Gethsemani III / Monasticism and the Environmnet / May 27-31, 2008 / Web Page


Monks in the West - October, 2006 - Web Site


How Will the Sangha Fare in American Buddhism? - Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

I will begin with some questions: If Buddhism is to be successfully transplanted in the U.S., does it need a monastic Sangha as its cornerstone? Must there be a monastic Sangha at all, or is Buddhist monasticism an outdated institution? Can the teachings flow entirely through a “lay Sangha,” through lay teachers and communities of lay practitioners? If monastics are necessary, what should their role be? What their duties? What changes in lifestyle and orientation, if any, are required by the new conditions imposed by the Western culture in which Buddhism has taken root?

Is Doing Good Compatible with Making Money? - by Carleen Hawn

Spiritual capitalism doesn’t mean prayer sessions on the shop floor and guided meditations in the boardroom. At least it doesn’t have to. What it does mean is the success of an enterprise is measured by values like “integrity” and “commitment” as much as by targets like “efficiency” and “profitability.” It’s based on the recognition that every businessperson—whether you’re the CEO of a major multinational or the head of your own small firm—is in the service industry, and the services rendered must benefit not just yourself and your shareholders, but the planet and other people as well. The first commandment of the growing spiritual-capitalism movement is: Taking care of business means taking care of others.

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation - Gil Fronsdal

Audio in MP3 - Several times a year Gil Fronsdal offers a 5-week instructional series for beginning meditators. These classes provide a good overview of insight meditation practice as well as many guided meditation sessions which help the student learn how to establish and sustain a daily meditation practice. The "Intro to Mindfulness Meditation" web page includes audio files in MP3 from each class and class handouts with home work assignments in PDF.

Everyday Buddhism - Kusala Bhikshu

Audio in MP3 - An extension class taught in a simple, non-technical way through stories, humor and personal insights at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California titled, "Integrating Buddhist Practices Into Everyday Life." It was a four week class... Sept. 28 - Oct. 19, 2006. More than anything else, it was an overview of the Buddhist path and an introduction to a Buddhist way of life.

Paths to Perfection: Contemplative Practices in Christianity & Buddhism - B. Alan Wallace

Audio in MP3 - Jesus counseled his followers to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect, and for centuries, mystical union with God—understood as perfect love and omniscient wisdom—was the ideal of Christian contemplatives. Buddha counseled his followers to realize perfect freedom from suffering by irreversibly dispelling all the afflictions and obscurations of the mind. The ideals of personal liberation and perfect enlightenment have been pursued by Buddhist contemplatives over the past 2,500 years.

The Conscious Universe: Where Buddhism and Physics Converge - B. Alan Wallace

Audio in MP3 - Physicists have long assumed that the universe is fundamentally composed of matter and energy and that life and consciousness are accidental byproducts of configurations of matter. But a growing number of distinguished physicists are now suggesting that consciousness may play a much more fundamental role in nature than scientists previously believed.

Mississippi River    Buddhist Pilgrimage - March 2005

Jotipalo Bhikkhu, a Buddhist monk from the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, in Redwood Valley, California and Austin Stewart from Gunnison, Colorado completed an 1,800-mile walking pilgrimage from New Orleans, Louisiana to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The plan was to dedicate any merit from the pilgrimage to peace, both individual peace for all beings and for world peace.

Thirty Years as a Western Buddhist Monk
...Ajahn Pasanno...

Fearless Mountain: What was your early religious experience?

Ajahn Pasanno: I was raised in northern Manitoba, 600 miles north of the U.S. border. My religion was Anglican, which is Episcopalian in the U.S. I had a good experience growing up as a Christian. It was a small town and a small church. My family was reasonably devout. My father had grown up in the United Church, and we took religious classes together. But by the time I was 16 or 17, I found it difficult to maintain any kind of faith. I stopped going to church and taking communion. I started to look for alternatives.

FM: Did you ever think you would become a monk?

Music in the Dharma/Dharma in the Music
Rev. Heng Sure, Betsy Rose & Alan Senauke

Audio in MP3 - The joys and teachings of dharma flow through every human activity. The creation of sound and rhythm in the midst of space and silence has always helped people wake up to life. Music flourished in specific ways in every culture around the world, and it has the ability to cut through our perceived differences. Insight Meditation Center brings together three Western practitioners of Buddhism and of music. Their folk-rooted acoustic music combines tradition and innovation much as our practice here in California does the same. But the bottom line is that we can share and enjoy this music together.

