Buddhism in practice donald lopez pdf,yoga for increasing self confidence,secret attractions of rome,tricks to stop smoking cigarettes - Step 1

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This article is the first in the new Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E.
For over two millennia, Buddhists have made singular contributions to meditative theory and practice.
Indian Vinaya literature—the collected regulations for monastics—says next to nothing about how meditation practice might have been institutionalized within the major monasteries.
When meditation is discussed in the sutra literature, the audience is invariably monks (and sometimes nuns), and very rarely laypeople.
This presumption is poignantly illustrated in the deathbed tale of the Buddha’s chief financial supporter, the businessman Anathapindada.
Even in Korean Buddhism, where Son (Zen) meditation has pride of place, monastic vocations are rigidly divided between practice monks (ip’ansung) and administrative monks (sap’ansung). According to both historical evidence and modern-day testimony, Buddhist monks have followed many vocations, of which meditation is but one (and probably a less common one at that). CAPTCHAThis question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
This series would more accurately be titled “10 misunderstandings of later developed Buddhism.” I have great respect for the scholarly credentials of Mr.
To conclude that meditation is not integral to developing awakening simply because those that claim to be following the teachings of the Buddha, and have dismissed meditation, or elevated meditation to an elite practice for only certain monks, is a complete misunderstanding of what the Buddha taught. The stories of Anathapindika’s life are consistent in describing a life of dhamma practice, including meditation.
Anathapindika, because of the understanding he gained from the Eightfold Path, that everything, including his wealth is impermanent, was able to practice true dana, though not to gain “merit” but because he no longer was clinging to his wealth.
As far as Sariputra’s exchange with Anathapindika, this encounter has been entirely distorted to imply that Anathapindika was never taught meditation. Upon hearing Sariputra, Anathapindika did not react from a self-centered view as Buswell and Lopez claim. As a Dhamma teacher what I encounter with my students is exactly Anathapindika’s difficulty with organizing a busy life for practice.
As the original teachings were influenced by culture, and charismatic (or dramatically insane) individuals, these later influences distorted the original teachings, and many “misconceptions” regarding what constitutes “Buddhist” practice were fabricated.
Certainly monks living with the Buddha would have the opportunity to develop and refine their Dhamma practice more effectively than a lay person. Finally, their assertion that historical evidence supports their view that meditation is not integral to the teachings of the Buddha because many monks don’t meditate, is simply using a negative action to prove an negating view. What this article points to is the most prevalent misconception of modern Buddhism is that much of what is called Buddhism today has little or no relationship to what the Buddha taught as a path to awakening. Read this article and thought, 'so what?' So Buddhism is different in different places, cultures, etc. Perhaps of little significance but one Pali version has: naha? bhante ananda, oliyyami, napi sa?sidami. It might be a matter of the proper medicine, or perhaps the proper antidote to our degenerate age. The authors of this article and much of the commentary adopts a narrow (and Westernized) view of meditation practice. The second way to attain liberation is to focus on relative truth -- on the moving mind of thoughts and concepts. I hear a parallel with a book I'm reading by Thomas Merton called Contemplative Prayer, in which he discusses this difference between Christian monks who practice "the prayer of the heart" vs.
The parallel, to me, is the notion that there may be a way of life and of prayer for monastics, and another way for those outside the monastic tradition. He wrote this in 1968 or earlier, and since then the Christian contemplative prayer movement has grown dramatically both inside and out of the Christian monasteries, just as meditation has become so much more prevalent among lay practitioners in the west. Although I greatly appreciate and attempt to practice many of the philosophical and psychological teachings attributed to the historical Buddha, I've never considered myself a Buddhist. PS: I reject the religious aspects because they don't meet my epistemological standards for belief. For me, a Buddhist is someone who, at a minimum, accepts the most common (among the various sects) philosophical and religious teachings of Buddhism.
It's useful (if not important) to reject the religious aspects publicly in the context of this article because of the contrast between how Buddhism has traditionally been practiced much more as a religion (as is explained in the article) versus how many of us practice it, or certain philosophical and psychological aspects of it, in modern developed nations (where meditation is essential). There is often much confusion about what is or isn't Buddhism, what is religion, what is mediation etc..
Buddhism is not of course a religion in the commonly understood conception of the term, i.e a belief in a higher god or supreme being. So, I do see gray areas, as you point out, where my answer to "is it religion?" would be "it depends." But other practices, intentions, or beliefs seem to be clearly and dichotomously religious to me.
