Sunday, 29 July 2018

Prostatitis: 'How I meditated away chronic pelvic pain'



By Henri Astier BBC News 


'...It is not all "in the mind" - you cannot meditate away diabetes or kidney stones. But clinical trials have suggested that mindfulness has health benefits, including:

    Boosting the immune system
    Slowing Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative diseases
    Treating general anxiety disorder and depression
    Alleviating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children
    Reducing high blood pressure

Over a year, Karl listened to me, devised specific stretches and, most importantly, changed the way I approached my symptoms. "The idea that you can control your pain makes some people freak out," he told me. "But I find it liberating."

He taught me to stop dwelling on what was wrong. Early on, he got me to ditch the cushion, which he said was focusing my mind back on the condition.

When I told Karl that my diary confirmed his method was working, he suggested that the pain chart was another security blanket to discard. My improvement continued, no less tangible for remaining unrecorded.
Signal failure

Last December, I had my first pain-free days in 18 months. Soon they became the norm.

Admittedly, there is no proof that a switch in mindset cured me. No-one has done a rigorous study on meditation as a treatment for CPPS. It is possible that I would have got better anyway. And it might not work for others.

But my path to healing is consistent with an emerging medical consensus about the link between mental stress and pain. Any form of chronic pain, Dr Rees points out, involves "central sensitisation", where the brain becomes overly receptive to signals sent by nerves. The more you fear pain, the more you feel it.

Conversely, he says, being relaxed makes you less responsive to pain signals: "The mind is such a big factor in the way we respond to pain." ...     Read it all here



Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Englishman reincarnates as Druze toddler




From Breitbart

...O’Neal Mahmoud, 3.5, who was named after former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal and lives in the Druze town of Majdal Shams, didn’t speak until the age of 2, something that worried his parents and grandparents.

Then all of a sudden he started speaking in fluent English, replete with terms such as “My dear” and “Oh my goodness,” according to family members and experts who were interviewed on Channel 10’s “Real Faces” in a Hebrew-language report about O’Neal.
Promos for the TV report promised that by the end viewers would believe in reincarnation, since that seemed to be the only plausible explanation for O’Neal’s peculiar native-tongue. Transmigration of the soul is central to the Druze faith.

“I don’t understand every word, and sometimes I tell him, ‘Yes, okay’ but I don’t understand what he’s saying,” his grandfather Yahya Shams told Channel 10...    Read it all





Monday, 21 May 2018

Why Buddhism is True



From The Tribune 

By B L Chakoo

"...Skeptical, Wright tries to proceed with ‘appropriate humility’ as he makes his argument that Buddhism’s ‘diagnosis of the human predicament’ is fundamentally true and correct, and that its prescription is valid and important.

Beautifully written and persuasively argued, Why Buddhism is True is the most accessible book on some of Buddhism’s extraordinary, even radical, claims. It details Wright’s straightforward, scientific interpretations of the fundamentals, found across the major Buddhist traditions, even if ‘they get different degrees of emphasis, and may assume somewhat different form, in different traditions.’ Steeped in evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience, Wright bridges in this captivating study the philosophical subtleties of Buddhism and brain science with ease.

A groundbreaking synthesis of the science of Buddhism, the book presents fascinating and lucid explanations of dukkha (commonly translated as ‘suffering’ or as ‘unsatisfactoriness’); anatta (non-existence of one’s self), the impermanence of the things we think of ‘as parts of the self’, and enlightenment that in the Buddhist sense has something in common with ‘enlightenment in the Western scientific world’. In fact, these explanations can let you experience your own feelings — love, anger, pain, sorrow, happiness or pleasure — with new sensitivity.

The book draws upon the latest research to show how to stimulate and strengthen your brain through meditative practices for more fulfilling relationships, a genuine spiritual life, and a greater sense of ‘inner confidence and worth..."

Read it all 


See also  Evolution, Emptiness and Delusions of the Darwinian Brain

Monday, 23 April 2018

Is the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar really just an example of “Buddhist terror”?





