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RESPONSE TO RICHARD: One small but important quibble

Started by David Brazier Jan 8. 0 Replies

Richard Ollier has recently published an essay in the Journal of Global Buddhism "Dharmavidya’s Engagement with Hōnen: How a Contemporary British Pureland Buddhist Teacher Retrieves his Japanese Spiritual Heritage"*It is a good academic article and,…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Jan 5. 3 Replies

I have recently read an essay about Theravada meditation. Of its type it is an excellent essay. It decribes samatha (calm meditation) and vipassana (insight meditation) and the relations between them, showing how in some schools samatha provides a…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Vajrapala Lut Moerman Dec 23, 2018. 2 Replies

The Three Jewels are the heart of Buddhism. The three are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. They are the foundation and core of the Buddhist religion. When one becomes a Buddhist one takes refuge in the Three Jewels. So what are they and what…Continue


Started by David Brazier Dec 22, 2018. 0 Replies

We are once again at the festive mid-winter season. Throughout history and probably pre-history too, people have celebrated this time as the turning point of the year. The shortest day is just past. From now on the days will get longer as the planet…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Dec 20, 2018. 2 Replies

There is a form of Zen or Chan meditation that is called silent illumination. It has been said that illumination simply means awareness and that this method is, therefore, that of sitting still in complete awareness, simply allowing life to pass…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Óscar Martínez Dec 17, 2018. 1 Reply

Self is an intervening fantasy that masks reality. What does this mean?Perhaps one eats too much chocolate. One feels a bit sick. One learns not to eat so much of it at one go. Simple.However, what may happen is that after eating too much chocolate…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Carol English Dec 14, 2018. 5 Replies

Meditation is a natural expression of spiritual liberation. When we are swimming in grace, the heart lifts and sings. In following the Dharma one is filled with joy and gratitude that Buddha’s appear in the world. The traditional way to express this…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Carol English Dec 11, 2018. 7 Replies

On December 8 we celebrate the anniversary of the enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha. Let us reflect a little upon this.Siddhartha Gotama was somebody who threw himself into things. In his early life he evidently was a sensitive lad given to…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Tamuly Annette Dec 7, 2018. 3 Replies

[This piece is work in progress. I may come back to it at a later date. I post it now fir anybody who is interested. Feedback welcome]This essay tackles the tricky question of dualism. On the one hand, this is an abstruse philosophical issue. On the…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Dec 6, 2018. 4 Replies

There is a wonderful text that records the saying of the Desert Fathers or Abba. The Abba were hermits who lived in the desert of North Africa in the early Christian period. The stories are of a similar genre to the Buddhist stories of enlightenment…Continue

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Comment by Ryusho Jeffus on March 17, 2018 at 19:00
Beautifully and skillfully stated. Thank you.
Comment by Tamuly Annette on March 13, 2017 at 20:46

Illustration des cinq niveaux selon Tung Shan

Lors de ses enseignement à l'Oasis, durant ce mois de mars 2017, Dharmavidya a commenté les cinq niveaux de la voie, selon Tung Shan. Ces niveaux sont illustrés par des métaphores particulièrement parlantes.

1. L'orgueil précède la chute

Au début de la nuit, quand la lumière de la lune est encore à venir, il n'est pas surprenant de rencontrer sans la reconnaître l'ancienne souillure profondément cachée dans le cœur.


La nuit se réfère au samsara, c'est le temps de l'obscurité. La lune représente le Dharma apparaissant dans le monde. Tant qu'on ne l'a pas rencontré, il n'est pas possible de comprendre en particulier nos fautes et notre responsabilité. On est sûr de soi, mais de façon limitée. Nous avons des preuves de notre nature cachée, mais nous ne les reconnaissons pas. A ce stade, nous croyons que la réalité doit s'incliner devant nous. Nous pensons que tout nous est du. Nous avons l'impression que nous pouvons tout avoir et tout accomplir et si ce n'est pas le cas, nous accusons les autres.

2. Se prosterner devant la vertu

La vieille femme ridée trouve un vieux miroir. Là, apparaît son visage, différent de celui qu'elle avait imaginé. Saisie, elle s'arrête et pourtant elle reconnaît son image.


La vieille femme ridée représente la personne qui a de l'expérience et a perdu un peu de l'arrogance de sa jeunesse. Trouver le miroir signifie trouver le Dharma ou se voir soi-même. C'est un choc. Nous faisons face à ce que nous sommes réellement: nous avons plus d'expérience ,mais nous avons perdu notre beauté. A ce stade la personne s'incline devant la réalité.

3. Avoir atteint la perfection

Loin du centre, il est une route sans poussière,

Contente-toi d'éviter et ne considère pas ce qui est actuellement interdit

Coupe ta mauvaise langue et avance vers la victoire.


Assagi par l'expérience consistante à se voir soi-même, on recherche une voie. Très vite, on découvre un principe pour s'améliorer. C'est la position de la religion conventionnelle. La part obscure est réprimée et la personne se conforme à ce qui est considéré comme correct. La question est de distinguer le bon du mauvais et d'obéir aux principes. C'est une attitude moralisatrice. Dans la mesure où l'on adhère à la rectitude, on considère qu'on est parvenu au but. Du point de vue du Mahayana, c'est la position de l'arhat.     

Comment by Stephen greenberg on January 6, 2016 at 16:23
Dear Dharmavidya, I've just read your writing on Contrition. As usual,you always know how to get right into my heart!Contrition is indeed born from honesty.Admitting our Bombu reality is so freeing.However, I'm caught in the Self-power/ Other-power quandry.If we accept our Bombu state, how do we proceed? Do we still strive while knowing we can never do it "perfectly"? To some the Bombu paradigm doesn't gel with our bootstrapping indoctrination.How have you navigated our perennial tightrope walk?
Namo Amida Bu, Steve

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Posted by David Brazier on January 11, 2019 at 9:43 2 Comments

I’ve always been interested in groupwork. Recently I’ve been facilitating a rather challenging group. It includes an older man who is enjoying his retirement, an outdoor type who does not say so much but clearly regards the other members as wimps, a writer who has an irritating obsession with etymology, one I think of as the wanderer whose life problem seems to be that of never having learnt to settle down, who tells endless entertaining stories of travels, love affairs and so on, and I was…


Sense on Brexit

Posted by Geeta Chari on December 16, 2018 at 18:51 0 Comments

I found this piece tremendously sensible, well-reasoned, and above all, realistic.


Posted by David Brazier on December 14, 2018 at 18:52 6 Comments

Carol drove me into Ottawa at midday on Wednesday 12th. I had spent the morning being interviewed and making a short film. In Ottawa we had lunch at the vegetarian restaurant and then went on to the airport where she dropped me off. I was to take a local plane to Montreal then fly to Paris and on to Bilbao in Spain with Air France, due to arrive at nine in the morning local time the following day. F would meet me in Spain and take me back to stay with him in a village near Vittoria.…



Posted by David Brazier on December 8, 2018 at 15:00 4 Comments

I'd like to try to say something about real life, which is the only thing that is really interesting.

I have been a bookworm ever since I learnt to read, which was not until I was seven years old. By that time I had already had important spiritual experiences. I was a rather odd child. Many ideas went through my head that tended to set me apart from other children.



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