Friday, 30 May 2014

Ajahn Brahm Speech Banned

Ajahn Brahm, was invited to deliver a speech on Gender Equality at the UN Day of Vesak Convention in Vietnam in May 2014. His speech was banned by the conference organising committee the day before it was due to be given at the Convention. Although Gender Equality is one of the declared UN millennium goals and although Ajahn Brahm’s paper on Gender Equality had been officially accepted for the convention, he was told at the last moment while he was in Vietnam that he would not be allowed to present his paper.

This is Ajahn's response from the following Friday's talk at Dhammaloka (it's audio).............

And here's his banned speech in full.............. !!

Theravada Buddhism and MDG 3: 

Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Theravada Buddhism 

By Ajahn Brahm


On December1 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, an African-American woman refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. That simple act of defiance for the cause of social justice became one of the most important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movements in the USA. That woman was Rosa Parks. The United States Congress called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. December 1 is commemorated in the US states of California and Ohio as “Rosa Parks Day”. Rosa Parks became a Buddhist before she passed away in 2005 aged 92. One can speculate that this female icon against discrimination chose Buddhism because it is well suited to advancing social justice issues.

In this paper, I will discuss how Buddhism may advance the particular social justice issue of Millennium Development Goal No. 3: Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. I will focus on the need for Theravada Buddhism’s current male leadership to clearly demonstrate its own commitment to MDG 3 through acceptance of the bhikkhuni ordination. Only then can it use its considerable influence to make our world more fair, one where people are judged on their character and not on their gender.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

NEW MOON - Harmony

Like the bamboo which destroys itself as it bears fruit, 
so fools harm themselves by holding to wrong views 
and deriding those worthy ones 
who live in harmony with the Way. 

Dhammapada v. 164

It is easy to criticise weakness in others. It is hard to recognise and remedy faults within ourselves. On some level it can even feel good to elevate ourselves as we put others down, but such feelings cannot be trusted. ’One-upmanship’ is unlikely to contribute to harmony. Of course there are times when criticism is called for, but for it to be constructive we must have wholesome intention. To accurately know our intention means we probably should slow down a little, wait and listen inwardly before we speak.

With Metta,
Bhikkhu Munindo

Friday, 16 May 2014

Mistaken Beliefs and Assumptions

I received this from one of our Sangha members and just had to share it..................

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wesak with Vishvapani

This morning to, acknowledge Wesak, BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day was by Vishvapani.

This week Buddhists around the world celebrate the Buddha’s Enlightenment in the festival of Wesak or Buddha Day. Buddhists believe that on night of the May full moon he sat beneath a spreading fig tree and entered a state of deep concentration.........................


Wishing Everyone a Happy Wesak

Today millions of Buddhists celebrate Vesak or Wesak Day, an officially recognised United Nations (UN) holiday that celebrates the birth of siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.

People in Theravada countries also celebrate the triple anniversary of Lord Buddha - his birth, his attaining of Enlightenment and his passing away into Nirvana all of which are said to have occurred on the first full moon of May. Also known as the Buddhist Festival of Light, colourful bamboo framed lanterns adorn the interior of every home and incredible luminous displays decorate the streets of most towns.

Vesak is a commemorative occasion which calls for restraint and immersion in the true philosophy of Buddhism. And in this drawing away from mundane life and immersing oneself in the Dhamma or Teaching, is happiness that no material possession or sense-motivated activity can bring. One has to experience it through meditation to realise the depth and intensity of the joy that is there for the taking by the truly dedicated Buddhist.

As the sun sets, devotees partake in processions and return to the temples in the evening to hear monks read stories from sacred texts.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

FULL MOON – Vesakha Puja - Tuesday 13th May 2014

The Right Amount

As a stormy wind can uproot a frail tree 
so one who holds heedlessly to pleasure, 
who indulges in food and is indolent, 
can be uprooted by Mara

Dhammapada v. 7

How can we know the right amount of things? Our senses and society often tell us that we need more. The global economy is based on conditioning us to believe we are lacking. If our refuge is in an expanded awareness, freed from the compulsive habit of taking sides, we are in a position to contemplate the conditioning process. It is essential we recognize that we don’t have to be enslaved by our environment. The work of inner reflection can lead to a confidence independent of popular belief or cultural bias. We are allowed to experiment with not eating so much or having an opinion on everything. It’s fine to be quiet and cultivate contentment. Contentment doesn’t have to mean abdication. What matters is when a storm strikes, are we blown over by it. From where do we get our strength?

With Metta,
Bhikkhu Munindo