1. What Buddhists Believe

    Comment

    By Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera

    The Moon and Religious Observances

    The outstanding events in the life of the Buddha took place on full moon days.

    Many people would like to know the religious significance of the full moon and new moon days. To Buddhists, there is a special religious significance especially on full day because certain important and outstanding events connected with the life of Lord Buddha took place on full moon days. The Buddha was born on a full moon day. His renunciation took place on a full moon day. His Enlightenment, the delivery of His first sermon, His passing away into Nibbana and many other important events associated with His life-span of eighty years, occurred on full moon days.

    Buddhists all over the world have a high regard for full moon days. They celebrate this day with religious fervor by observing precepts, practising meditation and by keeping away from the sensual worldly life. On this day they direct their attention to spiritual development. Apart from Buddhists, it is understood that other co-religionists also believe that there is some religious significance related to the various phases of the moon. They also observe certain religious disciplines such as fasting and praying on full moon days.

    Ancient belief in India says that the moon is the controller of the water, and circulating through the universe, sustaining all living creatures, is the counterpart on earth of the liquor heaven, ‘amrta’the drink of the gods. Dew and rain become vegetable sap, sap becomes the milk of cow, and the milk is then converted into blood. Amrta water, sap, milk and blood, represent but different states of the one elixir. The vessel or cup of this immortal fluid is the moon. Continue reading

  2. An outline of the Metta Bhavana

    Comment

    In the Metta Bhavana practice we’re cultivating love, or friendliness, or lovingkindness.

    Eventually we want to become like an emotional bonfire: a steady blaze of emotional warmth that will embrace any sentient being that we become aware of. This is an attainable goal for every human being. All it takes is time and some persistent effort.

    The practice is in five stages. We cultivate Metta for:
    • Ourselves
    • A good friend
    • A “neutral” person — someone we don’t have any strong feelings for
    • A “difficult” person — someone we have conflicts with or feelings of ill will towards
    • All sentient beings (ambitious, huh!)

    You may notice that there’s a progression in the stages. It’s easiest for us to cultivate lovingkindness for ourselves and for our friends. It’s a bit more difficult to do this for people we don’t know well. And it really goes against the grain to cultivate lovingkindness for someone we’re in conflict with. Lastly, we cultivate lovingkindness for everyone in the world: i.e. all friends, people we don’t know, and people we’re in conflict with — plus ourselves of course.

    We’ll learn these stages one at a time. We suggest that you practice one stage for a while before moving on to the others.

    Source: http://www.wildmind.org

     

  3. The Metta Prayer

    Comment

    The Buddha gave a beautiful teaching on the development of lovingkindness called the Metta Sutta (also known as the Karaniya Metta Sutta). I’ve adapted the words of the sutta to formulate them as an aspiration that can be repeated in a prayer-like way.

    In order that I may be skilled in discerning what is good, in order that I may understand the path to peace,

    Let me be able, upright, and straightforward, of good speech, gentle, and free from pride;

    Let me be contented, easily satisfied, having few duties, living simply, of controlled senses, prudent, without pride and without attachment to nation, race, or other groups.

    Let me not do the slightest thing for which the wise might rebuke me. Instead let me think:

    May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.

    Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,

    Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far,

    Born or unborn; may all beings be happy.

    Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.”

    Just as a mother would guard her child, her only child, with her own life, even so let me cultivate a boundless mind for all beings in the world.

    Let me cultivate a boundless love for all beings in the world, above, below, and across, unhindered, without ill will or enmity.

    Standing, walking, seated, or lying down, free from torpor, let me as far as possible fix my attention on this recollection. This, they say, is the divine life right here.

    Translated and adapted by Bodhipaksa from the Pali Metta Sutta.
    Source: http://www.wildmind.org

     

  4. The Helpful Enemy

    Comment

    Transcribed talks by Ratnaghosa
    Talk three of six on patience or kshanti

    Patience is the most common translation of Kshanti and indeed people often think of Kshanti as patience. However the word Kshanti has many meanings and the Perfection of Kshanti (Kshanti-paramita) has many different aspects to it. One very important aspect of Kshanti is giving up any desire for revenge or retaliation. To give up any desire for revenge or retaliation means to forgive.