Buddhism in America
...6 Audio Cassettes from 'Sounds True'...

What happens when an ancient Asian spiritual tradition takes root in a brash young democracy? Ask the world’s leading Buddhist teachers and thinkers this question, and you have Buddhism in America, Volume I, a historic collection of the most provocative and insightful sessions from the respected Buddhism in America national conferences. Here are the sometimes iconoclastic, always brilliant visions of those who are mapping out the present and future of American Buddhism.

Sampling Monastic Life
Virginia de Leon

NEWPORT, Wash. – Eyes closed, heads bowed, hands together in prayer, the 10 women and men inside the log cabin meditate in silence. "Through purity, freeing from attachment, through virtue freeing from the lower realm," they later chant out loud, sitting on cushions on the floor before an ornate altar to the Buddha. "…To the Dharma that is peace, I bow."

Macintosh Monk
Julie Strack

Reverend Heng Sure, a Buddhist monk living in a Berkeley monastery, hopes to reach Western audiences by podcasting his lectures on Eastern philosophy and veganism... When Reverend Heng Sure, Ph.D. isn't meditating at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery or teaching at the Graduate Theological Union, he's recording lectures for his podcast and composing on his 12-string acoustic guitar.

Dedication of Merit/Compassionate and Wise
by Rev. Heng Sure

We are two monastic communities, Mahayana Buddhist and Benedictine Catholic, who have used a piece of Loreena McKennitt's music for our worship. We have recorded a song called (alternately) "Dedication of Merit," and "Compassionate and Wise."

The Smokey the Bear Sutra
...Gary Snyder...

Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings--even the grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

Buddhism and Psychedelics
...Geoffrey Redmond

The use of psychedelic drugs is that dark little secret behind the popular origins of Eastern spirituality in America, but if they really open the mind in the same ways meditative experiences do, why shouldn't they be legitimated and brought out into the open? In Allan Hunt Badiner and Alex Grey's Zig Zag Zen authors, artists, priests, and scientists are brought together to discuss this question. Opinions fall on all sides. Ram Dass, for instance, discusses the benefits as well as the limitations. Rick Fields sets the historical scene. China Galland offers a wrenching personal experience. Lama Surya Das tells of his early drug years. And a roundtable discussion with Ram Dass, Robert Aitken, Richard Baker, and Joan Halifax caps it all.

What Can Cognitive Neuroscience Learn from Contemplative Spirituality?
Peter G. Grossenbacher, Ph.D.

Subjective experience is orchestrated by vast networks of living brain cells. Empirical studies are now encountering depths and nuances of experience in religion and spirituality previously unknown to science.  Meditation, the central contemplative practice of Buddhism, trains attentive skills which mediate profound observations of subtle human experience, and is receiving great scientific interest, fueled by recently developed functional brain imaging methods.  The subtleties of spiritual experience are explored from a neuroscience view that delineates the pivotal roles of attention and intercellular communication within the nervous system. 

Becoming a Zen Teacher
...Fr. Kevin Hunt...

Fr. Kevin Hunt, a former member of the board of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, is a monk of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. As announced in the Board News section of this bulletin, he was installed as a Zen teacher (sensei) on April 17 of this year. He kindly agreed to write the following account of how he came to undertake Zen training. - Copyright MID / www.monasticdialog.com

Mastering the Art of Meditation
...Julie Garrett

Having spent three years in seclusion, Gainesville's David Bole is now a lama in the Tibetan tradition... As we turn 50, we become acutely aware that we are running out of time. David Bole's response to that awareness was to embark on a journey of the mind, a journey that placed him in a 3-foot-by-3-foot box 14 to 16 hours a day... In November 2000, Bole, a Gainesville acupuncturist, left for a Buddhist retreat at a meditation center in the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York - a retreat that lasted for three years, three months and three days.

Towards a Buddhist Psychotherapy
...C. George Boeree...

What follows is my effort at showing the relevance of Buddhism to western psychotherapy, especially existential therapy. Although it may not sit well with purists, I hope that this article captures the spirit of the Buddha's message.

A Happy Married life - A Buddhist View
...Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda...

