Monday 27 July 2015

Rituals in Buddhism

Rituals in Buddhism
By Gil Fronsdal

Rituals, as important elements of human life, have been a significant aspect of Buddhist practice since the time of the Buddha. Rituals are a form of language that expresses many dimensions of our human condition, including our relationships to others and to our spiritual life. As actions done with others to share our common values, rituals help create community and mutual support. As a way of being mindful, they can bring a heightened awareness to aspects of our experience needing attention. Rituals often involve symbolism and speak to our subconscious.  And when they are repeated frequently, they shape our dispositions.  When done whole-heartedly, they help us discover and express some of our deepest feelings and aspirations.

Thursday 23 July 2015

The Japan News: Kyoto Hidden Stories / Moss temple shows hand of man and nature

The Japan News: Kyoto Hidden Stories / Moss temple shows hand of man and nature

By Yasuhiko Mori / Yomiuri Shimbun Senior WriterSaihoji temple in Kyoto’s Nishikyo Ward is better known as Kokedera (Temple of moss). Beyond its gate, the grounds are covered in moss like a green carpet measuring about 30,000 square meters. A place like this can hardly be created overnight, so how did this garden come to be?

Ultraculture: Here’s a Comic Book Guide to the Tibetan Buddhist Afterlife

Ultraculture: Here’s a Comic Book Guide to the Tibetan Buddhist Afterlife

by Jason Louv

This brilliant comic explains the Bardo, the intermediary period between life and death, and what Tibetan Buddhists think happens to you after death

According to Tibetan Buddhists, the bardo is the intermediary stage between death and rebirth—where a soul who has just left its body experiences a hyper-vsoul ivid “virtual reality” where its life flashes before its eyes, and it gets to witness first-hand the karma it has accumulated during that lifetime. The Nyingma school of Tibet teaches that this period lasts 49 days, during which time the just-passed individual must come to grips with the life they’ve just lived and prepare for the next one, which will be determined not only by their prior karma but by their actions in the bardo.

Monday 20 July 2015

Sunday 19 July 2015

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Chanted in Pali)

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Chanted in Pali)

Published on Jul 18, 2015
Dhammachakka Suthraya - ධම්මචක්ක සුත්‍රය

The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Pali; Sanskrit: Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra; English: The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma) is a Buddhist text that is considered to be a record of the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment. According to tradition, the Buddha gave this teaching in Sarnath, India, to the five ascetics (his former companions with whom he had spent six years practicing austerities). The main topic of this sutta is the Four Noble Truths, which are the central teachings of Buddhism that provide a unifying theme, or conceptual framework, for all of Buddhist thought. This sutta also introduces the Buddhist concepts of the Middle Way, impermanence, and dependent origination.

धम्मचक्कप्पवत्तन सुत्त

Buddhism Study Guide, Rel 101, by Dr Hagele

Buddhism Study Guide, Rel 101

by Dr Matthew Hagele
Kirkwood Community College,

1.       1. , Introduction
2.       2., Historical background
3.       3-4.,  Triple Refuge
4.       5. , Historical Buddha
5.       6. , Foundations of Dharma
6.       7-9,11 ,  Dependent Origination,  Sangha, 3 Baskets
7.       10,12 , Ashoka, Theravada Buddhism

Saturday 18 July 2015

Bhante Anandajoti: The Establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Bhante Anandajoti: The Establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

This is an illustrated and annotated video of a talk I gave at the June (Poson) Full Moon in the Bodhi Lankarama Temple, Taiping, Malaysia describing the events surrounding the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
The talk is part of a series on the significance of the various Full Moon days that occur throughout the year, that tell about some of the important events that happened on the various day.
For Sri Lankans this is the most important day in the Buddhist year as it marks the day that Arahat Mahinda arrived in Sri Lanka in 255 BCE. It was followed 6 months later by the arrival of his sister Arahat Sanghmittā and the Bodhi Tree.
The talk starts with Ven. Mahinda’s father King Asoka: how he came to the throne, his conversion to Buddhism, the giving of both his children to be ordained, and how they became the founders of Buddhism in the Sri Lanka.
Along the way I discuss the motivations for the missions, the way they were conducted, and their outcomes, throwing light on one of the most dynamic events in the history of the religion.

Thursday 16 July 2015

Philosophy 110: Eastern Religions

Philosophy 110: Eastern Religions

Video lectures by instructor David Makinster for his Philosophy 110: Eastern Religions On-Line course.

BBC episode on Burmese Buddhism

BBC episode on Burmese Buddhism
Published on Jul 15, 2015 This is a BBC show from the 1950s that touches upon Burmese Buddhism, meditation, and the ascetic life. They interview an ...Counted amongst the most important personalities to have been born in the recorded history of mankind, Buddha the biopic follows the journey of Siddharth from ...

