Thus have I heard

  • Fake Buddha Quotes Paid Member

    In a rare burst of creative energy, the Tricycle team went a step further when it came to illustrating Thanissaro Bhikkhu's article "Lost In Quotation," a piece about what we miss when we don't read the whole sutta. We actually created the art ourselves: We know. Artistic genius. In all seriousness, the amount of "fake Buddha quotes" in circulation, especially on the Internet, is staggering. Those Post-It note quotes might look nice on your refrigerator and in your day-planner, but they can actually be problematic. People end up formulating their perception of what the Buddha said based on these snapshot quotes that are often totally made up. More »
  • Mayadevi and the Birth of the Buddha Paid Member

    The birth of the Buddha was preceded by portents: In a dream, a white elephant holding a lotus circumambulated the Buddha's future mother, Queen Maya, three times before striking her on the right side with his trunk and disappearing inside her. The Buddha was later born in Lumbini, as recounted in our Mother's Day post last year: At the time of the Buddha's birth more than 2,500 years ago, Lumbini was a grove of natural grandeur, bursting with rare and beautiful flowers, where bees of five different colors hummed. Queen Maya Devi was passing through this earthly paradise on the way to her parent's house in Devadaha, capital of the Koliya kingdom, from Kapilavastu when the pangs of labor hit. After bathing in a nearby pond the queen walked 25 paces, took support of a Saal tree branch and gave birth standing up. She died a week later. More »
  • Why is there so much snow this winter? Paid Member

    The Buddha was known for occasionally frustrating his questioners with silence, which led to accusations of his ignorance about the topic being pursued. But to think this is to mistake the Buddha's intention. From Skill in Questions (the chapter is Questions Put Aside: II): More »
  • Answering The Questioner's Needs Paid Member

    In his book Skill in Questions, Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu describes the Buddha's skill in answering the needs of each questioner: More »
  • Download Skill in Questions by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Paid Member

    Shortly after his awakening, the Buddha despaired of his ability to teach others what he had learned: “The thought occurred to me, ‘This Dhamma I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment [alaya], is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality [idappaccayata] & dependent co-arising [paticca samuppada] are hard to see. This state too is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; unbinding (nibbana). And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.‘" (Majjhima Nikaya 26)More »
  • On What is Heard Paid Member

    This weekend there was a little too much honesty or plainspokenness going on in my family and feelings were hurt and there are negative reverberations still coming down the rails. It was all avoidable, and it was all done with the best of intentions. I saw it coming and reverted to my usual, cowardly strategy of keeping quiet if in doubt. My reasons for not speaking up were not noble. The following is from—or rather, is—the brief and confusingly named Suta Sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya (AN 4.183) as presented on Access to Insight, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: More »