From Jihadwatch  by Robert Spencer

"...Few news outlets reported that the conflict had intensified in the summer and fall of 2017 because of an August 2017 jihad attack on Myanmar police and border posts. And hardly any news reports informed the public about the roots of the conflict: the Rohingya Muslims had actually been waging jihad against the Buddhists of Myanmar for nearly two centuries.
I tell the truth that has not been told about the jihad against the Buddhists of Myanmar in my forthcoming book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Discover:

  • The shockingly bloody centuries of jihad in India and its environs that set the stage for the modern-day conflict with the Rohingyas;
  • The foreign power that enabled and encouraged Muslim settlement in Arakan, an area in western Burma now known as Rakhine state;
  • How the Rohingya Muslims renewed their jihad against the Buddhists during World War II;
  • Rohingya attempts to create an Islamic state in Burma
  • How the Rohingya began the present conflict with the Buddhists of Myanmar;
  • Much more.   "
Read it all 


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Meditations on Death - Buddhist and Stoic





Want to enjoy life? Take some time to think about your death

From Quartz by
Antonia Macaro

Memento mori — invitations to reflect on our own mortality—have been common throughout history. Two ancient traditions that made reflection on death central to their paths are Buddhism and Stoicism. For both, the starting point is the fact that our normal perceptions of value are deeply flawed, as we are constantly craving or loathing things that in reality are unimportant. The Buddhist texts offer a neat list of these: gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. The Stoics had a word for them, which translates as ‘indifferents’. The things that we are so keen to pursue—wealth, material possessions, sense pleasures, comfort, success, people’s approval, romantic love and so on—are bound to disappoint and distract us from what really matters, which is our ethical and spiritual progress...

... One of the most striking examples of this is the meditation on corpses presented in the Buddhist Satipatthana Sutta. In ancient India, corpses were left out in ‘charnel grounds’, and people would have had the opportunity to observe the various stages of decomposition. The text is nothing if not thorough, describing in some detail ‘a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground—one, two or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter…being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or various kinds of worms’, eventually turning into ‘bones rotten and crumbling to dust’. On observing this, the monk reminds himself that ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’...

...The ancients knew that such practices should be handled with care. Their intention was to elicit equanimity, not aversion. The Buddha warns that if a meditation of this kind were to evoke loathing, the monk should switch to a different one. To illustrate this, one discourse reports the case of a group of monks who engage so enthusiastically with contemplating the unattractiveness of the body that a number of them end up killing themselves. On finding out what happened, the Buddha decides to teach the survivors the more soothing practice of mindfulness instead...


Read it all here

Saturday, 17 March 2018

American Buddhism: from freaky weirdos to spirituality of the elite




"...Within a century, Buddhism in America has gone from being frequently portrayed as a “dangerous cult” to becoming the prime spiritual practice of the business elite...."


From  Quartz at Work   by Ryan Anningson


See also The Future of Buddhism in the West: SWOT Analysis




Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

McMindfulness: Buddhism as sold to you by neoliberals



by Peter Doran

"...Stripped of its ethical and contextual roots, mindfulness-based practices borrowed from Buddhist and Zen lineages risk shoring up the very sources of suffering from which the Buddha set out to liberate himself and others. But practised correctly, mindfulness – aligned with and informed by acknowledgement of powerful institutional sources of suffering – can be a pathway to critical engagement and resistance."

Read it all here 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful.



"The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful.

If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions.

If we train in meditation, our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Usually we find it difficult to control our mind. It seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind – blown here and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. 

For example, if we get what we want, such as a new possession or a new partner, we become excited and cling to them tightly.

However, since we cannot have everything we want, and since we will inevitably be separated from the friends and possessions we currently enjoy, this mental stickiness, or attachment, serves only to cause us pain. On the other hand, if we do not get what we want, or if we lose something that we like, we become despondent or irritated..." more




What to Meditate On 

Sitting in Meditation 

Preparing for Meditation 

The Meditation Session 

A Meditation Schedule

Meditation Retreat

Kadampa Working Dad 

Kadampa Life



'Modern Buddhism' now in Public Domain


Leading Buddhist author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has released the authoritative Modern Buddhism into the public domain as pdf files and eBook formats.

The book is downloadable in three volumes free of charge. 



