Posted on 10 February 2017 by Buddhism Now
The significance of the Buddhist teaching lies in the fact that it isn’t doctrinal. It’s not an attempt to tell us how things should be, it’s more a way of bringing our attention to the way things are.
Most of us are educated to think in terms of how things should be, and we often don’t understand why life is the way it is. So it surprises us, shocks us, upsets us. We become overwhelmed, even with good fortune, not to mention bad. The Buddhist teachings are guides that help us to look at the experience of being alive. Continue reading
Filed under: Ajahn Sumedho, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Foundations of Buddhism, Theravada | Tagged: #longread, Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Buddhist teachings, Theravada Buddhism | 5 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 16 November 2016 by Buddhism Now
We must first be aware of these two categories, ’empty of I’ and ‘not empty of I’. The former is called ’empty’ and the latter is called ‘disturbed’ and to save time that is how they will be referred to from now on.
Here your common sense may say straight away that nobody likes being disturbed. If I were to ask those people who like being disturbed to raise their hands, if anyone did so it would have to be a joke. Everyone likes to be empty in one way or another. Some people like the lazy emptiness of not having to work. Everyone likes to be empty of annoyance, not having the kids coming to bother you. But that emptiness is an external thing, it is not yet true emptiness.
Inner emptiness means to be normal, to have a mind that is not scattered and confused. Anyone who experiences this really likes it. If it develops to its greatest degree, which is to be empty of egoism, then it is Nibbana. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Foundations of Buddhism, Theravada | Tagged: Buddha-Dhamma-Sangha, emptiness, nibbana, Triple Gem | 3 Comments »
Posted on 8 November 2016 by Buddhism Now
From an interview with Phiroz Mehta July 1988
Questioner: Can you remember when you first read about the Buddha and what it was that first appealed to you about Buddhism?
Phiroz Mehta: I first read about the Buddha in any serious measure during the war years — in this country of course — and that was round about 1943 and 1944, from then onwards. I had Radhakrishnan’s two Volumes Indian Philosophy and you know he has several chapters dealing with the various aspects of Buddhism. It appealed to me very strongly — the rationality of the thing and the depth of the teaching — so that was when my interest started seriously. Prior to that of course, having spent my boyhood in Colombo, I naturally knew about Buddhism in a superficial manner. Through reading theosophical books, I came to know something about Buddhism and I came to know something about all of the other religions at the same time, apart from Islam; I am quite ignorant of Islam, although I have looked into the Koran a certain amount. But Buddhism struck me as really deep. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Encyclopedia, Foundations, Foundations of Buddhism, History | Tagged: Buddhist Asia, Phiroz Mehta | 1 Comment »
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 »