Tantric shrine, disclosing Nirvana within the petals of a lotus

Buddhist art: Tantric shrine, disclosing Nirvana within the petals of a lotus.

Gilt bronze Tibetan Chinese mandalaMandala. At the centre, a tutelary deity, Yi-dam, of buddha rank, locked in embrace with his prajna, or wisdom party. Twenty lesser divinities surround them, two or three on each petal, before circular drums or altars. Continue reading “Tantric shrine, disclosing Nirvana within the petals of a lotus”

The Path of Wisdom, by Ajahn Sumedho

Talking about universal love is a very inspiring subject. There is nothing wrong with contem­plating universal love, either. But if that’s all we are doing, then it can be merely a whitewash over inner pain and anguish. We might want to love all beings and live in a world of unity and total love. That might be a very appealing idea. What is it that prevents us from that unity? If we trace it back, we will find it’s the ignorance that we have about ourselves…

The Six Realms of Birth, 10 hanging scroll paintings Japan Edo period, 19th century ADSometimes people criticize Buddhism because they say it’s pessimistic — we just talk about suffering; why not talk about love? Love is much more in­spiring than suffering, isn’t it? Talking about universal love is a very inspiring subject. There is nothing wrong with contem­plating universal love, either. But if that’s all we are doing, then it can be merely a whitewash over inner pain and anguish. We might want to love all beings and live in a world of unity and total love. That might be a very appealing idea. What is it that prevents us from that unity? If we trace it back, we will find it’s the ignorance that we have about ourselves. The suffering that we create in life is always the tendency to divide and separate, compare, accept and reject. So the Buddha emphasized the Noble Truth of suffering — not as an absolute, pessimistic view, but as a truth that we can be free from. The Buddha said, ‘I teach only two things — suffering and the end of suffering’. Continue reading “The Path of Wisdom, by Ajahn Sumedho”