“There is life, there is death and the difference between either one is one single breath” Kings X, Flies and Blue Skies When I first heard that lyric I was struck with how powerful the meaning is. We do not think of death in this way. How can something as a single breath separate … Continue reading Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…..
Metta in Pali means Loving Kindness. The Metta Sutta is an easily accessible Sutta both in terms of translations available in English and many other languages and what seems to be the simple message it contains. Because it does not seem abstract or contain loads of Buddhist technical terms it is often read over quickly … Continue reading Metta, It’s simple right?….
In my blog “Karma, maybe it doesn’t mean what we thought it did….?” I challenged the conventional interpretation of Karma. This wasn’t a flight of fancy on my part where I just made up my own idea of what it means. I think that in that blog I sufficiently showed that there was something wrong with … Continue reading Don’t hide behind your Karma….
When you have your first contact with Buddhism (as someone from the west) there are numerous obstacles to overcome before any of it can start to make sense. The cultural trappings are very confusing because even though they all refer to it as Buddhism it looks very different on the surface based on where the … Continue reading Yana, Yana, What you Yana know about the Yana’s….
We (modern people) have a way of often trying to go straight to the meat of the matter. If we start something new we tend to want to get right to the complicated stuff thinking that it is somehow more important or significant than the simpler things. In Martial arts new students want to learn … Continue reading Finding the profound in the simple….
The Buddha walked his own path, you could say that he was a rebel of sorts. He was a Hindu when he first started his spiritual journey but along the way he found his own Dharma that conflicted with the Hinduism of the time. These conflicts were both in the way he changed or reinterpreted … Continue reading Sunita, the nightsoil carrier….
When a man goes off in a boat and looks back to see the shoreline, he mistakenly thinks the shore is moving. If he keeps his eyes closely on his boat, he realizes that it is the boat that is advancing. In like manner, when a person tries to discern and affirm the myriad dharmas … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part IV….
“The significance of the Avatamsaka and it’s philosophy is unintelligible unless we once experience a state of complete dissolution where there is no more distinction between mind and body, subject and object. We look around and perceive that every object is related to every other object not only spatially, but temporally. As a fact of … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….
“Modern Physics has confirmed most dramatically one of the basic ideas of Eastern Mysticism; that all concepts that we use to describe nature are limited, that they are not features of reality, as we tend to believe, but creations of the mind; parts of the map, not of the territory. Whenever we expand the realm … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part II….
I practiced Zazen at the Soto Zen temple Chuo-ji in Sapporo, Japan. When I first started I had to get used to all the aches and pains of sitting in the half lotus position (for, what to me, were long periods of time), to my legs becoming numb, and that irritating itch that develops just … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”?….
The most vivid description of Shunyata (Emptiness) and interdependence is Indras Net. In the Avatamsaka sutra there is a story about the Hindu deity Indra. Indra had a net hanging on the side of his palace on Mt. Meru that was infinite in size. Now imagine that every point where the strings of the net … Continue reading Running on Empty Part III….
“The object is an object for the subject, The Subject is a subject for the object, Know the relativity of the two rests ultimately on one Emptiness. In one Emptiness the two are not distinguished, and each contains in itself all the ten thousand things.” Zen Master Dogen “Ordinarily we assume that our “self” … Continue reading Shunyata, Running on Empty Part II….
Have ever been driving and have your car stop running? After some checking you realize that you forgot to stop and get gas, your tank is “empty”. If I ask you what your tank is empty of you will say obviously, gas! In the morning when you get to the bottom of your coffee cup, … Continue reading Shunyata, Running on Empty Part I….
How many times have you heard a conversation about something bad happening to someone and one of the people talking will say……”it’s Karma”. Next to the misconception that Buddha taught Reincarnation this has to be the most misunderstood teachings in Buddhism. For years I tried to understand Karma as it is generally taught and I … Continue reading Karma, maybe it doesn’t mean what we thought it did….?
"Abstain from all unwholesome deeds, perform wholesome ones, purify your mind" This is the teaching of enlightened persons. The Buddha Everyone is familiar with the 1956 Charlton Heston movie the Ten Commandments. Moses, played by Heston, is given the 10 commandments written by God in the stone tablets on Mt. Sinai. In Buddhism the Buddha … Continue reading What’s a Precept???
I have mentioned the Ti-lakkhana or the “Three marks of existence” in a past blogs on impermanence (Anicca in Pali) and Suffering or un-satisfactoriness (Dukkha in Pali). The last of the three is probably one of the most important, and one of the hardest to get your mind around, of the Buddha’s teachings. Not-self (Anatta … Continue reading Anatta (Not-Self), If it isn’t me then who is it????
The religious language of India is called Sanskrit. It is similar to Latin in that over time its primary purpose was to convey religious thought. Due to this fact it was a language known only to the religious class in India called Brahman. One of the many very interesting things about the Buddha is that … Continue reading Turning the wheel….
When starting our investigation into the Buddha Dhamma (the Buddha’s teaching, Universal Law, Dharma in Sanskrit) we have to cut through all of the cultural and indigenous baggage that it has acquired as it has traveled though Asia and beyond. So as I mentioned in my last blog we need to first get to the … Continue reading The Buddhist unit of measure…..
When I was very young I went to a Lutheran church. I went to church on Sunday with my mom as my Dad did not have any patience for the preachy religious type of people. While there I went to Sunday school like most kids did back in those days. I liked to hear the … Continue reading Buddha, Buddha, who’s got the Buddha?
In 1974 Cat Stevens released an album titled “The Buddha and the Chocolate Box”. The story behind the title was that as he was getting on a plane some fans gave him a couple of presents. One of the presents was a Buddha statue and the other was a box of chocolate. While sitting on … Continue reading The Swastika and the chocolate box…