02/2/13

What Is Buddhism?

Dharma Wheel (Image source - www.freewebs.com)Buddhism is a religion of self-help. The teachings traditionally ascribed to Siddhattha Gotama, the “historical Buddha”, are concerned primarily with ending existential angst and attaining liberation from the endless and painful cycle of death and rebirth. The Buddha claimed to have attained liberation by his own efforts and was able therefore to point the way for others to do the same…

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06/12/18

The Many Faces Of Meditation


“Meditation” is a broad term even within Buddhism. So broad in fact Buddhists may not even realise they have different things in mind when discussing meditation with one another. So, without further preamble, here’s my alphabetically ordered review of the meditation styles I’ve encountered and practiced on the Buddhist road…

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05/6/18

A Traditional Dhamma Talk On Finding True Happiness


How do we know if pari-nibbana exists? Like the speaker in this traditional dhamma talk video says, we have to have some faith or confidence that the effort of practicing the Buddha’s advice will be worth it in the long run. Do Buddhist doctrines have a beneficial impact when I internalise the message and strive to live up to it? That’s the real issue as far as I’m concerned.

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02/19/18

Do We Really Exist? Believing That The Self Is An Illusion Does Not Eliminate The Fear Of Death

Buddhism teaches that the soul or ‘self’ is not a permanent entity but a combination of material and mental phenomena in constant flux. Researchers hypothesized that believing the soul or self to be illusory would mitigate the seemingly natural human instinct to fear death, and monastic Buddhists would be more generous and less afraid of death than lay Buddhists, Hindus and Christians. But their study published on 22 January 2018 apparently found otherwise…

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01/17/18

There Is No Scientific Buddhism

The dominant paradigm in science is that mind is an emergent property of the brain whereas Buddhism sees mind as forerunner. If Buddhists want science to recognise the Buddha’s claims about the mind then Buddhism has to play by the rules of science. The burden of proof is upon Buddhists to devise experiments that show beyond reasonable doubt that purely mental activity can be detected and measured independently of matter. Until then, any talk of “Scientific Buddhism” is meaningless.

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12/31/17

Two Truths, Many Practices


The history of Buddhism ever since the Buddha’s teachings were first written down (c. 100 BCE) has been one of re-working his teachings to fit the different needs of different people living in different countries at different times. Consequently we have lots of early sermons (i.e. suttas or sutras) attributed to the Buddha – not just one sermon or a few sermons that we can cling to as good for every changing circumstance…

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11/3/17

Mythology, Cosmology & Rituals In Early Buddhism

To see the Buddha “as he really is” we should explore some of the major episodes in his many lives and appreciate how Buddhist mythology, cosmology, and rituals, relate to one another. We’ll be less likely to view these doctrines as “popular Buddhism” – degeneration from reason (philosophy) to religion (mythology). Their truth isn’t a matter of historical/factual correctness – it’s a matter of the presence or absence of suffering when we internalise the message and strive to live up to it.

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