Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Power of Words

I've just been sent this amazing video by a Buddhist friend from Cowes, it really embodies the Buddhist precept of Skilful Speech. Watch it - it could change the way you see things...................

Here's an article by Allan Lokos from Tricycle on "Skilful Speech".

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Vishvapani's Latest Thought for the Day

Vishvapani delivered the "Thought for the Day" yesterday, Wednesday. His theme was the Eight Worldly Winds, how success turns to "failure" and loss and how the Buddha taught us how to transcend this.


The 8 worldly Dharmas are also known as 8 worldly concerns or 8 worldly concerns. Avoiding these 8 mental states is considered quite important in Buddhist practice. They describe the ceaseless activities we develop towards short-term pleasures, which often not even result in pleasure...

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The World Didn't End!

Well I'm still here, and obviously so are you, but apparently we sinners (non-christians etc.) haven't got away with it!

The evangelical broadcaster who left followers crestfallen by his failed prediction that last Saturday would be Judgement Day says he miscalculated. Some believers expressed bewilderment or said it was a test from God of their faith, after the day passed without event.

Harold Camping said it had "dawned" on him that God would spare humanity "hell on Earth for five months" and the apocalypse would happen on 21 October. Now, I notice that I've already got that in my calendar, the day “when He will destroy the world and all that is therein”, so I must have picked that one up from some other nut-case.

Mr Camping said he felt "terrible" about his mistake.

But he said he could not give financial advice to those who spent their life savings in the belief the end was nigh.

Friday, 20 May 2011

My "Last Post"?

Tomorrow's the end of the world, at least for us "idol worshipping" Buddhist sinners and any other not up to scratch non-believers in the right branch of christianity!

The world will end at 6pm tomorrow according to the followers of an evangelical Christian minister, Harold Camping, who claims he calculated the date and time of 'The Rapture' by adding up numbers in the Bible. Camping, 89, is the leader of Family Radio, an independent ministry which spreads its word via a network on 66 radio stations and online broadcasts.

Apparently the "rapture" is when the followers of Jesus will be removed to safety while those still on the Earth will face the "tribulation" period. Bear with me, this is getting weird, so the christians are whizzed off into outer-space leaving the rest of us to experience worldwide hardships, disasters, famine, war, pain and suffering, which will wipe out more than 75% of all life on the earth, that's the "Tribulation bit.... or torture as I call it.

So I wish you and all beings peace and safety for your remaining few hours before it all kicks off and I bid you a fond farewell (it starts at sunrise where you are, 5:09 BST here in the West Wight).

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Vishvapani on the Buddha's Enlightenment 2,600 Years Ago

Here is Vishvapani's "Thought for the Day" on the 2600th anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Wesak, the 2,600th Anniversary of the Buddha's Awakening!

Today, on the full moon of May two thousand six hundred years ago, Siddhartha Gautama awoke to the reality of existence and became the Buddha, the fully awakened one. This is celebrated by the festival of Wesak which in many schools of Buddhism also marks the Buddha's birth and death all traditionally having occurred on the first full moon of May.

A single day lived
with conscious intention and wisdom
is of greater value than a hundred years lived devoid of discipline and manifest wisdom.

Dhammapada verse 111

The best gift we can offer the Buddha on his birthday is to live this day wisely. We all know the consequences of living according with
preferences: we feel divided, not whole. When conditions conspire to be agreeable we lose ourselves in the happiness we have gained; when conditions become disagreeable we despair over what we have lost.
Wisdom ‘sees’ both gain and loss - wisdom sustains the awareness which makes us free.

With Metta,

Bhikkhu Munindo

(this is the Buddha's enlightenment as portrayed in the film "Little Buddha")

West Wight Sangha will be celebrating Wesak with fellow Buddhists from the Island wide Sangha this coming Sunday, the 22nd, from mid-day.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Huge Thangkas

I came across this amazing photo a while back.....

It shows Tibetan Buddhists and tourists viewing a giant Thangka, a religious silk embroidery or painting, displayed on a hill near the Langmu Temple in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu province February 15, 2011. Local Tibetan monks and pilgrims gathered to celebrate “Monlam”, or the Great Prayer Festival, one of the most important festivals in Tibetan Buddhism.

This is a similar Thangka at Drepung Monastery. (Lonely Planet guide)
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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Women and the Forest Sangha Re-Vamp

For those of you who have been following the Bhikkhuni controversy, I recently received news from Thanissara that the Facebook site "Women and the Forest Sangha" has undergone a re-vamp..........

Subject: Upgrade of Women and Forest Sangha according to Face Book requirements.
Dear members of Women & Forest Sangha group,
This is a brief message to inform you that we are upgrading the group, in alignment with the current requirements of Face Book.

In the process of doing so, the admin of this group have decided to change the name of the group to 4-Fold Sangha.

We shall be posting the remit of the new group very soon for your interest. We are also open to your feed back once the new remit is posted.

We hope you feel welcome to stay with the group as we continue our journey of exploration regards the application and integration of the Buddha-Dharma in our challenging times.

Wishing you much peace,
on behalf of the admin team,

Friday, 13 May 2011

Meditation Course in Sandown

Here's a bit of an advance heads-up that Matt, Angie and Mark are holding an introductory course in Buddhist meditation and mindfulness practise. Contact details can be seen on the reproduced poster below. We will keep you informed as to developments as they unfold.............

