In response to Vajrapala’s request that I might describe the Buddhist teaching on death, here is what I have heard. Some parts of this, through near-death experiences, samadhi, and memories of innocent childhood, I have conscious awareness of having
In the on-line order meeting this past Saturday I said that in relation to the current world crisis caused by the arrival of a virus for which, as yet, we have no cure, I am a happy pessimist. I’ll say a little more on this sub
Saigyo (1118-1190) was a wandering poet monk in Japan. He is one of the most famous Japanese poets. He wrote more than fifteen hundred poems, many of which became famous. His poetry reflects his life as a rather solitary wanderer, often spending t
QUESTION: I’d like to be clear about what nembutsu practice is. It’s seems from what I can glean from your writing you are saying Amida Buddhism is the work of compassion in the world in the play of opposites. So practice begins with some kind of de
Despite the grief, anxiety and disruption, there could also be an upside to the virus if it made people realise what matters and is essential and what is froth. During lock-down, the carbon foot print will shrink. Life becomes simpler. Although th
Humans press on forward. It is like an automatic car. The basic state of such a car is to move slowly forward. To get it to stand still while the engine is running one actually has to apply a brake. It will not come to a stop of its own accord.
One reads a good deal these days about Buddhist modernism. This is a movement that began in South and South East Asia as a resistance to colonialism. Local Buddhists wanted to present their countries as “modern” and so injected a
Nem or nen means mindfulness. It means that which occupies the mind. We all know that our minds are occupied with all kinds of matters. There are the practical matters of day to day life, the bigger and smaller decisions,
A little while ago I answered a knock on my door and found myself in conversation with two Jehovah’s Witnesses. I told them I was Buddhist. They immediately asked if I was a religious Buddhist or a philosophical Buddhist. I replied, without hesita
Tao Sheng (360-434) was an important figure in the history of Chinese religion. He was a younger contemporary of Kumarajiva and of Hui Yuan and he spent time with both of them as well as at his home temple further to the east. H
In reading Buddhist and Daoist materials, a significant problem for Western readers is the fact that there is a difference of value attached to quite basic things. Thus, in the West, full is good, empty is bad. An optimist sees the glass as half fu
The core element in Pureland Buddhist practice is nembutsu. Nembutsu means being with the Buddha. Buddhists “take refuge” in being with the Buddha. It’s as simple as that. This is why Buddhists have Buddha statues, so that they keep in mind being
Brexit is coming. The government have decided that the best bet for UK survival in the coming times of economic crisis will be to hang onto American coat tails rather than club together with Europeans to withstand the hurricane when it comes.