Sunday, 23 August 2015

18th Annual Buddhist Picnic!

It’s now just 2 weeks to go to the 18th Annual Buddhist Picnic! This year we will be back to the tradition venue of the Duver at St. Helens on Sunday 6th of September, 12:30 onwards. For those of you who have not been before , our picnic site is the other side of the road from the National Trust car park. Take the right hand turning by the signs showing the Duver and long stay beach front car parks, carry on a few hundred metres and the National Trust car park is on the left then just look for some Buddhists sitting under a very small oak tree!

Family, friends, children and dogs welcome. Bring vegetarian food to share (don’t forget the fruit juices).

Friday, 21 August 2015

NOTE - Audio Section Down

I was intending to upload the latest talk in the Rodney Smith series on the Noble Eightfold Path but our hosting site is down for scheduled maintenance and upgrades. As a result none of our audio talks are currently available - I'll let you know when they are.................

NOW O.K. (12:30 BST)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Note - Latest Vishvapani Talk Now Available

The latest "Thought for the Day" talk by Vishvapani on the "Good Children Report" is now available in our Audio Section.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Bomb attack on Erawan Shrine in Bangkok

There has been a large explosion close to a shrine in the centre of the Thai capital, Bangkok. According to early reports from Reuters, local media are reporting that five people have been killed and 20 wounded. The attack took place close to the Erawan Shrine in the capital's central Chidlom district.

Jonathan Head, a BBC correspondent at the scene, said there was a "huge amount of chaos, with body parts scattered everywhere".

The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.

One of the least known and least publicised current wars involving Islamic extremists is the ongoing jihad in southern Thailand. Muslim separatists in the southernmost portion of the country have been committing a seemingly unending series of terror attacks on Thai Buddhists, on other Muslims (apparently as punishment for not supporting the violence) and on the Thai police and military. This has been going on at least since 2004 since which time more than 5,000 people have been killed.

Friday, 14 August 2015

NEW MOON - Slow Down

Do not dismiss the effects of evil,
saying, "This will come to nothing."
Just as by the gradual fall of raindrops
the water jar is filled, so in time
fools are corrupted by evil-doing.

Dhammapada 121

The way things appear to be and the way things are can be completely different. For instance, we might travel the same ten mile journey to work every day and feel convinced we know the countryside that we pass through. But how would it be if one day we walked that same route to work, instead of going by car or train. When we slow down we see things differently. The Buddha wants us to slow down. Not because being slow is necessarily a virtue in itself, but by not seeing the way things actually are, we misperceive life and make mistakes.

Friday, 31 July 2015

FULL MOON - How to be Happy

(A rare blue moon will be visible in the sky tonight for the first time in three years. The phenomenon occurs when there is a second full moon in one calendar month. It is uncommon because the full moon cycle is 29.5 days. It is also a ‘supermoon’ which occurs when the moon is at its closest approach to the Earth, known as perigee. It means the blue moon will appear especially big and bright.)

These three ways lead to the heavens: 
asserting the truth, 
not yielding to anger, 
and giving, even if you have only a little to share. 

Dhammapada 224

The Buddha is instructing us here on the ways that lead to true happiness. If we are misinformed on such matters we could, for example, think that intentionally distorting truth is OK. What lying actually does do is undermine our confidence by setting up self-doubt. We might think that hurting others will give us a sense of satisfaction, when in fact it just projects our inner pain onto the outer world, making things worse. With giving, we could make the mistake of thinking that the quantity of our gift is what matters. In reality it is the quality of our intention that is important and determines any outcome. Regularly studying and reflecting on these simple teachings by the Buddha has the potential to correct our wrong thinking and thereby create causes for genuine happiness.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

A Quote That I Like - “Are You A Buddhist?”

At our regular Tuesday night meeting one of our Sangha members shared the following quote which they had brought along...

“Are You A Buddhist?”
Sharon Salzberg.

Buddhism is a convenient label for the life she has chosen to live—No more. 

The point (of Buddhism) isn’t ‘to become a Buddhist’, to declare an identity, to reject anything else. The point is to look at, explore and if you wish, to try and live a certain way of life – a way of not harming yourself or others ,having compassion for yourself and others, building concentration, experimenting with mindfulness, developing Wisdom and Insight. 

It’s a way of life; it’s not in Lockdown with a certain kind of language or belief or adherence to belief. 

The Buddha did not teach Buddhism. 

The Buddha taught a way of Life.