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8
votes
1answer
193 views

Nibbāna in The Progress of Insight

I was wondering if anyone could help to clearly explain the phenomenology of what happens in this passage from Mahasi's The Progress of Insight, specifically the bolded section: 12. Insight Leading ...
10
votes
4answers
646 views

In terms of reliability of understanding reality, how does the scientific method compare with Buddhist insight practice? [closed]

Posted based on a requested edit to this question The modern "scientific method", perhaps as espoused in Karl Popper's "The Logic of Scientific Discovery", is seen today by many, especially in the ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Does understanding the Visuddhimagga require a knowledge of the Pali Canon?

I quite fancy reading the Visuddhimagga at some point. I have heard good things about it. However I'm aware that it is a commentary on the Pali Canon and that has put me off starting it. How much of ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Is it easiest to pursue/attain Nirvana as a human?

Is earth the ideal condition to achieve Nirvana; advanced enough for a being to discover and teach the universal truth of reality but not so advanced that beings won't care enough to strive for it?
4
votes
3answers
279 views

Can personal experience generate buddhistic insight outside of meditation?

This is a question formed from an anecdotal experience, if this means that it is unsuitable for this format, I have no problem with it being removed. Specifically, after seeing the news about a mass ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Jhāna in the different branches of Buddhism

From what I have read it seems the different branches seem to treat the subject quite different. While Mahayana texts seem to avoid directly touching the subject and only describe the effects, the ...
5
votes
2answers
550 views

What are the 10 Bhumis?

Yes, I checked wikipedia. That article is low quality. These 10 Bhumis are part of the 53 stages of liberation as set out in the Avatamsaka sutra. The 10 Bhumis for me are completely bemusing. In a ...
5
votes
3answers
23k views

Popular culture portrayal of Buddha statues [duplicate]

I have seen Buddha statues in western pop culture that portray an obese man as the Buddha. During my experience with Buddhism I have seen many more statues of the Buddha as a slim man, usually with ...
7
votes
8answers
680 views

What is the difference between learning the Buddhist way and simply learning from life?

What is different about being a Buddhist than an atheist? As far as I can tell, "western" thought is a mix of different philosophical approaches that can be applied to life with a dose of common ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

What are the funeral rites for Tibetan lay Buddhists?

I am mostly interested in how a Tibetan Buddhist funeral is carried out in the West, i.e. in countries where Buddhism is not a leading religion. Are there any particular practices or ceremonies that ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there an English translation of the Abhidhamma?

I wonder if there is an English version of the Abhidhamma, in its entirety?
6
votes
1answer
375 views

How much should one eat when following the not-eating-after-noon precept?

In my understanding, there are a few ways to follow the not-eating-after-noon precept. Here are what I know of: Two meals per day + juice/sugar water: breakfast and lunch, juice or sugar water for ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

How do the stages of insight before stream entry relate to the suttas

Are the stages of knowledge before stream entry mentioned in the suttas? How does this correlate with the Visuddhimagga? E.g. sabba-kaya-patisamvedi (in some interpretations) may directly relate to ...
7
votes
1answer
87 views

How does someone decide from what direction to approach the twelve-Nidānas?

From what I can gather (from wikipedia) there are four methods: The Twelve Nidānas are explained in detail in the Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa, the central text of the Mahāvihāra commentarial ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Does Theravada believe in feeding food to hungry ghosts?

Certain Buddhist schools perform rituals to offer food to hungry ghosts. And I've heard and read stories that psychic mediums at the rituals saw hungry ghosts came eating the food. Some also reported ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the source of these "Lay Bodhisattva Vows"?

Okay, I'm well familiar with the regular Bodhisattva vows from the Brahma Net Sutra. That set of vows is open to both lay and monastic followers. I just found another set on Dharma Realm Buddhist ...
9
votes
2answers
10k views

Buddhas of The Ten Directions

What are the Buddhas of the ten directions? What are the applications of this teaching in the Buddhist traditions?
1
vote
2answers
91 views

How closely related are the concepts of Karma and Pavlovian conditioning?

If I get into a habit of fighting to defend "my self" is it reasonable to say that getting into a fight and getting beat up is karma? How similar is karma to the idiom "you reap what you sow"?
5
votes
2answers
96 views

Can the substantiality of phenomena ever be conclusively ruled out through Buddhist practice?

I can see how one can develop, through one's practice, a very high degree of confidence in the truth of emptiness through inferring from the conditioned nature of phenomena, their impermanence, their ...
9
votes
2answers
724 views

Buddhism in the Middle East

It is said, Buddhist missionaries made it to Alexandria Egypt and else where in the Mediterranean circa 200 BCE. Have any scholars and/or archeologists found any evidence of Buddhism being practiced ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the Four Immeasurables (aka Four Noble Abodes)?

Also known as the Four Noble Dwellings or the Buddhist Virtues or the Brahmaviharas. Where in the Pali Canon are these described?
6
votes
1answer
151 views

What does enlightenment actually entail in Shugendo?

We already have some questions about enlightenment, but this is going to be a bit more... esoteric. What I would like to know is what enlightenment entails in Shugendo, which is a particularly ...
8
votes
5answers
934 views

Why do monastics in certain Buddhist traditions take new names?

In the Theravada tradition, and perhaps others, monastics take a new name when becoming bhikkhus/bhikkhunis. Where does this tradition come from, and what is its significance? Others don't - what's ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

What is the equivalent scientific term for samsedaja? What kind of beings on earth are born from samsedaja?

Are there any beings on earth that are samsedaja (born or arisen from moisture)? Are bacteria samsedaja?
6
votes
1answer
257 views

What is a Vajrasattva?

