An Introductory Course on Early Buddhism
...Compiled and published for free distribution by Bro. Chan Khoon San...
Over the last few years, several readers have indicated to me that the articles in the Introductory Course on Buddhism were too brief and should be expanded to provide more details. This new book entitled “Buddhism Course” is a carefully researched and upgraded version. It contains 17 chapters dealing with most of the relevant topics on Buddhism, such as: Life of the Buddha, Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Noble Path, Dependent Origin, Law of Kamma, Death and Rebirth, Five Destinations, World Cycles when Buddhas Appear, Ten Bases of Meritorious Action, Buddhist Vipassana Meditation, Recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and the Three Baskets (Tipitaka) in Buddhism.
...Buddhist Pilgrimage / New Edition 2009 - by Bro. Chan Khoon San...
The idea of a pilgrimage originated from the Buddha twenty-five centuries ago! Before he passed into Mahaparinibbana, the Buddha advised pious disciples to visit four holy places the sight of which will arouse faith and religious urgency after He was gone, namely: Lumbini, Buddhagaya, Sarnath and Kusinara. The pious disciple should visit these places and look upon them with feelings of reverence, reflecting on the particular event of the Buddha’s life connected with each place. Since the Mahaparinibbana of the Buddha, these four shrines of Buddhism have become the focal points for pious disciples to rally around and seek inspiration. By the time of King Asoka, four more places, namely: Savatthi, Sankasia, Rajagaha and Vesali, that were closely associated with the Buddha and scenes of His principal miracles, were added to the pilgrimage itinerary. Together, they make the Eight Great Places of Pilgrimage.
A Photo Essay
Four Places of Buddhist Pilgrimage in India & Nepal - PDF - 5.97 MB
Letters from Mara
story by Punnadhammo
to legend, the Buddha Shakyamuni was attacked by Mara as he was
striving for enlightenment, because Mara wanted to prevent him
from showing men the way that liberates from suffering. Mara
first called up a horde of demons, but Shakyamuni did not fear
them. Then he sent his most beautiful daughter to seduce Shakyamuni,
but before Shakyamuni's eyes she turned into an ugly hag, where
upon Mara admitted conclusive defeat.
...The Final Days of Death Row Inmate Jaturun "Jay" Siripongs.
An interview with Ajahn Pasanno...
days before Jay Siripongs was to be executed, his friend, attorney
Kendall Goh contacted Abhayagiri Monastery seeking a Buddhist spiritual
advisor. Two days later, Abhayagiri Co-abbot Ajahn Pasanno expeditiously
received security clearance to enter San Quentin Prison and spent
three extraordinary days with Jay Siripongs, the last three days
of Siripongs life. Jay Siripongs died by lethal injection on February
A Global Ethic
...The Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions...
throughout the world by universities, religious and spiritual
communities and interfaith organizations, Towards a Global Ethic
has emerged as one
of the most significant building blocks in the continuing process of creating
global ethical understanding and consensus.
Inter-Buddhist Consensus on Buddhism...3/15/97
document attempts to educate followers of Buddhism with a concise
accurate statement of the basic teachings of Buddhism as discussed
and agreed upon at the "Buddhism Across Cultures" Conference
held on March 15 1997 in Los Angeles.
...Middle Way and the market Place...
It is well known that the study of economics has
up till now avoided questions of moral values and considerations
of ethics, which are abstract qualities. However, it is becoming
obvious that in order to solve the problems that confront us in
the world today it will be necessary to take into consideration
both concrete and abstract factors, and as such it is impossible
to avoid the subject of moral values.
In his 1983 paper "The 'Suicide' Problem in the
Paali Canon," Martin Wiltshire wrote: "The topic of suicide
has been chosen not only for its intrinsic factual and historical
interest but because it spotlights certain key issues in the field
of Buddhist ethics and doctrine."
and Eating Meat
Buddha said: "Monks, I allow you fish and meat
that are quite pure in three respects: if they are not seen, heard
or suspected to have been killed
on purpose for a monk. But, you should not knowingly make use of
meat killed on purpose for you." 
