Monthly Archives: June 2009

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Seeing the Seeing of the Disappearing disappear

One may wonder why and how the modern vipassana movement was revived a little bit more than a century ago in Burma. When we look back at the history of Theravada countries in the 19th century, many of these countries…

Beautiful positive girl clothing in white sit at the seaside on the rock and meditating in yoga pose

No opinion

The Pali language has a very interesting verb called “maññati”. Or rather the way the Buddha uses this verb is very intriguing. It is related to our English “to mean” or German “meinen”. It can be translated in a variety…

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In search of the (original?) Oxen!

…sounds like Zen, might be Zen, but is no Zen? Hidden within in the scholastic bodies of ancient Theravadin commentarial literature dwell gems of wisdom taught by ancient Masters of Buddhist meditation. One such beautiful little gem, an allegory, really needs some…

Advantages of a systematic approach

Surely, most of you had had experience with the following most common approaches towards establishing a Buddhist practice: Scanning through bits and pieces of Buddhist literature and patching them together into your own personal regiment. Following the (ad-hoc) instructions of…

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500 years after Schopenhauer

In one of his prefaces to the translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, Karl Eugen Neumann (who lived many years before the relativity theory was conceived, let alone quantum physics) once made the following observation: These discourses originated in the 6th…

Yoke of Oxen

Recently I was asked whether jhana and vipassana meditation ultimately lead to the same results.* My answer was, that I would rather rephrase that question: “How are jhana and vipassana faculties tied together on the path to Nibbana?”   A…

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Blind Faith – Gratitude – Disrespect

Sometimes we forget all about gratitude and respect for the help we receive from others. If one were to look at our attitude towards the many hardships and sacrifices of all the people who came before us who made it…

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If someone were to ask you

“Tell me, which part of the Tripitaka is the most ancient? Which part would I want to read, study and practice if I look for the most authentic instructions?” The answer is very simple. There are two little collections of…