A photo I took while sitting under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya

A photo I took while sitting under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya


 
Imagine… You’re sitting next to the MahaBodhi Temple, only meters away from the very spot where the Buddha gained full enlightenment. You take in a few deep breaths and look up at the beautiful heart-shaped Bodhi tree leaves moving gently in the breeze above you. There is a feeling of wonder and excitement in the air, knowing that this was the place where the Buddha sat in meditation and achieved a great awakening 2,600 years ago.

You bring your body into a meditation posture and feel a rush of anticipation as you reflect on the promise of what your meditation may bring. Many wondrous things have happened in this special place. Who’s to say that something wonderful couldn’t happen to you as well?

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The Buddha talked about a continuum of consciousness, so was he talking about souls? It’s a common misconception that Buddhism teaches about reincarnation, when it is actually teaching about rebirth. In this video I explain the Buddha’s position on the soul theory as well as the difference between rebirth and reincarnation. Within the Buddhist teachings there are several analogies to explain how consciousness continues moment to moment and what happens after death. I draw on these analogies to illustrate just how this continuity takes place and how consciousness is affected after death.

Also, being the inquisitive creatures that we are, it’s not surprising that we ask, ‘well, what am I, what is my true nature and what will I be if I’m enlightened?’ In this video, I explore the main reason why the Buddha didn’t specify our ‘true nature’ and I share some sutras where the Buddha does describe the beauty and freedom experienced by one who is enlightened.

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Meditation 2015 new years resolution

 

What changes would you like to see in your meditation practice in the New Year (if any)? Perhaps you might want to make your practice more consistent, make your sessions longer (or even shorter and more concentrated). Maybe you simply need to start a daily/weekly practice?

You don’t need to be a yogi to reap the benefits of meditation. Just 10 – 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous impact on your inner health and wellbeing.

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Photo: © snap713 on flickr

Photo: © snap713 on flickr

 

Whatever festivities we have planned for Christmas, there will always be moments that will be trying for us. Whether it is navigating through the crowds at the shops, or hearing the same unpleasant speech or criticism from one of our relatives.

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best buddhist books - Image via Edward Dalmulder on Flickr

Photo: © Edward Dalmulder on flickr

 

If you’re new to Buddhism and trying to find the best Buddhist book for a beginner, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of books available. To make life easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of my top 8 picks that I recommend for beginners. Some of them are great at explaining the basics of Buddhist theory, while others are better at capturing the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. Either way, they are all fantastic books and you are sure to gain something from any one of them.

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