on translation

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    What's in a Name? Paid Member

    SO MANY DIFFERENT NAMES exist for the Buddha that one might, in the course of perusing ancient texts or contemporary literature, easily assume that Gotama and Gautama and Shakyamuni and Siddhartha were the best of friends .. In fact, among dozens of appellations, these are only the famiial names for the man who became the historical Buddha. Furthermore, questions such as when to use the Pali version or the Sanskrit, or what context is most appropriate or which name, are not confined to etymologIcal conslderations, but are part of a broader process of translating Buddhism into our own cultural alphabet. More »
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    The Bodhisattva Vows Paid Member

    The Great Vows, known as the Bodhisattva Vows, probably originated in China around the sixth century and may have been derived from an earlier Sanskrit gatha (a four-line verse that sums up an aspect of the dharma, and is often a vow). At the turn of the eighth century we find Chinese Zen master Hui-neng teaching their implications. Today they are recited at the end of services in most Mahayana centers. More »
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    Mother of the Buddhas Paid Member

    The following is a discussion between Shakyamuni Buddha and his close disciple Ananda about the Six Transcendent Perfections: Ananda: The omniscient Lord Buddha, embodiment of universal enlightenment, does not single out for praise the Perfection of Generosity, the Perfection of Goodness, the Perfection of Patience, the Perfection of Commitment, or the Perfection of Meditation. Only the peerless Perfection of Wisdom, transcendent insight into the insubstantiality and transparent functioning of all possible phenomena, does Lord Buddha continuously mention, ecstatically praise, intensively teach, and radiantly transmit. Lord Buddha: You have observed accurately, beloved Ananda. The Perfection of Wisdom alone generates and sustains the other five transcendent Perfections that constitute the way of the bodhisattva, the transformation or translation into selflessness of the conventional, egocentric universe. More »
  • Minding the Storehouse Paid Member

    Although most of us are intimately identified with the contents and functions of our minds, we never make the attempt to actually see what goes on there. If we did, we might see what the Buddha saw over two thousand years ago: that we are not of one mind, but many, and that these various minds are refracted by different states of mind (or states of consciousness). More »
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    When the Buddha Bowed Out Paid Member

    "Who are you?" said the Caterpillar.This was not a very encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.""What do you mean by that?" said the Caterpillar sternly. "Explain yourself!""I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir," said Alice, "because I'm not myself, you see.""I don't see," said the Caterpillar."I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly," Alice replied, very politely, "for I can't understand it myself, to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing. ""It isn't," said the Caterpillar. More »
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    "That's Very Zen" Paid Member

    “The Zen of what?”“Harmonica,” she said.“That’s what I thought you said.” I was standing outside the door of a classroom at a New Age center in New York. The woman in question had just emerged from a room where twenty or thirty people were jumping up and down, all playing the harmonica at once. I was taking a break from the writing workshop I was giving next door. “What kind of Zen do you teach?” she asked. More »