From time immemorial, man has been preoccupied with the pursuit of happiness in life, from the cradle to the grave. He works and struggles very hard to attain happiness, very often without knowing exactly what happiness means because of his ignorance of the nature of life. Although all religions provide advice and guidelines for their adherents to practice in order to attain happiness in life, more often than not, these advices and guidelines are ignored owing to man's craving, hatred and illusion.

Buddha by the Bay - West Coast Art
...William S. Kowinski...

From the first Chinatown temples through the Beat era and into the 21st century, Buddhism has been contributing to the cultural palette of the Bay Area and California. So when Jacquelynn Baas, former director of the Berkeley Art Museum, heard about nascent efforts among New York curators to examine Buddhism's influences in Western art, she suggested that something like this ought to be done on the West Coast as well. "Buddhism has been an important presence in American cultural life for generations," Baas said, "and historically, demographically, this is where a lot of it really happened."

Alms Round at Shasta Abbey
Paul Boerger...

With their traditional garb suspending time to another era, a group of Buddhists from Shasta Abbey made a traditional alms round in Mount Shasta last week from the Lake Street Shopping Center through downtown... Dressed in Buddhist robes and carrying specially prepared alms bowls, the monks did not speak. The lead monk rang a soft bell and tapped a cane on the ground.

The Zen of Guitar

One of the cornerstones of Zen Guitar is that, as we are unique people, so will our experience with the guitar be unique. Each person discovers his or her own way. In my experience, the practice of Zen guitar means many things.

The Tao of Neo
...Joe Gross...

The poster for "The Matrix Reloaded" says "Free Your Mind."... But didn't we do that the last time? Didn't Morpheus, Trinity and Neo help us escape from the prison we "cannot smell or taste or touch"? Hasn't the path to enlightenment unfolded before us?... Didn't we already swallow the red pill?

The Culture Industry Has You
...Thomas Dodson...

The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, whose latest book, Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Verso, 2002), references The Matrix in its title, compares the first installment of the Wachowski brothers’ three-part sci-fi spectacle to one of those spooky paintings of God that always seems to be staring back at you, no matter where you stand in the room. In a similar play of perspective, The Matrix and its sequel, The Matrix: Reloaded, also seem capable of reflecting almost any critical gaze back at the viewer. Just ask any philosophically minded group of people who haven’t been living in Plato’s cave for the last four years what they see in the films, and they will offer you readings that reference everything from postmodern simulation to Christian Gnosticism, Zen Buddhism, and French psychoanalysis.

A Gradual Awakening and the "Dharma Punx"
...Paul Liberatore...

WITH HIS SHAVED head and tattoos, Noah Levine is right at home on the Warped Tour with hard core punk bands like Rancid, Poison the Well and Suicide Machines... But Levine is a punk rocker with a passion for more than angry, defiant music. A self-described "spiritual revolutionary," he has "wisdom" and "compassion" tattooed on his hands and images of Buddha and Krishna on his arms.

Sitting Judge: Chief Justice Becomes Monk
...Elaine Jarvik...

The robe is black, with a rope around the waist and fabric that drapes voluminously through the sleeves. So now, as Mike Zimmerman stands before his teacher and prepares to sit, he must arrange the robe just so, folding and tucking and folding some more... He once was chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court. In those days he wore a different black robe, but that was then and this is now, and, as any Buddhist knows, then is not so important. In those days he sat on the bench. Now he is sitting, cross-legged, on the floor.

Buddhist Prayer Flags in Eugene, Oregon
...Jeff Wright...

Today's riddle: What's red and green and yellow and blue and white and flapping in the wind outside an increasing number of Eugene homes and businesses?... Answer: A thousand prayers for peace. Or, more specifically, strings of brightly colored Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags.

Thich Nhat Hanh to Teach Police Officers
...Associated Press...

MADISON, WISCONSIN— Madison police Capt. Cheri Maples wants to bring peace back to police work... She helped recruit Thich Nhat Hanh, an internationally known Buddhist monk and scholar, to shed light on how police officers and other community workers can achieve peace.

An Irreverent Look at Zen in America
...Rev. Jñana...

A Dharma Talk at the IBMC --- Zen has had a significant religious impact in America for at least half a century. For most of that time its influence has been limited to literature and the arts in addition to a small, but growing, sangha of ordained teachers and practitioners. In recent years, however, popularized notions of Zen have entered the cultural mainstream of American society so that Zen has become a trendy buzzword.

