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16
votes
7answers
12k views

Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?

Why is it that Buddhism never compiled a reasonably concise set of canonical texts like the Bible? Buddhism itself has universal beliefs such as the 4 Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the notion ...
16
votes
9answers
5k views

Are actions in computer games bad for karma?

What if I play a bad person in a computer game, cheating people. Or I play an assassin who kills people. Or my character in a game belongs to some evil cult. Or I roleplay a thief and steal. Or my ...
16
votes
13answers
3k views

If Rebirth is not taken literally then why seek Enlightenment?

I've read that some Buddhists do not believe in the literality of rebirth. As someone who is new to the study of Buddhism, this is confusing to me. My understanding, which perhaps is incorrect, is ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
10answers
1k views

What is Buddhism?

To be precise, can anyone provide a one page summary of Buddhism as a whole, suitable to distribute to someone who knows nothing about the religion? (Yes, this is a "please do my homework for me" ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

I'm aware that Theravada, Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism have a canon of texts. However I have never heard of a canon for Zen Buddhism. Does it have a canon or does it just not bother with such a thing? ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Do you have to follow a monastic lifestyle to attain enlightenment?

How do the different groups/sects of Buddhism view attaining enlightenment and living a common life? In other words, do they think it is possible to be a common person and achieve enlightenment? Even ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Have any Buddhist thinkers responded to the critique of the Brahma Sutras?

By far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy, which almost all Hindus nowadays belong to, is the Vedanta school, which is based on an ancient Hindu work called the Brahma Sutras or Vedanta ...
16
votes
5answers
286 views

Why should one develop compassion?

Maybe a strange question, because for some people it's obvious that you should be compassionate. I'm just interested in knowing why. Hatred is unskillful, but why should one develop compassion ...
15
votes
16answers
10k views

If I start doing Vipassana now, how long will it take me to achieve Nirvana?

Call me an over-enthusiast but presently, the highest priority in my life is to achieve the object of Nirvana or moksha. By performing Vipassana, I want to achieve Nirvana and in this lifetime only. I'...
15
votes
11answers
4k views

Should a Buddhist feel offended by misuses of Buddha's name or image?

I have just found out that there is a person producing and selling a beer in my town called "Buddha Beer" with Hotei's picture on it. Initially I found it offensive and disrespectful (marketing ...
15
votes
14answers
2k views

Can you attain stream entry without meditation?

Venerable sir, Lately I have been wondering if there is a proper technique that can be used in order to attain stream entry rather than meditating. I have a few experiences with loving kindness ...
15
votes
8answers
4k views

Life of Buddha, to be taken seriously?

I've been studying Buddhism for the past few months and part of it entails reading about Siddartha's life story, including his path to enlightenment. What's been confusing to me is whether or not ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

Confused about partner's practices. Need advice

My partner has an active interest in Buddhism and I have been confused about his state of mind for two years. Kindly help us out. The past two years have been a depression time for my family and ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Isnt the desire for giving up the desires, a desire?

It looks like a loop. We know desires cause us suffering, however the desire to abandon desire looks like a desire too, right? I'm sure there is a trick, something to explain why it is different, so.....
15
votes
14answers
2k views

If anatta is a reality, then how do you explain Volition or Will?

I'm just trying to understand the concept of anatta better here. Buddhism tells me there is the concept of no-self (anatta), and even the so called conditional self is actually an illusion that arises ...
15
votes
11answers
4k views

If there's nobody to get enlightened, why bother?

It seems the goal of Buddhist practice is to become an Arahant - someone who won't take a rebirth, and therefore will be eternally relieved from suffering. But WHO is this someone who doesn't get ...
15
votes
6answers
994 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? & ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What exactly is Jhana?

What exactly is the theory of jhana, how does it come about and how does it relate to the buddhist practice and everyday life? feel free to answer in depth.
15
votes
8answers
4k views

How do I slow down and start living according to my values? How do I change the direction of my life?

For some time, I have been practising different types of meditation and yoga, and I have also tried to study a bit of Buddhism, from which I have got the main values that guide my life (I cannot say I ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

What is it like to experience enlightenment?

What is it like to expereince enlightenment? Does it change a person and if so, how?
15
votes
10answers
753 views

Is Enlightenment a misleading ideal?

Is Enlightenment a misleading goal? Is it more of a thought-form than just an experience? I am asking because there is a lot of discussion of awakening, enlightenment, satori, differences, levels, etc....
15
votes
8answers
4k views

Polyamory in Buddhism

What does Buddhism say about polyamory? By polyamory I mean a consensual romantic relationship that involves more than two adult people, which may or may not involve sexual contact. Is it wholesome, ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Any authentic sutta from any tradition that gives guidance on what kind of partner to choose?

Any authentic sutta or part of sutta from any tradition that gives guidance on what kind of sexual relationship partner to choose? I'm thinking the Vimalikirti sutra should say something about such ...
15
votes
4answers
18k views

Purpose of touching tongue to roof of mouth during meditation

While researching forms of meditation involving concentration specific to the Tibetan school of Buddhism, the meditation instruction tells one to touch their tongue to the roof of their mouth when ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

What teachings do all schools of Buddhism share?

