Quote from introduction: "When encountering illness or disease, we experience a loss of balance, strength and vitality. Contagion disrupts whole societies. Easy tasks become difficult or impossible. Those who are sick depend heavily on the assistance of others, while they are also at the mercy of chance and conditions. Impermanence is suddenly obvious, while life's precarious nature asserts itself. Our priorities come into question as the future grows uncertain, and leisure fades into irrelevance. Death is recognized in its immediacy, as we can no longer pretend time is abundant. Fear, worry, and regret may overwhelm those who are afflicted, as well as those who are helping. Susceptibility and relatedness are thrown into sharp relief. Anger and sadness drain precious energy. Loneliness and helplessness add insult to injury. Individuals, as well as cultures, respond to illness in different ways – some with denial, some with confusion, some with resolve, some with equanimity. Whatever the case, illness tests our ability to maintain a balance between doing what needs to be done, and accepting what cannot be changed. The purpose of this practice is to cultivate individual capacity for balance between action and acceptance, deepen one's understanding of illness and death as part [...]
Mind nature is only ever known by itself. Not a thing, not an experience, not an otherness. Secret, silent, sacred.
A good friend asked today, "What do you mean by post-traditional?" So, as I started answering it became clear that for me this term has three distinct layers. A little background first, though.
Dharma is timeless, always just so. Its characteristics non-contingent. Its functions not limited to a particular time, place, situation, or culture. Dharma needs no reinventing. If anything, it invites a re/discovery which can only happen by and through awakening. Therefore, Dharma is also a practice, as well as a path.
Most of the last 12 months I've been reviewing the foundational texts of Shingon Buddhism, using available English translations for reference, adding some to my limited knowledge of Sanskrit and Chinese, and producing a Croatian translation of major works by Kobo Daishi Kukai,,,
We live among fragmented images, perhaps even as fragmented selves, thus the art of imagination often stands neglected. I want to look at – 1 – how creative imagination is important, 2 – how tradition provides good examples, and 3 – how we don't know what to do with what's available.
History of Buddhist spirituality lends itself to two very different perspectives. On one hand, it is a history of transmission and continuation, featuring institution building and cultural naturalization. For the most part, this is the story of schools and sects, politics and economy, controlled discourse and imperial sponsorship. On the other hand, it's also a history of inspiration and innovation, brimming with creativity, breakthroughs, and original thinking.
I've recently talked to John Peacock, scholar and Associate Director of The Oxford Mindfulness Centre. His studies of the earliest Buddhist writings have revealed to him a very human Buddha and a very different Buddhism than we know today.
David Chapman has opened a new series of articles entitled "Reinventing Buddhist Tantra." If you're not familiar with David's work so far, especially the series on Consensus Buddhism, please look at the "Consensus: Outline" - for the whole Consensus series, look here. The new series on Buddhist tantra is exciting in that it jumpstarts a curious discussion on possibilities for a 21st century tantric Western Buddhism.
If everyone was miraculously awakened now, most would wish they could restore factory settings.