The Boy Monk
...Ann Do, Teri Sforza, Cindy Yamanaka...

There was something very different about Donald Pham. Even as a child, he seemed strangely wise. His parents came to believe that he was a monk in his previous life and should study in India. We follow his arduous path as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in a four-part series.

First Encounters of the Buddhist Kind
...Hollis Walker...

Santa Fe's Buddhist community once comprised a group of "hippie types" who exemplified the idea of an alternative lifestyle.

The Tensions in American Buddhism
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

MARY ALICE WILLIAMS: Buddhism is the world's fourth largest religion, founded about 2500 years ago in India. The Buddha taught that life is suffering and the way to overcome that is to get rid of attachments. Widely practiced across Asia, Buddhism has attracted many converts in this country. They are developing forms of Buddhist practice that are often very different from the practices of Asian-Americans. Some observers believe there is a growing ethnic divide in American Buddhism. Correspondent Kim Lawton has our cover story.

The Direction of Buddhism in America Today
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

For more than a century, Buddhism has been on a remarkable ride in America. It has gone from the marginal religion of Chinese and Japanese immigrants on the West Coast (plus a few eccentric Euro-Americans who dabbled in Theosophy and spiritualism) to a religion practiced by millions of Americans throughout the country and known, at some level at least, to millions more through books, magazines, television, and movies.

The Roots of Today's Buddhism
Peter Steinfels- The NY Times

Even though the historic Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, is said to have lived approximately 2,500 years ago, Buddhism is often viewed as the most modern of world religions.

Inner truths
...Brian Alterowitz...

Very little about Buddhism is universal. There are as many different paths of Buddhism as there are branches of Christianity, each with its own take on what is true. For example, some practitioners of Vipassanna don't consider what they practice a religion, or even call themselves Buddhists.

Seeing the Essence
...Susan Van Dongen...

One of the central ideas in Buddhism is that life is a classroom and the main subject is suffering. As much as we don't like it, without these challenges we don't gain the wisdom to graduate to the next level of consciousness.

An Interview with Bhikkhu Boddhi
...June 20, 2001...

I was born in NYC in 1944, my civilian name was Jeffrey Block, and my parents were a middle class Jewish family living in Brooklyn.

An Interview with Thanissaro Bhikkhu
...A Question of Skill...

The route was a lot less roundabout than you might think. Like many college students, I was obsessed with deciding what to do with my life. Business, government, academia: I couldn't see myself finding happiness in any of them. I didn't want to lie on my deathbed, looking back at a life frittered away. Fortunately, in my sophomore year, I was introduced to Buddhist meditation, and I took to it like a duck to water.

Rainbow Dharma
...For people of color?- Choyin Rangdrol...

Experience for yourself whether your local Dharma center or organization represents the diversity of America. If a particular racial group is dominant at the center or organization ask yourself, "What would be the experience of someone not represented by this group, if they were to come here?", "What would someone not from the majority group have to do to fit in?".

American Buddhism
...A Bibliography on Buddhist Traditions...

During the past two decades, research on Buddhism in North America has expanded tremendously. This bibliography is meant to serve as a preliminary guide to the main scholarly accounts on the history, development and state of affairs of Buddhism in the U.S.A. and Canada.

The Legacy of our Children
...Judith Simmer-Brown...

My topic is Buddhism in the 21st century, the legacy we are leaving our children. My first concern is a housekeeping concern. Have we set the American Buddhist house in order? Specifically, if our children wish to continue the traditions of Buddhist practice, what are we doing to make that possible?

The Worldliness of Buddhism
...Donald K. Swearer...

Despite Buddhism's growing presence in the West, most Americans still badly misunderstand this ancient world religion. The leaders of Philadelphia's Thai community were rudely reminded of this unpleasant fact during the 1980s when they set out to buy land for a Buddhist temple and monastery not far from the City of Brotherly Love.

Buddhism Comes to Main Street
...Jan Nattier...

Buddhism is big news in America these days. Whether through a New York Times article carrying the Dalai Lama's latest remarks or a CNN spot on a political fund-raising scandal at a Taiwanese branch temple in Los Angeles, whether by seeing Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha or following Tina Turner's life story in What's Love Got to Do With It?, Americans have become more aware than ever before of something called "Buddhism."

The Dharma Has Come West
.. Martin Baumann...

