being, our ambitions have been gratified, maybe just sometimes, it’s exciting, and then something awful happens and we plummet downwards into a difficult or even nightmare situation. The depths of despair, on the other hand, can equally as suddenly turn and life goes into the ascendant again. Mostly, we probably just jog along with less dramatic ups and downs — we’re relatively happy; we’re relatively unhappy; we’re relatively happy again. Continue reading
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Diana St Ruth, Foundations of Buddhism | Tagged: Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Everyday Buddhist | 2 Comments »
Posted on 14 August 2016 by Buddhism Now
Ajahn Sumedho points to the real message of the Buddha’s teaching.
The talk (28 minutes) was given on 17 January 2010 at Uttama Bodhi Vihara in Selangor, Malaysia.
Filed under: Ajahn Sumedho, Beginners, Foundations of Buddhism, Theravada, Video | Tagged: Buddhist film, Buddhist video, Dharma Talk, Uttama Bodhi Vihara | 1 Comment »
Posted on 26 June 2016 by Buddhism Now
Two hundred and fifty years ago, Doctor Johnson wrote a story about Rasselas, a prince of Abyssinia, who lived in a Happy Valley supplied with everything the heart could desire. But after a while, the pleasures and distractions that had pleased him at the beginning, began to feel hollow and unsatisfying, and he became more and more thoughtful, and spent more time by himself. He began to ask his friend, the poet Imlac who had travelled out into the wide world, what there was to be found there and how people lived, and what happiness they found.
Imlac answered the prince as well as he could, but it soon became clear that he would have to leave the Happy Valley and explore the possibilities of the world beyond for himself. But the emperor, the prince’s father, had locked the valley with an iron gate to prevent the prince and his brothers and sisters leaving.
The parallels with the story of the young Prince Siddhartha 2500 years earlier are clear. As childhood with its certainties (if we are lucky) and its securities, moves into adolescence and then maturity, we are all confronted with the opportunity of opening up to the world (and ourselves) and exploring it, or turning away from it and trying to restore the gilded cage we once lived in. Continue reading
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, John Aske | Tagged: Doctor Johnson, Imlac, Mae Chee Kaew, Prince Siddhartha, Rasselas, Tathata | 4 Comments »