 


Topics include:

Volume 1 Sutra
- Introduction
- Paths of Initial, Middling and Great scope
- Bodhichitta, Love and Compassion
- The Six Perfections
- Emptiness of Body, Mind, Ego and the Eight Extremes
- Conventional and Ultimate Truths
- the Union of the Two Truths
- Lamrim



Volume 2 Tantra

- Introduction to Tantra
- Correcting Misunderstandings
- Relation of Sutra to Tantra
- Tantra of Generation Stage
- Tantra of Completion Stage
- The Subtle Body: Channels, Drops, Winds and the Mind
- Mahamudra
- Great Bliss
- Heruka Body Mandala
- Instructions of Vajrayogini
- Yogas of Sleeping, Rising and Experiencing Nectar




Volume 3 Prayers for Daily Practice



- Liberating Prayer
- Prayers for Meditation
- The Yoga of Buddha Heruka
- Blissful Journey
- Quick Path to Great Bliss
- Liberation from Sorrow (Prayers to the very popular female Buddha Tara)
- Avalokiteshvara Sadhana

- Glossary
- Bibliography
- Study Programmes of Kadampa Buddhism
- Tharpa Offices Worldwide
- Index
- Further Reading

About the author




Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dalai Lama warns against growth of Islam in Europe

Islam WILL dominate!


























In something of a U-turn from his previous praise for all things Islamic, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recently warned of the dangers of the growth of Islam in Europe.


From Breitbart

"...there are too many at the moment… Europe, Germany in particular, cannot become an Arab country, Germany is Germany”.
 
“There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.”
The Dalai Lama added that “from a moral point of view too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily”.

“The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.”
His comments are almost the same as those made by Europe’s anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement, and similar to comments made by groups like France’s Front National, Germany’s Alternative Fur Deutschland, and to a lesser extent, Britain’s UK Independence Party.

Speaking to Germany’s Frankfurter Allegemier Zeitung newspaper, the Dalai Lama, who is perhaps the world’s most famous refugee himself said this weekend: “The goal should be to return and help rebuild their own countries”.

But these groups are usually lambasted as “racist” or “xenophobic” for saying so..."

".. It’s impossible for everyone to come to Europe,” he added.
“‘Taking in a few thousand refugees is wonderful but in the meantime you have to think about a long term solution too – through development and education in these Muslim countries.”

Since Islam is theologically committed to destroying Buddhism, the current rapid Islamization of Europe must inevitably lead to persecution of European Buddhists in the way that European Jews are already being targeted.



Thursday, 11 February 2016

Tricycle Talks: Buddhism and Psychedelics




In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Allan Badiner and Don Lattin discuss the complex relationship between spiritual practice and psychedelic experiences. They also examine a new wave of clinical research that uses psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD, addiction, depression, and other mental illnesses. Badiner is the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, an inquiry into the moral, ethical, and spiritual implications of blending Buddhist thought with the use of hallucinogens. Lattin is a reporter and author of the bestselling book The Harvard Psychedelic Club.   



See also  Buddhism, Shamanism and the use of hallucinogens

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Dalai Lama praises Quran and example of Prophet Mohammed.


From From  Karnataka Muslims  

The Sacred Quran is Gift of God to humanity: Dalai Lama

Mysore: “The Holy Quran is the Sacred Book which is a priceless Gift of God given to mankind for guidance and welfare of the entire humanity,” said Dalai Lama who is attending a grand global meet of Buddhists near here. Thousands of the followers of Buddhism from around the world thronged the venue for their world congregation at Buddhist Monastery in Bylakuppa, Mysore.

After the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama delivered his “global address,” a delegation of Central Muslim Association of Karnataka (CMA), Tumkur District had a special audience with him. The delegation comprising CMA District President Mushtaq Ahmad, Altaf Hussain, Mahesh, and Naveen Kumar apprised him of the nature and importance of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birth day and the recent grand celebrations of “Eid-e-Meelad un Nabi” throughout the world.

Dalai Lama lauded the great services of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the mankind and said, “the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) entire life is the best example for the entire humanity.” Paying rich tributes to the Prophet he said, “We should follow the path shown by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in order to establish global peace and to end terrorism and tyranny from the world. The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) message of Peace, love, justice and religious tolerance will always be a leading light for the whole humanity.”

Mushtaq Ahmad presented a copy of the English translated Quran and other Islamic Books to him. Dalai Lama received it with reverence, touched with eyes, kissed it and said, “the Holy Quran is the Sacred Book given by God for the guidance of humanity.”

