05/24/17

Some thoughts on the “historical” Buddha & “authentic” Buddhism

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One might reasonably expect the long history of scholarly endeavours to have shed some light on the Buddha’s life and teachings.  Unfortunately, the evidence such as it exists is inconclusive and liable to provoke scepticism and hostility even among Buddhists. The historical Buddha remains  an enigmatic figure and it raises a number of questions that need untangling and addressing…

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12/16/15

Misperception: The Buddha Was A Killjoy

[SAM_7325] PSE12
The Four Noble Truths sutta was the first teaching given by the Buddha after his awakening. In this teaching, the Buddha presented his enlightened understanding as a set of ennobling truths which not only diagnosed the human condition as ‘suffering’ but also prescribed a cure. On first hearing the Buddha’s diagnosis we might be tempted to object that it is overly pessimistic.  Either the Buddha is mistaken or he’s a killjoy!

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08/29/15

The Whole Life

Buddhism and Well-being“The footsteps of the Buddha lead to a descent from the delusion of feeling ourselves to be at the controlling pinnacle and centre of the universe, to accepting the fact that we are simply no more than a grain of sand, a subsystem, a temporary and local autonomous mechanism that functions as part of a much bigger system, itself autonomous. This process of coming to terms with these immutable facts is the ‘spiritual path’.” – Dr Desmond Biddulph

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04/28/15

Buddhist Pilgrimage

[155] PSE12

“The journey of five thousand miles starts with a single step and so it is with the spiritual path… There are three stages: listening with the ear, reflecting in the heart and then putting into practice… We can obstruct, but if the obstructions are removed or dropped through following in the instructions of the Buddha then the heart unfolds according to its nature.” – Dr Desmond Biddulph

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06/27/14

Misperception: Buddhism Leads To Inertia

Metta

Unfortunately, the Buddha’s goal of freedom through wise renunciation is so often misperceived – “How does sitting on a cushion help people who are starving or oppressed? Isn’t some amount of desire good? So at least we would feel the motivation to eat, to go to work, to have children… etc.?” To anyone who thinks this way I would say contemplate seriously whether or not lust and aversion are the only human motivators and whether or not meditation really is a recipe for inaction…

 

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05/25/14

Misperception: The Buddha Taught ‘No Self’

Stone Buddha, Scarborough
If the Buddha taught that there is no self then who is it that is experiencing the fruits of kamma and wandering endlessly in samsara? If there is no self then what is the point of meditation and why bother to lead a spiritual life? Questions like these are frequently asked by the Buddha’s critics and by those who are new to the dhamma…

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