Archive | 2011

Worry- How We Keep Ourselves From Happiness

This is the question of all questions. If the Buddha was happy growing up he never would have left his castle, his riches, his wife and child. Studying faith and religion didn’t make him happy. Suffering and starving to cleanse himself didn’t make him happy. There is a general unhappiness that comes from living. The […]

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Buddhism Compliments Christianity and Islam.

Reverend Sumitta,  Is the difference between Buddhism and Christianity that Buddhism starts without belief and Christianity starts with belief? Dear Dhamma-follower, The best explanation I give for Buddhism compared to theistic faiths is that Buddhism is a practice of realization and theistic faiths are ones of revelation. They both have faith/belief. Faith means to have […]

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Who Is Meditating If There Is No “I”?

A meditator asked me, “If we are not dualistic, made of mind and body, then what is observing in mediation?” What a simple question that leads to a very challenging answer. “Who is the observer if we are observing that there is no ‘I’?” In order to answer this question we must look at how […]

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Sumitta quotes 2011

The following are  quotes from this year that I have said and liked. Most happened during teachings or during counseling. Many of them became my twitter or FB status updates. Now I am putting them all together. Do not leave your mind drag behind you. Do not throw it far in front of you. Do […]

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The Story Of A Certain Monk (Dhammapada)

THE MIND IS VERY HARD TO SEE…. This instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Jetavana with reference to a certain discontented monk. We are told that while the Teacher was in residence at Sāvatthī, a certain treasurer’s son approached an elder who resorted to his house for alms and […]

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How to develop Buddhist Practice Without Meditation

We are feeling creatures. Our feelings frame our reality. What we believe to be true is what we feel to be true. We accept facts or dismiss them based on how we feel about them. We assign value to words based on how we feel about them, and then assign value to people based on […]

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Should We Fear Death?

In trying to understand Buddhism, there is almost always one inevitable question: What happens once we die? Normally, I rebuttal this question with a question, “Why are we focused on the next life when there is so much work to do in liberating this life?” However, since the question comes up over and over again, […]

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His Holiness Helps Breathe Life to Tibetans Through Faith

I sat quietly as His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, the 33rd Gyalwa Menri Trizin (the world wide spiritual leader of the Bon tradition of Tibet and abbot of Menri Monastery, New Dolanji, India) offered me almonds from a simple wooden bowl. An attending monk offered me tea, while another fetched a small container and offered […]

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U.S. Army's first Buddhist chaplain, Thomas Dyer

Motivation for Enlightenment

I was speaking with a fellow minister of my order and I asked him what work he was doing. He is working as an Army Chaplain and he replied “I am reminding an infantry company to remain mindful and to bring the spiritual into their training. It’s an uphill battle.” Of course, he is a […]

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What is the Authentic Buddhism?

One of the questions I love to hear from new Buddhist practitioners and those just curious about Buddhism is, “which is the real Buddhism?” or “is this authentic Buddhism?” It doesn’t matter which tradition they are asking about, the question is always there. People are curious but skeptical. If only so many serious practitioners to […]

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What is the First Step in Buddhist Practice?

I was asked recently, “How do I develop a Buddhist practice?” Most Buddhists practitioners are aware of the Noble Eightfold Path (Understanding, Intention, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness and Concentration). Each one of these qualities are not developed in sequence but in tandem with each other. The Noble Eightfold Path develops the three characteristics needed […]

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Ordination

I am a prolific writer; however, I tend not to write too often about the personal events in my life. I write about the dhamma and how to enrich our lives in the dhamma. However, this past Saturday, after an endorsement by the Venerable Chao Chu of the Rosemead Buddhist Temple (Rosemead, Calif.) and other […]

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GUEST BLOGGER: How does my Buddhist practice affect my daily life?

On occasion, the blogger of Precious Metal, Nate DeMontigny, coordinates a wonderful event: A Buddhist Blog Swap. This is an opportunity for digital dharma dialogists to be a guest speaker on other blog. I was very fortunate to have been given J Andy Lambert of Bayou City Buddhist as my guest speaker. —— My Zen practice never really stops. […]

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The Giving Bodhi Tree

When I was younger (as the Beatles say, “so much younger than today”), I remember reading Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.” I thought it was a horribly sad story of unrequited love. A tree who loves a boy so much that it just waits and gives and gives and gets less and less in return. […]

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Martin Luther King and Osama Bin Laden

On Monday, May 2, 2011; I walked into my work and saw the newspaper headlines. “U.S. Kills Bin Laden.” As I walked through the hospital, I passed TV screens of thousands of Americans in the streets chanting and cheering. People as excited about the death of Bin Laden equal to their favorite team winning the […]

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