War? No Thank You: Wise Words from the Buddha

With all the talk lately about the US and Iran, I thought about this quote from a Buddhist text called the Dhammapada. The Buddha, said in the Dhammapada, verses 129-132: All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. All trembleContinue reading “War? No Thank You: Wise Words from the Buddha”

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I saw this Twitter post today by the awesome blog Sententiae Antiquae: “Alive for a day: What is a person? What is not a person? A human is a dream of a shadow” ἐπάμεροι· τί δέ τις; τί δ’ οὔ τις; σκιᾶς ὄναρ #Pindar — sententiae antiquae (@sentantiq) January 8, 2020 This quotation by ancientContinue reading “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

One of the more fascinating, and deeper facets of Buddhism, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, is the notion of interdependency. Buddhism teaches that all things, both concrete and abstract, rise from (and are sustained by) external causes and conditions.  But it’s not a single transaction: they depend on those conditions for continued existence. For example, a treeContinue reading “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”

The Maha Santa Claus Sutra

Note: If Santa Claus was a Buddhist, this is what he might have looked like in a Buddhist text or “sutra”… 🙂 Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the Jeta Grove monastery of Anathapindaka’s Garden at Shravasti, together with a large assembly of twelve hundred and fifty monks, whoContinue reading “The Maha Santa Claus Sutra”

Buddhist Rosaries and Recitations: Pure Land Edition

Yo, this is a post I am reviving from an older blog, since it’s relevant now too. The Jodo Shu (Pure Land) sect of Japanese Buddhism has as its main practice the recitation of the Buddha’s name, also called nembutsu. The reasoning behind this practice vs. something more well-known like meditation is beyond the scopeContinue reading “Buddhist Rosaries and Recitations: Pure Land Edition”

The Cycle of (Un)Happiness

After a particularly stressful day at work, I caught myself “stress-eating” some leftover catering at the office, which got me thinking about the little self-destructive habits we all have.  Then I found this great video by 8-bit philosophy…   In Buddhism, this cycle of “aimless wandering” or Saṃsāra isn’t just limited to one life, butContinue reading “The Cycle of (Un)Happiness”

Just As You Are: A Japanese Poem

There’s a famous Japanese poem that you will often see in Jodo Shinshu Buddhist literature usually translated as “Just Right” or “Just As You Are” or “Sono-mana”. Rev. Taitetsu Unno, who passed away some years ago, translated the poem in one of his books, and it has been popular since among English-speaking Shin Buddhists. Recently,Continue reading “Just As You Are: A Japanese Poem”

Practicing Buddhism As You Are

If you’re new to Buddhism, or if like me, you’ve studied it for a long time, you may be inclined to compare yourself to other Buddhists, either living or dead. Buddhism is not a passive religion1. Buddhists don’t sit around hoping to be saved, they are encouraged to apply the Buddha’s teachings (i.e. “The Dharma”)Continue reading “Practicing Buddhism As You Are”