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Dharmaseed Audio Resources

Dharmaseed Audio Resources

About Us
Welcome to Dharma Seed, dedicated to preserving and sharing the spoken teachings of Theravada Buddhism in modern languages. Explore and take nourishment from these heartfelt teachings.
Since the early 1980's, Dharma Seed has collected and distributed dharma talks by teachers transmitting the Vipassana or Insight practices of Theravada Buddhism, the oldest Buddhist tradition still actively pursued in the 21st century.
Until now, the recordings have been available only on tapes and CDs. For the first time, this website makes them freely available for download or streaming as digital audio files (MP3s). New recordings are being added continuously from contemporary dharma teachers, both those well-known and those still known only to those who have attended their retreats.
May all beings find true liberation from suffering.
We are a small non-profit organization supported through your donations. We deeply appreciate your help in making these priceless teachings available to all who need them. You will also find opportunities on this site to support the teachers themselves through dana, the practice of generosity that has supported the teachings for 2,500 years.

Buddhist Women – A Hero in Dark Times: Jetsuma Mingyur Paldron

Buddhist Women – A Hero in Dark Times

Posted on Jul 14, 2015
Buddhist Women – A Hero in Dark Times

Buddhist Women: Jetsuma Mingyur Paldron

One of my favorite Buddhist stories of Buddhist women is that of the eighteenth century leader, Jetsunma Mingyur Paldron (Tib. rJe btsun Mi ‘gyur dpal sgron, 1699– 1769).
This is the story of a female Buddhist teacher who, despite her family members being murdered, being forced into exile and dealing with debilitating health condition, becomes a major teacher and the pivotal figure in the revival and restoration of a major Tibetan monastery and its lineage.

Pema Chödrön’s birthday: celebrate with some of her best from Shambhala Sun

It’s Pema Chödrön’s birthday — celebrate with some of her best from Shambhala Sun

Here’s reason to celebrate: the American Buddhist nun (and frequent Shambhala Sun contributor!) Pema Chödrön turns 79 today.
Born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936 — read her life story, “Becoming Pema” — she’s now beloved as a teacher to us all. So what better way to honor her than to make a little time and absorb some of her wisdom? Here’s a selection of some of Pema’s classic Sunarticles to get you started. (Or, you can always browse our special “Teacher Spotlight” page here on Lion’s Roar.) And don’t miss the September 2015Shambhala Sun magazine, featuring a conversation with Pema and k.d. lang, as well as “What Is the Most Important Teaching?”, a new teaching by Pema.

Select Pema teachings:

  • What to Do When the Going Gets Rough — Pema Chödrön on four ways to hold our minds steady and hearts open when facing difficult people or circumstances.
  • You Can Do It! — Make your vow to help others real with this meditation teaching from Pema Chödrön.
  • The Natural Warmth of the Heart — In the difficulties of your life, says Pema Chödrön, you will discover your natural love and warmth.
  • Turn Your Thinking Upside-Down — We base our lives on seeking happiness and avoiding suffering, but the best thing we can do for ourselves—and for the planet—is to turn this whole way of thinking upside down. Pema Chödrön shows us Buddhism’s radical side.
  • Stay With the Soft Spot of Bodhichitta — Pema Chödrön on how to awaken bodhichitta—enlightened heart and mind—the essence of all Buddhist practice.
  • Looking Into Laziness — Rather than feeling discouraged by laziness, Pema tells us, we could get to know laziness profoundly. This very moment of laziness becomes our personal teacher.
  • How We Get Hooked and How We Get Unhooked — Shenpa, Pema teaches us, is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down. We get hooked in that moment of tightening when we reach for relief. To get unhooked we begin by recognizing that moment of unease and learn to relax in that moment.
You’ll find plenty more teachings from Pema here. And to stay up-to-date with Pema’s activities — and share a birthday wish with her — follow the Pema Chödrön Foundation on Twitter. You might also visit the PCF online.

Friday 10 July 2015

The Ten Bull Herding Pictures, by Martin Goodson

The Ten Bull Herding Pictures, by Martin Goodson

THE BULL AND HIS HERDSMAN The 10 Bull Herding pictures - A video commentary produced by The Zen Gateway


The search for what? The bull has never been missing. But without knowing it the herdsman estranged himself from himself and so the bull became lost in the dust. The home mountains recede ever further, and suddenly the herdsman finds himself on entangeld path. Lust for gain and fear of loss flare up like a conflagration, and views of right and wrong oppose each other like spears on a battlefield.


Reading the Sutras and listening to the teachings, the herdsman had an inkling of their message and meaning. He has discovered the traces. Now he knows that however varied and manifold, yet all things are of the one gold, and that his own nature does not differ from any other. But he cannot yet distinguish between what is genuine and what fake, still less between the true and the false. He can thus not enter the gate, and only provisionally can it be said that he has found the traces.


The herdsman recoils startled at hearing the voice and that instant sees into the origin. The six senses are quieted in peaceful harmony with the origin. Revealed, the bull in his entirety now pervades all activities of the herdsman, present as inseparably as is salt in seawater, or glue in paint. When the herdsman opens his eyes wide and looks, he sees nothing but himself.


