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Barbara O'Brien

Buddhism August 2012 Archive


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About Chanting

Tuesday August 28, 2012
I attempted to write a beginner-level introduction to Buddhist chanting. It's tricky to write about chanting, because there must be a gazillion different chants and no two sects seem to ... Read More

The Condition of Life

Monday August 27, 2012
The improbably named Verlyn Klinkenborg writes about rural life for the New York Times and several other publications. I just want to call your attention to today's piece about the ... Read More

The Dharma of Atonement

Saturday August 25, 2012
Atonement may seem an odd word to associate with Buddhism. In other religions, atonement is associated with repentance for sins and making peace with God, which doesn't sound very Buddhist. ... Read More

Please Don't Kiss the Buddha

Thursday August 23, 2012
Recently some French tourists in Sri Lanka were given a suspended jail sentence and fined for mistreating a statue of the Buddha. The crime came to light when the tourists ... Read More

Recognizing Near Enemies

Wednesday August 22, 2012
There are good posts about "near enemies" at Dangerous Harvests and Recovering Yogi. What are near enemies? Jack Kornfield wrote, "The near enemies are qualities that arise in the mind and ... Read More

Buddhism or Buddhisms?

Wednesday August 22, 2012
I've written in the past that I think it's silly to refer to the diversity of Buddhist sects as "Buddhisms," as some western academics do. I've also found that discussing ... Read More

Buddha's Last Request

Wednesday August 15, 2012
According to what seems to be a western Buddhist urban legend, before he died the historical Buddha requested that his teachings not be turned into a religion. I run into ... Read More

Empty Your Cup

Monday August 13, 2012
"Empty your cup" is an old Chinese Chan (Zen) saying that occasionally pops up in western popular entertainment. "Empty your cup" often is attributed to a famous conversation between the ... Read More

The 31 Realms

Friday August 10, 2012
I've been blogging about the Six Realms this week. You can't wade very far into Buddhism before bumping into discussion of the Six Realms, so understanding them is useful. But ... Read More

Who Are the Hungry Ghosts?

Thursday August 9, 2012
I've been going on about the Six Realms but haven't yet mentioned hungry ghosts. And, y'know, summer is hungry ghost season in much of Asia. In parts of Japan, the ... Read More

Boundless Loving Kindness and the Hell Realm

Tuesday August 7, 2012
Since the recent mass shooting in a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin, a fairly clear picture of the shooter has emerged. The public record shows us that Wade Michael Page, 40, ... Read More

The Human Realm

Saturday August 4, 2012
I want to say a bit more about Koun Franz's post on the Six Realms at Nyoho Zen. I particularly like this post because it is one of the clearest ... Read More

Thinking About the Six Realms

Thursday August 2, 2012
At Nyoho Zen, Koun Franz discusses the Six Realms. I was particularly struck by his explanation of the Animal Realm. "Animals, for the purpose of this model, define their wants as ... Read More

When Too Much Is, Well, Too Much

Wednesday August 1, 2012
I'm laughing at myself right now because there's a book I want to consult, and I can't find it. I know it's here somewhere. Really. If it's not on  the ... Read More

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