Because you do not understand its effects on a logical level Dan, does not mean that Tonglan has no effect. I don’t deny that meditative adepts can achieve extraordinarily excellent mental health, and that tonglen is a practice well worth doing. Even if skeptics like me agree to be trained to develop such first-person experiences, we’re probably going to interpret it differently.
Our scientific understanding of the mind and the brain are at this point do rudimentary that one can only look at assumptions as encompassed I the "100 billion neurons" example as being based on another form of myth.
This appears to be a reply to my comment above, but I'm not sure how it connects with much of what I wrote (100 billion neurons being an exception).
Epistemologically, I am in agreement with WVO Quine and his "web of belief." A given ancient worldview might be logically consistent with the facts, observations, and theories of those living in that time and place, but inconsistent with facts, observations, and theories of the here and now. The vast majority, if not all, religious claims, when subject to the scientific method of inquiry, fail to pass beyond speculation (often beyond wild and far fetched speculation). As for the activity of the brain (what you're calling the "mind"), I'm open to the remote possibility of spookiness (or anything other than neurons and neurotransmitters) playing a role in the phenomena of "mind," but until I see some evidence, I'll take the hypothesis as seriously as I take the hypothesis of invisible underground fairies pushing up flowers in the garden.
PS: One simple, down-to-earth way I've been saving sentient beings is by being vegan for over 10 years now, with the full intention of enjoying the rest of my life as a vegan. As for constraints, I don't see constraint in seeing practice as secular, philosophical, and psychological versus spiritual and religious. The above may provoke a bit of existential angst until one gets used to contemplating it, but once accepted, I've found it liberating. I practice shikantaza because not doing it makes me feel that something is missing in my day. I do have a teacher because of something he said that was meaningful to me: "The chanting, the bowing, the sounds of the bell, the dharma talks, the clothing, the meditation cushions and all the rest--they are forms meant to preserve the tradition.
Some years later, after reading a lot about Buddhism, I had the idea that meditation might be a good way to explore this dimension of my life. I’m conflicted about how much to write about the vegan portion of your comment because the gray areas in vegan ethics are something I’m more than familiar with (I doubt there is any topic in that area I have not studied and discussed with others in depth during the past ten years), and yet it’s off-topic here.
Very briefly, like all areas of ethics (and precepts), there are gray areas, dilemmas, and compromises that need to be thought out and lived with, despite decisions that will be uncomfortable regardless of which side of a dilemma we choose. For anyone curious about the teachings of Buddha and modern Buddhist practice, Tell Me Something about Buddhism offers the perfect introduction.
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It is not surprising that cyclocross has become the fastest growing part of the sport of cycling in the U.S. Events foster a festive atmosphere and encourage everyone to have fun while racing as hard as possible.
Korea has one of the most diverse religious cultures in the world today, with a range and breadth of religious practice virtually unrivalled by any other country. From the IntroductionFor students of religion, especially those interested in religious pluralism and religious change, the Korean peninsula is a fascinating place to explore.
Buddhist literature abounds in discussions about the stages of meditation, the prerequisites to achieving those stages, and the ways in which meditation serves to develop liberating insight.


This pervasive silence suggests that meditation was not part of the daily routine of monks in large Indian monasteries; instead, these communities are portrayed as engaged primarily in recitation of texts.
The implication is that meditation practice required such intensity, energy, and application that it was not something that the Buddha considered appropriate to teach to the laity. As Anathapindada lies dying, the Buddha’s chief disciple Shariputra and his attendant Ananda go to minister to the major donor one last time. The ip’ansung include monks engaged in full-time meditation practice in the meditation halls, as well as monks engaged in intensive textual study in Buddhist monastic seminaries. And it was only in the 20th century that laypeople in Buddhist traditions from Burma to Japan became regular practitioners of meditation. When he first encountered the Buddha, Anathapindika was taught by the Buddha the difficulties of the world (Dukkha) and then instructed on the Eightfold Path of awakening, including Shamatha-Vipassana meditation. When Sariputra saw that Anathapindika was near death he reviewed the Buddha’s Dhamma (not “sensory restraint”) with Anathapindika in succinct detail in a way that developed aspects of the Dhamma that even devoted lay practitioners may not develop, but not because of status, (lay v monk) but due to practicality. He was overcome due to his concern for others who would not be able to develop this level of understanding. Most of my students understand that meditation is an integral part of the Eightfold Path, but it is often extremely difficult to integrate as a daily practice. Freedom of choice is essential to the Buddha’s teachings, whether that choice is founded in ignorance or wisdom.
