All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
61
votes
16answers
7k views

Is rebirth a delusional belief?

I find it difficult to assign a meaning to the word 'rebirth'. Here are some hints that rebirth might not be real: Views regarding one's past and future existence are included in the "62 false ...
51
votes
13answers
11k views

Can the Buddha ever be a woman?

Is it true that the Buddha will never be a woman? If so, why is this? To be specific, I am particularly asking whether or not the Buddha itself can be female. I am not asking whether a woman can ...
44
votes
17answers
36k views

If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth?

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. But it's also described as "soullessness" which I think implies that there is no mind other than ...
35
votes
12answers
37k views

What exactly differentiates Vipassana from Samatha meditation?

What are the key aspects of Vipassana that are not present in Samatha? What is the main difference in the method from a meditator's perspective? Labeling emotions and feelings are part of samatha ...
34
votes
21answers
3k views

Introductory books to Buddhism

I'm looking for some book(s) that are generally regarded as a good introduction to Buddhism. I know very little about Buddhism, having only read one book on it so far (What Makes You Not a Buddhist by ...
33
votes
10answers
14k views

Is killing vermin and insects justifiable?

The first precept goes something similar to I undertake the training rule to abstain from killing. Now, I understand that, for instance, eating meat is allowed, but what about, for instance, ...
33
votes
7answers
8k views

If a buddhist should not kill a mouse living in their home, what justification do they have to rid themselves of a parasite such tapeworms

An extension of this question posted earlier: How not to kill the mouse in my house? Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? Is it just a ...
31
votes
12answers
14k views

How does stream entry occur?

When a person becomes a stream enterer/Sotapanna, I understand they no longer have the first 3 fetters of belief in a self, doubts about the Buddha, his teachings or the noble sangha, or attachments ...
31
votes
15answers
3k views

How to explain what Buddhism is?

My mother and I come from a non-Buddhist culture/background/society/country/family. At one point when I had an opportunity to explain to her what Buddhism is, I was doing well (i.e. she was listening ...
30
votes
10answers
4k views

Does illegal downloading or viewing of copyright material violate the second precept?

As a kid I used to download a lot of softwares and movies using torrents. Even if something illegal is done, it doesn't necessarily mean that it violates a precept. But can this be considered as ...
30
votes
17answers
42k views

Is moderate drinking acceptable in Buddhism?

I have heard a certain interpretation of the 5th precept and I'm curious about it, the person said that for lay people the 5th precept means "not drinking alcohol to the point you get intoxicated or ...
29
votes
14answers
9k views

Are all Buddhists vegetarian?

Most if not all Buddhists I know are vegetarian or vegan. Thinking about the precepts this is not surprising - one should abstain from killing. However is this universally true in all Buddhist ...
29
votes
4answers
6k views

Where is the Buddha quoted as saying do not believe anything I say until you can prove it by yourself?

If I remember rightly the Buddha is quoted as saying something along the lines of: Do not believe anything I say until you can prove it by yourself In what text(s) of the Buddhist cannon is this ...
28
votes
11answers
17k views

Do buddhists fall in love?

I'm new to the concept of Buddhism, and am failing to understand perhaps something very basic. I understand that one is not expected to hold anything close or dear as it is impermanent and could ...
27
votes
16answers
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?
27
votes
14answers
7k views

Should one give to beggars?

I'm very fortunate to live in an affluent part of the world. Even so, it is a common site to see people begging for money in the street. In our town there are posters up asking people not to give to ...
27
votes
10answers
39k views

Lust - How Can it be Overcome?

I am an above beginner level meditator - I have been practicing Vipassana meditation regularly for past 6-7 months - By regularly, I mean 1hr of sitting meditation at least 5 times a week. I have ...
26
votes
6answers
14k views

Did Gautama Buddha exist?

Is there any historical third-party evidence that the Gautama Buddha actually existed? Is there historical third-party evidence that Prince Siddhartha or the Gautama Buddha existed outside of the ...
26
votes
5answers
12k views

Is drinking coffee or tea against the fifth precept?

The fifth precept most directly guides us to abstain from alcohol. Coffee is a stimulant and probably so is tea. Drinking either beverage affects our mental calm and makes us behave in ways that we ...
26
votes
10answers
8k views

How not to kill the mouse in my house?

I live with my mother in her house. There have been a mouse for a few months, living in the ceiling of my bedroom, and since a few weeks, it has been a nuisance for it scratches something, day and ...
25
votes
14answers
1k views

Role of belief in Buddhism

As a westerner that self-identifies as Buddhist, I have struggled to understand the role of belief in Buddhist practice. In my culture, we are more familiar with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, ...
25
votes
3answers
848 views

When were women first welcomed into Buddhist orders?

I know that in the early days of Buddhism, it was for men only. To practice, you had to be a monk, and to be a monk, you had to be a man. Perhaps this reflects the attitudes of the time, but today, my ...
24
votes
8answers
7k views

Is low self-esteem a Western phenomenon?

I while ago I read a story about the Dalai Lama and the metta bhavana practice. Someone was talking to him about the difficulty in practicing the first stage (wishing well for oneself) and was ...
24
votes
11answers
40k views

Any advice on leg numbing during sitting?

