There are those Buddhists (and you know who you are!) who take optimism to a level whereby they avoid watching or reading the news due to the overwhelmingly negative world view it often projects. I can understand this to a point, because after all, none of us can single handedly save the whole world in a direct, immediate sense. The best we can hope to do is to help and encourage those who are closest to us at any particular [...]
What non-duality is to communism? If one views capitalism as inherently selfish, and communism as a social utopia, then perhaps this relationship could seem true. But the communism of Stalin or that which led to the Chinese Cultural Revolution were closer to dictatorship or tyranny than anything else. Likewise the rampant, predatory capitalism we live in today is a far cry from the freedom and liberty our ancestor fought for in too many civil wars to mention. I recently asked [...]
Nagarjuna, the great Buddhist master of Nalanda, said two thousand years ago, “Voidness is the womb of compassion” – in sanskrit shunyata karuna garbham, it most elegantly encapsulates the most fundamental Buddhist teaching. To anyone who is unfamiliar with Buddhism this statement can be either wildly misunderstood (due to a shallow, dualistic understanding of Buddhism), or can appear completely incomprehensible to the reader. After all, how can a void/nothingness/annihilation be a womb for anything, let alone compassion? The voidness to [...]
So, it’s now almost 8 months since I made the decision to quit the SGI. My reasons for quitting were primarily my inability to stomach the Ikeda worship, but since that time I have also come to regard the whole Nichiren movement as too entangled with materialism at a fundamental level. It’s pointless trying to explain this to anyone who is still in the SGI why this is so, but anyone who has spent any time studying Buddhism in a [...]
It’s been a while since I have posted. Since my practice has changed, and I have been gaining a deeper understanding of what the Heart and Diamond Sutras are saying, I have been experiencing a kind of spiritual crisis (someone has called it a spiritual emergency, with some accuracy). I’ll write about this another time, but for now, after some considerable family difficulties, I would like to share this short story, or fable. It will probably mean most to those [...]
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, and the suicide of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who became the victim of a mindless radio show hoax call, it’s time again to look at how we all share responsibility for these events. In the Guardian on Monday, President Obama was criticised for the stark contrast between his outpouring of grief for the children and staff who lost their lives in this tragic incident, compared to the countless innocents [...]
I’m an atheist. Buddhists are, pretty much by definition, atheists. Buddhism isn’t, however, about denying the existing of God. If buddhists spend their time denying anything, it’s the existence of a permanent and independent self that continually suffers. Why? Because when we can alter our mind to accept at an unconscious level that we are impermanent, interdependent on the rest of the universe, and that suffering is the result of ignorance and delusion, then what naturally arises is boundless compassion [...]
I’ve been busy for a while finishing a book which I hope to soon publish. In the meantime, I thought it would be good to return with a wild title. However, beneath the attention getting headline there is a genuine desire to try and explain the link between our ignorance and the suffering of our children. Just over two years ago I became a grand parent for the first time, and since then my family has extended rapidly to include [...]
Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra (as translated by Kumarajiva) provides a teaching regarding one of the most important characters in Mahayana Buddhism. The title of this chapter is variably translated as: The Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds – Burton Watson The Gateway to Everywhere of the Bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World – Leon Hurvitz The All-Sidedness of the Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World – Bunno Kato, Yoshiro [...]
The videos recently posted on YouTube mocking the Islamic prophet appear to have been the catalyst for horrific violence throughout the Arab nations. Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack on the US embassy in Benghazi on Tuesday. Although the amateur film “Innocence of Muslims” portrayal of the Islamic prophet is certainly ill conceived, and will undoubtedly be perceived as an insult from the West against Islam following years of questionable foreign policy by the [...]
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- Screaming in silence
- Duality is to capitalism
- The womb of compassion
- SGI UK – a look back and a look forward
- The horse and the pond
- The knot of hope
- Why does compassion have to be boundless?
- Fixing the Dharmic plumbing
- The dogma of atheism
- Mindlessness can lead to baby eating
- The life of Nichiren Daishonin
- Faith is a well baked loaf
- Liberation from cannabis
- Was Nichiren Daishonin saved by the Dalai Lama?
- Persecution and extremism
- Would you do this on faith alone?
- Say it ain’t so – Silence continues on plight of Burmese Muslims
- Meditation in Nichiren Buddhism
- The difficulty of middle way thought
- When anger is hardly noticed – Virgin Broadband adverts
- Springstein’s microphone cable cut by the Blade Wheel
- Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images
- Fast Daimoku and Long Daimoku – A Middle Way?
- Turning poison into medicine