Category: The Renegade Buddhist

Right Speech: It’s Not about Being Perfect, but Owning Up to It {The Eightfold Path}

  By John Lee Pendall So, here’s my first contribution during Right Speech week for the Living the 8 challenge. I won’t be posting a journal article each day because most days just aren’t that eventful in my life. However, feel free to check out the FB group for more interactions. DAY 1 “I said stop hollering at me! You don’t have any authority over me. Who do you think you are?” That was me chastising a co-worker. This was actually yesterday—so, I guess Day 0—-but, I’m throwing it in here anyway and there’s nothing you can do to...

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What is Right Intention, Anyway? {The Eightfold Path}

  By John Lee Pendall “I wish someone would kick him in shin,” is an example of not Right/Skillful/Wise Intention/Thought/Resolve. I think it’s funny how we’ve never gotten together and settled on definitive translations for this stuff. According to the B-Man in SN 45.8, Right Intention, er, Resolve is: “Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill-will, on harmlessness.” Basically, that means wanting to not be a jerk. The renunciation part takes some unpacking. Renunciation is nekkhamma, which etymologically means, “Lack of sensual desire.” It’s actually phrased as nekkhamma-chanda: the desire to not desire sensual pleasures. Hooray for meta-cognition!...

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On Right View {The Eightfold Path}

  By John Lee Pendall I lost my glasses once. After looking for them all over the house, I realized they were on my face. This is Right View from a Mahayana perspective. Well, from one Mahayana perspective. It’s an allusion to Buddha-nature which you can take as, “All beings have the potential to be Buddhas,” or, “All beings are confused Buddhas,” or, “All things are the appearance of Buddha, which is none-other than emptiness.” Everyone has their own take on Right/Skillful/Wholesome/Wise View, and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be. Buddhism is vast. Like a, well, like...

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What Does Enlightenment Feel Like?

  By John Pendall Enlightenment is not a logical affair, it’s a visceral, emotional one. This is the point that many misled (but well-read) Westerners fail to see clearly. Logic and emotion aren’t mutually exclusive, but just like how Moscow and Washington DC occupy different sides of the same planet, logic and emotion occupy different parts of the same mind. Understanding announces itself as a subtle intuition—there’s a feeling of pieces falling into place. This can last anywhere from a few seconds to several days or even years. Logic and reason do play their parts during this act of...

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Is American Buddhism Cultural Misappropriation?

By John Pendall   A few years ago, I visited a good friend and saw a little Hotei (the chubby laughing Buddha) figurine on his table. “Well that’s fun,” I remarked, pointing at the statue, forever captured in a state of pure, almost disturbing, hysteria. I mean, who the hell is that happy? What is he laughing about, anyway? I can only guess it’s something inappropriate; like a priest farting at a funeral. “You like that? I got it at Spencer’s the other day. I love Buddha statues.” “Well, that’s not the Buddha ya know? That’s Hotei, a Chinese...

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