Monthly Archives: February 2015

IT’S ALIVEEEEEE!

There’s debate on whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy  as well as what constitutes a religion. The google definition of religion is: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods; … Continue reading

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Nagarjuna & Emptiness

Nagarjuna, the primary philosopher of the Mahayana tradition, based his teachings on the theory of emptiness being at the foundation all things. The concept of emptiness in Buddhism is a difficult thing to wrap one’s head around and can be frequently misunderstood … Continue reading

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Women in Buddhism

I particularly enjoyed reading the poems from the Theragatha and Therigatha collections, as I felt that while they gave an incredible insight into the theories and beliefs of Buddhism at that time, but also the way that these are carried … Continue reading

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Monk Phenomenology? or: Breakdancing Monks: They’re Just Like Us

Rupert Gethin expounds at length on the symbiotic relationship between Buddhist monks/nuns and the laity on whom they depend for alms, in return for dharma, as part of the Vinayas, roughly equivalent to Roman Catholic monastic orders’ “rule of life.” … Continue reading

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Dependence and Attachment in Buddhism

In reading chapter two of Buddhist Philosophy, I was not surprised to learn that the concept that “all phenomena are dependently originated is the heart of Buddhist ontological theory.” While this theory was not the focus of Garfield’s piece on … Continue reading

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The sangha’s regulation of human contact and attachment

The last assigned poem in the Theragatha collection entitled Bhaddiya Kaligodhayaputta (Thag 16.7) outlines the transformation a man underwent in the way he chose to conduct his life. He formerly lived luxuriously by wearing extravagant clothing and enjoying fine food, … Continue reading

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Can we actually “let it go?”

The goal of Buddhism is to acknowledge suffering, its causes, and to end it. “Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, dying is suffering, sorrow, grief, pain, unhappiness, and unease are suffering; being united with what is not … Continue reading

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Fastening the Mind like an Elephant

In Theragatha 5.9, the author uses an extended metaphor in which he compares meditation to the caging of an elephant. This effectively describes the path to achieving śamatha, which is known as the Buddhist practice of calming the mind. The … Continue reading

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The Vinaya: A Greater Purpose?

Like many religions, Buddhism leads a certain lifestyle that comes with rules and regulations. For example, Christians follow the Ten Commandments to seek after Christ. But, it seems that Buddhists live in perpetual obedience to not one but numerous sets … Continue reading

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Cycles

I am continually intrigued by the concept of cycles in Buddhism. There is the ultimate cycle, samsara, which is made up of smaller life cycles in which beings are born, age, die and are then reborn into a new state … Continue reading

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