President of Myanmar Thein Sein signed into law the marriage reforms advocated by the 969 Movement and Venerable Wirathu.
These laws consist of the Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Bill and the Religious Conversion Bill, more details of which can be read at this link.
The Religious Conversion Law requires anyone who chooses to change their religion to apply with a district level “registration board,” submit to an interview and a 90-day waiting period. This is to ensure that no one is being forced to convert against their own wishes which has long become an issue in certain areas of Myanmar. Read more... (340 words, estimated 1:22 mins reading time)
The Kalachakra is a Tibetan Buddhist doctrine on the cycles of time. In addition to being a text, meditation practice, and initiation ritual, Kalachakra is a prophecy for the victory of the Buddhist religion in a war with Islam. Read more... (471 words, estimated 1:53 mins reading time)
An elephant in the room
By Piya Tan
“An elephant in the room” is an English metaphor for an obvious truth that is being ignored. This metaphor also applies to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants or dares to address. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook. As such, those in the room who pretend that the elephant is not there, either have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming issue or are unable to deal with it. Read more... (1325 words, estimated 5:18 mins reading time)
The title of this post will seem ironic to those familiar with the word concept of the Pali word, Nibbana. Nibbana is the pregnant emptiness of the void of nothing of substance whatsoever. And it is said by Buddha to be the goal of his teaching to make it realized in his followers. How then can Nibbana be approached incorrectly? Unfortunetly, very easily. To highlight what this means I will quote Edward Conze in Buddhist Thought in India: Read more... (834 words, estimated 3:20 mins reading time)
Buddhists are quick to highlight the importance Buddha placed on the concept of metta, loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence,amity, friendship, good will, kindness, close mental union (on same mental wavelength), and active interest in others, in his followers.
Metta is seen as the natural result of a flowering Buddhist practice. Wikipedia has a statement that is worth quoting in full that “The cultivation of loving-kindness (mettā bhāvanā) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism. In the Theravadin Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving-kindness towards themselves, then one’s loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this practice is associated with tonglen (cf.), whereby one breathes out (“sends”) happiness and breathes in (“receives”) suffering. Tibetan Buddhists also practice contemplation of the Brahmavihāras, also called the four immeasurables, which is sometimes called ‘compassion meditation’” Read more... (631 words, estimated 2:31 mins reading time)
Perhaps the most fundamental mistake of Buddhists over the last 2,500 years, and in particular in modern times, is the silent treatment given to the most precious reward of all time we have inherited: freedom from suffering. As a whole, Buddhists are overly shy about what makes the teachings of the Buddha so valuable and most easily the greatest religious wellspring of enlightenment and wisdom in the last 2,500 years. The peaceful flowering of calm and joy that Buddha’s teaching offers all those who try it with everlasting freedom from the pain of worldly concerns and serenity in the path that lies beyond it is unmistakable. Read more... (800 words, estimated 3:12 mins reading time)
Men Going Their Own Way is a contemporary form of renunciation that has developed from souring social relations between the sexes in Western countries.
Men who ‘go their own way’ have seen first hand how the social contract between men and women has been broken, arguably for decades, by a perfect storm of powerful interests groups and the self-deception of men and women across society. Read more... (1220 words, estimated 4:53 mins reading time)
By Dragon Naga, a Russian in Yangon
Read more... (3137 words, estimated 12:33 mins reading time)
The Care Bear’s are a 1980’s franchise aimed at children to represent the power of positive emotions. Magical and whimsical beings, the Care Bears’ ultimate weapon is the “Care Bear Stare” (a.k.a. “Belly Magic”), in which the Bears stand together and radiate light from their respective tummy symbols. These combine to form a ray of love and good cheer which could bring care and joy into the target’s heart. Western Buddhism exists almost entirely on the actions and intentions of the Care Bear Dharma philosophy. Western Buddhists think they can have the same effect as Care Bears by repeating word incantations like metta and happiness as enchantments to bind evil from causing them and others harm. The workshops and books of these Care Bears reveal how happy they are with themselves and what they are doing in the world. But Buddhism has nothing to do with being happy with conditioned things. The happiness to be found in Buddhism is from renouncing all causes of suffering until nothing is left in the mind to perturbe the virtues to be had from living a purified life (see Khuddakavatthu-vibhaṅga). Read more... (779 words, estimated 3:07 mins reading time)