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). The teachings of the Buddha are about liberation not affiliation.  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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08/14/17

Buddhism IS A Religion (And It’s No Bad Thing)

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Newcomers to Buddhism are frequently told that Buddhism isn’t a religion. However, one must employ a very narrow misunderstanding of the word religion in order to exclude Buddhism.  Ancient Buddhist doctrine is suggestive of a polytheistic religion. Deities and devotional rites remain an important fact of Buddhist life as far as many practitioners in the heartlands of modern day Asia are concerned…
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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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03/24/15

Making Sense Of Buddhism

Monk (Unattributed - photographer unknown)
Making Sense of Buddhism

Today there is no shortage of Buddhist primers.  Unfortunately, the historical Buddha (‘Awakened One’) never did write a line of doctrine, and much of what passes for ‘Buddhism’ today he never actually spoke. To make sense of the religion attributed to him requires a lot of digging…

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07/27/14

The Authenticity Of The Early Buddhist Texts

Metta (PJL 06-2014) [SAM_4782_fused] PhotomatixPicasaPSE12 BW

 

Thanks to the Early Buddhist Texts (EBTs) we can be reasonably sure of where, when and how the Buddha lived, who he associated with and what he taught. This is the main argument of Bhikkhu Sujato and Bhikkhu Brahmali in their peer-reviewed book, The Authenticity of The Early Buddhist Texts, published by the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies…

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