WEEKLY BUDDHISM NEWS & REVIEW
Saturday 17th December 2011
Serenity revisited - Premasara Epasinghe; The Sri Lankan Buddhist devotees in the United Kingdom are fortunate to be associated with Aruna Ratnagiri Buddhist Monastery, No. 2, Harnham Hill Cottages, Harnham, Belsay, Northumberland, NHE 20 OHF, United Kingdom. This beautiful monastery is situated in a big mountainous farmland. Its environment is soothing, cool, calm and pleasant. The pious, educated monks, who reside here are engaged in meditation. They are like our 'forest Bhikkhus' who reside in places like Salgala Aranya and Mitirigala.
Scientific background of Ira Sevaya - K R Abhayasinghe; Every year, the Sri Pada season begins on Unduvap Full Moon Poya day and the season ends on the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day in the following year. Even though the Sri Pada pilgrimage is religion related, it also has some educational value as well because all pilgrims joining the ceremony get an opportunity to observe the environment which is usually different from their routine observations in their respective native places. Atmosphere at about two kilometres above sea level, clouds floating below pilgrims, the circular horizon, special varieties of foliage that grow at high altitudes are some of them. The chance of observing the sky without any obstacle is another important thing.
The world of Buddhism: unity in diversity - The vision that inspired Professor G P Malalasekara in establishing the World Fellowship of Buddhists: Professor Y Karunadasa As we all know, during its long history of over 2500 years, Buddhism has given rise to a large number of schools and sub-schools, sects and sub-sects. Today, we find them all within three great Buddhist traditions prevailing in three major regions in: Theravada Buddhism in South Asia, Vajrayana Buddhism in North Asia, and Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia.
Two Burmese monks living at a monastery in the Japanese city of Kita Kyushu have successfully thwarted an attempt to evict them following an appeal to preserve a site that has stood as a symbol of friendly relations between Burma and Japan for more than half a century.
Toronto Star - Watching the sun go down over the pagodas of Bagan is one of the great sights in Burma. BAGAN, BURMAI am standing dusty-footed in the 11th century Ananda Temple, with a belly full of mohinga - a national dish of spicy fish and noodles.
Essential to meditation, even for good health and peace of mind, is breath. If you think of your body and mind as an amazing, complex orchestra, everything working together as much as possible to produce the beautiful symphony of you, guess who would be the conductor? Your breathing.
Promoting Buddhist sculptures of Amaravathi, Guntur district, is a passion that has taken West Godavari Joint Director of Social Welfare R. Mallikarjuna Rao to Yiwu near Shanghai in China with all his paintings on Lord Buddha.
People at the flood relief shelter at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University attend the baisee sookwan ceremony to boost their morale. Those who sought refuge are now leaving the university as the shelter is closing down and the areas inside the campus are now dry.
Saturday 10th Decemember 2011
The Way of Buddhism - Premasara Epasinghe; Buddhism is a religion and philosophy founded in (C.528 BC) in India by Siddhartha Gautama. He was born at Lumbini, Nepal, in Central Asia, between India (S), and China (N). Buddhism is based on Four Noble Truths - existence is suffering; the cause of suffering is desire; the end of suffering comes with the achievement of Nirvana - or Bliss of Nibbana - Deathlessness.
Constituents of Enlightenment, a Buddhist perspective - Dr Senarath Tennakoon; For evading and overcoming the sufferings in Samsara the only and unique path open is to proceed towards the attainment of the Supreme Bliss, Nibbana. Non-mundane wisdom is a sine qua non in this approach and this is referred to as Bodhi in Buddhism. The literal meaning of Bodhi is understanding. But in Buddhism it is connected with non-mundane insightful knowledge.
In the shape of a circle - Venerable Ajahn Chah Translated from the Thai: Thanissaro Bhikkhu; When it comes to the Dhamma, we have to understand that our opinions are one thing; the Dhamma is something else. As for the practice, start out by establishing your powers of endurance and then contemplate. Contemplate your activities, your comings and goings. Contemplate what youre up to. Whatever arises, the Buddha has us know all around. Whatever direction things come in from, he has us know all around.
Buddhism, the greatest treasure from India Premasara - EPASINGHE - No visit by a foreign delegation, envoys, diplomats has created such an impact on the lives of Sri Lankans, as the visit of Emperor Asokas Son Arahant Mahinda Thera, on Poson Poya Day (June) and daughter Therini Sanghamitta on Unduvap Poya Day (December). It was the dawn of the social, cultural, spiritual revolution of Sri Lanka.