Also reported at Muslim Issues, News 786
Deccan TV  and Siasat


Unfortunately, His Holiness's interfaith inclusiveness is not reciprocated by the Mohammedans, (by the way, there's an excellent example of Petitio Principii in section 11 of these supremacist ramblings)

Despite kuffar religious leaders' attempts to flatter and placate the Mohammedans, interfaith dialog  between other religions and Mohammedanism is a complete waste of time and always will be.

Monday, 7 December 2015

A Buddhist Christmas Carol



 
"You are fettered,'' said Scrooge, trembling.  "Tell me why?''
 

"I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?''

Scrooge trembled more and more.
 

"Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, "the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!''

Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.
 

"Jacob,'' he said, imploringly.  "Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob...''

... here's a Buddhist interpretation of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas story.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Why nothing composed of matter can be inherently existent


Ten properties of inherently existent entities:
 

(1) An inherently existing entity exists in splendid isolation without the need to reference any other entity. It is completely defined by its own nature.

(2) An inherently existing entity is uncaused.

(3) It is indestructible.

(4) It is eternal.

(5) It is unchanging when viewed externally.

(6) It cannot undergo any internal changes of state.

(7) It either has no constituent parts, or if it has parts those parts are inseparable.

(8) Consequently, nothing can be ejected or removed from it.

(9) Nothing can be added to it (this would change its definition).

(10) No change in external conditions (up to and including the destruction of the entire universe) can affect it.


The fact that an inherently existent object would be indestructible rules out anything composed of physical particles being inherently existent, because every subatomic particle is in principle destructible.   Every particle of matter can be annihilated in a burst of energy when it reacts with its corresponding antiparticle, in accordance with the familiar mass–energy equivalence equation,
E = mc2 .


More at Buddhist Philosophy

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Buddha of Absolute Freedom



by Karen Dobres  at The Huffington Post

 
"...The Buddha of Absolute Freedom doesn't live up a mountain but in Kilburn, Hackney, Essex... anywhere. He turns out to be a state of unshakeable and genuine happiness that anyone can reveal, because it's already in there somewhere waiting to get out.

The trick is to believe that and to let him out. So I'm trying every day to let her out. Not up a mountain, not even sitting cross-legged. Just trying to be me..."  read it all

Friday, 6 November 2015

Ku Klux Klan church targets Buddhists in Thailand.


Give me that old time religion

The Southern Baptist Church, notorious for its support of the Ku Klux Klan, is now attempting to convert Thai Buddhists to their brimstone-burning version of Christianity.    Why  they should be targetting these 'sons of Ham' (people of color)  isn't clear.   Maybe they're looking for a new supply of slaves  since the last lot got uppity.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Neuroscience backs up the Buddhist belief that “the self” isn’t constant, but ever-changing

This could be YOU

From Quartz 

by Olivia Goldhill

"While you may not remember life as a toddler, you most likely believe that your selfhood then—your essential being—was intrinsically the same as it is today.

Buddhists, though, suggest that this is just an illusion—a philosophy that’s increasingly supported by scientific research.

“Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness,” Evan Thompson, a philosophy of mind professor at the University of British Columbia, tells Quartz. “And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”

Neuroscience and Buddhism came to these ideas independently, but some scientific researchers have recently started to reference and draw on the Eastern religion in their work—and have come to accept theories that were first posited by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago...."  Read it all



Related posts

Sutra and Tantra in Buddhism

The webcrawler in your mind.


The Emptiness of the Mind in Kadampa Buddhism



Sunday, 1 November 2015

Blasphemy laws versus the inalienable right to cause religious offense.



Should religions and their founders be uniquely protected against criticism and ridicule, in a way that political and philosophical systems are not?  And if so, what would happen if the Nazi Party started marketing itself as a religion? Would that put Nazism and Der Fuhrer beyond criticism?

 

Alternatively, should religions have to take their chance in the free marketplace of ideas, as do secular belief systems?

Here's a thought-provoking article by philosopher Roger Scruton:


"To people like me, educated in post-war Britain, free speech has been a firm premise of the British way of life. As John Stuart Mill expressed the point:

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

 
That famous statement is not the last word on the question, but it is the first word and was, during my youth, the received opinion of all educated people. The law, we believed, would protect the heretics, the dissidents and the doubters against any punishments devised to intimidate or silence them, for the very reason that truth and argument are sacred, and must be protected from those who seek to suppress them.

