04/30/17

Detail From ‘An Egyptian Feast’ by Edwin Long (1829-1891)

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Death is a timeless theme common to all religions. The corpse being taken around after the feast is a stark reminder to people to appreciate life as well as the ever present reality of death. The corpse attracts varying reactions, from indifference of the young to the reflective expressions of the older figures…

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03/30/16

The Experience Of Being: A Guided Meditation

body organs
The fundamentals of existence are visible form or corporeality (Rupa); feelings of pleasure, pain or indifference (Vedana); names, allusions or perceptions (Sanna); conditioned mental formulations (Sankhara); and cogniscance, consciousness, or awareness (Vinnana). According to the Buddha, these five ‘aggregates’ are impermanent (anicca), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and not-self (anatta), and that is how we should contemplate them.

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02/28/16

When Life Allegedly Sucks: Maintaining Resilience & Peace Of Mind

Newspapers
War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death…  The world’s troubles never cease – an uncomfortable truth graphically illustrated by the 24/7 litany of horror stories being broadcast by global media corporations in all formats. The bad news is, there are no magic bullet solutions. The good news is, there are skilful behaviours for maintaining resilience and calmness…

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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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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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