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Dhamma teachings of Ajahn Sumedho

(Reposted from http://sites.google.com/site/gavesako/my-texts/dhamma-teachings-of-ajahn-sumedho) —- Whatever you think you are, that’s not what you are. Whenever you suffer, ask yourself: “What am I attached to?” People who are attached to life are actually attached to death: contemplate that. The five khandhas are all about death. —- Mindfulness is the way out of insanity. The whole world is insane! It’s […]

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Gay Marriage and Buddhism

Here is the audio from my talk at the University of Pittsburgh for the Rainbow Alliance’s Panel discussion on Faith and Gay Marriage. I represented Buddhism. http://www.thepao.com/GayMarriageUPitt.mp3 Yesterday was the National Day of Silence were students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.http://www.dayofsilence.org/

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Four Noble Truths and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

How do you spend and use a gift of something priceless? If there is a single word that sums up the wisdom of Buddhism to me, it is the word “impermanence.” To not only understand impermanence but embrace it is the sword that cuts the Gordian knot of ignorance and unravels all the aversions (fears) […]

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Choosing a Buddhist Tradition

Hi Sumitta Given my respect for you, and my curiosity, I would like to ask your opinion on the books Radical Acceptance and, especially, Buddhism without Beliefs by Steven Batchelor . I’m still inquiring into what form of Buddhism to follow. If you have time, I would like to ask you a follow up question later. […]

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How to Learn Buddhism Away From Other Buddhists

Sumitta, I am a beginner to Theravadan Buddhism. I have used Access to Insight for the majority of my studies– I live on the opposite side of Pennsylvania from you, and there are no teachers in my area. I was wondering how to most efficiently incorporate studying the Buddha’s teachings with my daily life. Do […]

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The Buddhist Freud

As a graduate student in clinical social work, I spend a lot of time reading the theories of psychology. As a serious Buddhist practitioner, I read a lot of Buddhist philosophy and the Pali Canon. Eventually, you come across those moments when you feel like a Reese’s peanut butter cup commercial: “Hey, your Buddhism is […]

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Blogisattva Award Finalist

Applied Buddhism is a Finalist!

“This past six months has been quite the wild ride for us here at the Blogisattvas. First off, I want to thank everyone, the readers, the Buddhist publications and most of all the hard working bloggers out there that have made this whole thing possible. The response we received in nominations far exceeded anyones expectations, and […]

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Evolution of the Buddhist Mind

Looking at ourselves biologically, I have to ask “how did we evolve to creatures that suffer (i.e. dukkha)? Certainly, if evolution creates being best suited for its environment, then the concept of suffering must somehow be linked to what is needed for our species to survive. How could Darwin translate Buddhism?

Now this is a pretty big subject, but here is one small part of how neuroscience and Buddhism meet for greater understanding why we the way we are. [CLICK ON TITLE FOR FULL STORY]

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There is no “I” in Dhamma

Speaking with another dhamma follower, we explored the concept of non-attachment and the practice of “non-self.” For most, this is the cornerstone of practice: the goal of Buddhism. We see dukkha (“suffering”) as something that must be eliminated to find happiness. We see anatta (the concept of “non-self “or “empty nature”) as the key realization needed to complete that process. This blog will hopefully elucidate that our Buddhist practice needs more than understanding of these concepts. The goal isn’t realizing anicca, anatta, and dukkha, but how we choose to live our lives once we do. [CLICK ON TITLE TO READ FULL STORY]

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The Science of “Why We Suffer”

What was sticking to the roof of my mouth like peanut butter was the question“why dukkha?” I know what you are going to respond, “Sumitta, we have dukkha because we have unwholesome craving.” But that is my point. Why do we have craving? Not just the Buddhist answers of “ignorance.” That requires a fully evolved brain.

Why did we evolve into a being of craving? Why did we evolve into a being of emotionality? Why have we not evolve through Darwinist evolution into creatures beyond unwholesome craving? What is the scientific explanation of “why we suffer?” [CLICK ON TITLE TO READ FULL STORY]

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Can You Be A Buddhist Christian?

I visited my my family this weekend for a picnic. They live in Chicago. I live almost eight hours away and other family members live even farther. It is rare to get us all together and so I felt compelled to show. I had to deal with many questions of my Buddhist faith. Most of my family is heavily invested into their Christianity and to them, the concepts of any other faith are considered false.

So how do you speak with a Christian that is trying to understand that Buddhism a wholesome practice for everyone? [CLICK ON TITLE TO READ THE FULL STORY]

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AudioBoo– AudioBuddhism

I have discovered something better than twitter. It is called Audioboo! It allows me (and you) to create quick 5 minute podcasts straight from my iPhone. Plenty of time to get in a quick thought.

Like Twitter, you have to learn brevity, but that is probably a good thing too. So if you are interested in signing up and getting more Applied Buddhism audio…we will be putting all the audio podcasts on AudioBoo now.

And you can get them directly on your iTunes like any other podcast!feed://audioboo.fm/users/55922/boos.atom

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If I am not Special, Then Who Am I?

I spend a lot of time talk with individuals and groups about Buddhism. Not only does it provide me an opportunity to share the dhamma, but I find it helps me discover aspects to develop in my own practice.

For example, recently a friend of mine has been struggling with her personal suffering: career, love life, personal sense of happiness, etc. At one point she said to me, “I think I should write a book and call it ‘If I am not special, then who am I?’”

What a brilliant title! “If I Am Not Special, Then Who Am I?”

This got me to thinking of an appropriate response. Why do so many of us feel the need to be special? Why is it the ego (the identity of ‘self’) is part of our natural progression before developing the wisdom of the Dhamma? [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]

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When is Suffering A Good Thing?

Trying to explain Buddhism to non-practings Buddhists can sometimes be a challenge. Nevertheless, it can also be a truly fruitful experience, because it requires you to reflect and answer questions that perhaps get unmindfully conditioned in the brain.

Speaking to a friend of mine about Buddhism, she stated, “ If Buddhism is about non-attachment then I would rather suffer. I enjoy my attachment to things like my family and friends. I may find some suffering from owning a car, but I enjoy my car more than I suffer from it.”

The world is made up of what we use and what gets in our way.

Her statements were true. I honestly believe and practice my Buddhist faith, but I enjoy my family and my pleasure in the suffering I endure with my clinging to them. I do practice unconditional love and acceptance of metta, but that is not the only love I have for them. I have that attached love of a parent and son. [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]

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Cleaning out the Attic: Renunciation vs. Refuge

As the Buddha teaches, “A householder looks at his home and thinks that it is too cramped and stifling to remain in this home, and steps away from it into the open air to be free.”

But as lay Buddhists we are not asked to renounce, but to take refuge.

Refuge in Western terms is often looked at as seeking shelter within– and this is the true definition of the word. But the translation from the Pali term “gachammi” really means “to journey with.” This was a common practice and vow in ancient India with gurus and teachers. [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]

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