Omamori: Japanese Charms

Since New Year has come and gone, this is a time where people frequently purchase an omamori (御守り) charm for the year, while returning the previous year’s charm for proper, not to mention respectful, disposal. Because my family and I visit Japan every year since 2005 to see my wife’s family, I’ve picked up aContinue reading “Omamori: Japanese Charms”

The Mathematics of Buddhism

The 30th chapter of a massive Buddhist text called the Flower Garland Sutra is titled “The Incalculable”. This chapter is somewhat shorter but 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, “WorldContinue reading “The Mathematics of Buddhism”

Finding Refuge Amidst Anxiety, Lots of Anxiety

This tweet from the awesome Sententiae Antiquae blog had me thinking lately: When life feels overwhelming, I tend to think about a Buddhist text called the Immeasurable Life Sutra1 which is a highly influential in Mahayana Buddhism. It is one of my personal favorites. The first half of the sutra is the most extensive introductionContinue reading “Finding Refuge Amidst Anxiety, Lots of Anxiety”

Introducing the Karoshthi Script, a script of the Silk Road

The Silk Road, especially during the time when Buddhism first propagated out of India into the northwest and then east into China, is a fascinating point in history. Much of this is epitomized in a little-known writing system called Karoshthi. At that time, much of the world from Europe to Asia spoke a language calledContinue reading “Introducing the Karoshthi Script, a script of the Silk Road”

Building a Buddhist Monk in Dungeons and Dragons

Due to the confusion of the term “monk” in English, which has become overloaded with multiple, conflicting meanings, I wanted to take a moment and explore how to build a character in Dungeons and Dragons that mirrors a Buddhist monk. I have posted this in my Traveler’s Guide to the Hamato Islands adventure guide onContinue reading “Building a Buddhist Monk in Dungeons and Dragons”

All Walks of Life

This joke Tweet reminds me of an excerpt from a famous Buddhist text called the Karaniya Metta Sutta: Whatever living creatures there be,Without exception, weak or strong,Long, huge or middle-sized,Or short, minute or bulky, Whether visible or invisible,And those living far or near,The born and those seeking birth,May all beings be happy! Translation by Ven.Continue reading “All Walks of Life”

All of this has happened before…

Buddhism the religion has some things in common with Battlestar Galactica, but without all the Cylons. 😋 First, space is really, really big: It is also incredibly old. In Indian religions in general, including Buddhism, frequently use a term kalpa meaning a great, vast eon. Such an eon is beyond measure, but similes are oftenContinue reading “All of this has happened before…”

Everyday Buddhism: the Five Precepts

As Homo sapiens, our natural, default instinct is to eat, breed and fight. However, the Buddha encouraged people to evaluate the situation calmly, dispassionately, almost scientifically. We can indulge these impulses all we want, but in the end it will do nothing to help our situation, and will likely cause some pain and frustration inContinue reading “Everyday Buddhism: the Five Precepts”