Arrival of the Bo tree - Indeewara DE MEL; That the Bo tree sapling was brought to Sri Lanka from India by Arahant nun Sanghamitta is common knowledge. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, as famously known, is a sacred fig tree in Anuradhapura said to be a sapling from the historical Bodhi tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment. The sapling belongs to the southern branch of the original Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya. Planted in 288 BC, the Bo tree is the most ancient human-planted tree with a traceable date. King Devanampiyatissa planted the sapling in Mahameghavana Park, Anuradhapura, in 249 BC.
Prof. W. I. SIRIWEERA; Buddhism in its initial phase accommodated and synthesized certain pre-Buddhistic beliefs. Thus, the pre-Buddhistic tree worship as well as the veneration of the mounds in which the corporal remains of important personalities were deposited were absorbed into Buddhist culture. In fact a new meaning was attached to pre-Buddhistic symbols and the Stupa and the Bodhi Tree represented symbols of acculturation.
We rise before dawn, leaving the air-conditioned chill of the boat for the silky warmth of the Burmese night. The sky is star-filled and the distant banks of the river a dark shadow. We clamber into a smaller boat, the current strong and silent at its sides. Minutes later, we are climbing into a patched-up Second World War truck, left by the British in 1948, and driving along rutted, dusty tracks towards what will be one of my most memorable experiences in 25 years of travel.
Bangkok Post; Khun Mae Siri's meditation courses played an important role in paving the way for the emergence of the lay Buddhism movement and strengthened the role of women in Thai Buddhism. Prior to her advancements, meditation was confined to temples and taught ...
Saturday 3rd Decemember 2011
In Buddhism, the Wheel of Samsara has many different meanings, just as does the Cross in Christianity, the Crescent Moon in Islam or the Star of David in Judaism. What do you see? I see movement. So, I'm thinking today that Thanksgiving comes and goes so quickly. Does it seem so to you? For two straight days, I observed the tireless way in which Pam prepared the special dishes of food that we might enjoy as a family. Days of preparation and, in a flash, it's over and gone for yet another year.
New Delhi, Nov 28, DHNS: Calling for a ''collective wisdom and united voice,'' Buddhist leaders gathered from across the world in the national capital have proposed the formation of a global platform to tackle pressing issues like global economic crises and climate change. Leaders of various Buddhist sects, gathered for World Buddhist Congregation that began on Sunday, had a special meeting of senior monks to discuss Buddhist solution to global problems.
By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : The struggle of Buddhist nuns to be at par with male monks intellectually and spiritually in the ranks of the 2,600-year-old faith will shift its battleground to India when the 'Sakya Dita' - daughters of the Buddha network - meets in Vaishali in Bihar for an international conclave in 2013. "We will bring nuns from different Buddhist traditions for the international Sakya Dita conference in Vaishali...And we are looking at more nuns from India.
At about my age, the Buddha left his family to seek enlightenment. Blogger James Altucher said this makes him a bad father, which I guess is true in an immediate sense. The thing about Buddhism is that it is full of seeming opposites like this. People say that Buddhism is about doing nothing, but that appearance of nothing is actually complete awareness.
Yesterday the Council on Foreign Relations had a live video interview with Aung San Suu Kyi , the Burmese dissident who spent more than 15 years in custody. Today, she received a visit from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During her talk with the council, Suu Kyi was open and forthright about the issues facing her country.
Esha Mahajan, TNN | Dec 1, 2011: No alcohol, cigarettes and sex. No reading and writing. Even talking and praying not allowed . The regimen would drive most people to despair in a day but, surprisingly, it's finding more and more converts in the city. Part of the 10-day initiation into the Buddhist practice of Vipassana, the strict routine teaches people to selfobserve and understand their nature. Experts say the quest for solace amid stressful routines is making people try not only Vipassana but other ancient Buddhist practices like Soka Gakkai as well.
By NYUNT SHWE, Tokyo; I fully agree with the responsible and most appropriate warning in the last paragraph of the Nov. 24 editorial, "Aum crimes remain misted": "People should not forget the possibility that, given the current social and economic conditions in which young people see little hope, some may be attracted by organizations that appear to offer an easy way out of their difficulties while numbing their judgment with promises of 'salvation,' 'enlightenment,' etc. Such organizations must be monitored carefully."
