Tagged: Buddhism Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 8:47 am on January 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, , past life, ,   

    Buddhism, and the Power of (Positive) Thinking… 

    IMG_0599I live in a world of opposites, sometimes Amerika, sometimes Asia, sometimes elsewhere, according to taste, according to style, sometimes necessity. On the surface the two places might not seem much different, shopping malls out the yin or shopping malls out the yang, just now taking over Asia, same time old hat in Amerika, just shut the door on your way out…

    …but deeper down, they’re almost exactly opposite. This is more than just happenstance or circumstance, but dyed in the woof, warped in the weft. I’m talking about the sutras, of course, sutures holding together lives, stitches in time saving nine, literally the sayings of the Buddha offering recipes for life in narrative form made simple for mass consumption… (More …)

    Advertisements
     
  • hardie karges 7:35 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: belief system, Buddhism, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism: Religion, Philosophy, or…? 

    img_1931Some people say Buddhism is not really a religion, though I know some monks who would beg to differ. Here’s what my dictionary says about religion:

    1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. 2. a particular system of faith and worship. 3. a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

    Well, the first definition certainly does not fit Buddhism, since there is no all-powerful superman waiting to part the waters, and the second only fits if we define what Buddhists do as worship—so maybe. The third one is frivolous, in the sense that ‘consumerism is the new religion’, but maybe somewhat accurate, especially in the case of ever-trendy Amerika, where Buddhism is currently a hot topic, but where much, if not most, of the information disseminated about it, is limited, or misapplied, or downright inaccurate… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 2:57 pm on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like the resonance between ‘unattainable’ and ‘aim-able’ – the whole piece is down-to-earth and easy to relate to. Science, according to the guy who wrote The Golden Bough, superseded Magic because both offer ways of influencing the world – where Religion asks for the intercession of higher forces. Not sure where Buddhism fits in to that, suppose it depends which variety one goes for …

    • hardie karges 7:51 pm on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “Before Joseph Campbell became the world’s most famous practitioner of comparative mythology, there was Sir James George Frazer…(and) The Golden Bough”, been on my ‘to-read’ list for 50 years, maybe I should do that now as part of some MA research, thx, Dave. No, there need be no disputes between Science and Buddhism, or any religion, for that matter IMHO. I don’t want to have to make a choice… and that is the great challenge, to make those details fit. It won’t be easy, but I do think that Buddhism has the ability to do it, what with its flexible doctrine, if it only has the will to do it. Predestination is attractive–and easy, just not a defensible position for me…

  • hardie karges 6:56 am on January 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, , monk, monkhood, , ,   

    Buddhism ME 6909: Renunciation is a transitive verb–sometimes… 

    img_0953There’s nothing cuter in Thailand than a picture of a young child bowing in obeisance, before a statue of the Buddha, grahping and saddhuing with the best of them, prostrate to unknown gods, long before his little prostate gland would even know the difference, that which supplies the raw materials for reproduction, but to a young infertile mind that yet has no clue to such things…

    Now I firmly encourage respect and reverence to monks and priests and the qualities they represent, but joining the monkhood at an early age, or even growing up at the temple, and, in effect, never knowing any other life, is another thing. I mean: is that really so impressive—and wise? Doesn’t renunciation really only have its true meaning when something is actually renounced? Now, when a millionaire gives up his millions to join the sangha—that’s impressive… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 5:06 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. Hardie, long time no speak! Been taking a little winter sabbatical from the blogosphere – viewing it, anyhow – to catch up on some offline reading. This strikes your customary balance, with all sides examined and a careful conclusion reached. I think your considered stance is sensible and persuasive in the modern world. As Rimbaud said, it is necessary to be absolutely modern …

    • hardie karges 5:18 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, Dave, good to chat, been wrapped up in my own college/monastery duties for months myself, now freer a bit to wander. I just wish DT would leave the scene, so that I can write about happy things again, ha! Thanx for comments, I persevere…

  • hardie karges 7:06 am on January 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2018, , , Buddhism, , , , ,   

    Religion, Politics, Hope and a Prayer: Happy 2018, Good Riddance 2017… 

    img_1572

    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    If you’re American, and you’re reading this, then 2017 has probably been a very tough year for you, as it has been for me, for this is the year in which we’ve seen our beloved country rocked to its foundations, for no particular reason, other than the general hatred, prejudice, rudeness, crudeness and bad judgment of our barely-elected President, by a distinct minority, due to the anomalies of our Electoral College system, in which our state lines themselves represent a form of gerrymandering that makes a mockery of democracy…