I recently heard the term Vajrasattva and wondered if that is another term for a Bodhisattva? How does the Vajrasattva path differ from the path of a Bodhisattva?
16
votes
2answers
969 views

Why are Jhanas controversial?

I have heard that some teachers do not teach the Jhanas, others do. Yuttadhammo mentions the great debate about Jhanas. What is the controversy about? Whether they are useful towards realizing Nibbana/...
8
votes
2answers
20k views

What would one encounter at a Buddhist temple service?

With the understanding that there are many different traditions and cultures within Buddhism, I wonder if it is possible to describe what a newcomer might encounter if they went to a temple service ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the twelve aspects of the Four Noble Truths?

For each of the Four Noble Truths, there are three aspects. The three aspects for each Noble Truth follows a pattern of Recognition (understanding it), Encouragement (what is to be done), and ...
8
votes
6answers
624 views

So many Buddhist schools!

Why does Buddhism have so many variations, like Zen, Nembutsu, True world, Nichiren Buddhism, etc.? Why is Buddhist philosophy not uniform?
4
votes
1answer
425 views

Where are the Eight Worldly Winds and how to deal with them described?

To refresh your memory, the Eight Worldly Winds are: Pleasure Pain Praise Blame Gain Loss Fame Ill-repute
6
votes
1answer
196 views

What are the Five Precepts?

And where are they found in the Pali Canon? I realize that this is a Straw Man question for the group but I would like to raise our visibility on the Web and perhaps start our community wiki.
7
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the difference between a Bodhisatta and a Bodhisattva?

Lots of Buddhist words have two different spellings (kamma/karma) because one is the Pali version and the other is the Sanskrit version; but the meaning is the same. My understanding of Bodhisatta and ...
9
votes
1answer
253 views

Can a military career be ethical?

There are military generals as lay people and stream enterers in the suttas. And there is no clear prohibition to a military career. There are some suttas that criticize the karma of soldiers on the ...
12
votes
1answer
413 views

How is semchen (sentient being) defined?

Semchen is typically defined as a sentient being. What does this mean? What is sentience? This question about killing bacteria indicates bacteria are not sentient, but I distinctly remember a guru ...
6
votes
4answers
314 views

Buddhism and past lives?

The idea of having more than one life in Buddhism is regarded not just as a theory but a truth that can be experienced and verified If this is so, what was the technique used by the Buddha to ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Buddhism and bacteria

Buddhist teachings tell that all intentional killing is negative karma. So, what about bacteria? Are bacteria considered to be sentient beings? Is using antibiotics negative karma? Is it possible to ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Who is the laughing Buddha?

Given that Gautama Buddha was an ascetic until shortly before his enlightenment and several Dhammapada verses reflect a moderate attitude toward food, such as: Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on ...
7
votes
1answer
273 views

Is what is taught under the term "Radical Buddhism" consistent with Buddhist values?

Recently, so-called "radical Buddhists" like the monk Wirathu from the 969 Buddhist Nationalist movement in Burma, incited unrest and preached violence against minorities like Muslims. (See, for ...
6
votes
2answers
326 views

What is the overall Buddhist taxonomy?

Building from this question, I'd be really interested in seeing an overall view of the Buddhist taxonomical system. I don't mean the actual names "Therevada", "Mahayana" and so on, or "Soto", "Rinzai" ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Would a world full of good Buddhists seeking enlightenment would never have developed technology? [closed]

If realizing the true nature of mind is the ultimate goal that drives us to enlightenment, constant blizz and the end of suffering, what would be the interest of developing technology? Technology ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the major sects of Buddhism?

Every major religion has several different belief systems (sects) that have the same general core belief, but have a significant enough different to have be separated from each other. What are the ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What type of Buddhist monks are only allowed to eat two meals per day and why?

In this answer, user yuttadhammo described that monks are only permitted two meals per day during the morning hours, from dawn to noon. What type of Buddhist monks are permitted only two meals per ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

What distinguishes Japanese Shingon Buddhism from other types?

How is Japanese Shingon Buddhism different from other forms of Buddhism such as Zen?
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Does the concept of evil spirits occur in Buddhism?

Some of the western religions have evil spirits like devils and demons. Does the concept or belief in evil spirits occur in Buddhism?
5
votes
4answers
334 views

What is the role of karma in rebirth?

Rebirth is not reincarnation. How then does the karma of an individual affect their rebirth? In reincarnation, an individual's karma results in a better or worse next life for their soul. But in ...
4
votes
3answers
279 views

Does rebirth or reincarnation occur in Buddhism?

How is the concept of rebirth or reincarnation handled in Buddhism? Does it occur? Will everyone be reborn? Are people always reborn as people?
11
votes
3answers
318 views

What is it that is re-incarnated ? [duplicate]

I have been reading Mahayana philosophy. It proposes non-self and that self does not exist in the 5 aggregates. If the self/atman does not exist, what is that is re-incarnated? How can nothing ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

What Buddhist texts describe the doings of syncretized Hindu deities?

Some Vedic/Hindu deities are recognized as being part of Buddhist cosmology. For example, Indra, who is the chief god of the Vedic pantheon, is syncretized into Buddhism as Śakra, which is another ...
8
votes
2answers
124 views

Are there formal mechanisms in any Buddhist institutions that explicitly reconcile Buddhist principles with science?

If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from ...
10
votes
2answers
939 views

What is the role of relics in Buddhism?

I recently learned about an episode of Chinese history when relics associated to the Buddha were relocated to China and Han Yu writes to the Chinese Emperor in a text titled "Memorial Discussing the ...

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