Time and Place for Eating
For a monastic (a monk or a nun) food is to be regarded
as medicine and not as a pleasure. In the spirit of the Middle Way
it should be taken in just sufficient quantity to keep the body healthy.
and the Morality of Abortion
...Michael G. Barnhart...
In other words, I am not so much concerned to show
that Buddhism has, does, or will support the choice to abort or one's
right to make such a choice as I am to show that such a choice can
be made in a manner consistent with Buddhist principles.
There "Human Rights" in Buddhism
Political events in the course of this century, however,
have forced the issue of human rights to the top of the agenda.
to Euthanasia in the Vinaya and Commentary
... Damien Keown...
prohibition on taking human life is one of the cornerstones of
Buddhist ethics, but there is often confusion about the interpretation
of this prohibition in different contexts. In his commentary on
the third paaraajika in the Samantapaasaadikaa, Buddhaghosa sets
out to clarify the legal provisions of the monastic precept against
taking life. The root text and his comments on it are relevant
to the contemporary debate on euthanasia, and this paper considers
what light Buddhist jurisprudence can shed on this moral dilemma.
Needs of the Dying
...Ven. Pende Hawter...
order to gain an understanding of the shortness and preciousness
of life and how to make it meaningful we need to reflect on the
fact that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain.
These points may seem obvious but we rarely stop to consider the
truth of them.
for Pain, Illness, and Death
topic today is the role that meditation can play in facing issues
of pain, illness and death – not a pleasant topic, but
an important one. Sadly, it's only when people are face-to-face
with a fatal illness that they start thinking about these issues,
and often by that point it's too late to get fully prepared.
View on Death and Rebirth
...Ven. Thich Nguyen Tang...
As a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, working as a Buddhist
chaplain at several of Melbourne's hospitals and as well as Melbourne
assessment prison, I have witnessed many personal tragedies faced
by the living and of course the very process of dying and that of
death and many of these poor people faced their death with fear,
with misery and pain before departing this world.
Sick and Terminally Ill
...Lily de Silva...
who attends on the sick attends on me," declared the Buddha,
exhorting his disciples on the importance of ministering to the
sick. This famous statement was made by the Blessed One when he
discovered a monk lying in his soiled robes, desperately ill with
an acute attack of dysentery.
the Aged and the Sick
...Ven. Thich Thanh Tu...
my talk is especially addressed to the sick and old persons. The
reason for this talk is that there was a Buddhist layperson who
came and asked if I could give a small Dharma talk to his parents
who were old and dying - and because he wanted his parents to be
alert, clear-minded when the time came.
Hospice... Being of Service
long-time Buddhist practitioner, Frank uses his knowledge of both
Buddhism and Western psychotherapy in his work of de-mystifying
the care-giving process.
ghosts appear, it's like someone blowing cold air on the back of
your neck, your hair stands on end and you breathe out cold vapour.
So said the boy who could see "dead people" in the film, "The
Reflections on Death
...Ven. V. F. Gunaratana...
most of us, at some moment or another, the spectacle of death
must have given rise to the deepest of thoughts and profoundest
of questions. What is life worth, if able bodies that once performed
great deeds now lie flat and
cold, senseless and lifeless?
Los Angeles Buddhist-Roman
Los Angeles Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue is sponsored by the Buddhist
Sangha council and the Catholic Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious
Affairs. It was formed as an official, on-going, core group dialogue.
Meetings are held every six to eight
weeks, rotating between Buddhist and Catholic locations.
Buddhist Leaders of Los Angeles agreed to enter the dialogue in
spite of some feelings of reticence. Fears and distrust of Christians
formed during the colonial period still linger among much of the
Buddhist population. Nevertheless, some of the Buddhist leaders
had developed friendly relations with leaders of other religious
groups, particularly with the Roman Catholics, and were able to
assuage the fears of their colleagues. The Buddhist community saw
this dialogue as an opportunity to help increase understanding
and sympathy toward Buddhism, a process which could be helpful
to the Buddhist community.