Buddhism's dramatic growth in Western countries, observable for about the past three decades, has been accompanied by an increased number of Buddhist books and scholarly studies. Whereas the former publications focus mainly on personal experiences and religious expositions given by Buddhist practitioners, the latter historically describe and sociologically analyze developments of the transplantation and adaptation of Buddhist traditions in Western countries.

Online NewsHour...Teaching Religion

MONK (Rev. Kusala): Then you have the human world, that's where we are... BETTY ANN BOWSER: This comparative religion class at a suburban Los Angeles public high school recently had a lesson on Buddhism taught by a monk.

Online NewsHour Forum...Teaching Religion

Schools across America are talking about religion. But the question many educators are asking is not about prayer in the classroom, but about religion as curriculum.

9th Western Buddhist Monastic Conference
...Photos - Oct. 2003...

This year the host was Vajrapani Institute, situated in Boulder Creek, California. Our monastic conferences originally started for Western monastics to gather together and spend time learning about each other's work and practices in the West as well providing an opportunity for us to be rejuvenated in a monastic setting. In this same spirit, this conference was open to monastics from all Buddhist traditions and cultures, but is particularly for monastics born or raised in the West, who follow traditional vows, which include observing celibac

The 8th Western Buddhist Monastic Conference
...November 7th - 11th, 2002...

This 8th Monastic Conference focused on the theme True to the Source through a variety of methods: direct exposure ~ through our contact with one another and on-site tours given by resident monastics of both the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Abhayagiri Monasteries; contemplation ~ through collective meditation and listening; and communication ~ through informal conversation and storytelling, as well as four traditional Councils centered on the topics below.

Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of St. Benedict
...A Buddhist- Christian Monastic Conference...

Gathered on September 19-21, 2001 at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana to launch and discuss the book, Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of St. Benedict, edited by Patrick Henry and published by Riverhead Press... Hosted by Sister Mary Margaret Funk and Fr. William Skudlarek, the conference was convened only just over a week after the events of September 11, the conference was without two participants in the book, Joseph Goldstein and Norman Fischer, who felt it was more appropriate to be with their Buddhist communities at the time. However, the editor, Patrick Henry, and contributors Judith Simmer-Brown and Ven. Yifa were able to attend, along with about 100 attendees, both from Buddhist and Christian communities

Gethsemani II
...A Buddhist- Catholic Conference on Suffering...

The second Gethsemani Encounter took place at Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky from April 13 to April 18, 2002. The dialogue was over 30 scheduled hours, with 22 presentations from Buddhists and Catholics.

Photos from the 7th Western Monastic Conference
...October, 2001- City of 10,000 Buddhas...

Report on the 7th, 6th, & 4th
Western Monastic Conference...

The theme of the October 2001 conference was Monastic Training. The presentation topics were Upholding the monastic tradition in the West - What are the essentials?, Adaptation to the West, Transforming Worldly People into Monastics, Heart of the Life, and Where are we Going? These discussions provided opportunities to broaden our understanding of the topics and expand our capacity to work within our own communities and gain greater appreciation and understanding of other communities in these areas...

...Women in Buddhism...

Women Active in Buddhism
...Web Sites...

The Web's first comprehensive collection of links and resources on contemporary Buddhist women. Female teachers, activists, scholars, nuns, and yoginis (practitioners) may be found on these pages, as well as teachings and special events, projects, organisations, bibliographic and contact information. We also offer a complete guide to the many female meditational deities found in Tibetan Buddhist practice.

Homegrown Soto Zen Minister
...Mary Kaye Ritz...

Mary Beth Jiko Oshima-Nakade, 43, trained entirely in Hawaii for her job as assistant minister at Daifukuji Soto Mission in Kona — a trend other major Buddhist sects watch with interest. The Soto Zen ministerial training program has been called a hope for the survival of the religion here, as members age and the face of traditional ethnic Buddhism changes.

Women in Buddhism
...Rev. Patti Nakai...

If anyone wanted to present Buddhism as a viciously sexist religion, they could easily do so by quoting out of context passages from numerous sutras or from more recent texts such as Shinran's wasan (poems) or the by-laws of the Shinshu Otani-ha (Higashi Honganji's denomination) which denies female clergy the same status as male priests. But I believe the essential spirit of Buddhism absolutely includes all beings, male and female, in its vision of enlightenment. If I did not believe in that then I would not want to be a part of this religious tradition. In this intermittent series, I hope to make it clear that women have always been involved in Buddhist history and that their role has been very crucial even if often overlooked.