    But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that as our world grows more crowded, our sensibilities seem to be growing harder and colder, with people feeling less and less toward each other, and governments even worse. The Fall of the (Berlin) Wall in 1989, and USSR in 1991 was supposed to usher in a new era of freedom and responsibility, and instead it has ushered in an era of unparalleled greed and hatred… (More …)

     
    • Terborn Zult 3:19 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      If “with Communism no longer around to keep Capitalism honest, then Capitalism no longer is (honest),” the question is: how come Buddhism, which has been around for much longer than so-called “communism” (in reality: just the first stages of socialism; and a pretty adulterated version of socialism, for that matter), has never managed to keep capitalism honest, not even for a few decades? If I had the choice, I would most certainly opt for the more efficient -ism….

      • hardie karges 3:46 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think it’s ever tried, TBH, since it is not an economic system at all, two entirely different realms, truthfully, such that no matter how much I detest Trump, for instance, I would never suggest that Trump supporters can’t be Buddhists–some are, in fact. Theravada systems are extremely (non) self-oriented, in fact, such that the paradigm is that of a monk not only renounced, but cloistered, and entirely dependent on lay support. I’m moving more in the direction of Mahayana, if not entirely secular, which is much more world-oriented. There is no reason why socialism and Buddhism can’t occur together, really, which is my dream, and certainly much more inspiring, for me at least, than Soviet-style communism, and likely the reason it failed: hard-core materialism is just very inspiring for many, if not most, of us. Thx for your comment, Norbert, and happy new year…

  • hardie karges 7:08 am on December 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, , dipa, double entendre, Hinayana, Indo-European, , , , nikaya, , , ,   

    Buddhism 6399, Pali 201: Double Entendres, Double Intentions? Or not… 

    img_2116Evam vadi: “Therefore, O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves, and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth. Look not for assistance to any one besides yourselves.”

    So said the Buddha on his death bed, in his final instructions to the sangha, the Buddhist community, his followers. There’s only one problem, or question, or issue, if you prefer: the Pali word dipa can mean ‘lamp’ or (drum roll here, please)–‘island’. In fact ‘island’ is probably the more frequent translation, given the prominence in Buddhism of that most famous of dipas—Sri Lanka…

    (It does NOT mean ‘light’, not really, as often translated in the statement above, ‘light’ in the sense of that abstract quasi-dimensional entity which has a speed of 186,000mi/300,000km per second and serves as the upper limit of our human-ness, and therefore somewhat defining our status as physical, i.e. not totally spiritual, beings, in a material world, however sentient and well-intentioned)… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on December 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, , , ,   

    Buddhism in the End Times: Perfecting the Path of Imperfection… 

    IMG_2290Buddhism is the path of (ego) imperfection, the path of (ego) weakness, strength in numbers, especially zero, simultaneous voidness and infinity, emptiness implying that something is lacking, hopefully, that we are not hard cold single solitary free-standing proper nouns, but warm flexible adjectives, forever ready to be pressed into service to support the demands of solidity, wherever needed and as called for…

    Deepak and Eckhart and Pat and Jerry and all the other latter-day wannabe prophets and modern-day motivational messengers all have one thing in common: they’re fudging: the truth, that is. They all tell you that you can do whatever you want, as long as you never stop dreaming, as long as you never give up your passions, as long as you sacrifice all in the quest of fulfilling your vision, and that your potential is unlimited. Yeah, right… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:00 pm on December 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddhism, defilement, , , , , , , , sati, ,   

    Buddhist Dilemma: Does Mindfulness = No Thought? Hmmm… 

    img_1401

    Reflections in the back seat

    ‘Mindfulness’ is one of those words deliberately created to defy definition, it seems, so when anybody asks me what it means I usually reply with something semi-snarky, like “the opposite of mindlessness” which seems like maybe avoiding the question, but which in fact is about as accurate as is possible, given the quasi-religious overtones and the need for a certain amount of obfuscation for dramatic effect, such being the need in Western circles, witness the ‘woo-woo’ factor of certain Pali/Sanskrit words like ‘samadhi‘…

    But the word ‘sati‘, from which ‘mindfulness’ is translated, by itself carries no transcendent connotations, at least not in modern standard Thai, in which it means simply ‘consciousness’ or ‘mind’, in the sense that one’s sati, i.e. brain, is maybe not so good anymore, or that he now has sati, i.e. is no longer unconscious—get it? And the usage of the term in Buddhism is not so much different, I think, and mindfulness is probably the best term for it, mind twice removed from pure simplicity, first with a ‘full’, next with a ‘ness’. But doesn’t that imply some level of thought, whether in narrative form or simple awareness, of cause and effect, spatial relations and orderliness? I would think so. So…

    (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 3:26 pm on December 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      No thought, no. It’s the space between the thoughts where things get very interesting.

