Buddhism

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    Without Compassion, What Hope? Paid Member

    Q: Is there any cause for optimism? A: Well, personally, yeah. Everybody's got a life to lead and they've got a bodhisattva tendency, everybody wants to do good, so I just think on a personal level, yeah. On a larger scale, there doesn't seem to be any hope unless compassion becomes a more widespread important teaching on how to live. Compassion to self and others. –Allen Ginsberg, from "Spontaneous Intelligence: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg," Tricycle, Fall 1995 Read the complete article. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »
  • The path doesn’t save all its pleasure for the end. You can enjoy it now. Paid Member

    When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince. Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches the joy of effort by explaining that "the path doesn’t save all its pleasure for the end. You can enjoy it now." Read the rest here. [Image: Explosions in the Sky, David Poppie, 2007, mixed-media collage, 24 x 24 in.] More »
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    Is there an ethical way to visit Burma? Paid Member

    There has been plenty of discussion about the ethics of traveling to Burma, although its repressive government has been impervious to just about any kind of pressure the outside world applies. While there are Buddhist practitioners who visit monasteries to practice on extended retreats, most other travel has been frowned upon by many activists. But today's Washington Post lists a few tour agencies that "are mindful of the ongoing ethical debate about visiting Burma and have taken measures to ensure that at least some of their tourist dollars go to support small, locally owned businesses and not the repressive military dictatorship." More »
  • The Just War: Do the Buddhist teachings ever allow for violence? Paid Member

    A lively discussion followed a recent post here on the Army's first Buddhist chaplain. The latest response comes from John Scorsine, a military officer in the National Guard and a newly ordained Buddhist minister, who writes, "This question of the reconciliation of Buddhism and being a professional at arms has been a defining matter of inquiry for me." Scorsine continues, describing his discussion of this issue with the Dalai Lama: When I asked HHDL what in his view was the karmic consequence for killing for one’s country or for being killed in battle he responed: “And over here, liturgically speaking, most important is motivation and goal. Now goal to serve interest for larger community and motivation – compassionate motivation. Genuine sense of care. And then, if the circumstances, there’s no other way, only the violent way, then violence is permissible. More »
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    Daily Dharma - The sound of one dog barking Paid Member

    Human beings understand too much. But what they understand is just somebody's opinion. Like a dog barking. American dogs say, "Woof, woof." Korean dogs say, "Mung, mung." Polish dogs say, "How, how." So which dog barking is correct? This is human beings' barking, not dog barking. If dog and you become one hundred percent one, then you know sound of barking. This is Zen teaching. Boom! Become one. –Seung Sahn, from "Boom! More »
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    Sit down, rise up! Paid Member

    Ethan Nicthern's One City: A Declaration of Independence will give you a pretty good idea of what his work is all about. Committed to creating a "bridge" between contemplative practice and activism, Nichtern and his organization, the Interdependence Project, have evolved since the book appeared. We've seen the launch of Beliefnet's One City blog and  the growth and increasing visibility of the ID Project, which has recently relaunched its website. More »