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finding purpose in infinite reality

Essential Buddhism for Modern Life

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, meditation, purpose

Buddhism is based on teachings of the Buddha (dharma), Siddhartha Gautama, who lived some 2500 years ago. It is estimated to have some 500 million followers, over 7% of the global population [Pew Research Center]. While traditionally considered an Eastern 'religion' it is gaining popularity in the West in recent years with some 4 million adherents in North America in 2010 [Pew Research Center], likely seen as an antidote to the perceived stresses and ultimate emptiness of modern life.

Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion. It has no God, but rather offers a description of the nature of reality and guidance on how a being with free will might negotiate that reality.

The ultimate Buddhist goal of enlightenment can take a lifetime (or several) of the contemplative existence of a monk to reach. However, such devotion is not essential to benefit from Buddhist teachings, even in the midst of worldly life. (more…)


Buddhism and Meditation Practice

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, meditation, science and spirituality

The Buddhist response to the pervasiveness of unsatisfactoriness is to seek to extinguish attachment and craving (ie enlightenment or nirvana). The practice of meditation plays a significant role towards this end.

There are numerous varieties of Buddhist meditation, eg Zen, Vipassana, concentration to name but a few. However, one that has gained much attention and credibility in the West is mindfulness (eg a Google search for this term yields 39 million hits, an Amazon search some 56,000 titles).

Mindfulness meditation is about objective observation. It's about simply being in the here and now, seeing and accepting reality as it is, without feelings or judgement, not measuring it against some ideal that we'd like it to be. (more…)


Buddhism and the Human Predicament

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, science and spirituality

After being raised in a background of wealth and power and sheltered from the harsh reality of life it is said that upon first witnessing sickness and suffering the Buddha was so overcome that he renounced his privileged status for a life of contemplation.

The Buddhist conception of the human predicament is summed up in the first two of the four Noble Truths, taught by Buddha shortly after he attained enlightenment; ie: (more…)


Study Buddhism Free Online

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, science and spirituality

Free "MOOCs" and other resources exploring Buddhist philosophy and its relationship to and value in the modern world.

The Buddha's Teaching As It Is

Ten Audio lectures on the fundamentals of the Buddha's Teaching, by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi

Available at BuddhaNet

Buddhism Through Its Scriptures

Learn about the rich and diverse beliefs and practices of Buddhists across time and place. Experience Buddhism through its scriptures, both relationally as well as academically.

Self-paced edX course from Harvard University, starts May 3, 2016.

Buddhism and Modern Psychology

Examines how Buddhism is faring under the scrutiny of science and modern psychology.

Self-paced Coursera course from Prof. Robert Wright, Princeton University.

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World: Lesser Vehicle

This course explores the immense variety of meditation practices past and present.

Self paced Coursera course from the University of Virginia.


Does 'Self' Exist?

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, science and spirituality, spirituality

The Buddhist Perspective of Self

Buddha's assertion that the self does not exist was first described in the famous "Discourse on the Not-Self". It is a fundamental principle of Buddhist philosophy and is said to be the second sermon delivered by the Buddha after his enlightenment.

Buddha defined five "aggregates" that together constitute the entire person. These are: form (body), feelings (positive, negative, neutral), perception, mental formations (thought, emotion, will), and consciousness.

Buddha declared each aggregate in turn (like most of reality) to be impermanent, and therefore not identifiable with 'self'. This implies Buddha's concept of self has (a degree of) permanence.

Considering the aggregates again, he declared that each is not controllable (we cannot control the fate of our body, our emotions etc), and is therefore not self. This implies Buddha's concept of self is controllable. (more…)


Truth and righteousness contain all morality

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, externally authored, spirituality

By Lt Col R K Langar

Our ideal in life should be to speak the truth and act righteously. When translated into Sanskrit the title of this write up will be SATHYAM VADA DHARMAM CHARA. Mahabharata says that Dharma or Righteousness is adequate to lead one to the status of Absolute Brahman. Mahabharata also underscores that Dharma is eternal Truth and Truth is Righteousness (Dharma). (more…)


The Embryo of the Tao

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, externally authored, spirituality

A Return to the womb

By Travis Edwards

In Western psychology there is a term known as the inner child which represents the most pure and innocent aspect of ourselves. In popular psychology this term 'inner child' refers to the sum of all our mental and emotional memories stored in the sub-conscious mind from conception through pre-puberty and the consensus in psychotherapy or counseling is to heal this aspect of ourselves by identifying and eliminating the dysfunctional patterns of behavior that have resulted from those sub-conscious memories.

In a deeper spiritual sense the inner child can also mean our true self or soul or likened to that of our intuition, whichever phrase is used they virtually represent the same thing. Our inner child force is linked to a higher intelligence capable of perceiving every event we undertake such as action, thought or words spoken yet it does not over think or over analyze like our so called conscious mind, it just simply perceives. The inner child depicts a state free from any torment of mind (thoughts/habitual tendencies) social conditioning, labels or concepts that typically manipulate and mislead the human psyche. (more…)


Enlightenment is to know yourself

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, externally authored, spirituality

By Lt Col R K Langar

What is Enlightenment

It is said that knowing others is wisdom whereas knowing yourself is enlightenment. In common parlance an enlighted person is a well informed person who can take part effectively in all types of conversations. He is an  enlightened person who gives light without any prejudice. In spiritual language enlighted person is that who has realized his Self and feels the bliss of Divine at all times. This would mean heightening of self awaress to the highest degree which leads to God realisation who is present in all bangs. In other words Absolute knowledge of God is enlightenment. This is the Absolute meaning of the word enlightenment. (more…)


Preposterous Ponderings - Losing Your Mind Over Zen

abracad, · Categories: buddhism, externally authored, spirituality

By R.J. Vigoda

If the answers to all the big questions of existence were easy to come by everybody would know them.   There’s good reason why so few hold the most profound secrets of life.  Let’s face it, the path to enlightenment is undeniably a tough and arduous slog.  Those deciding to pursue the weighty issues of our intrinsic Being better strap in for a rocky ride filled with perplexing concepts, torturous reason, an avalanche of bewildering language and endless acres of convoluted conundrums.  Of course, just because the task is formidable doesn’t mean there aren’t many willing to give enlightenment a shot.  For such ambitious souls there’s no end of revered spiritual systems to hitch one’s fate.   While almost all spiritual or wisdom traditions specialize in the esoteric, obscure and impenetrable one in particular raises the levels of confusion, mystification and befuddlement to vertiginous heights.  This asylum of contradiction is the fusion of Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism commonly known as Zen.  Those of saner disposition steeped in logic and reason best turn back now. (more…)


The Way of Peace

abracad, · Categories: books, buddhism, ebooks, meditation
The Way of Peace

In The Way of Peace James Allen expounds his New Thought Movement affiliations, referencing Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. The book is essentially a treatise on the importance of meditation as a 'pathway to divinity'. Whatever we meditate upon, Allen explains, we become. If you meditate upon ' that which is selfish and debasing, you will ultimately become selfish and debased'. Whereas if you meditate upon ' that which is pure and unselfish you will surely become pure and unselfish'.

Now copyright expired and in the public domain, new age spirituality is delighted to offer The Way of Peace as a free online ebook.

Alternatively, you may purchase your own copy from Amazon