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11
votes
7answers
38k views

Is there any significance to shaving the head?

I have noticed when I look at Buddhists, or Buddhist monks, that they have shaved heads. Is there any significance to that? If so, then is it an obligation for Buddhists, or at least Buddhist monks ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Does any modern Buddhist tradition use a Gregorian holiday schedule?

Have any modern Buddhist organization adopted the Gregorian calendar for celebrating Buddhist holidays? Last time I tried to find something simple as Vesak or some of the other common Buddhist ...
5
votes
3answers
174 views

Do we need to believe in Buddhist stories to be a real Buddhist?

Some suttas and the dhammapada contain stories with things not very easy to verify, such as people flying, living 8.000 years, teletransportation, etc. Some of those are related to the psychic ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the Buddhist perception of injustice, considering the law of Karma?

Considering the notion of our future being the result of our actions in the past, is there any room for the concept of unfairness in Buddhist philosophy? What is the right/skillful view one should ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

When did Vasubandhu, the teacher of Dignāga, live?

Vasubandhu is known to be the teacher of Dignāga. When did he live? What are the sources that say so?
18
votes
8answers
12k views

Relationship with bad parents (kamma and issues)

One of the main sources of bad kamma in Buddhism is doing wrong to your parents and not taking care of them. Buddha said it is very very hard to repay your parents, however how should one behave if he ...
7
votes
3answers
742 views

Do the same rules of Karma apply to animals?

Animals are sentient beings and therefore are also bound to the cycle of rebirth. However, animals are far less intelligent than humans, and are certainly not smart enough to follow a particular code ...
5
votes
3answers
960 views

Does Buddhism have a concept of blasphemy?

Considering this definition of blasphemy the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a God, to religious or holy persons or things, or toward something considered sacred ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

Is suspending judgement a way to avoid wrong view?

I came to this question from a comment made on an answer to a question about belief in rebirth. The comment read: "A view that rebirth does not exist is a wrong view. You cannot realize Nibbana with ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the motivation for the list of 5 deadly sins?

I'm particularly interested in if there is any evidence in the sutras (or commentaries or anything old) that explains this peculiar list of transgressions (the Ānantarika-karma): patricide matricide ...
26
votes
17answers
3k views

Is Jesus considered to be a buddha?

I was wondering what main stream Buddhism think of Jesus, was he a buddha? Can anyone tell me where Jesus fits into Buddhism?
12
votes
10answers
5k views

How to combine Buddhism with being a parent?

Buddhist philosophy says that we shouldn't get attached and try to form bonds with something and desire or crave it because everything is essentially impermanent and this will lead to suffering. But ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Details for Kasina Meditation

I've searched through the web and also Wikipedia regarding Kasina meditation and could not find detailed information. Can the meditation object be anything? (Say anything green or blue for those ...
22
votes
7answers
40k views

How do Buddhists express condolences?

Since converting to Buddhism, I've been unsure how to express condolences when people pass away. Everything familiar that I might say comes from a Christian perspective such as "being in a better ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

Can meditation cause you to sleep less?

Over the last few months I've started meditating late on a night (as well as my usual morning practice). I'm finding that I am sleeping less but not feeling tired because of it. Is there any ...
7
votes
10answers
4k views

Plants may be sentient beings like animals so how do you decide what to eat?

There is some evidence that plants are 'sentient beings' and can communicate (e.g. see this article or this wikipedia page). However Buddhists believe eating meat is wrong because of killing a living ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Can one learn meditation on their own?

Can I learn Vipassana meditation or other Buddhist meditation techniques like Shamatha on my own using books and online videos? This is because it is sometimes hard to find good genuine teachers. Or ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

How can I work with doubt and existential concerns?

After a 'bad trip' a big hindrance of mine is doubt and the idea that all is just a dream that we have no control over. This brings up terrifying ideas, concepts and images for me. That this may all ...
2
votes
2answers
596 views

Why do users of psychedelic drugs tend to gravitate toward Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies? [closed]

This post was submitted to reddit and I thought it might be interesting to re-post it here. I will now copy and paste the body of text the original poster submitted: "It seems like so many people who ...
2
votes
3answers
380 views

How does the Buddha attain nirvana?

It is said that only the Buddha, a fully awakened one, knows everything. I'm not sure if there's a name for that wisdom. So the Buddha got that wisdom and used (all-knowing-wisdom) to see the eight ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Anapanasati: Mindful Breathing Concentration Point

I have been practicing mindfulness of breathing for some time. But I am having doubt regarding my practice. When I focus on a single point on nostril and keep attention there, and note natural ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

How can one relate Buddhism epistemology of Thought and Attention to its Western counterpart? [closed]

There are at least two possibilities, and no doubt many more besides. The first one turns around the Cartesian dictum, "Cogito ergo sum", "I think therefore I am". René Descartes got off to a ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

What is Navayana Buddhism?

Recently, I found out there is a new branch of Buddhism called the Navayana. I read the article on Wikipedia but it did not say too much. What is Navayana Buddhism and what type of practices does it ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

A Creation Story in Buddhism?

Some major religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have a Creation Story, which describes how God created the universe. These stories describe how a deity created the earth and then the first ...
11
votes
12answers
1k views

Secular Buddhism and Suicide

I have a limited understanding of Buddhism, but let me first explain my perspective. More traditionally, Buddhism is concerned with achieving enlightenment and ending the rebirth process. From a more ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Should Buddhists give their time to helping others?