Women in Early Buddhist Texts
...Dr. Bimala Churn Law...

An account of some famous women who figure prominently in the early Buddhist texts is given in the following pages. The account will show that women were not a negligible factor in the ancient Buddhist community of India.

Inspiration from Enlightened Nuns
...Susan Elbaum Jootla...

The ancient commentaries give us information about each nun's background and also explain the poems themselves. Two major themes of relevance to contemporary students of the Dhamma run through these stories: (1) the immeasurably long time that we have all been lost in samsara, the round of birth and death; and (2) the working of the impersonal law of kammic cause and effect which brought these women into contact with the Buddha's teachings in what was to be their final lifetime.

The Position of Women in Buddhism
...Dr. (Mrs.) L.S. Dewaraja...

Today, when the role of Women in Society is an issue of worldwide interest it is opportune that we should pause to look at it from a Buddhist perspective. In the recent past, a number of books have been written on the changing status of women in Hindu and Islamic societies, but with regard to women in Buddhism, ever since the distinguished Pali scholar, Miss I.B. Horner, wrote her book on Women under Primitive Buddhism, as far back as 1930, very little interest has been taken in the subject.

Buddhist Women at the Time of The Buddha
...Hellmuth Hecker...

At the time of the Buddha, a daughter was born to the foreman of the guild of garland-makers in Savatthi. She was beautiful, clever and well behaved and a source of joy to her father... One day, when she had just turned sixteen, she went to the public flower gardens with her girl-friends and took three portions of fermented rice along in her basket as the day's sustenance.

Four American Dharma Teachers
...Interviewed by The Shambhala Sun...

Sharon Salzberg, Barbara Rhodes, Judith Simmer-Brown & Pat O'Hara on what it means to be a woman dharma teacher and how they'd like to see Buddhism in America evolve.

Ordination of Women
...Ajahn Brahmavamso...

To become a bhikkhuni a woman had to begin by asking for 'ordination' as a sikkhamana (meaning a woman in training) before an assembly of at least 5 bhikkhunis. Her training consisted of 6 rules: the Five Precepts, the third of which being extended to complete celibacy, plus abstaining from eating outside of the morning time. Only when she had kept these six rules UNBROKEN FOR TWO YEARS could she, with the permission of her parents and husband, take higher ordination as a bhikkhuni.

...Special Interest...

The Sick and Terminally Ill
...Lily de Silva...

"He 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. With the help of Ananda, the Buddha washed and cleaned the sick monk in warm water.

For the Aged and the Sick
...Ven. Thich Thanh Tu...

Today, 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.

Zen Hospice... Being of Service
...Frank Ostasesk...

Frank Ostaseski is the Founding Director of the Zen Hospice Project, a nationally recognized programme of conscious care for the dying in San Francisco. Inspired by the 2,500-year-old Buddhist tradition of contemplating sickness, old age and death, the Zen Hospice Project encourages and supports a mutually beneficial relationship between volunteer caregivers and individuals facing death. This innovative model of conscious care provides a spectrum of collaborative volunteer programmes, residential care, and training which aim at cultivating wisdom and compassion through service. Founded in 1987, the Zen Hospice Project is the oldest and largest Buddhist hospice in America.

Buddhist Reflections on Death
...Ven. V. F. Gunaratana...

To the average man death is by no means a pleasant subject or talk for discussion. It is something dismal and oppressive -- a veritable kill-joy, a fit topic for a funeral house only. The average man immersed as he is in the self, ever seeking after the pleasurable, ever pursuing that which excites and gratifies the senses, refuses to pause and ponder seriously that these very objects of pleasure and gratification will some day reach their end.

Investigation for Insight
...Susan Elbaum Jootla...

All the teachings of the Buddha had one goal -- the elimination of all suffering, all grief, misery, pain and anguish. All the kinds of meditation he explained were designed to train the mind of the student to become detached from all the phenomena of the world, within and outside of himself. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation because detachment is the opposite of tanha or craving and it is this tanha that is the source of all the sorts of suffering experienced by sentient beings.

Teacher of the Devas
...Susan Elbaum Jootla...

