Sanskrit, Prakrits n’ Pali

Recently, I’ve been delving into both the Sanskrit and Pali languages, both used for Buddhist religious scripture, and just when I thought I had things figured out, I realize the situation is even more complicated and fascinating than I thought. Sanskrit is a language that was brought to India by invaders who called themselves theContinue reading “Sanskrit, Prakrits n’ Pali”

Buddhism and Really Big Numbers

Some time ago, I discovered the 30th chapter of the Flower Garland Sutra, which is titled “The Incalculable”. This chapter is unusually short and takes a very unique approach to expressing the massive scale of the Universe. The Buddha begins by saying: At that time the enlightening being [bodhisattva] Mind King said to the Buddha,Continue reading “Buddhism and Really Big Numbers”

Getting Around in Dungeons and Dragons

Recently, in my play by post D&D group, my fellow players and I decided that after completing a few adventures, we could afford to upgrade to proper shelter and transportation. Up until now, we have been traveling from town to town, place to place either by walking, or asking our hapless druid character to WildContinue reading “Getting Around in Dungeons and Dragons”

What To Do With Your Twilight Years

Earth-son, I greet you by the twenty-seven Names that still remain, praying the while that you have cast more jewels into the darkness and given them to glow with the colors of life. –Roger Zelazny’s Isle of the Dead Lately, after reading an article about the infamous Villages retirement community in Florida, I’ve been ponderingContinue reading “What To Do With Your Twilight Years”

Learning, Not Parroting

This is why I look on people like this as a spiritless lot — the people who are forever acting as interpreters and never as creators, always lurking in someone else’s shadow….It is one thing, however, to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to your memory, whereas to know, byContinue reading “Learning, Not Parroting”

The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts

Recently, I made a lengthy rant on Twitter about my frustrations with learning Sanskrit in order to read Buddhist texts. The issue is a surprisingly complicated one, and something I wanted to explore here a bit more. When you look at religions of the world, Buddhism is somewhat unusual in that it isn’t rooted inContinue reading “The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts”