ethics

  • What's Ethics Got to Do with It? Paid Member

    As mindfuness has made greater inroads into public life—from hospitals, to schools, to the workplace—its growing distance from Buddhist thought and practice has become a hotly contested issue. Is mindfulness somehow deficient because it lacks Buddhist ethics, and should Buddhist ethics be replicated in mindfulness programs and workshops? More »
  • Personal Heaven, Personal Hell Paid Member

    A Sri Lankan monk once told me, “There is no doubt: if you follow the five precepts, you will be happy. You will live a good life.” We were standing outside the Mahabodhi Temple, in Bodh Gaya, India, discussing the Buddhist path for lay followers. At that point in my life, the monk’s words struck me as uncomplicatedly true. I was living in a Buddhist monastery as part of the Antioch Buddhist Studies program and observing the five precepts with such fervency that I wouldn’t borrow my roommate’s flashlight for even a minute without asking first. “What if she comes back to her room and needs her flashlight while you have it?” my teacher asked sensibly. “It’s a way of avoiding unnecessary complications.” The four months I spent in India were undoubtedly the happiest, simplest days of my life. More »
  • Taking Vows (and Buddhism) Seriously Paid Member

    The following guest blogpost comes our way from Lama Jampa Thaye, a scholar, author, and meditation master from the UK, trained in both the Karma Kagyu and Sakya traditions of Tibetan Buddhim. A few months ago, Lama Jampa wrote a blogpost titled Buddhism and the Age of Compassion, in which he cautioned against confusing compassion with sentimentality and spoke of the importance of having an ethical foundation at the core of our spiritual endeavors. From the post: More »
  • Precepts & Commandments Paid Member

    From novice Tendai priest Innen Parchelo, in the Ottawa Citizen's "Ask the Religion Experts": Q: What is the relation between religious laws and state law? A: There is no parallel between the teaching of the Buddha and the traditions of the Old or New Testaments or the Koran as "God's Law." Dharma declares "the way things are," not a statement of rules or an invocation to behave in some particular way. ... Buddhists, then, are encouraged to relate to national or local systems of legal structures in a combination of good citizenship and spiritual conscience. We must evaluate any conflict between our obligations as good citizens and good Buddhists and make "in the moment" decisions about our actions. More »