Many religious leaders consider themselves prophets whose authority stems from an Almighty God, but as our epithet implies, the Buddha's relationship to divinity was very different. He instructed deities, as well as humans, on how to end all suffering (dukkha) by eradicating ignorance and other unwholesome states. The gods came to the Buddha to request instruction and clarification, to support his Sasana or Dispensation, to praise his incomparable qualities, and to pay homage at his feet. Devas and brahmas are often mentioned throughout the Pali Canon.

A Comentary on the First Discourse
...John Malcomson...

The Dharmacakrapravartana Sutra is known as the first sermon given by the Buddha. Buddha was born Siddartha Gautama in the land of the Shakyas in northern India. He was a prince and lived a life of luxury. He was uninterested in being a king and was often found meditating on the mysteries of life.

Going forth: A call to Buddhist Monkhood
...Sumana Samanera...

The essay that forms the first part of this booklet, bears in its German original the title Pabbajja which, in Pali, the language of the Buddhist texts, means Going forth, namely from the household life to the homelessness of a Buddhist monk.

The Meaning of the Buddha's Awakening
...Thanissaro Bhikkhu...

The two crucial aspects of the Buddha's Awakening are the what and the how: what he awakened to and how he did it. His awakening is special in that the two aspects come together. He awakened to the fact that there is an undying happiness, and that it can be attained through human effort.

Benedict's Dharma 2
...A Buddhist/Christian - Benedictine Experience...

Sr. Mary Margaret Funk, OSB, Kusala Bhikshu, and Mr. Karl Peterson, guide 40 participants through a week-long retreat on the "Rule of St. Benedict."

...Food for Thought...

Animal Right in Buddhism
...Bhikkhu Dhammavihari...

There are two basic premises in Buddhism based on which I propose to talk to you on this subject of animal rights this evening. At the very outset, it is good to remind ourselves that more than two and half millennia ago, the Buddha had a vision of the universe, not as one created by any one at any specific point of time, but as one which has evolved itself through both time and space.

Buddhism and Peace
...Jan Willis...

I was raised in the Jim Crow era of the Southern United States. In 1963, I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. In 1965, after winning scholarships to universities, my family suffered a cross-burning by the KKK. IN 1967-68, I went to India and met the Tibetans. In 1969, after a cross-burning at Cornell, I joined an armed upraising of students. After that I had to choose between joining the Black Panther Party or returning to Nepal to study in a Buddhist monastery. Ultimately, I chose peace.

Good and Evil in Buddhism
...Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto...

Because kamma is directly concerned with good and evil, any discussion of kamma must also include a discussion of good and evil. Standards for defining good and evil are, however, not without their problems. What is "good," and how is it so? What is it that we call "evil," and how is that so?

The Military in the Pali Canon
...Matthew Kosuta Ph.D.

The coexistence of a pacifist ethic and a military tradition creates an apparent contradiction. In an attempt to better understand this paradox, I studied the treatment of the military in the Pali Canon.[2] The general focus of my studies is the interaction between a pacifist religion, in this case Theravada Buddhism, and the military apparatus that protects the country within which this religion is found.

Buddhism and Suicide
...Damien Keown...

In his 1983 paper "The 'Suicide' Problem in the Pali 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."

Buddhism and the Morality of Abortion
...Michael G. Barnhart...

It is quite clear from a variety of sources that abortion has been severely disapproved of in the Buddhist tradition. It is also equally clear that abortion has been tolerated in Buddhist Japan and accommodated under exceptional circumstances by some modern Buddhists in the U.S.

Are There "Human Rights" in Buddhism
...Damien Keown...

Political events in the course of this century, however, have forced the issue of human rights to the top of the agenda. [5] The Chinese invasion of Tibet, the bitter ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, and the experience of military dictatorship in countries such as Burma have all provided contemporary Buddhism with first-hand experience of the issues at stake.

Attitudes to Euthanasia in the Vinaya and Commentary
... Damien Keown...

The 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.

...Buddhism and Economics...

Buddhist Economics

Buddhists often tend to disregard economics completely, because the monastic way of life idealized by Buddhism is economically very minimalist. Such neglect of comment concerning economic values is not warranted, however, because the Buddhist scriptures are in fact rich with advice from the Buddha regarding sound economic values -- and they are applicable to monastic and lay lifestyles alike.

Economic Stability in Buddhism
...Ven. M. Pannasha Maha Nayaka Thera...

