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Buddhist Society of Pittsburgh 4th Annual Vesak

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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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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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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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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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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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Buddhism and The Happy Divorce

My daughter’s mother is a wonderful mom. I am an equally wonderful dad. We did not have a wonderful marriage, but we have had a fantastic divorce. Most people that discover I am divorced usually treat me like a cancer survivor. When people discover that my daughter lives with me— the father— people almost always […]

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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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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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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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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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