Thai-Lankan religious ties; On October 21, the Thai embassy organized a Royal Kathina Robes offering ceremony at the Sri Sambodhi Vihara. The King's representative, Domedej Bunnag led the Thai delegation and they were warmly welcomed by Ven Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera. Ven Kusaladhamma Thera is the Chief Incumbent of the temple. Mahanayakas of Asigiri Chapter Most Ven Udugama Suddharma Keerthi Sri Dhammadassi Rathanapala Thera and Navy Commander also graced the occasion. Bunnag said it was an honour and a great pleasure for him to lead the Royal Thai Kathina delegation to Sri Lanka. He also said that Lanka is established as a country where Buddhism will survive for more than 2000 years.
Katina at the Berlin Vihara Tissa WEERARATNA; The annual Katina Pinkama was held at the Berlin Buddhist Vihara recently. The Vassa was observed at the Vihara this year by two monks namely Ven. Yogavachara Rahula Thera, the American Buddhist monk, and Ven. Kongaspitiye Santharakkhltha Thero (the resident monk at the Berlin Vihara). During the Vassa period special Dhamma activities including Dhamma discussions, lectures, meditation classes and retreats were conducted at the Vihara.
People who meditate may be able to use their brain in ways others can't to tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand. A new study shows that experienced meditators may have less activity in parts of the brain associated with daydreaming and distraction while meditating and in their day-to-day lives.
Staying focused on one thing and being at peace within is not everyones expertise. But, a little practice could eventually help as scientists from the Yale University have affirmed that meditation apparently deactivates the portions of the brain associated with daydreaming and psychological issues like autism and schizophrenia.
The World Wildlife Fund-Nepal is planning to plant one million trees in Lumbini, the place where the Buddha is believed to have been born. They have already reached their goal for 2011 with 108,000 saplings planted. The project should require ten years total to reach the goal of one million. (Lumbini is in Nepal, located in the Himalayan foothills.) Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/one-million-trees-for-buddhas-birthplace.html#ixzz1ekGCyzZh
This is the "pilgrimage season" in Bodhgaya. Under the Bodhi tree where the Buddha achieved enlightenment, on the west side of the Mahabodhi temple, a stream of people passes in silent contemplation. The great temple they are circumambulating dates from the Gupta dynasty (fifth to sixth century), the golden age of India, whose art and architecture it splendidly embodies.
A friend and colleague in academia, David Webster, recently posted an interesting article on teaching Buddhism to college students. Its called, What Buddhism is Not: Presenting Buddhism to Students in the Twentyfirst Century, and its short and readable and very much worth a look. He writes of doing a simple web search comparing Buddhism and Islam:
London - For a lot of people the day begins amid the chaos of a transit pressure-cooker. Agitated workers wedge onto trains or buses to make the stressful commute to work and arrive feeling frazzled, a state that only worsens as the day wears on.
Stress makes us always busy for nothing. Stress is caused by conformity to standards and structures. However, if we don't conform, we are considered as bad.
Those who are interested in the on-going debate on Evolution Vs Creationism / Intelligent Design would look forward to the expected visit to Sri Lanka by the eminent atheist biologist Richard Dawkins next year. Apart from his views on evolution and theistic religions which undoubtedly would be of interest, his attitude towards non-theistic Buddhism may assume much relevance as he visits a Buddhist country.
Sichuan's Anyue (??) County is home to hundreds of thousands of carvings, statues, and scriptures representing the confluence of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism in the region.
Fostering the Sariputta tradition Indeewara DE MEL; Arahant Sariputta is a famous name in Buddhist literature among a few others: Moggallana, his colleague and Ananda, the Buddhas chief assistant. Sariputtas story starts in a village of brahmins, being born to Sari in Upatissa village. The brahmin priests named him after his hometown Upatissa. Although Sariputta later became a monk followed by his siblings, his mother could never know the Buddhas teachings. Bhikkhu Nanamoli describes a full length picture of Arahant Sariputta according to the Pali Canons.
Meditation: soothing balm to your mind Premasara EPASINGHE; There are distractions all over the place. They can be sounds, visions, physical sensations, like pains, aches, happy and unhappy memories relating to incidents, events or people. Every second, you are distracted. Added to all this, there will also be stress. It is a kind of conflict which is caused by various factors that boil from outside the universe, and it may spring up from your own Minds. All human beings face this. This is the true nature of our Monkey Mind.
New challenges for Buddhism International Buddhist Conference 2012: Ven Nivitigala Sumitta Thera; A multitude of programmes have been streamlined in every nook and corner of the Buddhist world in the wake of the 2600th anniversary of the Supreme Enlightenment of the Sakyamuni Buddha but there is a serious uncertainty vis-à-vis a proper channelization towards a careful introspection of all the schools of Buddhist thought i.e., Theravada, Mahayana and Wajrayana jelled with a veritable need of a well-coordinated mobilization of their future goals.