    According to the Oxford Universal Dictionary, forgiveness means, “to give up, cease to harbour resentment etc”.

    If we give up resentment against someone, then we no longer have the desire to retaliate or seek revenge. In short, we have forgiven them. This is the forgiveness aspect of Kshanti. It is not easy to forgive, especially if someone has really caused us harm intentionally.

    It is not even easy to forgive when we feel offended even though no offence was meant. To forgive is to let go of feeling hurt, to give up our grudges. To forgive means to extend goodwill to those that we feel are opposed to us, those who have offended us, those who have hurt us, those who don’t like us, even those we regard as enemies. Forgiveness is truly an act of self-transformation. Continue reading

  5. He wishes for nothing

    28

    Like a bird,
    He rises on the limitless air
    And flies an invisible course.
    He wishes for nothing.
    His food is knowledge.
    He lives upon emptiness.
    He has broken free.

    ~Buddha

  6. Because that is like that

    47

    The Buddha taught that this is like this, because that is like that.  You see?  Becasue you smile, I am happy. This is like this, therefore that is like that.  And that is like that because this is like that. This is called dependent co-arising. Suppose you and I are friends. (In fact, I hope we are friends.)  My well-being, my happiness depends very much on you, and your wellbeing, your happiness, depends upon me. I am responsible for you, and you are responsible for me. Anything I do wrong, you will suffer, and anything you do wrong, I have to suffer. Therefore, in order to take care of you, I have to take care of myself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

    Heart Shaped Rock Hole

  7. Criticism

    Comment

    Criticism is the act of pointing out the inadequacies or faults in a person or thing.

    While criticism is often perceived as negative it can actually have a crucial role in helping to distinguish truth from falsehood and right from wrong, particularly when assessing the different claims of religions. Given this dual quality, the Buddha said that while criticism is valid, it has to be done with circumspection.

    A man once said to the Buddha that some people criticise the wrong but do not praise the worthy, others praise the worthy without criticising the wrong, some criticise the wrong and praise the worthy and others refrain from either criticising the wrong or praising the worthy. He then said to the Buddha that he believed the person who refrained from both criticism and praise is the best of the four. The Buddha responded to these observations by saying:

    ‘I maintain that one who criticises that which deserves criticism and praises that which deserves praise, at the right time, saying what is factual and true, is the best. And why? Because their timing is admirable.’ (A.II,97).

    Two things are suggested here. Before we point out the shortcomings in something or someone, we must make sure we are acquainted with the facts and that our criticism is valid. Secondly, our criticism must be done at the right time – e.g.

    when it is more likely to stimulate positive change. Criticising other people is better done in private rather than in public, to their face rather than behind their back, when we ourselves are free from the fault we are criticising and when we can honestly say that our motive is a desire to help the person.

    Referring to constructive criticism, the Buddhist philosopher Nāgarjuna wrote in his Ratanavāli, ‘Rare are helpful speakers, rarer still are good listeners, but rarest of all are words that though unpleasant are helpful.’

     

    Source: http://www.buddhisma2z.com

     

  8. We are sometimes too sensitive toward minor things

    Comment

    So from the Buddhist viewpoint, in our daily life we are sometimes too sensitive toward minor things. At the same time, toward other major problems that can create long-term consequences, we are not so sensitive. Because of this, we find in the scriptures that ordinary people like ourselves are described as childlike or childish. In fact, the term ‘jhipa’ (Tib. ‘byis pa’), or childish, is used in different ways: sometimes it is used in terms of age, which is the conventional usage; sometimes it is used for ordinary sentient beings, as opposed to the Arya beings, the superior beings. Then sometimes it is used to described people who are concerned only with affairs of this life and have no interest or regard for the affairs of their future life, or life after death. So, the tendency of our childish nature is to take small things too seriously and get easily offended, whereas when we are confronted with situations which have long-term consequences, we tend to take things less seriously. ~Dalai Lama

     


Live & Die for Buddhism

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Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

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Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

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Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

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This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

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Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more