It happens at about 20 minutes every time lately... either in half lotus (a traditional position that i would like to honor), or with one leg laying in front of the other, or indian style... doesnt ...
22
votes
13answers
8k views

Disenchanted with Buddhism

Im nearly 50 years old and so far in my life I have never found a sense of belonging or any sense of purpose. I haven't found a way to work that offers any sense of contribution or meaning. I have ...
22
votes
10answers
37k views

Masturbation: Does it break the 3rd precept?

According to this answer, it seems like masturbation is not considered sexual misconduct or breaking the third precept. However, the whole point (in general) of keeping the precept is to make good ...
21
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
517 views

How can I assess the quality of a local Buddhist group?

I'm located in the West, and, in my local area, there are several Buddhist groups. I would like to join one of them to be more formal in my commitment to learn about Buddhism. My question is, how do I ...
21
votes
4answers
889 views

Strong desire to serve/ordain

every meditator at a point in his her life goes through a dilemma of whether to ordain or to live a lay life. Although it's a wholesome disposition, I wonder if its a lack of strength to face problems ...
21
votes
4answers
11k views

What are the differences between vipassana and mindfulness meditation?

I have been reading about vipassana and mindfulness meditation but so far I haven’t fully understood the differences. Is mindfulness meditation an aspect or a variation of vipassana meditation?
20
votes
12answers
5k views

How do you tell a 4-year-old who the Buddha was?

I'm in the process of organising a family day at my Local Buddhist Centre. I'll be taking my 4-year-old daughter with me and she will once again ask me who is the Buddha? Previously I have always ...
20
votes
6answers
7k views

Is Nirvana the goal for all Buddhist?

If I understand it correctly, Nirvana is the liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth, thereby terminating all sufferings. Is Nirvana a goal which every Buddhist must achieve? Is there any other ...
20
votes
12answers
8k views

How to determine the end of a meditation session without a clock?

I have a clock, it just is distracting having to look at it every few minutes.
20
votes
7answers
18k views

Where does a person go after attaining Nirvana?

After attaining Nirvana, what happens to the person(conscious) after death? Does the person cease to exist? If not, does the person go to some peaceful place?
20
votes
14answers
13k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

How should Buddhists handle prayer requests?

Fairly regularly people ask me to pray for them or their family members. In my understanding, Buddhist don't generally pray for things to be different than what they are. But it never seems ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to become UNenlightened?

Is it possible for i.e. an Arhat to become unenlightened after he reached the state of Nirvana? What if an enlightened being gets a severe brain injury by some cause leaving him with amnesia. Could ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the attitude toward homosexuality in Buddhism?

I am specifically interested in the attitude of Theravadan Buddhism toward homosexuality (if it has one at all.) I don't recall ever seeing any references to homosexuality in the suttas...I do recall ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the next meditation type after Mindfulness of Breathing meditation?

I have been meditation using Mindfulness of Breathing mediation. I will continue for a while, while increasing the duration. When can I say that I "master" a type of meditation? Are there a natural ...
19
votes
3answers
810 views

Are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing?

This is a hugely amateurish question, for which I apologize, but: are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing? If not, how are they related? In particular, does the term "Tibetan Buddhism" ...
18
votes
22answers
11k views

Why is Buddhism not Nihilism?

I'm familiar with the concept of the middle way and how Buddhism is neither Eternalism nor Nihilism. Not being Eternalism seems straightforward to me - all things are impermanent. However Buddhism not ...
18
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
10k views

How is sexual misconduct explained in regards to the five precepts?

The 3rd precept is: I undertake the training rule to avoid sexual misconduct. How is this precept explained? Marriage is defined differently in different cultures, so are the commonly accepted ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Comparison of Nirvana, Tao and Brahman/Atma

Nirvana is described in Samyutta Nikaya 43 as "the unfabricated (unborn?), the uninclined, the truth, the far shore, the subtle, the very difficult to see, the unaging (eternal?), the stable, ...
16
votes
10answers
10k views

What is the meaning and/or purpose of life?

According to Buddhism, if exists, what is the meaning of life, and if different, what is the purpose of life? And where does this meaning and purpose come from?
16
votes
15answers
6k views

Why do Buddhists believe there is no creator?

Why do Buddhists believe there is no creator? Do Buddhists in general also believe there is no supreme being, or do they settle on that there is no intervening supreme being? Are these the Buddha's ...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

Is a belief in rebirth a necessity for Buddhist practice?

Can someone be a wholehearted Buddhist practitioner if they entirely reject rebirth? Or is anyone that follows the Buddhist path while not subscribing to rebirth only getting half the story? Or is the ...
16
votes
9answers
4k 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
6answers
6k views

Is stock trading a wrong livelihood?

Does stock trading count as pursuing gain with gain mentioned as wrong view in MN117? Sure active stock trading is very destructive, especially nowadays it's like trading the weather, but does it ...
16
votes
5answers
803 views

Caught between two worlds

Hi my Name is Tobias and I am 31 years old. Of course there is a personal story behind my question and a lot of causes and conditions that led to my current situation but in brief the question goes ...

15 30 50 per page