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12
votes
4answers
443 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
154 views

Question about how to generate more motivation to meditate.

I just wanted to hopefully get some ideas on how some of the fellow users of this site motivate themselves to meditate on a more frequent basis. What ultimately motivates each one of you to continue ...
12
votes
2answers
719 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
693 views

Is it possible to “over-train” in samatha meditation?

Every morning I set aside one hour for meditation -- primarily just counting breaths, but occasionally abdominal noting. My overall aim is to achieve some kind of basic tranquility so I can then ...
12
votes
1answer
385 views

How does Dating work in Buddhism

What does the Buddha say about dating, in general? This is a fairly open-ended question, and any scriptural references would help. I would have lustful thoughts when I look at a pretty girl (though I ...
12
votes
1answer
394 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 ...
11
votes
13answers
11k views

Buddhism broke up my marriage

The title is provocative but sums up my problem: when I am immersed in Buddhist thought, I can no longer love my wife. Buddhism clearly contradicts romantic love. It tolerates it up to a certain ...
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
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 ...
11
votes
13answers
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 ...
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
9answers
13k 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?
11
votes
7answers
13k 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, ...
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
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
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
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
6answers
8k 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
8answers
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
9answers
3k views

Does downvoting an answer qualify as divisive and harsh speech?

In a comment to an answer on this site I saw this: To the folks who insist on downvoting, please note that downvoting is extremely unhelpful and actually qualifies as divisive and harsh speech. Do ...
11
votes
5answers
528 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
12answers
5k views

Should a Buddhist advocate the learning of a martial art?

I'm listening to a lecture series about child development and in the first lecture it advocates teaching children martial arts as an aid to enhancing their self-control. I would quite like my daughter ...
11
votes
4answers
281 views

Are there any alternative formulations of the five skandas?

Considering the 5 skandas of Form Feeling Perception Volition Consciousness I was told during a study group once that this was only one of many possible formulations of the skandas and other ...
11
votes
3answers
25k views

Can someone explain about children monks?

I've seen pictures online of young children dressed in monks robes in Buddhist countries. Does someone make the decision on behalf of the child that they will become a monk? Do they eat only one meal ...
11
votes
2answers
713 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
2answers
755 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
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
3k 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
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
8k 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
6answers
3k views

What's the meaning of the Buddhist boy's message to Neo in the movie The Matrix?

In this scene from the first movie in The Matric trilogy, when Neo goes to meet the Oracle he meets the Buddhist boy who shows him that he can bend the spoon and then tells him that he can do the same ...
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
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
430 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
2k views

Shamata and vipassana - loss of willpower

I've been meditating (somewhat regularly) about one or two years back. Mainly shamata, and vipassana lately. Today I feel that my willpower is considerably lower than before. I mean, I used to be ...
11
votes
5answers
277 views

Are there any differences in karma?

Is there a difference in karma of giving someone $ 1 and giving someone $ 1000, or its same for anything given? and Is there a difference in karma of killing a small animal (like mosquito or small ...
11
votes
5answers
10k views

How to bless someone?

How to bless someone with special words in Buddhism ? My friends ask me for keep them in my pray but we don't believe in praying. So what should my answer to them ?
11
votes
7answers
7k 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
8answers
2k views

Do Buddhists believe in gods?

As far as I know, many Buddhists believe in multiple gods. Doesn't this contradict the idea that the world is governed by the law of karma? Is praying to gods allowed?
11
votes
9answers
1k views

In meditation, should one pursue tranquility first, prior to looking for insight?

On the one hand this question has been asked to death on the internet (and yuttadhammo's videos even try to handle it). On the other hand, I personally still don't feel I have a clear answer (and I ...
11
votes
5answers
852 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
4answers
25k views

What are the differences between “Nirvana” in Buddhism and “Moksha” in Hinduism?

A few days ago, I came across an article on Buddhism primarily about "Nirvana." After I read the article, I started to wonder because "Nirvana" sounds similar to Hinduism's "Moksha." Does anyone ...
11
votes
14answers
747 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
1k 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
6answers
982 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 ...

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