The Eightfold Path is the path that an awakened human being taught as the way for all human beings to awaken and develop lasting peace an happiness. Merton frequently mentions that contemplative prayer may be practiced by the laity, but it is so much more difficult and less practical for us. The Dalai Lama in certain remarks I have read speaks of earl'er Dalai Lamas as separate individuals. But it is a religion in the original meaning, Religion being from the latin 'religio,' to bind to ones higher nature.
Yes, it is of great benefit to the one who is practicing it, for it is the most effective way of destroying our self-cherishing, the heart of all of our problems.
We can't even make an absolutely certain scientific claim that the mind is totally confined within the physical brain (such a claim would be purely theoretical).
It began with a moment of insight, surrounded by and exposed to the impressive forces of nature.
But I quickly discovered that starting a meditation practice is really difficult to do on your own.
It reads as if I have found all the answers, but most of the time I'm just groping in the dark. And about being clear about our motivations, the dilemmas and trade-offs of real-life situations, and then doing what seems to be the most helpful and the least harmful.
Written by Soto Zen priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and organized in an easy-to-use Question and Answer format, this brief book answers the many common questions people have about Buddhism—everything from who Buddha was to why monks, nuns, and priests shave their heads.
She is the subject of the new film Zenju's Path, which premiered at the Buddhist Film Festival in Amsterdam in 2010. The spectrum of religious beliefs and practices in Korea is wider than almost any other place on earth, The peninsula has been divided roughly in half since 1945, with the Communist People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the northern side of a demilitarized boundary and the democratic Republic of Korea (ROK) on the southern side, giving it an even more diverse religious culture today than it had during its thousand-plus years as a unified country. Both Buddhists and admirers of Buddhism have often extolled the compatibility of Buddhism and science.Their assertions have ranged from modest claims about the efficacy of meditation for mental health to grander declarations of the compatibilty with quantum physics, neuroscience etc.
For the most part, meditation seems to have been left to solitary ascetics (prahanika) who, living in the forest for months on end, seated at the roots of trees that served as their only shelter from torrential rains, must have appeared rather frightening to the sophisticated monks of India’s large urban monasteries.
To help Anathapindada endure the dying process, Shariputra instructs him in “sensory restraint” (indriyasamvara) so that he remains unattached to his severe pain and develops a state of mind that clings to nothing. Upon hearing the Buddha’s teaching, Anathapindika declared that all conditioned things that arise will cease. What is lost often, and Buswell and Lopez seem to denigrate dana as the only vehicle that lay people can practice, is that the highest understanding of dana originates in understanding impermanence. Anathapindika, with all his responsibilities, simply could not invest the time to learn and integrate the entire Dhamma in the course of his life. He knew from his own experience that there were many with “just a speck of dust in their eye" and that if they could only engage with the Dhamma whole-heartedly, they too could awaken and unbind from misery. They understand that the sixth factor of the Eightfold Path, Right Effort, specifically teaches the importance of engaging whole-heartedly with the entire Eightfold Path, including meditation. The Buddha declared shortly before he died that: “I am not like teacher with a closed fist.
He describes a difference between the open, receptive, silent prayer in which one listens for the word of God, (contemplative prayer in his Christian terms) and the more active or discursive prayer. But maybe it's worthwhile to let go of strict dichotomies like secular or religious Buddhism. My practice was meditation and informal mindfulness during the rest of the day, or that was what I tried to do, but the Zen I practice now includes ritual like bowing and reciting ancient texts. Maybe the attraction of even the most secularised forms of meditation practice is, that they help us to get close to our lives as they are right now, right here, without rejecting or changing our reality. Yet it is also of immense benefit to those we practice for, those who are suffering in any such way. To insist that one's preferred set of assumptions is unvarnished "fact" is merely another form of religion, based on a currently accepted narrative or mythos. There is a body of practice outside meditation practice we can (but do not have to) explore.
When suddenly my usual sense of isolation disappeared, as I felt myself dissolve in the world around me without ceasing to exist, I learned a few things about the nature of my existence in this world. Her life in the Sangha, her teaching in prisons, and her travels around the world meeting other Buddhist practitioners enliven her answers to the most fundamental questions about Buddhist practice.
In the North, the Communist government has suppressed most religious activity and replaced it with the ideology of Juche (chuch'e), literally "self-reliance," an amalgam of Marxism and Neo-Confucianism with religious overtones. In this book, Lopez is less interested in evaluating the accuracy of such claims than in exploring how and why these seemingly disparate modes of understanding the inner and outer universe have been so persistently linked. Traditionally a monastic practice, meditation was even then considered a specialty of only certain monks. The Vinaya describes these ascetic meditators in consistently pejorative terms—as unkempt, slovenly, and uncouth—and prescribes rules related to their personal hygiene, such as requiring them to wash their feet at least once every three days. The sap’ansung are presumed to be too busy with their monastic duties to engage in formal meditation practice and are not even permitted to enter the meditation-hall compound, let alone sit with the full-time meditators. Why would they ignore this if not to develop a certain view that meditation is an optional practice and not an integral factor of the Eightfold Path.