Among the many schools and traditions, what core teachings are shared by all Buddhists?
15
votes
2answers
926 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/...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Buddhists be good workplace leaders?

Many people that start to meditate and follow the Dhamma become more tolerant, less attached to reputation, more "easy going" and treat all with loving kindness, this can create an opportunity for ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

As a Buddhist with a Muslim family, community, and background… how do you integrate/cope?

Coming from an Islamic background and having a community/Sangha that is loyal to the religion of Islam, how do you harmoniously integrate yourself and your Buddhist study and practice with the ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

English (or other European) translations of Pali Canon

Perhaps this should be closed as a 'shopping' question, but maybe translations take a long time to make and therefore there are not too many of them, and they don't go out of date quickly. The ...
15
votes
5answers
615 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 ...
14
votes
16answers
2k views

Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?

A claim which is often heard in connection with Buddhism is that it is not a religion. From a scientific point of view, is it a religion, or is it not?
14
votes
12answers
9k views

Why are Buddhist concepts so difficult?

Why are Buddhist concepts so challenging for people to understand? What do people who understand know that average people don't know? What are some of the barriers to the understanding of Dharma? ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it okay to seek financial gains as a layman?

I work in a highly competitive market, and often people around me only talk about money or finances or the global economy day in and day out. A few of my friends/interns were attracted to Buddhism ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Meditation and 'not trying to change anything'

I've been practicing mindfulness meditation for around three months now. I've heard many times that a key aim for meditation is to be with whatever thoughts and feelings are present, without trying to ...
14
votes
6answers
8k views

Is there any benefit in learning Pali or Sanskrit?

Much of the Theravadan scriptures are written in Pali, so are a lot manuscripts written in Sanskrit, but is there any benefit in learning these languages while the Canon is already translated in other ...
14
votes
7answers
9k views

Why is meditation making me more angry?

Can someone tell me what's wrong? I am extremely new to the art of meditation in general. My mind, in general, is always cluttered with either office worries or personal worries. When I remove my ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the common buddhist practices to eliminate sleepiness?

I sleep the hours which are said to be needed, but I still feel sleepy. I've been drinking coffee recently to eliminate grogginess, and it does work for me. However, I was wondering if there are other ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Chronological or other sequence for beginners

At least one of the "introductions to Buddhism" that I read included elements from, some biography of, the life of the Buddha, including: Early life Searching for enlightenment Sermon at Benares (a.k....
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Emotional Support without God in Theravada

In religions with God, the believer or devotee can call on God for help during distress, pray to God to seek emotional relief, find a virtual shoulder to cry on and sing God's praises or glories for ...
14
votes
13answers
55k views

What is the meaning behind different robe colors?

I have seen the same monk in two different color robes and am wondering why. They were dark red and of course orange. Ihave also seen brown, but that was zen, and if any other colors have relevance i ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

If Buddha stayed unanswered on this matter, why do his followers preach that soul doesn't exist?

Almost every Buddhist I've met sincerely believes in non-existence of self or soul. Especially, the vipassana practitioners say that scanning the body and finding no atman or self in it is proof that ...
14
votes
14answers
3k views

Am I following Buddhism as a sort of Escapism?

Some body close to me said to me, "you failed in the real world and so now you are chasing Nirvana and running away". It hurt me a little but set me thinking if he is right? The story is, I ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the differences/similarities in the concept of faith as used in Buddhism and Christianity?

There is the concept of faith (śraddhā) in Buddhism. There is also the concept of faith found in Christianity. Both concepts have been translated into the English word faith but in what ways are the ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How to disambiguate between various meditation practices?

From what I understand, different schools of Buddhism teach different subsets of meditation techniques, or different variations of the same techniques. However, many meditation resources don't specify ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

What are examples of identity-view?

Identity view (sakkāya-diṭṭhi) is the first of the ten fetters. The "eradication" of identity-view is important towards enlightenment. Presumably, "eradication of identity-view" is ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same?

Looking at the Lists of fetters I see "conceit" and "identity view" listed separately ... and the four stages of enlightenment say that identity view will be abandoned (in the first stage) before ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Was Vipassana discovered by the Buddha (Siddhartha)?

I read somewhere that samatha (and jhana) was discovered by the Buddha, but how about vipassana? Is there any evidence either way (i.e. suttas)? The reason I'm asking is because I am more proficient ...
14
votes
12answers
6k views

Is Buddhism “opposed” to striving, or working towards a goal that you really want

I've found that it is pleasant and exciting to work towards a goal, for example: wanting to run a 21km race, imagining the crowds, imagining the personal accomplishment. This requires a certain amount ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Explaining non-attachment to the very attached

I've been told by someone close to me that my meditation and desire to let go are very threatening to her. She sees sense desires, ego and attachments as very natural and wholesome, and my way of life ...

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