Buddhist Magazines

Buddhism Now magazine deals directly with living a Buddhist way of life, offering practical help for ordinary people. In it you will find the teachings of all the main Buddhist traditions. It is independent of any one school, organisation, and teacher.

Buddhist Publishing Group (BPG) was formed in 1983. It published  a paper version of Buddhism Now from 1989 to  2007 when it transformed into the present digital version (PDF format) which has over 4700 subscribers and is one of the leading Buddhist internet magazines.

You can get a free subscription here, or download any of the back issues listed below.

Hermit Ch’an monk by Liang Kai (1140-1210) Chinese painter and Ch’an monk. Taipei, Palace Museum. From Buddhist Art, Gilles Béguin

Heart Sutra by Harada Sekkei Roshi.
The Heart of Wisdom Sutra (the Heart Sutra) is the sutra we are most familiar with. It is a sutra in which Avalokiteshvara (Jap. Kanjizai) Bodhisattva, in place of Shakyamuni Buddha, clearly expounds Emptiness to his disciple Shariputra. In terms of compassion, Kanzeon is the Japanese name for this Bodhisattva and in terms of wisdom, Kanjizai is the Japanese name. In either case, this Bodhisattva is actually we ourselves… .

Download It is quite compact — just eight PDF pages making it easy to print out or read on any computer.

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Dragon © Marcelle hanselaarIn this issue we have two articles:

Snatching the Whiskers of a Dragon by Korean Zen Master Kusan, and Connecting with Certainty by Oscar Yerburgh.

There are experiences in life which we feel to be undeniably true; I expect that everybody has them. But there are also experiences which many people do not have which seem to be of a different order.

Download It is quite compact — just nine PDF pages
making it easy to print out or read on any computer.

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On this 51st anniversary (10th March 2010) of the Lhasa uprising in Tibet, I’d like to talk about one of the bravest people I’ve ever met, a Tibetan monk called Palden Gyatso.

Palden Gyatso Freetibet.org

In 1992 Palden Gyatso finished serving his sentence and escaped to India, smuggling with him several torture instruments used on him in prison. Photo: © Freetibet.org

Palden Gyatso was born in 1931 in a place called Panam, the Gyantse District of Tibet, and he was ordained at the age of ten. During the 1959 uprising he led a hundred-man force against the Chinese. It was made up of monks from Drepung monastery but they never fought. He was first arrested in 1959 and spent the next thirty-three years in prisons and labour camps, being severely tortured and brutally punished for refusing to denounce the Dalai Lama and for refusing to say that Tibet was really China. He was arrested and re-arrested many times during those thirty-three years because the authorities have to let you go once you have served your sentence, but you can hardly move before they arrest you again for a further ‘crime’. Shortly before Palden Gyatso’s release, therefore, in 1992 he arranged for Tibetan friends to bribe prison guards into selling some torture implements, and, as soon as he could, he headed for the Nepalese border disguised in Chinese clothing. He knew the police were looking for him, but he made it to India.

Now he is a free man and is doing his best to persuade the free world to do something for the Tibetan people. In 1995 he came to visit us in Totnes, South Devon to give a talk and to display those terrible instruments of torture. On the morning of that talk, we spoke with him and his interpreter, Ugyan Norbu, at Sharpham House, on the 2 March 1995.

Read the full interview here (PDF 9 pages).

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Monk walking: © Marcelle HanselaarWalking is a wonderful way of meditating. It brings one to the point of realising that meditation does not depend upon the position of the body. Sitting, standing, lying down, walking — what is the difference when one is aware? The state of being aware is an experience which goes beyond the body.

The formal practice of walking is very useful in retreat situations where a lot of sitting is taking place and the body gets stiff. To walk for ten minutes or so between periods of sitting, stretches the joints and can bring relief to aching knees, ankles and so on. But more than that, in a sense, walking meditation is like putting sitting meditation into motion. This can break down any misconceptions about meditation being something only to take place in perfect stillness.

Freedom from form, feeling, mental activity, perception and consciousness — this little bundle called ‘me’ — can be experienced at any time just by engaging in the business at hand in a meditative way, whether it be the rise and fall of the abdomen, or the placing of one foot in front of the other in walking meditation.

Click here to download an easy to print guide on walking meditation
by Diana St Ruth.
It is compact — just eight PDF pages
making it easy for you to print out or read on your computer.

