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6
votes
3answers
410 views

Afterlife in Buddhism and Hinduism

Where does the ideology of afterlife in Buddhism and Hinduism come from and why are they different?
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How long does it take for one to remember a previous life in a sitting?

I have always wondered how long does it take for one to remember a past life in a sitting, an immediate previous life for example, does it take just a few minutes, or hours or maybe days? This ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Overwhelming states of being reached through meditation

I'm wondering what the Buddhist tradition might say about the following state of being. Firstly a bit of background, explaining how I got there and how it felt: I practiced (what I understood to be) ...
11
votes
3answers
974 views

Problem concentrating during Vipassana meditation

I am having trouble maintaining concentration for long periods of time. I make my breath slightly hard and then pull my mind back to it and then carry on as normal. But it's quite hard to have a long ...
9
votes
4answers
731 views

Why is the Buddha described as trackless?

In the Dhammapada, within the Buddhavagga section, the Buddha is described as being trackless. By what track can you trace that trackless Buddha of limitless range, whose victory nothing can undo,...
7
votes
4answers
505 views

Is there a way to help us remember our previous life?

There have been claims that some people can remember their previous life, their life before they are reborn. I can't say these are true or not. Is it possible to remember our previous life? If so, ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

Is Buddhism a fear-based religion?

My general observation about religions is that they have this fundamental assumption of fear of something. For example, fear of punishment or getting into hell is present in many religions. Buddhism ...
15
votes
6answers
940 views

How compatible are the beliefs of atheists and Buddhism?

I looked around and found a couple of questions and answers on the site that discuss atheism in Buddhism, What is the difference between learning the Buddhist way and simply learning from life? & ...
12
votes
4answers
375 views

What is the proper understanding of “taking refuge” in Buddhism?

Many years ago, a Zen Roshi said in a class that "nobody else is your boss except for you. Only you can make the decision and apply yourself to practice, nobody else can." So, I've heard this many ...
4
votes
6answers
283 views

Which Buddha do Buddhists take refuge in?

Does one take refuge into the concept of Buddhahood or refuge into Gautama Buddha? What about Vairocana Buddha or Amitābha Buddha for that matter? I've heard various things from taking refuge in a ...
13
votes
3answers
465 views

Is zazen practised for its own sake, or as a means to end suffering? Experts seem to say different things

It is confusing to me that what what the goal of zazen is (and is not), as proposed by various people with more or less authority on the subject, varies so greatly. Some say no goal, and others ...
20
votes
7answers
19k views

Where does a person go after attaining Nirvana?

After attaining Nirvana, what happens to the person(conscious) after death? Does the person cease to exist? If not, does the person go to some peaceful place?
20
votes
6answers
7k views

Is Nirvana the goal for all Buddhist?

If I understand it correctly, Nirvana is the liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth, thereby terminating all sufferings. Is Nirvana a goal which every Buddhist must achieve? Is there any other ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Masculine and Feminine Potencies

In several places–for example, in texts around the Nine Purification Breaths–I've seen references to either masculine or feminine "obstacles linked with potencies" that are described as being "...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

What are proper expectations to have about a Sangha?

In my area, there are many Buddhists centers referring to themselves as centers, meditation centers, or monasteries. These all seem to be various expressions of a Buddhist Sangha. However, being in ...
4
votes
1answer
601 views

What explains the membership of Shingon's 13 Buddhas list?

The list of 13 Buddhas (which is actually Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Wisdom Kings) plays a role in Shingon gongyo and funerary rites. What accounts for why these particular 13 are set aside for ...
7
votes
2answers
829 views

When and how should someone practice Patikulamanasikara meditation (reflections of replusiveness)

The practice of Patikulamanasikara, or loathsomeness of the body has intrigued me for quite a while but I was always uncertain of how to do it right. So, here goes: How do I know if it would be a ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any such thing as a bad meditation?

I've always been told that there is no such thing as a bad meditation. No matter what happens it is OK. In fact the meditator is a bad judge of the effectiveness and efficacy of any sit even if those ...
5
votes
1answer
320 views

What is Completion Stage Meditation also known as Nispannakrama?

In Vajrayana there appears to be many different types and stages of mediation. One form is called "completion stage meditation" also known as nispannakrama. It appears to be associated with something ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is Generation Stage Meditation also known as Utpattikrama?

There are many forms of meditation found in Buddhism. Zazen is possibly the most well know form of meditation in the West. However, in there are many different types of mediation. In Vajrayana ...
6
votes
2answers
236 views

How much does the Bodhisattva way influence Theravadan practices?

I've read Walpola Rahula on this, and so I think I already understand that the frequently held view that the Bodhisattva concept is far less a part of Theravada than Mahayana, etc. is at best an over-...
5
votes
5answers
525 views

Can a being be reborn into more that one body in Tibetan Buddhism?

I was reading that both the Dalai Lama and Karmapa are both rebirths (emanations) of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. Also there are other lamas who are also emanations of Avalokiteśvara. So is ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

Does Buddhism have a significant notion of justice

Owen Flanagan in this podcast argued while Buddhism has an extremely well developed notion of compassion, it doesn't have a significant notion of justice. He contrasts this with ancient Greek ...
1
vote
2answers
189 views

Does anyone know of any good Asubha sites?

Does anyone know of any good Asubha sites? Am interested in suitable objects for contemplation for the overcoming of lust.
8
votes
4answers
878 views

How does an ālaya-vijñāna work?

