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Posts Tagged ‘Gotama’

8/26 Practice Circle: Getting Out of Default Mode

I have tended to give concentration practice short shrift. To me, devotion to intense concentration – jhana practice, long sesshins, and the like – seemed like spiritual calisthenics, meditation for its own sake, another skill to attach the ego to. Coming out of the vipassana-influenced MBSR tradition, I thought the tangible benefits of exploring the…

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Practice Circle: Tonglen for the Winter Solstice

This week’s Practice Circle coincides with the weekend of the Winter Solstice, the darkest and coldest time of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere (mudita to our Aussie and Kiwi friends!)  I don’t know about you, but I always have a tangible felt sense of entropy about now.  The cold and…

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Gautama Buddha: Man or God?

Vishvapani Blomfield’s Gautama Buddha: The Life and Teachings of the Awakened One is one of a new breed of Buddha biographies. For centuries there was really only one. Ashvaghosha’s epic poem Buddhacarita (Acts of the Buddha), written some three hundred years after the Buddha’s death, paints the Buddha myth familiar to generations of Buddhists. A…

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Four Truths, Four Vows

This is another in my series of discussions of ideas Stephen Batchelor has been presenting in dharma talks since late 2010. You can hear them at dharmaseed.org. One of the attractive ideas to come out of Stephen Batchelor’s recent teaching is a mapping of the Four Noble Truths onto the Four Bodhisattva Vows of the…

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The Four Foundations of Secular Buddhism

by Mark Knickelbine This is another in a series of posts in which I have been discussing ideas presented by Stephen Batchelor in a series of dharma talks in late 2010.  I encourage you to check them out at dharmaseed.org. While Stephen Batchelor has often written and talked about his vision of a Buddhism that does…

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Prescriptive, Not Descriptive

This is the third installment in which I discuss ideas presented by Stephen Bachelor in a series of dharma talks in late 2010. You can hear them at dharmaseed.org. Christians have some explaining to do. If, as they believe, God is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving, why is there so much suffering in…

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Secular Dharma Semitreat :: Day Three

Day three, at last our horrific kammic past has been fully extinguished, and we’re enjoying a change from that perfect weather.  Rain, all day.  And you know, that really is okay, the rich scents the moisture brings is better than incense. Our dish cleaning team of Stan, Stan, Bill, and Ted (yes, Bill and Ted,…

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Secular Dharma Semitreat :: Day Two

We’re cursed with yet another absolutely gorgeous day. Clearly bad kamma coming to fruition. Darn you, vipāka! Darn you, previous me! We started the day with instructions from Martine on listening meditation, simply hearing the sound without creating additional commentary around it. In this setting, the sounds are typically birds and chippies, so that was…

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Secular Dharma Semitreat :: Day One

by Ted Meissner First full day of the retreat, and traditional retreat habits of all kinds have taken up right where they left off. This includes the penchant for what I rationally know to be unpalatable Folgers instant coffee in the morning, and the same brand in decaf before bed. The food is proving to…

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What is Dukkha?

This is the first of a series of posts in which I hope to explore ideas Stephen Batchelor discussed in a series of dharma talks in Fall 2010.  You can hear them at dharmaseed.org. What is the First Noble Truth?  If you’re deep enough in the Buddhist weeds to be reading this, you will probably…

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