Shambhala SunSpace Read the intro from the new Shambhala Sun book, Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West In addition to A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation, this Spring marks the release of another Shambhala Sun book, Buddha’s Daughters, edited by Shambhala Sun Deputy Editor Andrea Miller. The book is available now — click here to order or for more information. Below, you can read Andrea’s introduction to the book (as well as browse its chock-full Table of Contents).
Thanissaro Bhikkhu: (Geoffrey DeGraff) In addition to the titles listed below, Thanissaro Bhikkhu has also translated into English many books by masters of the Thai forest traditions, including Upasika Kee Nanayon and Ajaans Lee, Fuang, and Maha Boowa. An anthology of his sutta translations is available in a four-volume series of books entitled Handful of Leaves, available from Metta Forest Monastery. He has also prepared a number of Study Guides on various topics of interest to Buddhist practitioners. Books that are available free of charge in printed form are marked thus: Om Mani Padme Hum: The Meaning of the Mantra in Tibetan Buddhism Glimpsing a Few More Facets of the Mantra There are many ways to understand the meaning of the mantra. Here are a few of them: The Transformation of Speech [An excerpt from The Dharma, by Kalu Rinpoche, from a chapter on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa. ]
The Experience and Perception of Time What is ‘the perception of time’? The very expression ‘the perception of time’ invites objection. Insofar as time is something different from events, we do not perceive time as such, but changes or events in time. But, arguably, we do not perceive events only, but also their temporal relations. So, just as it is natural to say that we perceive spatial distances and other relations between objects (I see the dragonfly as hovering above the surface of the water), it seems natural to talk of perceiving one event following another (the thunderclap as following the flash of lightning), though even here there is a difficulty.
Mythology Some (recent) approaches have rejected a conflict between the value of myth and rational thought, often viewing myths, rather than being merely inaccurate historical accounts, as expressions for understanding general psychological, cultural or societal truths. Etymology The English term mythology predates the word myth by centuries. It appeared in the 15th century, borrowed whole from Middle French mythologie. The word mythology "exposition of myths" comes from Middle French mythologie, from Late Latin mythologia, from Greek μυθολογία mythologia "legendary lore, a telling of mythic legends; a legend, story, tale," from μῦθος mythos "myth" and -λογία -logia "study Rebirth Where do we come from and where are we going? There are three possible answers to this question. Those who believe in a god or gods usually claim that before an individual is created, he does not exist, then he comes into being through the will of a god. He lives his life and then, according to what he believes or does during his life, he either goes to eternal heaven or eternal hell. There are others, humanists and scientists, who claim that the individual comes into being at conception due to natural causes, lives and then at death, ceases to exist. Buddhism does not accept either of these explanations.
Buddhism and the Brain Credit: Flickr user eschipul Over the last few decades many Buddhists and quite a few neuroscientists have examined Buddhism and neuroscience, with both groups reporting overlap. I’m sorry to say I have been privately dismissive. One hears this sort of thing all the time, from any religion, and I was sure in this case it would break down upon closer scrutiny. When a scientific discovery seems to support any religious teaching, you can expect members of that religion to become strict empiricists, telling themselves and the world that their belief is grounded in reality. They are always less happy to accept scientific data they feel contradicts their preconceived beliefs. Studies in Pessimism, by Arthur Schopenhauer Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance. Each separate misfortune, as it comes, seems, no doubt, to be something exceptional; but misfortune in general is the rule. I know of no greater absurdity than that propounded by most systems of philosophy in declaring evil to be negative in its character. Evil is just what is positive; it makes its own existence felt.