Saturday, 26 July 2014

NEW MOON - Harmlessness


To harm living beings
who, like us, seek contentment,
is to bring harm to ourselves.

Dhammapada 131

Self interest can be used in our pursuit of right action. When faced with danger we readily feel
threatened, our hearts become inflamed and wise discernment obscured. However, instead of losing ourselves in defensive reaction, right training can help us remember that we are all in this together. We all share the wish to be free from suffering. Probably the aggressor has forgotten this fact, hence their intent on harming us; but so long as we are intent on harming them, only increased mutual suffering ensues. Regular recollection on the universality of suffering can protect us from falling into this vortex. Spending a short period of time each day considering how we are all looking for contentment, can give rise to feelings of empathy and compassion. This is not an argument of which we will be convinced by speculation alone, but if we immerse ourselves in this contemplation we could find the benefit for ourselves.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Friday, 11 July 2014


As solid rock
is unshaken by the wind,
so are those with wisdom undisturbed
whether by praise or blame.

Dhammapada v. 81

Sometimes we feel liked and appreciated, at other times we feel disliked and dismissed. Is there a way of staying steady while being praised and blamed, accepted and rejected? It was on a full-moon in the month of July that the Buddha first delivered his teachings encouraging the cultivation of wisdom. A wise perspective on life, he said, is what offers inner security and steadiness. He had been looking a long time for a solution to the frustrations of life. Once he found the freedom from all frustration and suffering he formulated his teachings into what we now know as the Four Noble Truths: there is suffering; there is a cause; there is freedom; and there is a practice we can do in pursuit of that freedom. The image of a rock unshaken by the wind is to inspire us to cultivate this wisdom.

With Metta,
Bhikkhu Munindo          (The picture is of "The Long Stone", a Megalithic monument near Mottistone in The West Wight!)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Former Archbishop of Canterbury does Buddhist Meditation

Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has revealed that he spends up to 40 minutes a day meditating.

From the story in the Telegraph it would appear that Lord Williams uses a meditation stool and a combination of Mantra and Anapanasati breath awareness meditation.

Williams also practices walking meditation. It would appear that he is using the Zen Kinhin method of coordinating the pace at which one walks with the pace of one's breathing.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Bogus Buddhist Monks Begging in New York

This story from the New York Times is by Joseph Goldstein and Jeffrey E. Singer..............

In Times Square, amid the dozens of Elmos, Mickey Mouses and superheroes who work the crowds for loose bills, new costumed characters have come to seek their fortunes.

They are mostly men of Chinese descent, with shaved heads, beatific smiles and flowing robes of orange, but sometimes brown or gray. They follow a similar script: Offering wishes of peace and a shiny amulet, they solicit donations from passers-by, often reinforcing their pitch by showing a picture of a temple for which the money seems to be intended. Then they open a notebook filled with the names of previous donors and the amounts given.

The men appear to be Buddhist monks; a smaller number of similarly dressed women say they are Taoist nuns.

No one seems to know who they really are or where they come from. The police have taken no official stance, stepping in only when the monks become aggressive. Various Buddhists have confronted the men, asking about their affiliation or quizzing them about the religion’s precepts. The men remain silent or simply walk away.

They have become ubiquitous — so much so that the Naked Cowboy, the Times Square performer whose real name is Robert Burck, now simply refers to them as “co-workers.”

“They’re littered all over,” he said.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Another Thought for the Day talk by Vishvapani

Buddhist Thought for the Day talks by Vishvapani are like buses, you wait for ages and then TWO turn up! Here is the second of the latest batch, "Sangha and Health".

Friday, 4 July 2014

A Quote That I Like

This is from the Samyutta Nikaya......

The days and nights are flying past,
Life shrinks and dwindles hurriedly away,
The life of mortals ebbs, and runs away,
Vanishes, like water in a tiny stream.

SN 4:10

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Petition in Support of Ajahn Brahm's Banned Speech on Gender Equality

Further to our post "Ajahn Brahm Speech Banned", I have now heard that there is a petition stating that,

"We, the undersigned, are astounded and deeply disappointed by the banning of Ajahn Brahm's paper on gender equality at the 2014 United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV) conference in Vietnam.

The paper was clearly aligned with the UN’s Millennium Development Goal 3 (Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women), which the UNDV is committed to uphold through its connection with the UN. Moreover, Ajahn Brahm's paper had already been approved for presentation when it was suddenly banned the day before its scheduled presentation.

We value free and open dialogue. We therefore ask that the UNDV, in accordance with Millennium Development Goal 3, promotes dialogue about the participation of women in contemporary Theravada Buddhism by inviting Ajahn Brahm to publicly present his gender equality paper at the next UNDV conference in 2015."

Please consider signing this important petition.