I'm new to Buddhism. I was familiarizing myself with the "Four Seals" in This Article. The article connects the first truth, that all compounded things are impermanent, to charity. He said that ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Which Buddhist Meditation is comparable to Transcendental Meditation?

A friend of mine was practicing zazen for many years. They started to get discourage with their practice and started to explore transcendental mediation. Now, they claim their progress with TM is ...
5
votes
2answers
498 views

What are some examples of Buddhist rulers?

I've been searching about this for a while, I have been looking for historical rulers who based their way of governing off Buddhist principles. But haven't been able to find a lot.
3
votes
1answer
439 views

How does Buddhism define abortion? [duplicate]

Abortion is a much-debated topic, and religion frequently plays a role in any such discussion. How does abortion fit into Buddhist faith? Is it considered negative karma by definition, or perhaps ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Characteristics of Sotàpanna person (Stream Enterer)

What are the characteristics of Sotàpanna person (Stream Enterer). Can Sotàpanna person live at a home with a family (married life) without going to a monastery and stay without being a monk...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

How to make a decision based on Buddhist principles?

I have been practicing Buddhism since a child, about twenty years. Throughout my adult life I have been trying to combine my practical life with my Buddhist beliefs. In some situations, however, I ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

How and when should a child be introduced to Buddhism?

My son will be four soon. I would like to introduce him to Buddhist philosophy, and some meditation practices. However, stillness is, at this point, completely foreign to his personality :) My wife ...
8
votes
2answers
109 views

What is the role of kōans in contemporary Buddhism?

I have a copy of The Iron Flute that I use to study individual kōans, and read the analysis provided. I feel like this provides me with some good insight, but it also feels... backwards. How are ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is it hard to breathe naturally when meditating?

For me it is rather hard to breathe naturally while doing Samatha meditation. It makes it harder to concentrate because I'm always controlling my breath. Do you have any suggestion how to overcome ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to become a samma sambuddha (Theravada)

If one aspired to being a samma sambuddha, how would the Theravadan tradition advise them to proceed? I am familiar with some of the canonical references, (e.g., about getting a prediction from a ...
4
votes
1answer
353 views

Are “Saya Asadharana Nana” part of Nibbana?

Buddha's knowledge or Wisdom which cannot be achieved by his disciples comprises six kinds. They are called the Saya Asadharana Nana. Did the Buddha attain them at the same moment he attained Nibbana?...
8
votes
1answer
181 views

Could meditation help with reducing memory and concentration problems? As with ADD or ADHD?

There have been studies showing that meditation can help dealing with depression, stress and anxiety. But are there meditation techniques that help with ADD and ADHD problems? And if there are, which ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

A good source to learn the Pali language?

I have asked this considering the importance of Pali in Buddhism. I want to learn Pali. I want to learn it individually on my own. Is there any relatively simple way? Can anyone suggest me ...
8
votes
3answers
728 views

Has Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance got anything to do with Zen?

I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig a few years ago and really enjoyed it. However I'm not convinced it's got anything to do with Zen. From what I remember the ...
4
votes
5answers
599 views

If we have the law of karma, why do we need other laws, or do we?

Since we have the law of karma then there should be no need for laws or prisons? The law of karma will issue out punishment automatically. So if you murder someone there will be equal consequences ...
20
votes
14answers
16k views

Can or should a Buddhist defend themselves physically?

If someone is attacking you to kill you should you defend yourself? Would it be ethical to kill an intruder coming into your home? If not, how did the bushido samauri warriors justify it? We're they ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a Mudra and what do they mean?

In Buddhist iconography the figures are illustrated or depicted with various hand gestures. The symbolic hand gestures are called mudras. What is the significance of a Buddhist mudra? What are the ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

Why are the Perfection of Wisdom sutras seen as a coherent collection?

The Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 8000 lines and others are grouped together as Prajnaparamita (perfection of wisdom). Why is this? Why are they seen as a coherent ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How do Buddhists use mudras?

This is a practice question. I know both Mahayana buddhists and Vajrayana buddhists use mudras. In the former they show up in inconography, and hand resting positions while meditating, in the later it'...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the significance of the 28 Buddhas within Buddhism?

Recently, I discovered in the Pāli Canon there is a text titled Buddhavamsa that describes the lives of 28 Buddhas. Now, I am familiar with the significance of Gautama Buddha and Maitreya Buddha, ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

Were robes a factor in the spread of Buddhism?

If you look at the countries where Theravada Buddhism has historically taken hold (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar/Burma) they are all in fairly close proximity to each other in the ...
2
votes
1answer
758 views

What caused the Golden Bowl to go upstream?

After finishing the last meal before attaining enlightenment, the Ascetic Gautama threw the golden bowl into the river and said: "If I am to succeed in becoming a Buddha today, let this bowl go ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is Gautama Buddha the greatest Buddha who ever existed?

According to tradition, there were 27 Buddhas before Gautama Buddha. Is Gautama Buddha the greatest Buddha out of all the 28 Buddhas?
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Which book by Nagarjuna provides an introduction to his teachings?

I've noticed there are a lot of YouTube video lectures on Nagarjuna. It seems he was a very prolific writer on Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy. Which of his works would be appropriate to get an ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Is Buddhism the fastest growing religion in the West

This is a companion question to this one. I've heard it said that Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the West. Is that true? Does anyone have any statistics to support or refute this? It ...

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