In this unconditional acceptance (accepting life as it is and being accepted as we are) we may find something one might call grace, or liberation, and a joy that was eluding us in our secular culture.
There are many levels of consciousness and of energy manifestations, ad, the more we let go of our ideas of a solid 'I,' the more these areas that are usually seen, by the western mind as being of the paranormal, are developed. Scientific revolutions have consistently overthrown every such set of mythical narratives over the centuries, and indeed this is how science has progressed, even though in any given period a common fallacy confuses theory with incontrovertible fact.
Let's not constrain ourselves too much by ideas like "I want to practice, but I don't want it to be religious, irrational".
The first sitting period made a deep impression on me, the powerful support of eighty silent people around me. Trying to practice it may mean for me adopting a vegan lifestyle in the future or at least a vegan diet. She writes, “Had I not opened myself to the many teachings from the earth, such as Buddha’s wisdom, it would have been nearly impossible to survive the fires of my soul.” Included are about 20 illustrations by the author in her trademark charcoal and pencil style. Lopez argues that by presenting an ancient Asian tradition as compatible with - and even anticipating - modern scientific discoveries, European enthusiasts and Asian elites have sidestepped the debates on the relevance of religion in the modern world that began in the 19th century and still flare today. Furthermore, it is only since the 20th century that meditation has been considered a practice appropriate to teach to laypeople. Ananda, concerned that this might be the end, asks him, “Are you sinking?” Anathapindada replies, “I am indeed sinking.
Thus, even in Korean Zen monasteries that are devoted to intensive meditation practice, only a minority of monks are actually engaged in meditation practice.


It may be that their views are deluded simply by the many different “Buddhist” traditions and sheer numbers of “Buddhists” they have studied that insist meditation is an unnecessary relic of an outdated teaching. To me, this celebration of our life and that of others, with all it's beauty and sorrow, is a function of religion.
Buddhism, sufism, orthodox christianity, hassidism, the sun dance of the Great Plains, !Kung healing, and so on all seem to have the same goal in common.
Maybe it doesn't matter so much if we devote ourselves to shikantaza or to chanting the nembutsu. For me it is helpful to practice meditation embedded in a tradition like Zen, in which meditation is only one of many practices, albeit an important one. For me, not having been raised as a Christian, religion (or spiritual tradition) has something to do with practice and community. First of all, before 1945, there was little difference between religious beliefs and practices in the northern part of the peninsula and in the South, so what is said about Korea before 1945 applies to the entire peninsula. As new discoveries continue to reshape our understanding of mind and matter, Buddhism and Science will be indispensable reading for those fascinated by religion, science, and their often vexed relation."A tour de force.
But I’m more upset because, even though I’ve served the Buddha for many years, never once have I heard these teachings.” Shariputra remarks that such teachings are intended for the monks, not the laity, to which Anathapindada laments that there are laypeople “with little dust in their eyes” who would be able to make use of such instructions. And many of the most popular contemporary traditions of Buddhism, such as Nichiren Shoshu and Jodo Shinshu, do not place meditation at the center of their practice. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan.
When we find ourselves doing the practice wholeheartedly without expecting a certain outcome, rational or magical, we may discover something important beyond our rationality. This way, making my whole life my practice becomes a realistic goal, having the support I need to do this. During each sutra service we chanted a translation of the Sandokai, that mysterious Chinese poem. For the period after 1945, we have a lot more information about religion in the South than in the North, since North Korea is a closed society that does not allow many foreign observers in and does not let much information out.What we do know about North Korea is that the government-promoted ideology of Juche claims at least the public allegiance of the vast majority of the population. This extremely original and well-written book gives a much-needed context for the Buddhism-science dialogue. This exchange demonstrates quite movingly that meditation practice was not something that laypeople were typically taught; instead, charity (dana) was the religious practice incumbent on the laity, whose normative religious goal was rebirth in one of the heavens, not liberation from samsara.
Indeed, according to some Buddhist schools, during the current “degenerate age” it is impossible to achieve enlightenment through meditation.
And how about chanting the first of the Bodhisattva vows: "Beings are numberless, I vow to save them". The point of the article was, that there are many ways to practice and that, historically, meditation hasn't been as important as it now is in Western (or "modern") Buddhism. I didn't understand much of it, but I knew it spoke about the intuition that had brought me here. We know that Juche teaches that human beings do not need to rely on any gods, since human beings are wise and strong enough to make decisions for themselves. Lopez provides all the background needed for those unfamiliar with Buddhism to understand the tradition and the perplexing scientific claims made for it. We also know, however, that North Koreans are told to rely on the infallible guidance of Kim IlsOng (Kim Ii Sung) and his son and successor, Kim ChOngil (Kim Jung Il). Can I be a medical doctor, helping people with knowledge and techniques founded on so much suffering? Living by vow is not taking on the identity of a good Buddhist, but practising our interconnection with all living beings, my own and their suffering included. The North Korean government intends for Juche to completely replace religion in the not-too-distant future. That is why there is nothing in this volume on non-Juche religious activity in North Korea after 1945. There are only about 35,000 people in North Korea officially recognized as having a religious affiliation (other than Juche). According to government-controlled religious organizations, North Korea has around 10,000 Buddhists, 10,000 Protestants, a few hundred Catholics, and 15,000 followers of Korea's oldest indigenous new religion, Ch'Ondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way).
If shamanism still exists in North Korea, it has been driven deep underground.By contrast, in South Korea, the focus of most of the contemporary material in this volume, there are reams of scholarly materials concerning religious activity. The Republic of Korea enjoys one of the most complex and diverse religious cultures on the face of the globe. South Korea has the largest network of extant Confucian shrines of any nation and has a vibrant and active Buddhist community, with hundreds of major monasteries scattered in scenic mountainous regions around the peninsula. South Korea is additionally the most Protestant country in Asia (in terms of the percentage of its population that identifies itself as Protestant), but it also ranks third in Asia, behind the Philippines and East Timor, in the percentage of its population that attends Catholic worship services regularly. On top of that, there are a number of indigenous new religions, many of them large enough to operate their own universities and hospitals. By devoting ourselves to our practice we somehow give form to our notion of not being separate. And last but not least, shamanism is still practiced in homes and offices in even the most fashionable sections of South Korea's most modern cities.You can find ample evidence for this religious diversity just by walking the streets of Korea's cities and towns and looking at the signs on the buildings around you. The first thing you will probably notice, particularly in Seoul and in its surrounding cities and towns, is the dominance of Christianity, obvious in the many churches, both large and small, that can be found along Korea's streets and alleys.
However, an attentive observer would also notice the resurgence of urban Buddhism, evident in the large number of temples being either built or rebuilt in Korea's metropolitan areas.
Close attention to the signs on homes, offices, and apartment buildings will reveal that shamanism is also alive and well.
Not~ as obvious are the various worship halls and proselytizing centers for Korea's many indigenous new religions. Such religious diversity would not be surprising in a country inhabited by many different ethnic groups, since religious affiliation often serves as a marker of ethnic identity. Korea, however, is unusual in that it is one of the most ethnically homogeneous nations on earth, but also one of the most religiously diverse.You do not need to travel the highways and byways of the peninsula to confirm this religious pluralism. Both government census data and Gallup survey results tell us that the South Korean population is divided into several religious groups. In 2003 the South Korean government, based on a partial census, estimated that 54 percent of its citizens had a religious affiliation. All three major religious communities had grown over the intervening eight years, a trend Gallup confirmed in 2004 with a survey of those living in Korea's largest cities. Many of those who say they have no specific religious affiliation do not want to confine themselves to only one religious tradition.
Instead, they want to be free to visit shamans and Buddhist temples and participate in the activities of new religious organizations without being told that by doing so they were no longer permitted to participate in the rituals and worship activities of other religious communities.
It is also possible that some of the respondents to government or Gallup poll takers had a different understanding of "religion" than did the survey takers. Acts that observers considered religious, the respondents may not have viewed as religious at all. As a result, for some Koreans, the word "religion" does not necessarily embrace all the religious beliefs they hold or apply to all the religious activities in which they engage.This may seem puzzling, at first. However, our definition of religion is often shaped by our particular religious orientation. In a religious culture as diverse as Korea, some of those concepts do not apply to the en4ire range of religious organizations and activities found on the peninsula. But such a definition might leave out monastic Buddhism and Confucianism, since the existence or nonexistence of God is normatively irrelevant in the religious practice of these two traditions. But such a definition would exclude Korea's folk religion, which has no distinctive moral code of its own.
Only then will we come up with an understanding of religion that is generally applicable to the Korean situation.



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Comments »

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