Category: Buddhism

Cultivating Fearlessness: Being a Protector Amidst the Violence

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   Because everything in life is relative, there are no absolutes—even when it comes to the Buddha’s Five Precepts. Are you so committed to Buddhist non-violence that you wouldn’t kill the rabid dog that’s about to bite your daughter? My milieu is the Buddhist Ogichidaa, which is one of the reasons I have never felt really comfortable around most other western Buddhists. These Ogichidaa are mostly men, who are devoted to the tenets of Buddhism, but whose backgrounds, inclinations, experience and training make them the kind of people most other people can’t understand: they...

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Kindness, No Matter What

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson Before I started practicing Zen, I treated people the way I thought they deserved to be treated. If someone was kind to me, then I would be kind to them. If someone screamed at me, then I would scream at them. And if someone really pissed me off…well, you get the point. Looking back, this mindset had a huge affect on the way I treated the waitstaff in restaurants. To be clear, I was never rude to my servers, but I did tip more or less based on what I thought they deserved....

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The Buddha’s Dream of Liberation {Book Review}

  By John Pendall James William Coleman has done something that I once dreamed of doing, which is great because it means less work for me. The Buddha’s Dream of Liberation: Freedom, Emptiness, and Awakened Nature is part sight-seeing guide for Buddhist time travelers, and part apologetic essay on Western Buddhism. Coleman takes us through the, “Three Turnings of the Wheel,” which are three major paradigm shifts in Buddhism. He also paints Secular Buddhism as a kind of Fourth Turning—laying out some of the risks and benefits of modernizing Buddhism. Coleman doesn’t just write off-the-cuff in this piece; he...

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What Type of Meditation Did Bodhidharma Practice?

  By Robert Epstein What is the actual practice that Bodhidharma brought to China? Somewhere around 500 AD, Bodhidharma was sent by his teacher—the female sage Prajnatara—to bring the practice of Buddhist Dhyana (Jhana/Ch’an/Zen) to China, thus starting the school of Ch’an Buddhism which became Zen in Japan. Prajnatara and Bodhidharma belonged to the Indian Sarvastivadin school of Mahayana Buddhism. Bodhidharma’s overall practice had two main aspects: study of the Lankavatara Sutra and Dhyana meditation. In both Yoga and past Buddhist traditions, Dhyana was about deep internal absorption on the breath and subtle mental factors such as joy and...

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The First Buddhist Teaching: The Four Noble Truths

  By Daniel Scharpenburg The Four Noble Truths are the beginning of Buddhism. They are the first thing the Buddha taught, and sometimes we have to go back to these fundamental teachings over and over. I’m going to go through them one by one here. The Truth of Suffering As long as we’re living in delusion, our lives are full of suffering. If we examine our suffering deeply, we can see that in usually comes in three forms. The are usually called: Pain, Change, and Being. Pain: Pain is an inevitable part of life—not just physical pain, but emotional pain...

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Buddhism For Dudes