It is said there are 84,000 dharma gates, which is a poetic way of saying there are infinite ways to enter the practice of the Buddha dharma. And over the centuries Buddhism has developed an enormous diversity of schools and practices.
In Buddhism, samsara is often defined as the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Or, you may understand it as the world of suffering and dissatisfaction (dukkha), the opposite of nirvana, which is the condition of being free from suffering and the cycle of rebirth.
The Nyingma school, also called Nyingmapa, is the oldest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It was established in Tibet during the reign of the Emperor Trisong Detsen (742-797 CE), who brought the tantric masters Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava to Tibet to teach and to found the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet.
Buddhist women, including nuns, have faced harsh discrimination by Buddhist institutions in Asia for centuries. There is gender inequality in most of the world's religions, of course, but that's no excuse. Is sexism intrinsic to Buddhism, or did Buddhist institutions absorb sexism from Asian culture? Can Buddhism treat women as equals, and remain Buddhism?
Singapore -- The Singapore Buddhist Federation and other experts are encouraging devotees to not release animals to mark Vesak Day, but to consider alternatives instead, including going vegetarian.
The Buddhist Precepts are not rules everyone must be compelled to follow, such as the Abrahamic Ten Commandments. Instead, they are personal commitments people make when they choose to follow the Buddhist path. The Practice of the Precepts is a kind of training to enable enlightenment.
The Six Perfections, or paramitas, are guides for Mahayana Buddhist practice. They are virtues to be cultivated to strengthen practice and bring one to enlightenment.
What is reality? Dictionaries tell us that reality is "the state of things as they actually exist." In Mahayana Buddhism, reality is explained in the doctrine of the Two Truths.
You may know there are two primary schools of Japanese Zen, called Soto and Rinzai. Rinzai Zen is associated with formal koan contemplation, whereas the Soto meditation practice is called shikantaza -- "just sitting." If you ever study formally in one of those schools, this distinction will be very important.
The basic definition of bodhicitta is "the desire to realize enlightenment for the sake of others." It is also described as the state of mind of a bodhisattva, usually, an enlightened being who has vowed to remain in the world until all beings are enlightened.
The English word equanimity refers to a state of being calm and balanced, especially in the midst of difficulty. In Buddhism, equanimity (in Pali, upekkha; in Sanskrit, upeksha) is one of the Four Immeasurables or four great virtues (along with compassion, loving kindness, and sympathetic joy) that the Buddha taught his disciples to cultivate.
Taoism and Buddhism have a lot in common. In terms of philosophy and practice, both are nondual traditions.
Would you be surprised to learn that reincarnation is not a Buddhist teaching? "Reincarnation" normally is understood to be the transmigration of a soul to another body after death.
The word nirvana is so prevalent for English speakers that its true meaning is often lost. The word has been adopted to mean "bliss" or "tranquility."
Many schools of Mahayana Buddhism have an inscrutable quality that can be both compelling and maddening to non-Buddhists.
Central to Buddhist philosophy and practice is the principle of dependent origination, sometimes called dependent arising. In essence, this principle says that all things happen through cause and effect and that they are interdependent.
Dharma (Sanskrit) or dhamma (Pali) is a word Buddhists use often. It refers to the second gem of the Three Jewels of Buddhism—Buddha, dharma, sangha. The word often is defined as "the teachings of the Buddha," but dharma is really more than just a label for Buddhist doctrines, as we shall see below.
In Mahayana Buddhism, the ideal of practice is to become a bodhisattva who strives to liberate all beings from the cycle of birth and death. The Bodhisattva Vows are vows taken formally by a Buddhist to do exactly that. The vows are also an expression of bodhicitta, the desire to realize enlightenment for the sake of others.
In the center or hub of the iconic Buddhist image of the Wheel of Life, or Bhavachakra, usually you will find a picture of a pig or boar, a cock, and a snake, The energy of these creatures turns the wheel of samsara, where unliberated beings wander and experience birth, death, and rebirth, around and around.
How do Buddhists approach morality? Western culture seems at war with itself over moral values. On one side are those who believe one lives a moral life by following rules handed down by tradition and religion.
Evil is a word many people use without thinking deeply about what it signifies. Comparing common ideas about evil with Buddhist teachings on evil can facilitate deeper thinking about evil. It is a topic where your understanding will change over time. This essay is a snapshot of understanding, not perfect wisdom.
Among the wisdom teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism are many reminders to not be fooled by appearance. What can seem frightening and even monstrous is not necessarily evil, but can be there for our benefit. Nothing illustrates this principle better than dakinis.
The Buddha taught that happiness is one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. But what is happiness? Dictionaries say happiness is a range of emotions, from contentment to joy. We might think of happiness as an ephemeral thing that floats in and out of our lives, or as our life's essential goal, or as just the opposite of "sadness."
Xem toàn bộ