Category: Buddhism

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Three Levels Of Observation

Comparing Buddhist techniques of observing (vipassana) we can distinguish three approaches: The first one defines itself as merely “observing what is” in a supposedly neutral fashion. Various traditions define this to be simple a “looking at what is happening” without…

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Our Love in the Forest of Sense Impressions

2500 years lie between us and Buddha Gotama, but even though the historical and cultural gap seems so unbridgeable to our intellect, it is moments like the following that remind us of the eternal presence of the Dhamma – not…

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You have done all that before

That plan of yours which you carry within you, those goals and ideals, dreams and motives: You have had them before. If you accept rebirth then logic dictates, that maybe at a different time and different place you may have…

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Awakening while awakening

“‘‘Yathāvādī kho, āvuso, sadevake loke samārake sabrahmake sassamaṇabrāhmaṇiyā pajāya sadevamanussāya na kenaci loke viggayha tiṭṭhati, yathā ca pana kāmehi visaṃyuttaṃ viharantaṃ taṃ brāhmaṇaṃ akathaṃkathiṃ chinnakukkuccaṃ bhavābhave vītataṇhaṃ saññā nānusenti – evaṃvādī kho ahaṃ, āvuso, evamakkhāyī’’ti.” According to whatever doctrine, friend, one…

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Tālaputta and “The Avatar”

When the actor Talaputta went to the Buddha, he had an important question on his mind. And it was one of the few times when the Buddha at first did not want to answer. Not, because he did not know,…

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The first discourse

A beautiful and very convincing modern rendering of the first discourse given by the Buddha happened to cross my path this afternoon. If you thought you’d already read the famous “Dhammacakkapavattana” sutta before, think again. Richard Blumberg’s translation is contemporary…

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Feeling the powerful beauty of virtue

It is quite easy to mistake the Buddha’s encouragement to lead a virtuous and moral life with the call to blindly adhere to a religious codex or engulf into some form of social trend setting crusade. Nothing could be further from…

Bhikkhuni Ordination

Regarding the current Bhikkhuni ordination excitement in Ajahn Chah’s Sangha and the resulting “excommunication”  (LOL) of Bhikkhu Brahmavamsa, the following Dhammapada verse came to mind: Other’s faults are easy to see yet hard it is to see one’s own, and so…

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The triangulation of Samādhi

Sometimes, when we study literature about Buddhist meditation, it can seem very technical and … almost artificial. One of the great benefits of having such a structured and methodical approach to mental cultivation can become a hindrance on the path-…