Thursday, 26 March 2015

Now Here's Something You may Not have Expected!

In Russia, Buddhism ranks with Orthodox Christianity, Islam and Judaism as one of the "traditional religions" whose leaders, in return for a broadly loyal stance, enjoy privileged access to the Kremlin.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The End of Inquiring Mind

Here at the West Wight Sangha we have an extensive library of books, DVDs, audio dharma talks and magazines. While a former member gifted us a large collection of "The Middle Way", the Buddhist Society's quarterly journal, our other magazines and journals regularly arrive by post from the United States and their arrival is always eagerly anticipated.

It is therefore with great sadness that we await the delivery of the final ever edition of the semi-annual journal "Inquiring Mind". Barbara Gates, co-editor and co-founder (with Wes Nisker) of the publication writes:

"This journal, published with low overhead, on newsprint, and financed by donation by those who could afford it, is, after 31 years of service, completing its final issue in April 2015. Readers of Inquiring Mind include followers of many different Buddhist traditions, and others interested in the philosophy and ideas of Buddhism."

Inquiring Mind has always been made freely available for distribution to libraries and many prisons in America in fact, prisoners have been Inquiring Mind’s most quickly growing population of readers, and to this end, the magazine intends to donate its 17,000 back issues to prisoners.

About the final issue, Gates says, “In preparing our final Mind, Spring 2015, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” we’ve read over our many years of issues, from our first lean edition in 1984. We came across a letter in 1993 from Joseph Goldstein which ended, “Freedom and compassion are the reference points for all of practice. The Dharma has one taste, the taste of freedom.” This is the underlying message we at the Mind have hoped to convey. It feels appropriate that with that aspiration, we would be donating our back issues to prisoners.”

Thursday, 19 March 2015

NEW MOON - Simplify

Reciting a single verse of truth
which calms the mind
is better than reciting
a hundred meaningless verses.

Dhammapada v. 102

I can still vividly recall on one particular occasion when, being tortured by doubt, I sought the support of my teacher, Ajahn Chah. His initial response was one of empathy: “I've been there,” he said quietly. Then he followed on with: “If something is inherently uncertain, and we struggle to make it certain, we are going to suffer.” So obvious! Often it is within simplicity that we find solutions to our problems, not with increased complexity. The Buddha is not suggesting we make simplicity a fixed position; when we encounter complexity we must meet it as it is. This verse brings awareness to any compulsive tendencies that we might have to overly-complicate.

Ajahn Munindo

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Isle of Wight on NCIS

Some of you may have watched the episode of NCIS on Channel 5 last Friday. It was Episode 3 from Season 11 and was entitled "Under the Radar", it featured the team relying on Twitter to track a low flying aircraft.

The planes course was plotted on the big screen in MTAC, the Multiple Threat Alert Centre, and the aircraft can clearly be seen crossing the map over the "Isle of Wight"!

Yes, I know that this is Isle of Wight County in Virginia USA but long time followers of this site may remember that way back in 2007 we covered a story about Wat Pasantidhamma Buddhist temple in Isle of Wight County.

The fact that the American one is sandwiched between Sussex and Suffolk and isn't actually an island is a little disorientating but hey, its nice to know we have company and that both "isles" have Buddhist communities.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

FULL MOON – Transforming

There are those who discover
they can completely abandon confused reactions
and become patient as the earth;
unmoved by anger,
unshaken as a pillar,
unperturbed as a clear and quiet pool.

Dhammapada v. 95

When I catch a cold it can feel like it’s going to last forever. Those who suffer sleeplessness might feel like the night will never end. Falling in love and we’re convinced it will always be this way. There is nothing wrong with the way experience appears. It is simply how information received via the physical senses is perceived. Fortunately we also have the mind sense. When this faculty is rightly trained it tells us that we can choose to outshine sense impressions with patient endurance. We are allowed, and potentially we are able, to exercise the choice to bear with the way things appear to be and in so doing transform perception. When patient endurance is a kind, careful meeting of experience, without adding or taking anything away, we are no longer merely defined by conditioning.