In recent times many books have been written on the subject of economics and economic theory, all of them either from the Capitalist or Socialist point of view. Neither of these systems pays attention to, nor considers the inner development of man as an important factor in the growth of society. Hence there has been a rapid deterioration in human values and standards of behaviour in all classes of society.

Economics as if People Mattered
...E.F. Schumacher...

The Buddhist point of view takes the function of work to be at least threefold: to give man a chance to utilise and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his ego-centredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth goods and services needed for a becoming existence.

Buddhist Economics: A Middle Way
...Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto...

In this small volume, Venerable Dhammapitaka (P. A. Payutto) offers a Buddhist perspective on the subject of economics. While not seeking to present a comprehensive Buddhist economic theory, he provides many tools for reflection, ways of looking at economic questions based on a considered appreciation of the way things are, the way we are.

Protestant vs Buddhist Economics: 'A Critical Look'
...John Dwyer...

In "Buddhist Economics", for example, E.F. Schumacher tries to show us that Buddhism offers an alternative spiritual approach that could help not only the advanced nations but also those nations that are confronting scientific and technological development in an effort to improve the conditions of life in poor regions.

...Buddhism and Social Action...

Socially Engaged Buddhism
...Diana Winston...

As the field of socially engaged Buddhism (SEB) has developed, there has never been a coherent or systematic attempt to create an authoritative basis for the work of SEB. Many of our elders, including Joanna Macy, Thich Nhat Hanh, Robert Aitken Roshi and others have all written movingly on the socially engaged imperative. Yet most have operated in isolation.

Meditation on a Coke Can
...Elliott Zimmermann

Awareness, dependent origination, and impermanence are all important concepts in Buddhism. Can these concepts be applied to our everyday interaction with the environment? When looking at the Coke can you are about to throw “away” (just where IS “away”?), just what are you aware of?

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship
...Socially Engaged Buddhism...

For over two decades, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship has been in the forefront of socially engaged Buddhism.

Buddhism and Social Action An Exploration
...Ken Jones...

It is the manifest suffering and folly in the world that invokes humane and compassionate social action in its many different forms. For Buddhists this situation raises fundamental and controversial questions. And here, also, Buddhism has implications of some significance for Christians, humanists and other non-Buddhists.

Violence and Disruption in Society
...Elizabeth J. Harris...

In this study, I define violence as that which harms, debases, dehumanizes or brutalizes human beings, animals or the natural world; and the violent person, as one who causes harm in speech or action, either directly or indirectly, or whose mind is filled with such thoughts. [2] The approach will be scriptural, and the resource I use will be the Pali texts.

A Buddhist Vision of Social Justice
...Sungtaek Cho...

Because of its emphasis on individual salvation, Buddhism is often seen as a quietist religion that fails to consider societal problems. This is, of course, a gross exaggeration. Mahayana Buddhism is bodhisattva ideal, Pure Land doctrine, and Maitreyanism, which often appeared in China in times of political instability, both reach past the individual to relate Buddhist soteriology to society as a whole.

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The Top "20" Religions in the US

Adherents.com: National & World Religion Statistics - Church Statistics - World Religion

The 9th Western Buddhist Monastic Conference With presentations and discussions on: SUFFERING & TRANSFORMATION Vajrapani Institute, Boulder Creek, California - October 6-10, 2003 - Photo Album: The 9th Western Buddhist Monastic Conference 2003

The 11th Western Buddhist Monastic Conference (September, 2005) - (See Photo Album) gathered at Shasta Abbey in California, the theme this year - Monastic Practice.

Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage

While that may not have been the Buddha himself people saw cycling past them down North State Street this past Sunday, it may well have been the spirit of the Buddha. On bikes decorated with multicolored prayer flags flapping in the wind, 60 riders, supported by more than 20 volunteers, came together for a unique two-day event.

Three Steps, One Bow for Peace

Two American Buddhist monks on a journey of a lifetime, from downtown Los Angeles
to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talamage,California. A journey of more
than 800 miles thattook two years and nine months to complete.

Excerpts - Three Steps, One Bow Journals // Three Steps and a Bow  -  Photo Album


3 Steps and a Bow -- Peace Trek -- May, 2004

In this same spirit of peace we (University Buddhist Association at UCLA and friends) commemorated their efforts on Saturday May 8th by walking 14 miles in their footsteps from the International Buddhist Meditation Center along Wilshire Blvd. to the campus of UCLA - at Sunset Canyon.

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