Friday, 28 August 2009

Taiwan risks row over Dalai Lama

I was just sent this story by one of our Sangha members.......

Taiwan has approved a visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, risking improved ties with China.
President Ma Ying-jeou has agreed to a request from the opposition to invite the Dalai Lama next week, to comfort victims of deadly Typhoon Morakot.

READ MORE.......

Thursday, 27 August 2009

UK population now more than 61m

On the day that Office for National Statistics announced that the UK population has passed 61 million for the first time I thought the following quote from Robert Engelman, writing in the recent Economist debate "this house believes that the world would be better off with fewer people" was appropriate...

"What, in short, is not to like in a world made less crowded by women's free choices to become pregnant only when she wants a child? The only possible argument runs along the lines of "more people means more innovation." But it's hard to document even the correlation between human numbers and good ideas—let alone a causal connection from the first to the second. World population has quadrupled twice or a thousand times since Bach, Buddha and whatever woman it was who invented the clay pot walked the planet's surface. Who can compare to any of them today?"

"In a crowded World, the children we have are our gift to ourselves; the children we don't have are our gift to society."
Roger Martin (Chairman of OPT)

Monday, 24 August 2009

Stephen Batchelor Video

I recently came across this video by Stephen Batchelor on his and Martine's website (check out the photography section, it's amazing) . This thirty minute documentary on Stephen’s work was broadcast on national television in Holland on the 20th of April, 2008 as "Boeddhisme Zonder Geloof" ("Buddhism Without Beliefs"). It is in English with Dutch subtitles. It was made by Jurgen Gude and Jaap Verhoeven for the Boeddhistische Omroep Stichtung (BOS), "the first independent Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation in the West to produce and broadcast Buddhist programmes within a country’s Public Broadcasting System".

Get Microsoft Silverlight
Of bekijk de flash versie.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Buddhist Picnic, Latest News

As you should all know by now the 2009 Island Buddhist Picnic is at the Ventnor Botanic Gardens on Sunday 6th. of September, starting at 12:30.
We will be using the meadow area to the rear of the gardens, the best option is to enter the gardens through the Visitor Centre then turn right and head for the Children's Play Area then carry on through to the grassed area and keep on going till you meet some Buddhists!

This very special event is open to Buddhists, their families and friends ( and pets too!), please bring vegetarian food to share (and any games you fancy).

Click on Map or any Photos to Enlarge

The path to the left of the pond

(if you're facing the Visitor Centre)

takes you straight to the Children's Play Area.

I've asked and it's o.k. so we might have some sign posts to the picnic area from there on. If it does rain we are hoping that we will be able to use the Canna room in the Visitor Centre as we did last year.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Hsin Hsin Ming, Verses on the Faith Mind by Seng-T'san Part 3

Finally,here is part three of the three part series by James Baraz entitled "Verses on the Faith Mind by Seng-T'san" (he was the 3rd Zen Patriarch of China).

Also, I'm including the final portion of the text as covered by this talk.

"Consider movement stationary
and the stationary in motion,
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist
Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality
no law or description applies.

For the unified mind in accord with the way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage:
Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no exertion of the mind’s power.
Here thought, feeling,
knowledge and imagination are of no value.

In this world of suchness
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality
just say when doubt rises "not two".
In this "not two" nothing is separate,
nothing is excluded.

No matter when or where,
enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension
or diminution in time and space:
In it a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, emptiness there,
but the infinite universe
stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
no difference, for definitions have vanished
and no boundaries are seen.

So too with Being and non-Being.
Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments
That have nothing to do with this.

One thing, all things,
move among and intermingle without distinction.
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
no yesterday
no tomorrow
no today."

Translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke
Featured in Jack Kornfield, Teachings of the Buddha

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Quotes That I Like II

Here's another quote that struck a chord with me, this one's from "Compassion and the Individual" by the Dalai Lama.

"Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one's own. Now, when you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. Nor is this wish selective; it applies equally to all."

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Video Bar Update

Some of you may already have noticed that changes have been made to our "Video Bar" (middle of the green column on the right hand side of the blog).

This feature can now be found on the Video Streams page of our Video Section.

Instead of periodically changing the feed, I have now set up multiple channel feeds to the video bar. The main reason for doing this is that a feed to any particular channel will only display the latest additions, I'd hoped that the clips displayed would be random but they're not (if anyone knows of a way of achieving a random display I'd love to know). The channels now showing are listed below. I've placed a link in the title to the YouTube page for that channel, any other links are to the "organisations" websites.......