Moreover, public opinion was entirely on the side of the law, ready to shame those who assumed the right to silence their opponents, whatever the matter under discussion, and however extreme or absurd the views expressed.

All that is now changing. Under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, it is an offence to stir up hatred towards religious and racial groups. "Stirring up hatred" is an expression both loaded and undefined. Do I stir up hatred towards a religious group by criticising its beliefs in outspoken terms?..."
 

Ed Miliband promised last April that a future Labour government would make Islamophobia into an aggravated criminal offence, and meanwhile the consequences for a civil servant, a policeman or a teacher of being accused of this fault are serious in the extreme."
 

This takes us back to what John Stuart Mill had in mind. It is not falsehood that causes the greatest offence, but truth. You can endure insults and abuse when you know them to be false. But if the remarks that offend you are true, their truth becomes a dagger in the soul - you cry "lies!" at the top of your voice, and know that you must silence the one who utters them..."
 
More here


Fortunately, in contrast to some of the more intellectually-challenged religions,  Buddhism has no need of special protection from criticism, as it is firmly grounded in philosophy and science


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Buddhist Halloween


























Should Buddhists celebrate the ancient Celtic Druid festival of Halloween?     What did the Druids have in common with Buddhists?



Monday, 12 October 2015

Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs, the name of Asoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star.



 


From Lankaweb 

”Ashoka (264 to 227 B.C.), one of the great monarchs of history, whose dominions extended from Afghanistan to Madras… is the only military monarch on record who abandoned warfare after victory. 


He had invaded Kalinga (255 B.C.), a country along the east coast of Madras, perhaps with some intention of completing the conquest of the tip of the Indian peninsula. The expedition was successful, but he was disgusted by what be saw of the cruelties and horrors of war. He declared, in certain inscriptions that still exist, that he would no longer seek conquest by war, but by religion, and the rest of his life was devoted to the spreading of Buddhism throughout the world.

He seems to have ruled his vast empire in peace and with great ability. He was no mere religious fanatic. For eight and twenty years Asoka worked sanely for the real needs of men. 

Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Asoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star. From the Volga to Japan his name is still honoured. 

China, Tibet, and even India, though it has left his doctrine, preserve the tradition of his greatness. More living men cherish his memory to-day than have ever heard the names of Constantine or Charlemagne...”    Read it all

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Low karma insect spray


Dettol surface cleanser isn't marketed as an insect spray, it isn't an insecticide and it doesn't kill insects. However one of its properties (which isn't mentioned on the label) is the ability to subdue insects.

A well-aimed squirt will  stop the most energetic bluebottle in mid flight so that it drops to the ground, then wanders around slowly in a tranquillised state where it may be picked up and escorted off the premises.    Flies that aren't removed will recover in a few minutes and then start buzzing round again.

The product is low-toxicity, low allergenicity and may be used in food preparation areas and for cleaning babies' high chairs and changing mats.

So if you want to avoid the karma of killing sentient beings, and the consequences of spraying your home and family with insecticidal  toxins and allergens, give it a try. At worst you may be creating the karmic causes to one day be ejected from an establishment in an inebriated state.




Saturday, 26 September 2015

Adorable bunnies put through hell for European petfood.


Farm rabbits crammed into cages

European animal lovers, next time you see the words 'containing rabbit' on your pet's food package, spare a thought for the lives of young rabbits put through a life of suffering from babyhood to the time they are minced into a food supplement.

From the Daily Express

"...Sickening details of the cruelty have emerged from farms in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece, which offers an insight into the miserable lives of more than 330 million rabbits..."

"...Despite being one of Britain's favourite pets, many of the rabbits are turned into food for pets, much of which is bound for the UK..."

"...The animals are confined to small wire cages, which they are born in and where they stay until slaughter 80 days later..."


"...While newborns are crushed against the wire to kill themselves or left to fall through the sharp metal bars on the floor of their cramped hutches - where they will starve to death....

"...The bodies of these dead animals are then simply left to rot, with other rabbits forced to walk across the carcasses to make their way around the cramped cage..."


May Arya Tara take all these sentient beings to her pure land, and may Dorje Shugden make the perpetrators and enablers of this evil trade become aware of the horrendous negative karma they are bringing upon themselves.





Tuesday, 1 September 2015

When Pakistan was Buddhist.

