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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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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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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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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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Simile of the Raft

“Suppose, monks, there is a man journeying on a road and he sees a vast expanse of water of which this shore is perilous and fearful, while the other shore is safe and free from danger. But there is no boat for crossing nor is there a bridge for going over from this side to the other. So the man thinks: ‘This is a vast expanse of water; and this shore is perilous and fearful, but the other shore is safe and free from danger. There is, however, no boat here for crossing, nor a bridge for going over from this side to the other. Suppose I gather reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and bind them into a raft… [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]

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Is Applied Buddhism a new division of Buddhism?

Applied Buddhism is just another term that I take to mean something slightly different. The transformations made while in temple or in meditation are seen in the gradual evolution of who we are and who we become as Buddhist. However, all that is learned and developed should be seen as tool to use and “apply” in ever moment. The introspection and insight of meditation can be applied to being more mindful and aware of the world around us. The practice of precepts should create skillfulness and wisdom in daily challenges. The lessons of the Buddha should be our guides in every minute of every day.

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