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)
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)
The future has major challenges facing humanity including climate change, the end of the era of inexpensive oil, over population, and associated problems. Unfortunately these big problems will lead to massive suffering if they are not addresses in an intelligent and rational manner. Read more... (382 words, estimated 1:32 mins reading time)
Last night in central Myanmar a bomb went off 50 feet from a talk being given by Ven Wirathu. At least three people were injured, including a monk. Please send your prayers to the victims.
Contrary to misleading information in the media, Venerable Wirathu is not uneducated. The reason for this is the frequently cited Times Magazine article that he left public schools at age 14. However, as with most things in Time Magazine, the whole story was not revealed. Frequently overlooked in the West, monasteries have been a traditional place for education in Southeast Asian cultures for thousands of years. Young monks are fully expected to complete their studies. Wirathu worked hard as a young man to earn the equivalent of a Phd in Buddhist studies which is only awarded to students between the ages of 22-26 years old and is a very difficult exam to acquire. Since 1998, Ven. Wirathu has been volunteering his time to serve the education needs of his community. Read more... (226 words, 1 image, estimated 54 secs reading time)
There is a little known incident in Mongolia from 1934 to 1944. Mongolia was taken over by the USSR who subsequently repressed all traces of Buddhism in the country. Of the 30,000 monks in the country and devote laity, and estimes of 17,000 monks were all killed. “Mongolia’s religious institutions were virtually all destroyed, their property appropriated, and the lamas either killed or secularized. Altogether, 2,265 monastery buildings were destroyed and over 71.5 tons of metal statutes shipped to the USSR for scrap.” Read more... (1072 words, 1 image, estimated 4:17 mins reading time)
The second Noble Truth of the Eightfold Path of the Buddha’s teachings is Right Intention. Right Intention contains three characteristics: the intention of renunciation, the intention of good will, and the intention of harmlessness. The three are opposed to the wrong kinds of intention: intention governed by desire, ill will, and harmfulness.
In the face of terrorism, it is exceptionally challenging and incredibly important to maintain the Right Intent. Even with the blood of our brothers still fresh on our most holy temples to lose the Right Intent is to lose the foundation of our religion. Read more... (1024 words, estimated 4:06 mins reading time)