08/19/18

Do the scriptures matter or not?


I got into Buddhism originally because I wanted to believe what I’d read about it being not a religion but “a philosophy and way of life” taught by “just a man” with a world view like some 21st century scientist rather than some Brahmin or Jain living 2500 years ago. What a surprise when I first walked into a meditation centre and was told to prostrate myself before a golden Buddha statue…

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07/27/18

Follow Your Heart


Who are you? What’s your purpose? What does “success” mean to you? These are the big questions you need to answer for yourself. Don’t let others tell you. Don’t let media moguls or politicians or workplace bosses or spirit guides or life coaches or family and friends tell you. Sure, listen to the people you admire and trust but remember that their life experiences and their visions of success aren’t yours…

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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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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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09/2/17

Removing Doubts & Obstacles When The Buddha’s Path Is Blocked


It’s not uncommon for Buddhists to feel like their practice has stalled. Concentration wavers, awareness is lost, doubts arise, and the Buddha’s supreme freedom from samsara seems hopelessly unattainable.  It can be an especially trying time if you’re a solitary practitioner lacking the guidance of a skilled meditation teacher. But it’s also an opportunity to straighten your views and re-affirm your refuge in the Triple Gem.

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