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Memory, Mindfulness, and Buddhism

     Last Sunday, we (at the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center) had a great opportunity to meet and learn from Dr. Bhikkhuni Kusuma, a senior Buddhist nun from Sri Lanka. Everybody who came to this event enjoyed her engaging sermon and meditation. Moreover, everybody was impressed to see her energy at the age of 84 to disseminate […]

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Books on Buddhism

General Reading: Karen Armstrong.  Buddha.  London: Phoenix, 2004. Samuel Bercholz and Sherab Chödzin Kohn.  The Buddha and his teachings.  Boston: Shambhala, 2003. Rick Fields.  How the swans came to the lake:  A narrative history of Buddhism in America.  Boston & London: Shambhala, 1992. Buddhist magazines: Tricycle: Awake in the world.  Quarterly.   http://www.tricycle.com/ Shambhala Sun: Buddhism, culture, meditation, life.  Bimonthly.  http://www.shambhalasun.com/ […]

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http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/schools-three-vehicles.shtml

A Brief History of Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha Shakyamuni, lived and taught about 2,600 years ago in the southern foothills of the Himalayas. His philosophical discoveries and teachings have resounded down through the centuries, traveling from teacher to student across continents and oceans to reach us today. Like a pebble dropped in a calm pond, Buddha’s impact traveled like […]

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Buddhist Society of Pittsburgh 4th Annual Vesak

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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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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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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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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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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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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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