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13
votes
6answers
11k views

What is Buddhism's view on divorce?

In some religions, marriage is perceived as eternal and is a bond that can not be broken. I believe I have read that marriage in Buddhism is not a formal or well-defined institution as it is in ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Confession in Buddhism

Growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition, we were encouraged to go to confession (penance) on a regular basis for reconciliation and to be absolved of sins. In Buddhism, the only mention of ...
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) ...
13
votes
4answers
958 views

Days of Worship

I understand Buddhists don't technically worship, but pray to the Buddha or meditate (apologies for any mistakes). My question is: do Buddhists have a certain number of times a day to worship/pray/...
13
votes
4answers
837 views

How to wake up properly after a nights sleep?

My mind tends to be more unbalanced after waking up than before going to bed. I try to observe breath and sensations but the mind is pretty muddled. This raises the question if the mind is making ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Did Buddhists ever actively participate in a major violent conflict?

The great "religions of peace" like Christianity and Islam had some quite turbulent events that seem in major conflict with their primary commandments, but still in the name of faith - even "within" (...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

A Good Career for a Buddhist?

I am a business woman and my job is stressful. It is entirely motivated by greed. I want to leave my career but I have a dream to help poor people in my country and also to make my parents proud of me....
13
votes
4answers
543 views

Found items and the Second Precept

There was a crumbled up dollar bill on the stairs when I was coming out of work today. I looked around and didn't see anyone who might have dropped it. I picked it up and walked away. Pretty soon I ...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the life of a monk really like?

I am curious to know a little bit more about the day-to-day life of Theravada buddhist monks. I am drawn to the idea of ordaining, but I fear this is only because I have romanticized the buddhist monk'...
13
votes
4answers
622 views

How do I make non-buddhists help understand I operate with a different view?

I have started on my path not very long ago and because I'm very unsure where it will take me, I am hesitant to label myself as a Buddhist or even a meditator or such. Also where I live, eastern ...
13
votes
2answers
202 views

What are the texts that contain words which can be attributed directly to the Buddha?

If I understand correctly, the Buddha never wrote anything but some Buddhist texts quote him by describing meetings or situations where he was present. Is there a comprehensive list of all scripts ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Last thought before death?

I read somewhere (perhaps in an unreliable introduction to Tibetan beliefs) that rebirth is conditioned by the last thought before death (or perhaps affected by a thought or desire that you have after ...
13
votes
2answers
204 views

Can environmental degradation be used as a justification for the culling of an invasive alien species?

We have a lot of feral foxes in Australia which decimate the local wildlife. Foxes are not native to Australia but where introduced by humans. Local wildlife is not adapted to these predators and are ...
12
votes
12answers
1k views

Attachment is a poison. Why is attachment to the Buddha and to Buddhist philosophy not a problem?

Attachment (aka craving or greed) is one of the Three Poisons. Why is attachment to Buddha not a poison? Perhaps it's related to the Tibetan Buddhist lojong "Don't make gods into demons"?
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 ...
12
votes
10answers
35k views

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: “Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water”?

In the question "A question regarding the level of worldly participation for a buddhist monk", Bhante gave an answer containing a Zen quote. The quote is; "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry ...
12
votes
7answers
416 views

How does one explain consistency within phenomena if the mind generates phenomena?

I'm having trouble framing this question right so please let me know if it needs clarification. I'll first describe the issues surrounding the question and then ask the question itself. I've been ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

Are there pictures/paintings of Nirvana?

I´m writing an article about pictures of the afterlifes/havens in different religions. But I wasn´t able to find pictures/paintings/artworks that picture Nirvana on the internet. So my question is: ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

Do all Buddhists abstain from alcohol?

I've been to a nice restaurant (pictured below) where the bar was decorated with statues of the Buddha. Given the 5th precept and all; this seemed a bit odd. Would it be correct to surmise that the ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Do Buddhism and Atheism contradict each other?

Can a person be an atheist and a Buddhist at the same time? Or are some beliefs in deities too important to the practice of Buddhism?
12
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a story or a mentioning about masturbation in the Buddhist teachings?

Is masturbation wrong? In what exact way is it wrong? I just need to know if the act of masturbation is wrong. This may include watching nudity while masturbating. Even though it's an addiction, I was ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

If there is no self, why do anything?

My limited understanding of Buddhism has already helped me in many ways and I am very glad to have found it. With that said, I have always wondered about this title question. If there is no 'I', ...
12
votes
5answers
895 views

Did the Buddha speak Pali? Are the suttas his word verbatim?

Was Pali the language spoken during the time of the Buddha, and would he have spoken this language? Are the suttas contained in the Pali Canon verbatim what the Buddha said, or would things have been ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

The object of meditation

I have been focused on the breath in meditation and I am interested in Vipassana, but I am confused about the object of meditation. I have read that you focus on the breath and as thoughts arise, you ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Giving up bad friends

The Buddha has spoken many times about giving up bad friends, we can find it in the Dhammapada, in the beautiful Maha Mangala Sutta and many other places. My first point is: If we abandon bad friends,...
12
votes
12answers
3k views

Why is Buddha almost treated like a God in most Buddhist traditions?