Buddhist- Roman Catholic Retreat
Setting: Serra Retreat rests above the Pacific Ocean on a hilltop
in Malibu. With a gorgeous ocean view in front and the coastal
mountain range behind, the retreat house provided an excellent
setting for a retreat and dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics
who came from across the United States to this spot on the Pacific
Rim for an encounter between the spiritualities of the East and
of the West.
Karuna Dharma sent her email response on the Spirituality of
Interreligious Dialogue document to John Borelli. Other responses
were shared. Michael will provide them to John Borelli before
he drafts a response to Cardinal Arinze. Michael will be seeing
John in a few weeks. We said a prayer for Ven. Dr. Ratanasara
that he may recover from his recent illness. We discussed the
sutra on Maitreya Ven. Karuna provided last time.
watched Rev. Kusala's interview on a television program talking
about Buddhism and the visit of the Dalai Lama. We agreed that
Rev. Kusala spoke well of Buddhism and was very telegenic. Reviewing
the minutes of the previous dialogue, Gordon Gibb pointed out his
comment on the "mythic understanding" of Christ was not
accurately represented for, as the comment now stands, it would
be something he would not say about Christianity.
Albergate reported on his the World Parliament of Religions in
South Africa. where he was one of the representatives of Soka Gakkai
International. The Parliament had about 5000 participants and was
stimulating but overwhelming.
Fredericks: Our topic, "I seem to be a verb," refers
to the ideas of the "true self" in Buddhism and "soul" Christianity.
Where Buddhists differ from the Christian idea, I have something
to learn. Our society is dehumanizing in some ways. Christianity
needs to stand up for human dignity and social justice. "Soul" has
been developing in the Christian understanding for two thousand
read a poem by the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi. We discussed
rootedness in our traditions and transcendence. In terms of Buddhism,
is Christianity a dharma gate? Can enlightenment be achieved without
Buddhism? When and where is Nirvana?
Heart Sutra teaches that form is emptiness and emptiness is form.
If you put anicca and anatman together you get sunyata. Everything
is constantly changing so there is no permanent essence to anything.
That is the basis of sunyata. From a phenomenological level we
can see this. On earth Newtonian physics apply but out in space,
quantum physics does.
Reinke formally present copies of his master’s thesis, The
Buddhist-Roman Catholic Dialogue in Southern California: An Historical
Overview, to co-chairs Ven. Karuna Dharma and Dr. Michael Kerze.
Dan had worked on the thesis for several years, researching the
records and publications of the Dialogue, attending dialogues,
and interviewing members of the dialogue.
Oyama is a minister at a Shin Buddhist temple in Chikushi and specializes
in the thought of Shinran. He has experience of interreligious
dialogue at the conference of the Society of Buddhist Christian
Studies, at conference at Harvard, and at a Christian Buddhist
Dialogue held at his university.
Kusala reported on the conference on Benedict’s Dharma which
met in Indiana with several of the contributors to the book on
a Buddhist view of the Rule of Benedict. He reported that the next
Gethsemani Encounter will take place in April of 2002.
Samahito reported that he has an interreligious dialogue going
on in New Zealand where he opened a temple. Ven Karuna Dharma brought
copies of Zen Buddhism and Nationalism in Vietnam, written by her
late teacher, the Ven. Thich Thien-An, for background on our day’s
topic. Michael brought copies of a short paper about the history
of the Catholic Church and ant1-Semitism.
We agreed last time to share the story of our spiritual journey
that ended up with us here, today, at this dialogue. A good process
to make sure everyone has a chance to speak is the “mutual
invitation process” which I was taught as an interreligious
dialogue facilitator for the Interreligious Council of Southern
California by the NCCJ.
Thomas Bernard: I’ve always been Catholic. When I was young
it was a tough time, the Depression, but my family got through.
As soon as I saw my first grade teacher, a nun, I knew I want to
be one. In high school I was interested in drama. To save money
for college I got a job driving army trucks for the army.
