Buddhism

  • Who discovered tea? Paid Member

    Was it Bodhidharma (the Indians and Zen Buddhists think so) or Emperor Shen Nung (all of China thinks so) who discovered tea? The emperor found that it kept his soldiers alert, while Bodhidharma, marathon meditator that he was, discovered that it helped keep him awake in meditation (in his commitment to stay awake, Bodhidharma severed his eyelids, from which sprang forth the first tea plant). You decide whose uses are most noble. So who was it? It'll depend on where you are when you ask—in other words, there is no answer—but there are good and reliable tips for everything from choosing the right tea to brewing a cup to cleaning your teapot. More »
  • The World Without Us Paid Member

    I came across an Elephant Journal tweet that took me to this, by Jay Winston: Hell, pumping every kind of toxin into our ground, air, and water while carelessly wasting every natural resource we can find is perhaps the single most defining characteristic of human society. Nonetheless, in big-picture terms, our total effect on Mother Earth really hasn’t amounted to anything more serious than a bad case of planetary eczema or psoriasis. And, the way things are going, we won’t be bothering her for long. More »
  • How the clouds of thinking clear & 6 Words of Sage Advice Paid Member

    Ken McLeod is currently leading a Tricycle Retreat (you can listen to his first talk to "The Way of Freedom" here). Included in his teaching is his translation of Tilopa's Pith Instructions on Mahamudra. (Tilopa is considered the founder of Tibetan Buddhism's Kagyu lineage.) Here's a verse: Mists rise from the earth and vanish into space. They go nowhere, nor do they stay. Likewise, though thoughts arise, Whenever you see your mind, the clouds of thinking clear. More »
  • Surviving the dragon Paid Member

    Tsering Namgyal writes for phayul.com today that Arjia Rinpoche, former tutor to the last Panchen Lama, spoke to the Tibetan community in Minneapolis this week about his book Surviving the Dragon: A Tibetan Lama's Account of 40 Years under Chinese Rule, published earlier this year. Arjia Rinpoche fled Tibet when he was asked to tutor the Panchen Lama's Chinese-appointed successor (the successor the Dalai Lama selected disappeared into Chinese custody in 1995 and hasn't been heard from since). More »
  • The Path of Supreme Optimism Paid Member

    Today's Daily Dharma: Buddhism is a path of supreme optimism, for one of its basic tenets is that no human life or experience is to be wasted or forgotten, but all should be transformed into a source of wisdom and compassionate living. This is the connotation of the classical statement that sums up the goal of Buddhist life: "Transform delusion into enlightenment." On the everyday level of experience, Shin Buddhists speak of this transformation as "bits of rubble turn into gold." Taitetsu Unno, "Number One Fool" (Spring 2008) Sign up for Daily Dharma here. Read the full article: Number One Fool More »
  • Be a child of illusion Paid Member

    Each Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, comments on one of Atisha's 59 mind-training (Tib. lojong) slogans, which serve as the basis for a complete practice. Following each commentary Judy offers us a weekly practice. Here is Slogan 6 (each slogan provides links to the previous slogans, including a two-part discussion of their history and use in practice). I've been following along each week myself—a good way to stay grounded—rather ungrounded!—in my practice. 6. In postmeditation, be a child of illusion. Practice can be divided into two: meditation and postmeditation. More »