Buddha Statue from ancient Pakistan


'All too often, Pakistan is portrayed as a country of bombs, beards and burkhas. The view of it as a monolithic Muslim state is even embodied in the name of the country, 'the Islamic Republic of Pakistan'.

Yet, as Sona Datta shows, it used to be the meeting point for many different faiths from around the world and has an intriguing multicultural past - a past about which it is to some extent in denial. It also produced some extraordinary and little-known works of art which Sona, from her work as a curator at the British Museum, explores and explains...'  view it here

Friday, 21 August 2015

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Sunday, 2 August 2015

MANIPULATIVE CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS IN SRI LANKA: SOME PERSPECTIVES


From Lankaweb

by  Senaka Weeraratna

PREFACE

Buddhism which has been the moral and spiritual force in Sri Lanka in the last 2500 years, having survived a prolonged period (nearly 450 years) of persecution and discrimination directed at its adherents under western colonial rule, now faces a serious challenge from a growing Christian evangelical movement, represented mostly by foreign funded non-governmental organisations (NOGs) based in the country. This movement has as its overall aim the creation of a numerically and politically powerful Christian community in Sri Lanka (and also in South Asia) through a rapid conversion into Christianity of large numbers of Buddhists placed mostly in depressed and poverty stricken economic circumstances. The visibility of these NGOs in increasing number in traditionally predominant Buddhist regions, and the generation of alarming reports comprising narratives from affected individuals, and observations and studies conducted by third parties, has produced public anger and calls to combat this threat to the long term survival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

The use of unethical means such as financial, educational, medical, and the media by the Christian evangelical groups to induce Buddhists to change their religion has been viewed as a glaring abuse of the tolerance displayed by Buddhists towards other religions, and a violation of fundamental freedoms enshrined in the National Constitution.  The aggressive conduct of foreign missionaries in their attempt to spread Christianity and other Abrahamic religions, and undermine the traditional status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as has happened in South Korea in the last few decades, carries with it the seed for a potential religious conflict in the future.

The purpose of this essay is to examine in brief the aim of organised conversion, the Constitutional provisions, the history of Christian Missionary work in Sri Lanka, the methods and strategies employed to convert people, the reasons that compel people to change their religion, the implications for the status of Buddhism if conversions continue to take place on a large scale, and the options available to the Government of Sri Lanka to protect and preserve Buddhism...   Read it all

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Cardinal Tauran: Catholic-Buddhist seeks to grasp "ultimate Truth"

Cardinal Tauran: Catholic-Buddhist seeks to grasp "ultimate Truth"

From Vatican Radio


The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran - RV
23/06/2015 10:36
(Vatican Radio) The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, said on Wednesday he sees Buddhist-Catholic dialogue as “a part of our ongoing quest to grasp the mystery of our lives and the ultimate Truth.”

He was giving the keynote address of a weeklong Catholic-Buddhist Dialogue in Rome being sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID).
The meeting will include 46 Catholic and Buddhist interreligious and social action leaders in the United States.  The Catholic participants are from New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Washington D.C. area (representing the USCCB, the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, the National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Georgetown University).   The Buddhist participants represent major Buddhist communities and organizations in those five cities.

Catholic-Buddhist interreligious dialogue in the USA, which in the past focused largely on developing mutual understanding, seeks with this new form of dialogue to build upon the traditional form by fostering interreligious collaboration to address the social problems faced by people in our communities.  Accordingly, the theme of this Catholic-Buddhist dialogue will be “Suffering, Liberation, and Fraternity.”  As part of the overall agenda, time will be given to discuss how Buddhists and Catholics in the five cities can continue to expand this fraternity upon their return and to collaborate in addressing social ills.

The Buddhist participants are leaders of communities in the five U.S. cities that represent the rich variety of Sri Lankan, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Tibetan Buddhism traditions.  They have been involved in interreligious relations and are committed to building fraternal collaboration with the Catholic Church.  The Catholic participants are representatives of the USCCB and the PCID, Archdiocesan Ecumenical Interreligious Officers, leaders of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, and other Catholic social services agencies, as well as Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (MID), the Friars of the Atonement, and the Focolare Movement that is hosting the dialogue in Rome.  The program included participation in the Papal audience on Wednesday...

Keynote Address by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the U.S. Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue, Rome, Italy, June 23, 2015

 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Nama, Rupa and Namarupa


Nama and Rupa are two fundamental divisions of phenomena in Buddhist philosophy.