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Sense of the Sacred Ajahn Sumedho and Diana St Ruth

Ajahn Sumedho photo © BPGWhen you live in a materialist society, you feel a lack of sacredness. Much of our common values are based on self-centred goals and materialism. In the American system, for example, where individuality has the priority, we are brought up to proclaim ourselves as individuals in such an extreme way that we often do not feel any connection to anything at all, not even to our parents or family.

from ‘Sense of the Sacred’, by Ajahn Sumedho

The Buddha became conscious of birthlessness and deathlessness through the acceptance of impermanence and no-self. The complete experience of impermanence—flux and change—is a mind-blowing truth which will bring us to see that the body and mind are no more ‘us’ than the clouds in the sky or the carpet on the floor. And if we do get caught up into believing those things—and most of us do—then we are inclined to suffer, because life doesn’t often suit us. Being a self is a very firm idea, a conviction, but not a reality that we can ever confirm. It’s all in the mind. Death too, said the Buddha, is a delusion. Birth of ‘me’
is a delusion and death of ‘me’ is a delusion; only flux is experienced, a changing koleidoscope of hopes, fears, memories and impressions.

‘Our culture doesn’t encourage too much contemplation’, by Diana St Ruth

Download Sense of the Sacred

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Metta and Zazen John Aske & Kozan Kato

Sam Photo: RSRPeople who haven’t awakened to the true nature haven’t fulfilled their mission as humans. For other creatures, even insects, there is no need for awakening. They are nature as they are.

From  ‘Animals do Zazen Naturally’, by Zen Master Kozan Kato.

The metta practice rests on the basis of loving oneself, or at least liking oneself. Without this step, no further progress is possible, either in the metta practice or in the practice of any of the Brahma Viharas (the Diving Abidings, that are — apart from anything else — the mortar of the holy life). And with the English — the men at least — this first step was proving very difficult, if not impossible.

From ‘The Practice of metta and the English Problem’, by John Aske.

Download Metta and Zazen

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Accumulating Good Karma is Beautiful, by Geshe Gedun Tharchin

Accumulating Good Karma is BeautifulIn the mind training or mind transforming practices (lojong), it is taught that there are two things which should be done—develop appropriate motivation and dedicate the merit from practices to the benefit of all beings. In order to develop and maintain such motivation we need mindfulness or awareness. Awareness, in general, is a technique. The real spirit of dharma is not simply mindfulness or awareness, it is positive motivation, keeping going, maintaining awakening. We can also call that karma.

Download Accumulating Good Karma is Beautiful
Photo by Tibetan man via Arthur Braverman

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Ox Herding Pictures

Ox Herding Picture. Songgwang-sa, KoreaIn the twelfth century the Buddhist practice was put into pictures by a Chinese master named Kakuan. He drew a series of ten scenes — the oxherding pictures. The pictures we have used come from Songgwang-sa, Korea. They tell the story of a boy and his ox, but if we want to use these pictures as they were intended, we need to relate them to our own lives.

Download Ox Herding Pictures

Pictures from Songgwang-sa, Korea

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Judging Mind Versus Discerning Mind, by Corrado Pensa

Wheel of Dharma, Located on the roof of a Tibetan Temple. Photo: © Lisa DaixIn a way, the judgements of the judging mind are like marks carved in stone. This is a famous Hindu metaphor. Whereas the judgements of the discerning mind are like marks in sand or water. In other words, in the discerning mind there is a depth of understanding, nothing is clung to, nothing is wrapped up and kept in a drawer. The difference between ‘judging mind’ and ‘discerning mind’ is the difference between being a prisoner and being free — by various degrees, of course.

Download Judging Mind Versus Discerning Mind

Photo by Lisa Daix

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To Study the Way of Buddha, by Harada Sekkei

Zhenru Temple Photo: © Chris CydersPractice (studying the Way of Buddha) is to ascertain the essence of things (Self). This is to realise that there is no separation between self and things (forgetting) and that everything is part of one’s body (enlightened by all things). Seikyo Zenji said, ‘Sentient beings are deluded by the self and chase after things.’ However, when there is the realisation that there is nothing to compare outside of one’s functioning right now.

Download Way of Buddha

Photo by Chris Cyders

3 replies

  1. Thank you for the uplifting and insightful information. I often incorporate buddhism into my counseling practice. I will be sure to pass your website information onto my clients.

  2. To everyone who enjoys Buddhism Is Now
    I have made a resolution to sit for mini-meditations through the day rather than leave it solely to the end of the day to slow my whirling mind. My resolution is expressed in song on Youtube. There’s quite a bit of ego involved in making a song, but quite a lot of fun too, so I hope you like it. Happy New Year.

  3. Thank you for your generous articles etc. Have just subscribe to your Tweets and look forward to reading more.


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