And in particular, is it eternal, unchanging and like any other formulation for a soul that we might have seen, in say Christianity or Hinduism? This particular idea, that ālaya-vijñāna is like a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a refuge tree?

What is the nature of a refuge tree(s)? How does one incorporate a refuge tree(s) into their practice?
5
votes
3answers
868 views

If Dalai Lama is enlightened, why he keeps coming back?

Assuming the result of enlightenment is attainment of Nirvana, and assuming Dalai Lama is enlightened, why does he keep on getting reborn? Could it mean that Nirvana means something else, for example ...
4
votes
3answers
401 views

Did the Buddha have long ears?

Every statue of the Buddha I have seen depicts him as having long ears. Did Buddha really have long ears? If so, why and how did he get long ears?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Do Buddhists have sacred scripture to read?

Christians have The Holy Bible, Muslims have The Noble Quran, Hindus have Bhagavad Gita and many more. Do Buddhists have sacred scripture(s) to read?
5
votes
1answer
268 views

Which of the following statements about Nibbana/Nirvana are true?

A) Nibbana is the destruction of the defilements. B) Nibbana is merely the destruction of defilements. C) Nibbana is an existing reality that is subjected to the mind totally free of defilements. D) ...
13
votes
11answers
11k views

What is the precise meaning of anatta?

This is focusing in on one specific aspect of what was asked here: What are the three marks of existence? I often hear "anatta" explained as being an expression of the non-existence of the self. ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the attitude toward homosexuality in Buddhism?

I am specifically interested in the attitude of Theravadan Buddhism toward homosexuality (if it has one at all.) I don't recall ever seeing any references to homosexuality in the suttas...I do recall ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the difference between non-self and emptiness?

Non-self (anātman) and emptiness (śūnya or śūnyatā) are very similar aspects of the Truth of Suffering. So similar that they are hard to distinguish apart. What is the difference between them? (Or ...
8
votes
3answers
563 views

What are the salient differences between the Pāḷi Nikāyas & Chinese Āgamas?

What are the salient differences between the Pāḷi Nikāyas & Chinese Āgamas? I'm looking specifically for a comprehensive list of discourses that are unique in the Āgama collection and differences ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What basic knowledge and skills are required to become a Vipassana teacher?

What would you say are the basic requirements to become a Vipassana teacher? I don't necessarily refer to attainments. More to basic knowledge and skills. What I can think of would be for instance: -...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Which early canonical references help one find a skillful teacher?

There is a similar question from the Vajrayāna stand-point in which I gave an answer that was partially off-topic since it wasn't from that tradition's texts. So I thought it could be useful for ...
22
votes
10answers
38k views

Masturbation: Does it break the 3rd precept?

According to this answer, it seems like masturbation is not considered sexual misconduct or breaking the third precept. However, the whole point (in general) of keeping the precept is to make good ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

Is there some scripture reference to dream yoga?

By dream yoga I mean the practices intended to attain lucid dreaming, and then using that ability to realize that the world as we know does not exists as perceived (as in a dream) so one can reach the ...
9
votes
7answers
896 views

What are the three marks of existence?

What are the three marks of existence and where are they found in the canon? Is there any fundamental differences in interpretation among the different traditions?
2
votes
2answers
185 views

Practice taxonomy [closed]

I know there are a lot of practices in many different traditions. Can you redirect me to some source where different types of practice are somewhat classified? I'm not clear how this could be done, ...
3
votes
1answer
205 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?
12
votes
2answers
665 views

Relation to Jainism

I've read that Jainism is one of the oldest Indian traditions, that Buddhism somewhat derived from it and that at some time they rivaled (I'm not sure if this was a political thing). Can you explain ...
9
votes
7answers
908 views

How does Buddhism describe God?

I've encountered many ideas about the identity of God, ranging from the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent as in Judeo-Christian cultures, to that of one who has reached enlightenment. Is it ...
26
votes
6answers
14k views

Did Gautama Buddha exist?

Is there any historical third-party evidence that the Gautama Buddha actually existed? Is there historical third-party evidence that Prince Siddhartha or the Gautama Buddha existed outside of the ...
5
votes
2answers
207 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Did Gautama Buddha believe in God?

I hear the Buddha rejected the cultural gods when he achieved enlightenment and made statements that seem to reject gods, is this true? If not, what kind of God did the Buddha believe in?
2
votes
6answers
998 views

Did Gautama Buddha really want to create a new religion

It seems Buddha was born in Indian culture , and was disillusioned with the rampant meaningless rituals and hypocrisy of the prevalent religion , Hence did he preach a new religion?
4
votes
2answers
586 views

What are the ten courses of action (kamma)?

In the Visuddhimagga, on the topic of virtue, there is a reference to the ten courses of action (kamma): Furthermore, virtue as volition is the seven volitions [that accompany the first seven] of ...
9
votes
2answers
602 views

What was the chronology of events in the Buddha's life?

This is the sort of question I'd find really useful to get an answer on; I'm looking for a rough chronology of the 45 years of the Buddha's (not the Bodhisatta's) life, year by year. I know there is ...
5
votes
2answers
983 views

In modern times what percentage of monks are female?

In the question When were women first welcomed into Buddhist orders? we learn that woman have been becoming monks for a long time. In modern times (circa 2014 CE) what percentage of monks are female?

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