Thursday, 30 October 2008

Vipassana Meditation

I was looking around the other day for suitable reference materials on Vipassana (Insight) meditation for our group and came across this fascinating and intriguing video.

It is described as a "40 minutes animated ex course with sound explaining the mechanics of the mind and perception of what we think is reality. explanation of duality, illusion and what Vipassana (Insight) meditation is about".

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Ten Bulls, Discovering the Footprints

2. Discovering the Footprints

Along the riverbank under the trees, I discover footprints!
Even under the fragrant grass I see his prints.
Deep in remote mountains they are found.
These traces no more can be hidden than one's nose, looking heavenward.

Comment: Understanding the teaching, I see the footprints of the bull. Then I learn that, just as many utensils are made from one metal, so too are myriad entities made of the fabric of self. Unless I discriminate, how will I perceive the true from the untrue? Not yet having entered the gate, nevertheless I have discerned the path.

Footprints in the snow teaching consequence and order.

The bull is the eternal principle of life. The ten bulls represent sequent steps in the realization of one's true nature.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


We do not become angry with the stick that hits us,
but with the one who wields the stick.
But the one who wields the stick is impelled by hatred,
so what we should truly hate is hatred itself.

(Author of the Bodhicaryavatara)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

"Tibetans shall be slaves of the conquerors"

At the moment there is a link in "The Buddhist Channel" section entitled "Graveyard of Indian idealism". It's not the most riveting of titles but the article is a fascinating review of a book by the French author Claude Arpi entitled "Tibet. The Lost Frontier". The book deals with the regional politics that lay behind the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 and which had been playing out for centuries before. The quote in the title of this post is by the 13th. Dalai Lama and was his prediction following the stubborn obstruction of his modernising reforms by the big orthodox monasteries.

(sorry for the commercial link but that's the best UK price I could find)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Interactive Wheel of Life

I was recently checking that the links on this site were all still valid and unfortunately discovered that the "Interactive Wheel of Life" link "could not be found". After a search I came across a similar site with a comparable degree of interactivity and have re-pointed the links under "Favourite Sites" and under "STUDY TOOLS" on the "Dharma Studies RESOURCES" page.

You can try it out at the above locations or go directly from HERE.

Any comments would be useful.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Cotton Traders Support for Burmese Regime

Do you shop with Cotton Traders? Well think twice. More than 130 major U.K. high street clothing retailers, including M&S, Next, ASDA, H&M, Debenhams, House of Fraser and BHS refuse to source their clothes from Burma recognising that they provide income for the military dictatorship. But Cotton Traders continues to import clothing manufactured in Burma.

Burma appeals to manufacturers because of its very cheap labour, ban on trade unions and lack of health and safety laws. Factory wages are as low as 5p an hour. A factory employee working 60 hours a week could earn just £3.

The Burmese democracy movement has asked that firms stop sourcing clothes from Burma and thus stop funding the dictatorship, the USA banned imports of clothing from Burma in 2003. To ask Fran Cotton and his company "Cotton Traders" to do the same click HERE.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The World Financial Crisis, a Buddhist Perspective

The world is in financial and economic turmoil. 20/20 hindsight is much in evidence with most commentators blaming the greed of "fat cat" Bankers, but the Banks and other financial institutions have only prospered by pandering to the greed of all of us. We have wanted something for nothing, borrowing has become second nature with people becoming "Rate Tarts" moving their debt from one piece of plastic to the next, accepting mortgages for greater sums than our homes are worth and regularly spending more than we earn.

In Buddhism Greed is one of the three "Poisons", along with Hatred and Delusion. Greed, or craving, (Tanha) arises from the mistaken idea that we can obtain and hold on to possessions, to ideas, and even to other people. Greed arises from selfishness, from the misconception that our bodies are who we are. Our greed and attachments tie us to unhappiness and lead us to much harmful behaviour. Because of greed, we become angry as others have or take something we want. Anger so often arises when our greed is unrestrained. Or when we do not get what we want, because others reject our ideas or obtain what we had wanted for ourselves. Or when what we have is taken from us, or those we love are lost to us. The ways that greed and attachments can overwhelm us and, then, lead us to anger are endless. And the pain generated, as a consequence, is infinite.

Read more about the "poisons" and how to overcome them HERE.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Being "You"

"Life (Self) is nothing other than the continuous flow of the Now Moment.
The Now Moment ceases as it arises. This moment must completely cease and serves as the CAUSE for the next moment to arise.
Therefore Self is a process of series Self1, Self2, Self3, Self4, Self5, Self6...etc
A fixed entity 'Self' does not exist, what really exists is a momentary Self.
Under deep meditation, one is able to observe and sense the karmic and mental factors from moment to moment, it is these factors that are succeeded from moment to moment and life and life but not a fixed entity."

Quote found on the Buddhist Society of Western Australia's forum page. I think it sums it up nicely.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Saffron Revolution - the Latest

Further to our recent post about the first anniversary of the "Saffron Revolution" the other day a group of around 150 monks staged a silent & peaceful march in Sittwe, Burma to mark the event.

The public came out on the street and offered their respect to the monks for staging their peaceful protest, when security forces asked the monks what they were doing, they did not reply but just continued silently to walk.

Read more HERE.

Support Burma HERE and on Facebook HERE, Thank you.