A Six Week Course On Buddhist Meditation
And Other Mindful Practises

Wednesdays 7 – 9 pm
Starting Wednesday 8th June
The Broadway Centre,
The Broadway, Sandown
£25 - £10 deposit
Call Angie on (01983) 404740 or email angieboltoncox@aol.com
for more information and to book your place.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Ten Buddhist Monks Allowed into North Korea

Last Wednesday, the 4th, ten Buddhist monks arrived in North Korea with government approval to bring essential drugs for the population.

The venerable monks from the Jogye Order spent a day in North Korea, entering the border region near Mount Kumgang. The ten monks visited Singye, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in all of Korea, located in the north, at the foot of the mountain. Inside the temple, they did not see any pictures of Kim Jong-il, or his father, Kim Il-sung, an exceptional circumstance since every place of worship in North Korea is usually used to venerate the two dictators. The Jogye Order had planned to hold a joint service at Singye Temple with its North Korean counterpart, but it had to cancel the plan after the North Korean government disapproved.

The monks gave a village chief more than 100,000 anthelmintic tablets to kill parasitic worms. Many North Koreans suffer from these because of poor nutrition and a lack of facilities for good hygiene.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation, North Koreans have the worst diet and healthcare in the world.

“What struck me the most was the temple visit. We did not see any of the regime’s symbols but saw those of our faith,” one of the monks said. “Although there were no worshippers, it is clear that someone is keeping the place clean and in order. This filled by heart with hope because it means that there are still some Buddhists in North Korea, even if they are hiding.”

(The picture is of the the Woljong Temple, I couldn't find a decent one of Singye)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Kung Fu Fighting on the Isle of Wight - Latest!

Following on from our story of Simon Ledger, the Island entertainer who was arrested for racial abuse because he was singing the 70's song Kung Fu Fighting, we can report that he has since been contacted by Carl Douglas the original performer of the song. The two of them have recorded a new version of the song and Simon has been in touch with Jackie Chan with a view to making a spoof video to accompany the song.

Today is the Last Day of the Yeon Deung Hoe Lotus Lantern Festival

The Yeon Deung Hoe is a traditional Korean folk festival that began in the Goryeo Period (918 - 1392) as the Lotus Lantern Assembly (Yeondeunghoe) and continued in the Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910) as the Lantern Celebration (Kwandeung-nori). According to Buddhist beliefs, the act of lighting a lotus-shaped lantern will light up the dark parts of one's soul. By doing this, the evil and flawed parts of one's soul are stripped away leaving only a clean slate to start anew. Lanterns are also lit to dispel the darkness that is in the world, symbolizing one's hope for a wiser and more compassionate society.

This old tradition continues today in the form of the Lotus Lantern Festival, a modern-day annual tradition that offers visitors the chance to experience the Yeondeunghoe and Buddhist culture. This year's Lotus Lantern Festival will take place over three days, from May 6th - May 8th.

This is a video of the 2010 festival............

Friday, 6 May 2011

Awakening Love Cannot Wait

This piece by Master Cheng Yen is taken from the latest Tzu Chi newsletter.....

"With the many crises facing our world today, awakening love cannot wait."—Dharma Master Cheng Yen

In the aftermath of the Japan earthquake, Tzu Chi's volunteers in Japan as well as staff and volunteers from the global headquarters have formed a relief team to personally deliver aid to those affected. At the same time, Dharma Master Cheng Yen has asked Tzu Chi volunteers worldwide to launch a fundraising campaign. The road ahead for Japan's disaster recovery is very long; the donations will make it possible for Tzu Chi to help. While deeply grateful for every contribution, large and small, the Master says that what she cherishes most is the heart behind it. For as important as funding is, her greatest wish is that the spirit of love can be awakened in the heart of each and every person around the world.

Besides an outpouring of love in reaction to the disaster, the Master hopes this love can be a lasting spirit which will deeply inform people's perspectives and actions..............

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Evil and the Self

Yesterday's "Start the Week" program on Radio Four was on the subject of evil and the self, an eminently Buddhist subject so here it is......

Andrew Marr explores how far empathy, or the lack of it, can explain cruelty. Simon Baron-Cohen proposes turning the focus away from evil or specific personality disorders, and to understand human behaviour by studying the 'empathy circuit' in the brain. Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital and the crime writer Val McDermid question whether this would help in their line of work, and the philosopher Julian Baggini tries to pin down what we mean when we talk about the self.

Also available from our Audio Section where you can also download it.

Monday, 2 May 2011

NEW MOON - Monday 2nd May 2011

Aware among those who are heedless,
awake among those who sleep,
the wise go forward like strong young horses, leaving the exhausted behind.

Dhammapada verse 29

How can we stay true to our heart’s aspiration for awakening and yet remain sensitive to the needs of those around us? If we lose balance, our good intentions lead only to more suffering. The Teachings tell us to take care that our effort in practice is informed by wisdom, and not by preference. Being sensitive to the needs of others is important, but not at the expense of the quality of our own awareness.
If the distortion of selfishness dominates consciousness, our efforts will fail to benefit. Firmly establishing this sense of priority, we build an inner foundation. Rather than defensiveness and anger, our response to criticism can be kindness and understanding.

With Metta,

Ajahn Munindo