Theravada

The "Teaching of the Elders," rooted in the earliest complete teachings of the Buddha
  • An Unholy Alliance Paid Member

    Thailand’s military government, which seized control of the country in a coup last May, has taken a special interest in Thai Buddhism and the moral authority its institutions command. After settling into power and naming itself the National Council for Peace and Order, the junta immediately set off on a paternalistic mission to rid Thailand of corruption, immorality, and anything deemed “un-Thai” (like underboobs, for example). Since Buddhism makes up such an integral part of the agreed upon definition of “Thai-ness,” junta leaders quickly set their sights on religious reform, installing a special panel to focus on the “protection of Buddhism” within their National Reform Council (NRC). More »
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    Under One Umbrella Paid Member

    Buddhism: One Teacher, Many TraditionsBy The Dalai Lama and Thubten ChodronWisdom Publications, 2014352 pp.; $29.95 (Cloth)  More »
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    Living By the Canon: The Music of the Mind Paid Member

    In the Pali canon, the story is told of a king who hears a sound he has never heard before, and finds that sound to be “tantalizing, lovely, intoxicating, entrancing, and enthralling.” He asks about it and is told it is the sound of a lute. He then asks that this lute be brought to him so he can see what sort of thing it is. The lute is delivered to the king, who examines it with great interest. He takes the lute apart, piece by piece, until it is little more than a pile of splinters. He then declares disdainfully, “What a poor thing is this so-called lute.” Casting it aside, he asks, “Never mind this lute, bring me just the sound.” More »
  • The Jig Is Up Paid Member

    Sri Lanka's newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena More »
  • Guided Meditation—Week 4 Paid Member

    Ven. Pannavati has led weekly guided meditations each Monday in March for Meditation Month. Check the blog for the previous installments in this series. Download the transcript of this retreat. It has been edited for clarity.  Ven. Pannavati will respond to reader questions posted below. More »
  • Not Playing Nice Paid Member

    Myanmar's parliament building It’s election year in Myanmar, the big test for the country’s aspiring democratic transition. Among the spirited national debates there are four controversial pieces of legislation currently under consideration in Myanmar’s Assembly of the Union parliament (the Pyidaungsu hluttaw). These reportedly aim to protect race and religion. But in truth, the bills represent a setback for religious freedom and women’s rights and—if adopted—are likely to deepen existing religious divides, threaten the reform agenda, and stir violence prior to the elections. More »