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue held its second
Buddhist-Christian Colloquium at the Benedictine monastery of
Asirvanam in Bangalore, India, from 8 to 13 July. Eighteen persons
from various countries took part, seven Buddhists and 11 Christians.
in a Cave
caves house Buddha images, some ensconced in roomy chambers, others
sitting in solitary recesses. In former times they were home to
hermit monks, who have a unique understanding of pilgrimage. They
share the view of our own latter-day American hermit, Trappist
monk Thomas Merton, who wrote, "Our real journey in life is
interior; it is a matter of growth, deepening and an ever greater
surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts."
definition of dialogue: Before presenting some
reflections on how interreligious dialogue can be developed, it may
not be out
of place to recall what is meant
by this term. This is how it is defined in the document Dialogue
and Proclamation: In the context of religious plurality, dialogue
positive and constructive interreligious relations with individuals
and communities of other faiths which are directed at mutual understanding
and enrichment", in obedience to truth and respect for freedom.
as we are choosing to use the word, is a way of exploring the roots
of the many crises that face humanity today. It enables inquiry
into, and understanding of, the sorts of processes that fragment
and interfere with real communication between individuals, nations
and even different parts of the same organization.
Conflict to Dialogue
sad it is when members of the same family no longer speak to one
another, avoid looking at one another, avoid meeting! How sad it
is when Muslims and Christians, who are part of the one human family,
ignore one another, no longer exchange greetings or, even worse,
quarrel with one another!"
Journey into Buddhsim
themes of the talks are rooted in my journey, as a Christian, into
Buddhism. In the mid-1980's I felt the need to "let go" of
my own religious conditioning to enter the world of another faith.
Virgin Mary and Kuan Yin
Yin Bodhisattva's compassion for all beings is so vast and inconceivable,
our gratitude cannot comprehend nor fully express the magnitude
of her blessings. Her body and garments of brilliant, translucent
White Light. Her adornments, a white vase of Compassionate Water
in her left hand, The Sacred Willow Branch in her right hand.
Death Penalty: Choose Life?
nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated
and decided upon and ought not go to the extreme of executing the
offender except in case of absolute necessity: In other words,
when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today,
however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization
of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically
Dialogue a Buddhist Perspective
Dialogue a Buddhist Perspective an Examination of Pope John Paul
II's Crossing the Threshold of Hope a talk given at the Intermonastic
Dialogue Gethsemani Monastery, Louisville, Kentucky July, 1996
by Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara, Ph.D.
for a Feminization of the Chruch
prepare for the International Women’s Day (March 8th) we
offer a paper by a Professor of Theology and Sociology at the Diocesan
Seminary (St Pius College, Aarey Road, Goregaon East, Mumbai 400063)
and National Ecclesiastical Advisor of the Catholic Women’s
Council of India (CCWI).
Who Pray: Voices From the Past
prayer, at work and at play, a woman's experience of the divine
is distinctive. What is changing, according to four new books
on women's spirituality, is that voices silenced for centuries
finally are being heard.
and Buddhist Justice
is no mystery as to the cultural origins of the much invoked concept "justice" in
the Western world: it came directly out of the Judeo-Christian
biblical tradition and teaching. The word "just" occurs
eighty-four times in the Judeo-Christian scriptures (Bible), and
its derivative, "justice," occurs twenty times. And what
was the meaning of "justice" in this context?
Contemplate a Monastic Calling
the stillness of a balmy spring day, as a breeze floats through
the Joshua trees and a clanging bell summons the men to prayer,
the presence of God is palpable.
Aetate- Second Vatican Council
Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency
of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout
and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of
perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher
help, supreme illumination.
The Vatican Statement... Dominus Iesus
Lord Jesus, before ascending into heaven, commanded his disciples
to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world and to baptize all nations: “Go
into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
...In Los Angeles...
of a Bishop
Variety of culture that is Los Angeles was as evident as ever on
March 26 in the ordination of Bishop Edward W. Clark at St. John
Chrysostom Church in Inglewood, California.
the Power of Tech
Mahony's interest in high tech was apparent the day
he and 23 other church officials were installed as cardinals. Thousands
in the overflow, invitation-only crowd at the Vatican ceremony watched
it on a wall-size television lent by the L.A. diocese.
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