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Posts Tagged ‘Rebirth’

What Is Dependent Arising?

I said that dependent arising is both very simple, and very complex, but always helpful, and worth the effort to understand. Let me start with the very simple. It Really Is Simple Dependent arising says that we come into the world with certain drives that cause us to build a view of the world and…

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Yes, Dependent Origination Can Be Saved

This post is going to get personal. It can’t be helped. I’ve looked for some other way to write it, but there isn’t one in which I can be straightforward and tell the truth. I’m not going to attack anyone. I might — oh, okay, I will — argue against methods and conclusions, though. But…

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Can Dependent Origination Be Saved?

Dependent origination is a conundrum, particularly in its most common and elaborate twelve link formula. On the one hand, it is both historically and philosophically central to the Buddha’s dhamma, on the other hand it is a deeply problematic attempt to reconcile kammic rebirth with a potential awakening into non-self. The subject is so complex…

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The Importance of How We Translate: The End of Suffering

    How readers understand Buddhism depends a great deal on how it is presented to us. This should be obvious. Though Buddhism teaches us to see for ourselves whether what we learn applies to our lives, how we practice, and what we look for when we practice is going to be affected by how…

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Brahmali and Batchelor Debate

In my last post I looked at a talk given by Ajahn Brahmali on Secular Buddhism. Recently the Melbourne Insight Meditation Group released a debate that Brahmali had with Steven Batchelor on the same topic, which once again revolved around the central issue of rebirth. It raises interesting questions worthy of a follow-up post. (As in my…

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A Secular Evaluation of Rebirth

Rebirth: it’s one of those topics that defines the Secular Buddhist approach. Practitioners who accept the traditional Buddhist notions of rebirth and the kammic causation that accompanies it will be less interested in a naturalistic ‘secularization’ of the dhamma. Discussions along the frontiers of belief tend not to be very fruitful: people find their beliefs…

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On Subtracting What You Don't Like

Here’s a tweet I got after mentioning a naturalized Buddhism: Okaaaaay…. couldn’t you do the same with any religion? Subtract the parts you don’t like? It’s a question that deserves more than a 140 character response. Editing Religions  A three-character response to that tweet would be simple: yes. Given any religion, one is always free…

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Who Is The Ultimate Authority?

The concept of authority in Buddhism shouldn’t be complicated — yet it is. Many of us are already familiar with the Kalama Sutta‘s talk about how we shouldn’t rely on outside authorities but weigh what we’re told against our own experience. For many here this was one of the first reasons we became interested in…

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Thanissaro Bhikkhu's "The Truth of Rebirth" : A Review, Part 3

This is the final installment of my three-part review of Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s 2011 e-book, The Truth of Rebirth and Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice.  You can read it online here. “One reason the Buddha recommended conviction in rebirth as a useful working hypothesis is that, as we have noted, he had to teach that skillful…

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Thanissaro Bhikkhu's "The Truth of Rebirth": A Review, Part 2

This is the second in my three-part review of Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s 2011 e-book, The Truth of Rebirth and Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice, which you can read here. You can read Review Part 1 here.  “. . . Many modern Buddhist teachers have argued that the teaching on rebirth should be treated [as an out-of-date…

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