In Buddhism, the goal of the Buddhist path is to reach enlightenment, a state free of mental suffering and characterized by bliss, peace and happiness. But what if enlightenment was only possible if you were willing to become a monk or nun? This would mean only a small minority of Buddhists could ever find happiness, since the vast majority of Buddhists are lay practitioners.
In this video, I explore whether lay people can become enlightened, and if so, what are some of the steps we need to do to ensure that we achieve it.
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.