Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pic of the Picnic

I've just received pictures of last Sunday's annual Buddhist picnic. This year the weather was much kinder to us and we had a glorious late Summer's day for it, consequently our numbers were up to 21 (including 2 children and a dog).


Not everyone is in this shot, some were exploring the Duver and others were "playing" footie (kicking a ball around for the children) and Alec was taking the photo!

Monday, 8 September 2014

FULL MOON – Monday 8th September, 2014

Views

Distorted views,
which give rise to seeing right as wrong
and wrong as right, 
are the cause for beings to disintegrate.

Dhammapada v. 318

We sometimes need reminding that the causes of suffering – our own and that of the world – are complex. Often it is not what is happening in the outer world that leads to our struggles, but how we view things. Assuming the validity of views and opinions just because they are commonly held is not wise. Convenient perhaps, but that is not a good reason to invest in them. It is simplistic to collude with collective thinking without looking into the consequences. Having preferences is natural, but clinging to them and finding identity by holding to them, leads to prejudice and disintegration – inwardly and outwardly.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Today is the 4th International Bhikkhuni Day

Since 2011 the Alliance for Bhikkhunis (AfB) has been holding an International Bhikkhuni Day to learn about, celebrate and pay respect to the Bhikkhuni Sangha, honouring their essential role in preserving the Dhamma.



Each year AfB has chosen a women, or group of women to honour and discover more about.
This year it's Yasodhara, the wife of Siddhartha Gautama.

The first year the Alliance was surprised at how many sanghas and viharas participated, mostly in California, but also two here in the UK, one in Canada and one in Australia. Each year more groups have participated Last year they had 15 groups including several in Asia and South America! And each year more and more generous donors have filled dana baskets at their events, donated the dana to their local bhikkhunis or forwarded it to AfB so that they can continue to support the bhikkhuni sangha.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

One Week to the Picnic

It’s now just a week to go to the 17th Annual Buddhist Picnic! This year we will be back to the tradition venue of the Duver at St. Helens on Sunday 7th 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).

Sunday, 24 August 2014

NEW MOON - Sunday 24th August 2014

Gentle Strength

Those who speak truth 
and give gentle encouragement, 
contending with no-one, 
these do I call great beings.

Dhammapada v. 408

There are times when we need to be assertive. As our body’s immune system is assertive when dealing with disease. But let’s not make assertiveness our only way of being. It can appear strong and impressive, it gets results, but it has limitations. There are times when gentleness is what is called for. Gentle speech which is true and encouraging, also produces results.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Friday, 22 August 2014

Buddhist Monks Join Protest in Ferguson, USA

Tensions continued to escalate in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August the 9th. His killing has lead to days of protests and an oppressive, militarised police response that has caused national outrage.

But Ferguson residents were pleasantly surprised by a visiting a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks.


The six monks, from Drepung Gomang Monastery in southwest India, arrived in St. Louis on Saturday as part of the Sacred Tibetan Arts tour, which their monastery puts on every year. They will be spending the next ten months traveling across Americato give lectures, create Tibetan sand paintings (mandalas) and perform traditional ceremonies.

“Ferguson was a very heated issue in our backyard,” explained Patty Maher, who is hosting the monks during their stay in St. Louis. “Sunday was their day off. . . . We didn't know what to expect, but they gladly went. And as you saw, their presence was profound.”

“In Tibet, you know, many times it happens like this. Everywhere, every month, they have the problem in Tibet, same, the police shooting like this,” said Geshe Tsewang Thinley, one of the monks, speaking of Chinese forces’ frequent use of live rounds against nonviolent protesters.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

FULL MOON – Sunday 10th August 2014

Heedlessness

As a trader with precious cargo avoids threat,
and those who love life avoid poison,
so you should avoid evil actions.

Dhammapada v. 123

We do have precious cargo; human consciousness. And we do love life; hence the effort we make to protect it. The Buddha is saying we should watch over this good fortune that we have inherited by avoiding all evil actions. Great benefit can be discovered in this life if we are careful and cultivate wisdom. Similarly great suffering can arise if we are heedless. Evil is a strong word and we might prefer to not use it. But we are naive to not contemplate it. When the heart is possessed by greed or hatred, evil actions can follow. Once performed, there will be painful consequences. Nobody else can save us from heedlessness, not even the Buddha. With kindness and wise reflection we contribute to the protection of all beings.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Ajahn Brahm on Gay Rights

Here's a short video from Ajahn Brahm in which he responds to a question asked by an audience member about the Buddhist position on LGBTs.