While I find some buddhist ideas intriguing - mainly using meditation to find insights in oneself - I'm also quite irritated, why so many traditions are so full of dogma, i.e. things you just have to ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Homeless but not a monk

Is it frowned upon in Buddhism to undertake homelessness without ordination? Let us presume that part of this homelessness also includes a focus on meditation, with mind and body able to work for ...
12
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it possible to have a romantic relationship without attachment?

Is it possible to have a romantic relationship without attachment? Just based on pure love and with equanimity?
12
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
517 views

How can I know that I am clear of thoughts while I am meditating?

While meditating, one might try to be aware of their surroundings, to be present in the moment. But how can we become aware of it without thinking that we are aware? Another example is when one can ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there an Orthodox Buddhism?

Orthodoxy in Christianity is the holding to the oldest beliefs. It is of course impossible for the religion not to evolve at all as new questions and there answer have to addressed. The "Orthodox" ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

How/Why to be moral without believing God or any supernatural entity?

Being believer or dependent on God so far in my life, I'm clueless how exactly can I become independent without turning morally Bankrupt? Being devotee I'm automatically moral & lovingly but When ...
12
votes
6answers
559 views

Compassion to friends: stepping in vs. letting them learn on their own

There is a story about how the Buddha will knock on your door if your house is on fire, but he will not kick it down because you have to answer the door yourself. This is analogous to the Four Noble ...
12
votes
6answers
780 views

Is technology making us less mindful?

In terms of availability of technology, the modern world is very different from the world in which Buddhism arose, and the Buddhist suttas were written As a result, these days, people do things ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

Are Buddhists against abortion?

While other religions seem to have a definition position on abortion I've never come across the Buddhist view on this. From a naive perspective I would imagine that Buddhists would be prolife rather ...
12
votes
3answers
675 views

Buddhist (Theravada) cure for “Insecurity”?

While the Pali scriptures address (or at least reference) a number of specific sufferings that a human being can be subject to (Jealousy, Anger, Fear, etc.), do any of the teachings deal with the ...
12
votes
6answers
974 views

Meditation, compassion: How to handle people who dominate you in the office?

I have been doing meditation for long time and have felt a change in me. I have started developing strong compassion, and due to this I am speaking very politely to everyone and always agreeing with ...
12
votes
4answers
981 views

How does one practice mindfulness during thinking - e.g. thinking about how to solve a problem?

This question is in context of practicing mindfulness in one's day-to-day activities (e.g. walking, talking, washing dishes etc.), where one is supposed to be "aware of" / "observe" / "be mindful of" ...
12
votes
1answer
687 views

Why would anyone ever want to go to the heavens?

References to a rebirth in the heavenly realms seems to be viewed in a positive light in Buddhism. It's easy to see why it would be considered more favorable than a rebirth in the hell realms of ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Ultimate Lack of Discipline

I noticed that despite all my resolutions and intentions, I am still not much better than when I attempted to change. Therefore, I ask the following: What could a person particularly lazy and ...
12
votes
4answers
479 views

Mindfulness in Everyday Activity

I have been practicing meditation, reading and listening to Buddhist teachings and I undertake the five precepts for about year now. This is the first time that I actually ask a question about my ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
565 views

Please explain when and where to use the terms Theravada and Hinayana

I understand that Hinayana as a term is generally pejorative when referring to Theravadin practitioners. Where is the use of the term Hinayana proper, and why is it still used if it's considered ...
12
votes
4answers
496 views

How sacrosanct is the “source material” of Buddhism?

In this answer to my question about why we keep referring to antiquated old parables and similes, Inzenity wrote, "The scriptures are part of the teachings, the source of the teachings. It makes ...
12
votes
5answers
887 views

Can Buddhism be viewed as a threat to the capitalist way of life?

As capitalism depends on the desire to consume (the more you consume the better), is it fair to say that Buddhism goes against capitalism? Or does anyone thinks that Buddhism can coexist very well ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What/Who is 'Mara' in Buddhism?

Is there any definition for 'Mara' in Buddhism? Islam has a concept called Shayṭān. They explain it as the devil inside a human (Islam explanation). There is something like this in Christianity too. ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

Buddhist view on Art and being an Artist

I am wondering what is the buddhist view on Art and especially being an Artist? Meaning someone who creates something with an aesthetic quality that may or may not reflect the reality and express ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the oldest text/sutra of the Mahayana tradition?

I'm often interested in the history of Buddhist texts and, being a Theravadan, I'm not very familiar with the Mahayana texts. Please help to educate me in this manner.
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Loneliness: Rhinoceros-Horn Sutta from a Lay person's perspective

How can a lay person benefit from this beautiful sutta? It is about being reclusive as a key for good insight and enlightenment. Does this sutta apply for short period of loneliness like Retreats? Or ...

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