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11
votes
10answers
29k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

Why can't private buddhas just tell people what they did to achieve enlightenment

I mean I don't know if they do but apparently private buddhas don't put forth a teaching, so my question is why can't they just tell people what they did to attain enlightenment.
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Anapanasati Buddhist meditation

So I thought I really need to ask this question about Buddhist meditation specifically, Anapanasati. Basically I sit cross legged and count breaths for 15 minutes as advised on the Internet for ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

What dietary practices are most helpful for reaching enlightenment?

Gandhi, a Hindu ascetic, was adamant that the spiritual well being of a person was not disconnected from one's diet. He said "The body was never meant to be treated as a refuse bin, holding all the ...
11
votes
11answers
2k views

Doubts about Karma and/or Rebirth

I have been a staunch follower of the Buddha's words for the past 1.5 years. I do believe in the Buddha in so far as the Denial of God, Creationism, Destiny is concerned but considering the events in ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

Can we reach enlightentment with recreational drugs?

Some drugs, like ecstasy, help build empathy and help our mind see things from a different point of view. What about if meditation is the obsolete ways to see enlightment and perhaps drugs are the ...
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 ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

Can a person live by the Dhamma and have another religion as well?

As Buddhism is growing in the west, we see this "conflict" a lot. In Asia I met some Buddhists-Hindus, Buddha, Shiva and Ganesh were equally important to them. Here in the west there are some ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Was Buddha born of a Virgin?

I was reading a work that claims Buddha "was born of the Virgin Maya". What Buddhist works address the birth of Buddha? Do any support or conflict with a virgin birth for Buddha?
11
votes
7answers
2k views

How does conversion work in Buddhism?

I am a Hindu, but I like Buddhism. How does that work? Does one need to convert to practice Buddhism? If so, how does one convert to Buddhism? Can anyone convert to Buddhism? Or can I just practice ...
11
votes
5answers
497 views

New to Buddhism

I am attracted to Buddhist principles and would like to learn more. It seems there may be a prescribed path or course that is preferred, but I don't know what that is. What is a good place to begin? ...
11
votes
8answers
9k views

Relationship between Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga?

All these 3 philosophy/religions are born across Tibet/Nepal/India and they all share numerous concept and practice. Some points of connections could be: Noble Eightfold Path are very similar to ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Can a Buddhist truthfully say, “You insulted / offended / angered / hurt me?”

I feel that in his Ball Of Honey Discourse, the Buddha advised his followers to reflect within whenever they felt offended: and to identify the processes of their mind that caused perceptions or ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Three questions about sensual desire

If music is a sensual desire , what's wrong with that? Sensual desire is described as the first of the five hindrances. What I am a little perplexed by is the stance of Buddhism on the positive ...
11
votes
2answers
689 views

Could someone provide a list of all Buddhist schools?

If someone could provide a list of all Buddhist schools (both extinct and extant) it would be much appreciated. If this is unmanageable due to the high number, major schools would be good, or a link ...
11
votes
3answers
624 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What does Buddhism literature and tradition say about transgender folks?

This may seem like a question that is far too modern for an ancient tradition, but when I traveled in Thailand I learned that katoeys (male-to-female) are a legal gender in Thailand. What does ...
11
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" ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there different types of emptiness (Śūnyatā)?

Even though emptiness (Śūnyatā) seems like it should just be one thing (concept/experinece/realisation) does it in fact have different types? Can it be categorised in any way? I know Buddhism is very ...
11
votes
2answers
693 views

Where is the story of the non-returner who “sold” pots on the side of the road?

I'm trying to find a specific story in the Pali canon (or commentaries, probably), where an anagami who looks after his mother makes a living by firing pots and putting them out by the side of the ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the minimum amount of time needed for a productive meditation sit?

This question leads on from the comments on this post What is the minimum amount of time that one could productively sit in meditation? For instance if I only had five minutes to sit should I do it ...
11
votes
8answers
7k views

What is the difference between relative and absolute truth in Buddhist philosophy?

Many Buddhist texts and teachings make a distinction between absolute and relative truth. Please explain the difference and give some examples.
11
votes
4answers
835 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" ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How to overcome Depression with Buddhist teachings

There are several scientific methods to treat the psychiatric condition depression. Is there a method to overcome depression by Lord Buddha's teachings?
11
votes
6answers
397 views

How to address wrong view

Did the Buddha give any teachings on how to deal with individuals spreading wrong view? If someone is expounding their beliefs in a public forum under the guise of the Buddha's teaching, given the ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

Did Buddhism oppose Vedic religion?

At the time of Tathagat Buddha, Hindu religion in its current form did not exist. However, there were Vedic teachings. These teachings were based on blind belief in the authority of the Vedas. There ...
11
votes
5answers
835 views

What are the scientifically proven benefits of mindfulness meditation?

Has anyone got a good idea which benefits of mindfulness meditation have got decent scientific evidence supporting them. It would be great it someone could point to good publicly available research or ...
11
votes
14answers
709 views

Why can't we reason or logic our way to NIrvana?

I have read at various places that Nirvana can't be described or reached by logic or reason. ONLY meditation is the way. Why is that so? thanks in advance.
11
votes
6answers
956 views

Everything I do is motivated by greed/aversion. How to react?

I just came to a very upsetting realisation : Almost all my motivation for the things I do in my daily life (mostly playing the piano and studying math in college) comes from bad things, such as ego, ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Does being in a commited married life make it impossible to attain Nirvana? If not, how can one progress towards Nirvana?

Married life is a form of attachment. If one is in a commited relationship he/she is bound to have a multitude of attachments like a wife, children, personal belongings, wealth etc. But Buddha has ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Sleep - What about it?

What are the proper relax / Sleep practices for a practitioner of meditation methods? As to Buddhist point of view what is sleep and how to cope with it?
11
votes
6answers
840 views

Software programming/Art and Buddhist Practice - Pursuing creative activity

I have read this question but I'm seeking more advice. So it is quite obvious in the activity of software programming that we cannot help but think about programming concepts and also end up creating ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

Learning materials for Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda) in Theravada Buddhism

I am listening through the talks and guided meditations from the retreat at Amaravati Just One More: Dependent Origination and the Cycles of Addiction Retreat, where there are a number of references ...
11
votes
4answers
859 views

mindfulness thinking about future and past?

Is there such thing as mindfulness thinking about the future or past? I have a job that requires a lot of "going" into the future and past (projecting forward and assessing the past). I was wondering ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
586 views

Is modern capitalism inherently opposed to Buddhism?

In the Dhammapada in the chapter 20 - The Path it says "I will make this my winter home have another house for the monsoon and dwell in a third for during the summer". Lost in such fancies, one ...
11
votes
5answers
644 views

Vipassana on arupa worlds

S. N. Goenka in Why Vedana and What is Vedana? says: It is clear that vedana as a part of the nama that is firmly rooted in kaya is what the Buddha wanted us to focus on when he talked about ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

When were the earliest Buddhist writings created

Buddha was born (according to Wikipedia) somewhere around 563 BCE to 480 BCE, and lived 80 years. From what I have understood, no teachings that made it to this day, have been written down when he ...
11
votes
3answers
331 views

Practice of the other three Brahmaviharas

Metta has received plenty of attention and focus of practice. Even a search of Buddhism SE shows over 170 posts with the word "metta" in it. Comparatively, the other three Brahmaviharas are not so ...
11
votes
1answer
682 views

Buddhism in ancient Arabic regions

In the age of king "Asoka", the expansion of Buddhism reached Arabic countries. Does anybody know what those countries are called now? Can anyone provide details about what happened to those places / ...
11
votes
1answer
425 views

How to “attend to the perception of light”?

In AN 7.58, the Buddha instructed Maha Moggallana on what do to about his nodding: "But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the ...
11
votes
2answers
442 views

How To Keep Loving Without Reward?

Changes can easily come about in all of us, even those we love and trust. When this happens, how do we keep loving them without expecting anything?
11
votes
1answer
349 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Hypocrisy of Buddhism

Aren't Buddhists (with Buddhist I refer to an ideal Buddhist or Buddhists monk) actually not doing enough to prevent harm in this world? So, Buddhists don't have any attachment to things and work ...
10
votes
10answers
6k views

What is the best strategy to confront Non-Buddhist ideology?

I am sure everybody in this world thinks that 'my religion is the only true religion' etc and its variables. As we live in a diverse society, in today's age of information we invariably bump into ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How to refute the idea that Buddhism might be actually “too extreme”?

I actually had a lot of respect for Buddhism, and studied it a few years ago. But it made me feel that it might be too extreme (and it could be that most religions are too extreme, because they tend ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
7answers
12k views

Which is the Buddhist holy book? Where can it be read?

Is there a holy book for buddhists as the Bible is for Jews and Christians and Quran for Muslims? Is that the Tipitaka? A book where you can find all the teachings of Buddhism, and how to behave, ...
10
votes
9answers
10k views

Physical Exercise as a Monk?

Is a monk allowed to exercise the body in order to keep it fit and healthy? I reckon both 'healthy' and 'fit' as attachments, but is there an overall rule/teaching that explains this?

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