Dhammaloka; The Buddhist Society of Western Australia - Teachings of the Sangha of Bodhinyana Monastery in Perth Western Australia. They also feature talks given by associated Sangha and monasteries. During the annual, three-month 'Rains Retreat' they provide talks from other Buddhist traditions.

Buddhist Videos and Archive; Featuring talks by Bhante Vimalaramsi, Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi is the Abbott of the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center in Annapolis, MO. He is building a Buddhist Forest Retreat Center, which will become the first "American Buddhist Forest Tradition" meditation center on U.S. soil.

Buddhist Films; Films on the subject of peace, as well as on the development of Buddhism and its art. Some films feature Rev. Gyomyo Nakamura, a great champion of peace. The films are made by art historian Benoy K Behl, there is a recent article on his work on the Buddhist Channel.

Sravasti Abbey
; Sravasti Abbey is a place where monastics and those preparing for ordination learn and practice the teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Its Founder and Abbess is Ven.Thubten Chodron.

Diamond Way Buddhism; Diamond Way Buddhism is rooted in the Karma Kagyu Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism under spiritual guidance is His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje, and directed by Lama Ole Nydahl. The majority of talks are in English but a few are in German.

; Dhammatube is an attempt to collect video clips with Dhamma content in one place. Often the clips are about personal impressions, difficulties or inspirations of meditators with aspects of meditation, teachers or teaching systems. Some are stories or positions on teachings. In general the tone is quite informal, conversational and unedited.

In case you miss this one I've also put it here.......

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi, Petition

Talking of Aung San Suu Kyi, you can sign the petition at Avaaz and do your bit....

"To UK and US Governments and the United Nations Security Council:
We call on you to condemn the cruel conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi to another year and a half in detention and to immediately take steps at the United Nations Security Council to create a Commission of Inquiry to investigate and hold the Burmese regime to account for crimes against humanity."

Book Review, "In the Buddha’s Words"

Continuing our occasional series of reviews on books either borrowed from our library by Sangha members or new acquisitions, we are pleased to provide a review by Val from the Newport Soto Zen group. It is really great that this resource is now being utilised by the wider Island Sangha... more reviews to follow.

In the Buddha’s Words, an Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon edited and introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi with a foreword by the Dalai Lama.

"This is a very good introduction to the Suttas. It is well worth reading the Introduction, Foreword and Preface; these explain both the background to and history of the Pali Canon and explain in detail the purpose of the book.

The introduction to section one gives a good overview of the Buddha’s teachings and the book goes on to clarify the nature of his insights into the subject areas covered. However, this is not a collection of the most important Suttas, those about meditation and other significant topics are not included."

The book can be purchased from Amazon but please remember that if you first go to the Burma Campaign UK web site and click on their Amazon link then any shopping you do on will raise money for the Burma Campaign UK. The Burma Campaign UK receives a percentage of the cost and you pay nothing extra! This is particularly relevant considering today's news about the extended detention of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Hsin Hsin Ming, Verses on the Faith Mind by Seng-T'san Part 2

Here is part two of the three part series by James Baraz entitled "Verses on the Faith Mind by Seng-T'san" (he was the 3rd Zen Patriarch of China).

As before, I have included the portion of the text covered by the talk.

do not remain in the dualistic state.
Avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that,
of right and wrong,
the mind-essence will be lost in confusion.

Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend.
And when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes:
As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject (mind):
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult.
But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go.
And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited:
Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way
and there will be neither coming not going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature)
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden
for everything is murky and unclear.
And the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived
from distinctions and separations?

If you wish to move in the One Way
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with enlightenment.

The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.

There is one Dharma, not many.
Distinctions arise
from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.

Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment
there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air -
foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong,
such thoughts must
finally be abolished at once.

If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things are as they are,
of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence
is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally
the timeless Self-essence is reached,
No comparisons or analogies are possible
in this causeless, relationless state.

Monday, 3 August 2009

2009 Island Sangha Picnic

Sunday 6th September
12.30 start
This very special event is open to Buddhists, their families and friends. ( and pets too!)

This time the picnic will be held yet again at Ventnor Botanic Gardens who are very happy to have us come and picnic in their beautiful grounds (I will be seeing if we can "reserve" the Canna room as last time, in case of rain). I'm sure that most of you are familiar with the gardens but for those who aren't here is a Google map of the location (it's actually the "C" pin) ........

View Larger Map