      QP

    • hardie karges 3:58 pm on December 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      True, BUT…. I think (oops!) there’s always room for thought–good thoughts…

    • quantumpreceptor 1:52 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What I mean is this. Thoughts are not a problem in fact they can be used as a tool in the right circumstances. Avoiding them does not work, however slowing them down and seeing into the space between them is where we can begin to see that all is a reflection in the mirror of consciousness.

      QP

    • hardie karges 3:45 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      There you go, now we’re on the same page…

  • hardie karges 5:05 pm on December 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, Dyaus Pita, Earth Mother, , , poem, Prithvi Mata, prose, rainy season, Sky Father,   

    Buddhism in the rainy season… 

    img_1453

    Kwan Yin (Kuan Im), Sino-Thai Bodhisattva

    I love the rainy season. I like the clouds. I like the mist. I like the coolness in the air, evaporative, just add breeze to activate, to keep the heat at bay, to keep the house at beach, and the fever below boiling, to keep the hands out of reach of the hard stuff…

    This is the sweet spot, from God’s own hand and Nature’s own palette, automatically activating and infinitely adjustable, in imperfect synchronicity with the hard heavy hot dry season that precedes it, just begging for relief and thirsting for succor…

    These are the tropics, where every day is the same but for the thick gray blanket that slides back and forth letting the sun shine in or letting the heat out, like the foam on a head of pale ale that seems to act independently of the frothy sea beneath it…

    It’s almost as if there were some signal from above, or some conductor’s baton, or some director’s cue, and all of a sudden the stage hands come in and strike the set, removing summer crops and beachy props and replacing them with rice fields all waiting… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:51 am on November 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ayahuasca, Buddhism, , hallucinogen, hypnagogia, LSD, , mescaline, peyote, prisoners' cinema, psychedelic, sensory deprivation   

    Buddhist Meditation as Sensory Deprivation, Hypnogogia, Prisoner’s Cinema, System Reboot, or Psychedelic… 

    img_0545…something, or other, maybe even the surcease of language, which is what you really want, and need, and find so hard to find, that preliterate programmer’s set-up state before the operating system made your life so easy and your choices so few, and so hard to do without now that you have it, a marriage of convenience but no more spontaneity, and mostly no more emptiness, so worth a stab at forced removal, or at least closure, or at least hibernate the machine with silence, for maybe an hour a day, the more the better…

    …up to a certain point, if you can afford it, since any computer works better after re-booting, especially your own brain, still full of ad jingles from childhood, every marketer’s dream, a little dab of Brylcreem and Bluebonnet on it, language reduced to its mnemonic function long after we have better alternatives, the reason I love free verse, since anything stuck in there is inherently constipatory, whether puns or rhymes or feel-good aphorisms, so easy to swallow, but so hard to digest. So the last resort is the most dangerous… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:54 am on November 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Brahmin, Buddhism, caste, , Dravidian, , Germanic, , Harappa, Indus Valley Civilization, , , Mohenjo-Daro, , , ,   

    Did Russians Hack Buddhism in the 5th Century BCE? Here’s the deal… 

    IMG_1559NO, this is not click-bait; this is Buddhism, and I’m dead serious. OKAY, so maybe they weren’t Russians exactly, and MAYBE I have a lively imagination, and am an excitable boy from way back, AND you can’t just talk casually about the ‘Aryan invasion’ of India way back when, ever since Hitler crapped on us all with his inimitable armies, half-empty promises and his half-baked theories, BUT there is an element of truth to his Aryan (c)rap…

    Hitler just never did his homework really, all bark and no wood, jumping to conclusions and tilting at windmills, and absolutely no desire to make amends with his lessers of men. But now we have genomic research, which lends a strong measure of empirical (not imperial) truth to what used to be wild speculation, whether it be eye-witness testimony clouded by memory, or no-witness history clouded by time…  (More …)

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel