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  • Relationship Between Men And Women In Buddhism

    All women are dakinis and we should treat them like that. In Buddhism, women are considered the pillar of the family. They provide emotional strength, they are gentle and feminine, yet strong, they are miracle workers and their energy is wisdom. They produce children and they produce what we want. They give us company and they support us. In Asian societies especially, women are incredible because they are taught to put up with a lot of things from men and they do put up with it. Women are treasures and we have to treat them like that.

    What men want is not to come home to a nagging wife who rants and raves, and complains about everything. Men feel that they have worked all day and they just want to come home and have their wives make a nice home for them. Men want their women to be nice little wives, to stay home, always give them face and not to be embarrassed by them. Men like to sit there, be served and be given things. It doesn’t matter if it is wrong or right. In every old culture, tradition has dictated that women serve men.

    It’s up to you if you want to follow tradition or if you want to follow logic; that’s not really my business. I’m not here to change 20,000 years of society and culture. But what I’m trying to say is that however we are served, we will have to serve one day. The karma will come back. Everyone wants something from each other. That’s natural, isn’t it? So why don’t we give that to each other? It’s very small.

    So take care of your wives – they are dakinis, they gave you your kids, they give you a lot of pleasure, they give you company, they have stayed through thick and thin with you. Give back. Imagine you running around for nine months with a huge belly! Buddha recognised the value of the female energy and made Vajrayogini and Tara most supreme in the hierarchy of the practices. It is not because women are better than men but – as even Mao Tse Tung recognised – women hold up half the sky.

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    We need to stop sitting there looking for women to do things for us, we need to reward them. Tomorrow or the day after, immediately, go and buy some flowers for your wife. Yes, it’s a little embarrassing and you feel a little stupid but it doesn’t matter. The stupidity and the embarrassment are over real quickly. You have money for your drinks and friends but you don’t have money for your wives? That’s not good.

    Don’t be embarrassed. I know that after being married for 20 years, you’ve never even given one petal to your wife. So now that you give her flowers, she might wonder what your motive is! It’s definitely not boobali*. Some of you haven’t had boobali with your wives in over fifteen years! I asked some of you when the last time was that you had boobali, and you couldn’t remember!

    But it’s not really about boobali; it’s about inside boobali. It is the feeling you get from boobali – the warmth, the forgiveness and the care, because time is short. So take care of your wives, bring them flowers once every two or three months. Take them out, with no motive. Don’t just take them out to the market or to a cheap café and say, “I took you out, so keep quiet now!” Isn’t your wife worth a few hundred dollars for a night out?

    What are you saving your money for? What are you keeping it for? Even Tutankhamun couldn’t take any of the pyramids and all the wealth inside them with him. It’s in the British museum now. What do you think you’re going to take with you to your next life when you die? Your 100,000 or 200,000 dollars? Remember, you came into this life naked, just holding on to the placenta.

    And women, what can you do for men? You know what they want. Men only want one thing. Just one thing – to stop being nagged! So just shut up! Don’t nag them. You know how men are not expressive, they don’t like to talk about things, they don’t want to tell you things. So stop nagging your husbands, ranting, complaining and making noise.

    I’m not just talking about doing that to husbands; I’m also talking about your friends, your mother, your aunt or whoever you nag the life out of. Stop. What’s the big deal? It’s a small price to pay, a very small gift to give back. You get flowers, they don’t get nagging – then you get a little bit closer.

    Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    *Sex is not a term that is appropriate for a Tibetan lama to mention publicly. So “boobali” was made up as a substitute

    http://kechara.com

    Fulfilling his previous lives’ prayers. His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche chose to take rebirth amongst difficult circumstances to be close to those who would need him most.

    Recognised by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the 72nd Abbot of Gaden Shartse, Gedun Nyedrak, His Eminence’s spiritual lineage actually begins as one of the eight main disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, the founding saint of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Kechara House Buddhist Association Malaysia, affectionately known as Kechara House or KH, is a Buddhist Centre founded in 2000 by His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery to avail the ancient wisdom of Buddha’s teachings to practitioners in Malaysia and the surrounding regions. Buddha’s wisdom has timeless and universal relevance, and can be practised by anyone in any culture, regardless of nationality, gender or age.

  • Determinism And Free Will: Destiny Change In Buddhism

    Is there such a thing as free will? Is determinism right and free will a myth? If so, can our destiny change, thus transforming fate? What does the concept of karma in Buddhism say about determinism and free will?

    The teachings of Buddhism agree that, between determinism and free will, determinism is the victor. Buddhism therefore agrees with the fortune-tellers and scientists that circumstances present at birth controls our future behavior, and therefore our destiny. While fortune-tellers look at the birth sign or the lines of the palm, science looks at the structure of the gene, which is invisible to the naked eye. (Side-note: how interesting would it be if a study determined that our genes uniquely expressed themselves in a predictable manner in the palm, or that people born at certain times of the year had discernible gene differences!) Cultural influences, such as environment, family and experiences also go into the scientific behavioral view. Modern psychology has the consensus view that a combination of genes and environment account for one’s behavior, one’s life situation. However, the trend in science is toward genes and organic causes as being the primary determinant of behavior. The Buddha taught that it is karma that determines both the present and future circumstances of one’s life, as well as behavior.

    Which brings us to whether destiny change and transforming fate is impossible, and what wins in the battle between determinism and free will. Science is firmly on the side of fatalism and determinism, and therefore leaves absolutely no room for free will. How could it? In science, the assumption, the belief, and, ironically, the FAITH, is that everything, including human behavior, is the result of causes and conditions, and thus pre-determined-which is, for the most part, what Buddhism also teaches. To the scientist, a human being is a complexly programmed robot, and nothing else. This is no exaggeration; it is merely the logical extension of every scientific explanation heretofore seen.

    Since the concept of free will is completely anathema to science, it goes without saying that science could never possibly explain it.

    But free will DOES exist. (We will discuss how later) However, since science denies its existence, it is in no position to define it, and define it we must, to ensure understanding. The realm of free will belongs to religion. (Perhaps the conflict between religion and science could relax a bit if we simply allowed science to have the non-free will realm and religion to have the free will side?) The Buddha defined free will. Implicitly, he defined both the non-free will realm and the free will realm in terms of the Four Noble Truths. The first two Noble Truths taught by the Buddha are actually quite scientific: suffering is caused by craving, aversion and ignorance of how we treat non-self elements as a true, permanent self. But there is more, much more, to suffering than this.

    The truth is that we are completely and wholly slaves, and our masters are craving, ignorance and aversion. The idea that we are free human beings is a complete and utter delusion. We truly are no different than a software program, a robot. Determinism wins, free will loses.

    Are you shocked and annoyed right now, disagreeing? I hope you are, but more importantly, I hope you see this shock, I hope you are aware of it. It is that very awareness that is the catalyst for freedom, for destiny change. It is that awareness that leads us to freedom and brings us to the last two Noble Truths, where Buddhism splits from science.

    Before moving on, let’s be clear: free will is NOT the ability to do whatever one ‘wants’ to do whenever one wants to, as such acts are inevitably controlled by, and a cause and condition of, craving, aversion and ignorance.

    Free will, then, is defined as the ability to act independently of what one wants or craves, or of what one doesn’t want or crave. Determinism, the opposite of free will, can really be boiled down to acting in order to fulfill one’s cravings and aversions. It is determinism because the cravings determine one’s actions. Importantly, from a Buddhist perspective, one’s cravings are NOT the same as the person. I am not my cravings. They are not me. Yet, cravings control me.

    Science is excellent at studying the human robot and determinism. It also meshes quite well with Buddhist teachings insofar as science explains the causes of cravings and aversions as having genetic, organic or environmental bases. The only difference between science and Buddhism on this point is that in Buddhism the genetic, environmental and organic causes always run through craving, aversion and ignorance. Science, therefore, is the realm of causes and conditions, of, if you will, the slave condition. This makes perfect sense, of course. However, science completely fails when it comes to helping the slave escape-it doesn’t even recognize that possibility, as it doesn’t even recognize the enslavement.

    Religion is the realm of freedom. All of the sages and masters, the prophets, the messiahs-it is of this freedom, of escape from this slavery, that they speak.

    As for the Third and Fourth Noble Truths, this is where Buddhism moves beyond science. Science is, at this point in time, completely ignorant of any possibility beyond free will. (Perhaps that is because so few people have actually achieved the state of free will, and they usually aren’t willing to be studied.) The Buddhist teachings of the Third and Fourth Noble Truth teach that the end of suffering, the end of enslavement, and therefore free will, is possible by way of the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path is thus the cause and condition for freedom. As a cause and condition, therefore, science actually could study the Noble Eightfold Path.

    See the link below for Part 2 of this series.

    Destiny change and transforming fate are not possible under normal circumstances. In the battle between determinism and free will, determinism almost always wins. But it can be defeated. Buddhism aims precisely at transforming fate and obtaining free will.

    Find More Buddhism Articles

  • Vajrayogini initiation set up of offerings, torma, triangle with sindhura powder, nectar, candles, human skullcup with nectar, on a green silk fabric, silver and copper utensils, Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Some cool Buddhism images:

    Vajrayogini initiation set up of offerings, torma, triangle with sindhura powder, nectar, candles, human skullcup with nectar, on a green silk fabric, silver and copper utensils, Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Image by Wonderlane
    Vajrayogini Empowerment Torma with sindhura powder, ritual spoon, rice heaps, tripod, skullcup, saffron nectar, and candles for diety offering on silk, shrine, Tharlam Monastery, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Lamas clapping hands mudra to dispel inner and outer darkness and negativity, Sakya Lamdre, Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Image by Wonderlane

    Sakya Vajrakilaya Deity torma offerings, Monastery, Sakya school or sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Pharping, Nepal

    Image by Wonderlane
    sorry there was so much energy pouring out – I moved when I took this shot in the dark room.

  • Historical Figures Who Stabilized Buddhism in China and Japan

    But usually we do not pay much attention to the people who lived in the same era but in different places. Those people may have interactive roles in history. They form the vertical axis. The Y-axis of history uses places as variables. We may be able to find interesting facts about history if we pay attention to both the X- and Y-axes of history.

    Today, I was thinking about Buddhism. I know several famous historical figures. I picked four key people from the history of Buddhism, without paying much attention to which age they lived in, and discovered an interesting fact. Buddhism, an Indian-born religion, propagated to China between the first and the second century. It became popular in China and was introduced to Korea in the fourth century and Japan in the sixth century. The following are the four key features that stabilized Buddhism in China and Japan.

    Bodhidharma; He was an Indian monk and the founder of Zen.

    He was active in the 5th and 6th centuries in China.

    Xuanzang; He was a Chinese Monk. He travelled to India to obtain and deliver original Buddhist documents to China. (602 – 664 AD.)

    Prince Shotoku; He was a Japanese imperial crown prince. He was the key person who brought Buddhism to Japan. He built the foundation for the stabilization of Buddhism in Japan. (574 – 622 AD.)

    Jian Zhen (Ganjin in Japanese) was a Chinese Monk. He propagated and stabilized Buddhism in Japan. (688 – 763 AD.)

    While thinking about early days of Buddhism in China and Japan, I selected these people without knowing their chronology. It is evident from this list that the propagation of Buddhism from India to China and Japan happened in a relatively short period between the sixth and seventh centuries.

    Buddhism today would not exist without all the efforts of the foregoing four people, especially Jian Zhen (Ganjin in Japanese), who was invited to teach and guide Japanese Buddhist monks and to stabilize Japanese Buddhism in the early stages. He tried to travel to Japan six times. However, his first five attempts failed due to political reasons and storms. He lost his eyesight during the storm that occurred on his fifth attempt. At the time of his final attempt to travel to Japan, he was sixty-six years old. He did not give up going to Japan to propagate Buddhism. He finally made it in 753 AD. His contribution to Japanese Buddhism is priceless.

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  • HE Avikritar Rinpoche leading lamas performing mudras in dedication prayers (including for the dead), Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Some cool Buddhism images:

    HE Avikritar Rinpoche leading lamas performing mudras in dedication prayers (including for the dead), Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Image by Wonderlane

    White trumpet flowers and marigolds line the Lotus Guesthouse courtyard, topiary, next door to Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Image by Wonderlane

    His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya gives blessed katag (kata) and protection cord to his daughter in law, Dagmo Lhanze Youdhen Sakya, with a master of ceremonies, Lamdre, Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Image by Wonderlane

  • Is there a difference between having Buddhism as a philosophy and Buddhist philosophy?

    Question by Jcd: Is there a difference between having Buddhism as a philosophy and Buddhist philosophy?
    I mean, Buddhist philosophy itself is about their traditions, culture and stuff but I think Buddhism “as a” philosophy means another thing. Am I getting it wrong? Are they just conveying the same things?
    @Sisyphus: True, but what I really mean is that, if there is a difference. The Buddhist Philosophy teaches its ways. But what about Buddhism as a philosophy? Does it impart external views about the religion? I’m not having it as some form of exercise.. I just need it for a my research.

    Best answer:

    Answer by Sisyphus
    In other words, can a person cherry pick what suits them from the Buddhist teachings or do they have to follow all of it? Buddhism leaves the option open to the person… or does it? These are all jsut concepts, which are all emptiness anyway, making this exercise somewhat unnecessary.

    Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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