Nama refers to the mental aspects of humans and animals, whereas rupa refers to all physical phenomena, including human and animal bodies regarded as biophysical machines. Rupa is mechanistic, whereas nama is mental. 

Although nama and rupa interact,  Buddhist philosophers reject the possibility that nama can be reduced to rupa (hence our minds are not machines)

Since Buddhism is a process philosophy, nama and rupa are regarded as being in a constant state of flux and impermanence, and are processes rather than things or substances.

The Sanskrit word nama is related to the English word 'name', and similar cognates in other Indo-European languages, thus showing the intentional and semantic aspect of the term.    Rupa means 'form' or mereology, including those physical processes which act to change forms.

All aspects of rupa may be modelled, explained and simulated by a Universal Turing Machine, since all concepts of mechanism, and physical and chemical causality, are subsumed by the Universal Turing Machine.   In contrast, the principal activities of nama - intentionality or aboutness and qualitative experience - are beyond the capabilities of a Turing Machine.
 

More

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/73.htm

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha262.htm

http://buddhism.about.com/od/Existence/fl/Nama-rupa-Name-and-Form.htm

http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/namarupa.htm


http://www.abhidhamma.org/Rupa 1.htm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namarupa

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Where do pets go when they die? Annihilation or rebirth?






Rituals to strengthen your karmic bond with your dead pets.

Some religions don't recognise the spiritual and karmic significance of the human-animal bond. Traditionally, the Abrahamic religions state that only humans have souls, whereas animals are automata (biological machines) whose minds cease at death.

Joseph Rickaby SJ, an influential Jesuit theologian, said that animals had no souls, no rights and no feelings and were no more than automata - like clocks - and if they squeaked or made noises when damaged this was equivalent to the mechanical sounds a clock would make if it fell to the floor and was similarly damaged.

In contrast, the Buddhist view is that animals' minds survive death just as humans do. All sentient beings (creatures that experience suffering and happiness) have non-material minds. Consequently, the funeral rituals to help pet animals in future lives are essentially the same as for humans.   More here



Friday, 12 June 2015

Fake atrocity stories and pictures of 'Buddhist attacks' on Muslims in Burma (Myanmar)



From Atlas Shrugs,

Muslims are waging jihad in Burma. But the Buddhists aren’t having it. Burma is 90% Buddhist. These are a peaceful people. The Muslims have brought war to Burma. Bodh Gaya, the holiest site for the Buddhists the world over, was bombed in a series of Islamic terror attacks. Read more on the jihad in Burma here: Rohingya Hoax.

Anywhere Muslims immigrate, conflict follows. And so it goes in Burma. To shore up their false narrative, Muslims are circulating fake pictures. They’ve learned well from the “Palestinians.”

Jamphel Yeshi

    “The fake pictures of the Rohingya crisis,” BBC, June 6, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The plight of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar was thrust into the spotlight last month after thousands of migrants were left stranded at sea – but not all the images being shared online are what they seem to be.

The Rohingyas are a distinct Muslim ethnic group mainly living in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are not recognised as citizens of Myanmar and face persecution in the majority Buddhist country, where many live in crowded camps. Powerful and seemingly genuine pictures and videos emerged of what Rohingyas must endure in Myanmar after thousands of migrants were left adrift with low supplies of food and water last month. But BBC Trending found some of the images being shared online don’t show Rohingyas at all – but instead come from other disasters and news events.

Many of these images are graphic and disturbing. One of the photos, for instance, that shows up in search results shows Buddhist monks standing among piles of body parts. On Facebook and Twitter, the photograph has been cited as an example of Buddhist violence against Rohingyas. But the picture is not from Burma at all – it was actually taken in the aftermath of an earthquake in China in April 2010.

Another picture shows a man on fire running across the road. One group that shared the photo on Facebook suggesting the man suffered horrific abuse – that he was chopped up and burnt alive. But the real story is much different. In fact, the photo is of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan activist who set himself on fire in Delhi in 2012 to protest against the Chinese president’s visit to India.

There are many disturbing pictures of children circulating as well. One shows a boy tied to a wooden pole, with the marks of beatings visible across his back. While online posts call him a Rohingya boy, he’s actually a seven-year-old Thai child who was beaten up by a relative for stealing sweets earlier this year...  Read it all