Theravada

  • A Path of Dissent Paid Member

    The Dalai Lama sent a letter to Sulak Sivaraksa last week to wish him a happy 80th birthday. I remember our initial meeting during my first visit to Thailand more than 40 years ago when we were both younger men. Our paths have crossed many times since then. I continue to admire your work you have done to draw attention to the problems facing humanity and the courage with which you have offered suggestions for solving them…. I also appreciate the determination with which you have shown Buddhist teachings and practice to be relevant in the world today. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Dagger-Wielding Monks and Mindfulness in Service of the Bottom Line Paid Member

    Just hours ago, Burmese President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in central Burma due to killing, destruction of property, and general rioting in the streets of the town of Meikhtila. Violence erupted following a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and Buddhist customers. After four nearby gold shops were burnt to the ground, a 1,000-strong mob of Buddhists ran riot through the Muslim neighborhood. The death toll is currently being reported at at least 20, but this number will likely rise. More »
  • Refuge in the Dharma: A Dharma Talk by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Paid Member

    In this dharma talk given at Downtown New York Meditation Community last week, Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu describes what it means to take refuge in the dharma. He explains that the need to take refuge in the dharma is predicated upon a sense of danger that always faces us, external danger as well as danger to the mind. Refuge provides protection from both. The ultimate protection, however, is nirvana, which is one of many words for the goal of Buddhist practice. Interestingly enough, other words for nirvana, Thanissaro Bhikkhu suggests, might be translated as "security," "harbor," "protection," or "refuge."   More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist-Muslim Relations and a Harlem Shake Koan Paid Member

    Many predominantly Buddhist countries in lower Asia are also home to substantial populations of Muslims. Likewise, a number of Muslim countries are home to Buddhist minorities. Majority-minority relations can be contentious, but add ethno-religious lines to the mix and things can easily degenerate from prejudicial policy-making to unbridled violence. (Take Rakhine Buddhist violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, for example, which Tricycle covers in its most recent issue.) More »
  • Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi on his Gradual Awakening to Politics Paid Member

    In the current issue of Parabola, Theravada Buddhist monk and teacher Bhikkhu Bodhi writes about his spiritual journey—from his solitary quest toward personal liberation to a life of politics and social action. Believing that he could most benefit the world by working on himself, Bhikkhu Bodhi retreated to a monastery in Sri Lanka, only to later discover, through contact with the eminent Ven. Nyanaponika, that the manifestations of the mental defilements which wreak havoc on both the individual and the world called for precise social investigation and the development of social conscience. He also came to notice at this time "a perceptible disconnect between the reckless courses along which the world was careening and the complacent, almost self-absorbed attitudes...among many American Buddhists": More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 13: Get thee to the cushion Paid Member

    I've heard plenty of discussions about how difficult it can be to establish a regular meditation practice. There are whole lists of tips about how to go about this. But the best advice I've ever heard is short and sweet and comes from the Buddha himself: Here are the roots of trees. Here are empty places.Get down and meditate. Don't be lazy.Don't become one who is later remorseful.That is my instruction to you. This comes from Bhikkhunupassaya Sutta, in which the Buddha explains what "directed" and "undirected" meditation are. (If you want to know more about these two forms of meditation, you can read Andrew Olendzki's translation of the sutta here.) More »