For the first time today he encountered the bull that for so long had been hiding in the wilderness. But his pleasantly familiar wilderness still attracts the bull strongly. He yearns for the sweet-smelling grass and is difficult to hold. Stubborn self-will rages in him and wild animal-nature rules him. If the herdsman wants to make the bull really gentle, he must discipline him with the whip.


If but one thought arises, then another and another follows in an endless round. Through awakening, everything becomes truth; through delusion, it becomes error. Things do not come into being depending on circumstances but arise from the herdsman's own heart. Hold the rein tight and do not allow any wavering.


Now the struggle is over! Gain and loss, too, have fallen away. The herdsman sings an old folk song or plays a nursery tune on his flute. Looking up into the blue sky, he rides along on the back of the bull. If someone calls after him, he does not look back; nor will he stop if tugged on the sleeve.


There are not two Dharmas. Provisionally only has the bull been set up, somewhat in the nature of a sign-post. He might also be likened to a snare for catching rabbits, or to a fishing net. Now the herdsman feels as when the shining gold has been separated out from the ore, or as when the moon appears from behind a cloud bank. The one cool light has been shining brilliantly since the time before the beginning.


When all worldly wanting dropped away, holiness, too, lost its meaning. Do not stay at a place where Buddha is, and pass quickly by where he is not. If one remains unattached to either, not even a thousand eyes can spy him out. Holiness to which birds consecrate flowers is shameful.


In the origin all is pure and there is no dust. Collected in the peace of non-volitional doing (Wu-Wei) he beholds the coming and going of all things. No longer deluded by shifting phantom pictures, he has nothing further to learn. Blue runs the river, green range the mountains; he sits by himself and beholds the change of all things.


The brush-wood gate is firmly shut and neither sage nor Buddha can see him. He has deeply buried his light and permits himself to differ from the well-established ways of the old masters. Carrying a gourd, he enters the market; twirling his staff, he returns home. He frequents wine-shops and fish stalls to make the drunkards open their eyes and awaken to themselves.


Welcome to this introduction to Zen Practice also known as 'daily life practice', so called because it is a practice to be cultivated in our ordinary lives on a day-to-day basis.

Having familiarised ourselves with some of the basic Buddhist teachings (the Zen school being a school of Buddhism), we now set out to put into practice what the Buddha taught.

The central practice is simply put - to give myself whole-heartedly into what at this moment is being done anyway.


In this second of two talks on starting out in the Zen training, the importance on form is discussed and suggestions as to how to introduce it into daily life practice are given.

The Zen Gateway : Zen bites

The Zen Gateway : Zen bites

Zen Bites is a series of podcasts featuring CBT & Mindfulness psychotherapist, Jamie Shavdia and Zen Gateway co-founder Martin Goodson on the interface between secular mindfulness practices and Buddhism.

We welcome your comments on these discussions so please get in touch either on our facebook page (see link on the homepage) or email us at:

amie Shavdia's website can be found at:














Thursday 9 July 2015

A BUDDHIST WEDDING Celebrated Within the Western Tradition

A BUDDHIST WEDDING Celebrated Within the Western Tradition
July 6, 2015 by James Ford

Celebrated Within the Western Tradition
A Service
Compiled and Edited from diverse sources by
James Ishmael Ford
With the assistance of Tetsugan Zummach & Dosho Port
(Some years ago I composed a Wedding Service for Buddhists in the West. The following service includes a number of corrections and expansions from that earlier document suggested by the Zen priests Tetsugan Zummach & Dosho Port, and used in their 2015 wedding. While “bride” and “groom” are used in the text, this service is easily adaptable to same gender weddings. It is my sincere hope that this service be of use both to the Western Buddhist convert community seeking ways to honor their Buddhism, and for Buddhist immigrants looking for ways to adapt the traditions of the West to our shared faith. JIF)

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Zen Buddhism Dogen and the Shobogenzo

Zen Buddhism Dogen and the Shobogenzo

Zen Buddhism Dogen and the Shobogenzo is a blog where all are welcome to share their ideas, thoughts, insights, or questions about Zen Buddhism, Eihei Dogen, and Dogen's Shobogenzo.

Saturday 4 July 2015

Dukkha, Inaction, and Nirvana: Suffering, Weariness, and Death?

Dukkha, Inaction, and Nirvana: Suffering, Weariness, and Death?

 A look at Nietzsche's Criticisms of Buddhist Philosophy
By Omar Moad

Comparisons between Buddhism and the various schools of existentialism have revealed a number of parallels. Such studies have frequently centered on each tradition's metaphysical approach and the fact that they all appear to share some form of phenomenological methodology. In the area of ethics, however, existentialism and Buddhism generally seem to differ radically. This difference is the most marked in the case of Nietzsche. 

From The Philosopher, Volume LXXXXII No. 1