Neil Heslin, whose son was killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago, attended a retreat with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh last August at Blue Cliff Monastery in New York. At that time, he took the opportunity to ask, “What could have prevented what happened that day, and what [...]
The Buddha's teaching as it relates to our human birth and death predicament, being sandwiched between the two, attempts to provide us with a personally verifiable picture of reality mainly in two senses. Firstly, there is conditioned reality which is...
Several weeks ago the global press (including the Shambhala Sun) reported on the announcement of British archaeologist Robin Coningham, backed by the imprimatur of National Geographic, that he had found evidence pointing to a much earlier date for the Buddha’s birth than is generally reckoned, while digging at Lumbini, the site of the Buddha’s birthplace. [...]
In our January magazine, six Buddhist teachers — Karen Maezen Miller, Judy Lief, Jan Chozen Bays, Gina Sharpe, Norman Fischer, and Tsultrim Allione — look at why generosity is the starting place of all the virtues. Here’s Gina Sharpe’s contribution, “The Heart of Generosity.” The mental states we encounter when we sit in meditation—difficult emotions, [...]
Going back to the "10 Misconceptions About Buddhism" list by Robert Buswell and Donald Lopez that I discussed in the last post -- I don't have a quarrel with item 7, so I'm going to crash ahead to item 8. Here, I think, Buswell and Lopez illustrate the difference between Buddhism as academic study and Buddhism as dharma practice. Show More Summary
The above photo is of my new primary writing implement. I explain why I’ve chosen it — the Olympia SM3, that is — in this new post for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s Turning Wheel Media.
Buddhadharma’s new Winter issue has arrived, featuring “The Insight Revolution,” from Ledi Sayadaw and the surprising origins of modern insight practice in Cambodia to Joseph Goldstein’s commentary on The Four Mindfulnesses. This issue’s...Show More Summary
Just recently I came across this quote from Mark Twain: "It is easier to fool the people, than to convince them they have been fooled." Nobody has said it better than Mark Twain. His words are also loaded with implications,...
Tricycle has a list of "10 Misconceptions About Buddhism" that's similar to, but not identical with, my own list of things people misunderstand about Buddhism. However, Tricycle's list, by Robert E. Buswell and Donald Lopez, itself conveys some misunderstanding.... Read Full Post
In the Mah?vaccagotta Sutta the Buddha mentioned that he had many thousands of disciples, a good number of whom had attained one or another of the stages leading to enlightenment (M.I,490-2). However, his first disciples were the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika. Show More Summary
This past week, a 16 year old who had killed four people in a drunk driving accident received probation instead of 20 years in prison, some claim in large part to his defense lawyers claim that his client suffers from ' affluenza.' Though...Show More Summary
This time of year can be extremely challenging for many of us. There's all kinds of pressure and expectations in the air. Strained family relationships often come to a head, and memories of past holidays have a way of creeping theirShow More Summary
In “Joyful Giving,” found in our January magazine, six Buddhist teachers — Karen Maezen Miller, Judy Lief, Jan Chozen Bays, Gina Sharpe, Norman Fischer, and Tsultrim Allione — look at why generosity is the starting place of all the virtues. Here’s Karen Maezen Miller’s contribution, “Macaroni Art.” I begged my father to take me to [...]
If you’ve never made your own snowman, you’ve seen someone else do it, either on television, or in person. If you’ve never made a snowman, you’ve made a sandcastle, or seen someone do that. read more
In “Joyful Giving,” from our current, January 2014 issue, Karen Maezen Miller, Judy Lief, Jan Chozen Bays, Gina Sharpe, Norman Fischer and Tsultrim Allione address the timely subject of generosity. Here, author and interfaith spiritual director Janice Lynne Lundy explains how a simple question helps her to keep her heart open — to others, and [...]
Many platitudes about the holidays focus on the joy of giving. Of course, ideas become platitudes by being generally true or at least by being generally accepted as true. As a parent, I gain a great deal of joy from watching my children receiving gifts. Yet, there is sometimes a dark side to giving. read more
You can read the entire post (and find out what the late Nelson Mandela has to do with it) here. The title is “Five Steps for Buddhist Leaders Willing to Accept Mandela’s Challenge”. To see the whole public square, with all of the other panelists’ contributions, follow this link.
The first truth of Buddhism is that suffering is inevitable. There's birth, old age, sickness, and death -- and Instagram. Actually, according to a New York Times article, "The Agony of Instagram," the photo-sharing app is related to the Second Noble Truth, the cause of suffering. read more
Lately I have written too many tribute posts for individuals who have passed away. Some readers may be finding it monotonous, but here is one more... one that I just had to write. I learned last week that George M. Williams, former General Director of the Soka Gakkai International-USA, died on November [...]
If our true nature were a butterfly, we could eventually catch it with a butterfly net. But our true nature is not a butterfly. There is nothing by which we might capture it. Seeing or realizing our true nature is...