A mystery plainly explained. There is no mystery.
Originally posted on Essays in Idleness:
Recently I’ve been avidly reading a Buddhist book sent to me by a certain reader last year (thank you Ashin S.) titled How to Live Without Fear And Worry by the late Ven. K Sri. Dhammananda. In particular, I found an interesting passage on page 121:
The mystery of birth and death is very simple. The coming together of mind and matter – also known as the five aggregates – is called birth. The dissolution of these aggregates is called death. And the recombination of these aggregates is called rebirth, and so that cycle will go on repeatedly until such time as we attain the blissful state of Nibbana [Nirvana]
This is a very concise, articulate explanation to something that I feel is often very confusing to people who are curious or new to Buddhism. When I used to surf Internet Buddhist forums, I used to see the same questions…
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September 14, 2012
Found as posted by Paul Lynch on Google+, a post from a Blogspot blog: http://chanpoetry.blogspot.ca/2012/09/growing-up-and-so-is-love.html
October 3, 2011
September 23, 2011
September 19, 2011
May 26, 2010
“If the warrior does not feel alone and sad, then he or she can be corrupted very easily. In fact, such a person may not be a warrior at all. To be a good warrior, one has to feel sad and lonely, but rich and resourceful at the same time. This makes the warrior sensitive to every aspect of phenomena: to sights, smells,… sounds, and feelings. In that sense, the warrior is also an artist, appreciating whatever goes on in the world. Everything is extremely vivid. The rustling of your armor or the sound of rain drops falling on your coat is very loud. The fluttering of occasional butterflies around you is almost an insult, because you are so sensitive.” –
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche via Rev. Danny Fisher
July 30, 2009
Sitting tonight watching a hazy cottonball of a moon. It sits up there in a dusk clear sky with no clouds. Or so it seems.
It’s hazy because it’s shining through a very moist damp sky, a watery filter we can’t see.
Then occasionally a dusky blue cloud the very same colour as the sky passes in front of it and the moon goes dark, hidden by a cloud that can’t be seen.
Then it’s revealed again as that indistinguishable thought passes.
June 17, 2009
February 27, 2009
Thank you for your comment. I’ve decided not to publish it and I wanted to tell you why. I’ve looked at it a few times, and I don’t really understand the distinctions you draw. Read the rest of this entry »
January 1, 2009
At the temple were I sit weekly, there are periodic comparative religion excursions of high school students. I try to help Suco when I can by showing up and answering a few questions. It is good that they get a small first hand experience. Sometimes kids show up to do some research themselves. This is cool.
So, I am wondering if there is some sort of curriculum drive elsewhere that is part of these seeming projects showing up in other places. Like blog posts. Like, hey, I’ve typed out this essay anyway why don’t I post it on my blog?
December 7, 2008
I came upon this video from The Buddhist Society of Western Australia’s YouTube page. This video is Ajahn Brahm’s talk Dealing with Difficult People.
Two stories in this talk, The Anger Eating Demon and The Donkey in the Well, seem, to me, to be relevant to the current political situation in Canada.
Anger Eating Demon begins at 13:00 to 19:24; Donkey in the Well from 53:30 to 58:22
The more you hate and revile your opponents, the more you raise them up.
November 23, 2008
I don’t go looking for these things. They show up in my Tag Surfer.
The Deliberate Ruminator is an evangelical Christian blog, and this comparative religions post posits the usual misunderstandings in order to prove there is only one true religion. In response to Salvation, Oh How We Count The Ways posted by tree63fan:
“Most Buddhists believe a person has hundreds or thousands of reincarnations”,
The person, the personality, the soul does not reincarnate. The karma, the causes, the habits, the attachments incarnate.
“all bringing misery.”
try to understand “Dukkha”. It is not Misery, it is not Suffering. It is clinging to concepts of self and other, it is wanting a drink of water, it is eating ice cream.
“And it is the desire for happiness that causes a person’s reincarnation.”
It is attachment to desire that brings about the incarnation. I could be attached to revenge.
“Therefore, the goal”
There is no goal, there is only practice. “Goal” is part of the discriminating, labeling mind.
“of a Buddhist is to purify one’s heart and to let go of all desires.”
rather the practice is to let go of the discrimination between self and other, to let go of the attachment to things we think will make us happy, or the stories we tell ourselves about what we are.
“A person must abandon all sensuous pleasures, all evil, all joy and all sorrow.”
No. Relinquishing attachment to these things – as a way to define who we are and what we want – is the practice. These things are fleeting, moments, not solid, not what we are, not who we are. Denying them is the same as grasping them. These things come from a fixed view of person, personality, self and other. They do not exist other than as our own discriminating states of mind.
“To do so, Buddhists are to follow a list of religious principles and intense meditation.”
There is such a wide degree of difference in various practices and branches of Buddhism. There is practice for the layman, for ordinary persons, there is practice for monks. For instance the Five Precepts that laypeople can follow… and meditation is just one technique that the majority don’t even bother with.
“When a Buddhist meditates it is not the same as praying”
Maybe, maybe not. Since, in Buddhism, there is no god, and nothing outside of anything but this whole inclusive process of being, what exactly is there to pray to? Meditation practice is the process of seeing this whole thing and all the little discriminations we do to make ourselves different from it – as really false, illusory and completely unnecessary – and actually destructive in understanding “god”.
“or focusing on a god, it is more of a self-discipline.”
There is nothing outside of ourselves. There is nothing that is a self. There is no boundary between our body and our mind, there is no boundary between our body and the world, there is no boundary between the world and God.
Focusing on God as outside of self – focusing on self as different from God is the act of the discriminating mind. You need to practice self-discipline to see that.
“Through dedicated meditation”
doing, being, practice… not of a single technique, but practice of the Eightfold Path, and seeing (process, not goal) when discrimination and attachment, labels and stories arise… and letting these things pass away. These things are not who you are.
“a person may reach Nirvana — “the blowing out” of the flame of desire.”
or a person, having abandoned attachment and discrimination, labels and stories, a person may see that Samsara and Nirvana are one and the same thing.
October 16, 2008
August 3, 2008
Sherpas TV posts a video of a National Geographic documentary Light at the Edge of the World with “Wade Davis… on an anthropological and spiritual journey into the Himalayas of Nepal to learn the deepest lesson of Buddhist practice. Parts of this documentary feature H.H.Trulshik Rinpoche and Matthieu Ricard.”
Another inviting touch at the surface and a good brief interview with Matthieu Ricard at about 34 minutes on meditation.