Monks and volunteers assisting with the rescue efforts after the earthquake in Nepal
When people think about Buddhist monks and nuns they usually think of them sitting high up in the mountains somewhere, meditating for countless hours and rarely making any contact with modern civilization. For some isolated communities this might be true but for the majority of the ordained Buddhists, their lives are a mixture of traditional monastery life as well as modern day living. They may spend several hours a day meditating, chanting and studying, but many monks and nuns are well-versed in how to use Facebook, have mobile phones and in Buddhist traditions where the uniform code is a bit more relaxed, some of them may even wear Nike shoes. (more…)
My heart goes out to everyone suffering from the earthquake in Nepal.
Please keep Nepal and all beings who are suffering in your prayers.
If you can offer even a little bit of assistance, a small offering will go a long way. Donations can be made via www.globalgiving.org.
“Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by vetted, local organizations.”
When it comes to buying a Buddha statue, although it’s tempting to buy a statue based on its appearance, there are a couple of things we should know prior to our purchase. There are many Buddha statues to choose from: from fat to skinny Buddhas or just the head to his whole body. So which statue is best for developing our practice? Aside from knowing which statue to buy and where to buy them from, there are other things we need to consider. In this video, I explain everything we need to know and keep in mind, before and after our purchase. (more…)
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? (more…)
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.
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. (more…)