Life sketch of Asoka Weeraratna It was 12 April 1961. This historic day marked the first entry into space of a human being, Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut, in a rocket launched by the Soviet Union and celebrated by millions across the globe as a monumental day of scientific and technological achievement. In becoming the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin shattered boundaries of what was then thought scientifically possible by human spirit and endeavour and spawned new dreams and aspirations in space for the adventurous and ambitious.
Ishara MUDUGAMUWA and Sachitra MAHENDRA; Sri Lanka is one of the tourist hotspots in the world - its grandeur of sacred sites will raise anyone's eyebrows. Buddhism is undoubtedly a key factor linked with this heritage. It leaves one with an inevitable question: How could forefathers accomplish such idyllic wonders without any sophisticated technology? It is because of simple faith, T Y Lee offered an explanation, based on Veeriya, a Pali term for 'energy'.
MICHAEL SOWDER SPOKE ABOUT Buddhist beliefs and lifestyles and led the audience in a mediation session at the Anthropology Museum Saturday. He said people of all religious backgrounds can benefit from these techniques.
NAY PYI TAW, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Buddha sacred tooth relic was conveyed to Myanmar's new capital of Nay Pyi Taw Sunday afternoon for 48-day public obeisance in the country under the escort of venerable monks. It is the fourth time that the Chinese Buddha sacred tooth relic was brought to the country for obeisance 15 years after the last conveyance.
Rev. RAY INNEN PARCHELO is a novice Tendai priest and founder of the Red Maple Sangha, the first lay Buddhist community in Eastern Ontario. Ah, if life were only that simple. The range of possibilities that fit this scenario could easily include: Canadian soldiers since the War of 1812, bombings by the Taliban in Afghanistan or the U.S. in Hiroshima, government-approved slaughters of animal populations, killing lab rats in search of a cure and much more. Justified? Justified where? In a court, in public opinion, by history, before God? Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/Religion+Experts+killing+defend+your+country+justified/5665694/story.html#ixzz1dRnRAgzA
Place of First Sermon; Prof. Akhil Kumar Sahoo Descriptions on Place of Enlightenment and Place of First Sermon of the Buddha are found in the report of the Chinese Pilgrims: Fa-hian and Hiouen Thsang. Though in an account, it has been said that some one hundred and sixty nine pilgrims from China visited the Land of the Buddha, only names of Fa-hian and Hiouen Thsang, who visited Buddhas birthplace, the place of his death, place of his Enlightenment and First Sermon, along with many other famous places during that time, could generate interest among the historians.
Steve Jobs, a Buddhist? ;Steve Jobs stirred the world with his magnanimous creation, Apple. Its magnanimity lies in simplicity. Jobs was phrased to be the modern Einstein for his unique innovation. When he passed away his obituary was posted in the Apple website in grayscale form. Such was his simplicity. Before reaching the covetous seat of Apples CEO, Jobs is said to have been in a spiritual journey. He had travelled to India to dig more into Buddhism. How he got the wind of the ancient religion, no mention is made.
Meditation, bliss and beyond; Dr Padmaka Silva We were discussing about the individuals mentioned by Buddha in Kilesa Parinibbana Sutta. We discussed about two individuals in detail. Buddha mentioned about a person who attains Parinibbana in this life itself who practises Dhamma and meditation with ease. They do not exert themselves as much as the persons mentioned earlier. The persons mentioned earlier did not have much comforts. They had to exert a lot. They have to meditate with a lot of commitment.
It's been about 50 years since the bulk of the Asian meditation masters arrived here -- Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Vietnamese and so on. Many of us have spent our whole adult lives trying to practice and absorb what they taught us.
Buddhism and vegetarianism do not mix. 45781.jpegOne of the most common myths about Buddhism says that Buddhists must be vegetarian. Those people, who believe so, usually mix up Buddhism with other religions that appeared on the territory of India - Hinduism or Jainism. Buddha has never urged anyone to refuse from eating meat. If you are in India, it will not be hard for you to do it, if you need to.
Applying a 'one-out-one-in' view of reincarnation like it's a metaphysical maths problem isn't in the spirit of Buddhism. There are now 7 billion people on earth, a billion more than 12 years ago, and 6 billion more than two centuries ago. How does this fact fit with the Buddhist doctrine of reincarnation?