39 votes

How to explain what Buddhism is?

In a nut shell Buddhism revolves around the 3 trainings: Living a life of morality so we do no create misery for one self and others Developing mastery over the mind so we do not react but be ...
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37 votes
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Does illegal downloading or viewing of copyright material violate the second precept?

No, it does not. In order to steal, something has to be misappropriated from the original owner. Copying is not theft, even according to modern jurisprudence; copyright is an artificial "right&...
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  • 23.8k
31 votes
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Should one give to beggars?

I have worked with homeless persons through non-profit agencies for over twenty years, therefore my answer is based on much experience. You are wise to seek the compassionate response. There is ...
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23 votes

Should one give to beggars?

Dakkhina Vibhanga Sutta is the one you want to have a look at. Ananda, there are these fourteen individual gifts (cuddasa pāṭipuggalikā dakkhi). What are the fourteen? One gives a gift to ...
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17 votes

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

From Mahayana perspective, illegally downloading e.g. a movie is definitely a breach of precepts, for three reasons: because this entails acting out of desire for pleasure, because this upsets, not ...
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  • 55.2k
17 votes
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How to explain what Buddhism is?

1) It's hard to summarize Buddhism in brief without resorting to one of sometimes inaccurate or misleading summaries. A summary that starts with the Hindu-style cosmology, imho, misses the point. Also ...
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15 votes
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Investing in poultry stocks and Buddhism

Honestly I would say that it's not even a grey area. For me, investing in stocks in the meat industry is not in keeping with right livelihood. To quote the Vanijja Sutta in full "Monks, a lay ...
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  • 20.8k
13 votes

Caught between two worlds

There is a lot you can do to make the best of your situation. I can tell you what's been helpful for me. Social interaction regarding worldly things can seem like a ridiculous waste of time; but ...
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  • 9,462
13 votes

How to explain what Buddhism is?

In addition to my comments, I quote Ajahn Brahm from his book "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond" The Highest Happiness The Buddha said, “Nibbāna is the highest happiness” (Dhp 203, 204). This is,...
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  • 675
13 votes
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Is playing computer games an unwholesome activity?

There are different degrees of unwholesome activity. The term akusala (lit. unskillful, unwholesome) is a broad term that in addition to referring to 'bad' deeds (e.g. killing, stealing, adultery etc.....
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  • 7,356
12 votes
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Do monks not have responsibility towards parents and family?

Responsibility in Theravada Buddhism falls into two categories - practical and absolute. In an absolute sense, we only have two responsibilities: “bhante, imasmiṃ sāsane kati dhurānī”ti? "Bhante,...
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  • 23.8k
12 votes
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English (or other European) translations of Pali Canon

I personally use the following translations: Paper copies of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations of Nikayas (for example Majjhima) for nice smooth English rendition. Access To Insight for quick and ...
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  • 55.2k
12 votes

Can I count my contribution to the open source as a dharma?

Open source is awesome philosophically speaking, and that's really what counts in the dharma, not the actual benefit that accrues to others. A core tenet of Buddhism is to not cling: "And he ...
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  • 23.8k
12 votes

Can a Buddhist own and run a billion dollar business?

Sure! It is allowed for lay people, as long as they observe the five precepts and virtue (sila), which includes Right Livelihood (samma ajivo). Please also see this answer. The Vanijja Sutta states: &...
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  • 33.6k
11 votes

Can Buddhists be good workplace leaders?

From a more practical position, here are some reflections. I am sure others have their won approaches. First of all, place importance on one's own practice. Kindness can be applied in situations that ...
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11 votes
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Can Buddhism be viewed as a threat to the capitalist way of life?

Buddhism is a threat to the universe... the answer to the famous "what would happen if everyone became enlightened?" is that the universe would cease to exist. In the meantime, sure, the more people ...
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  • 23.8k
11 votes

Does using or watching YouTube break a bhikkhu's rules?

It is my personal experience that frequent games, movies, TV, YouTube, smart phone use and browsing definitely reduce one's mindfulness. This is a fundamental question about all entertainment - why ...
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  • 7,383
10 votes

Buddhism and political correctness

This sounds like an issue best analyzed according to the Buddha's teachings on right speech. The Buddha famously expounded how he personally determined how to decide on what to say in the Abhaya Sutta,...
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  • 7,356
10 votes

As per buddism, how is it possible to leave behind my obsession with drugs?

I would like to answer this not from the perspective of a knowledgeable Buddhist, but from the perspective of someone who has been clean and sober for over 9 years. Disclaimer: I am a recent Buddhist ...
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  • 1,019
9 votes

Is technology making us less mindful?

When it comes to developing concentration modern technology is definitely a distraction as devices tend to seek your attention. This leads to being scatter brained. This is the reason many meditation ...
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9 votes

Can Buddhism help me escape the difficulties in my life?

Of course. Realizing that you don't need things or that those things aren't going to make you happy is the beginning of awareness that the worldly world is not as great as you thought it was! ...
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  • 9,462
9 votes

Does meditation increase productivity for software developers and related professions?

I'm a software developer and practiced different kinds of meditation (first - sit for 5-10 minutes with open eyes and pay attention to inhaling and exhaling, second - 16th Karmapa meditation in the ...
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  • 652
9 votes
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What can be done about fake monks?

I have some suggestions. Guard yourself against any possibility of Wrong Speech by not saying anything about these persons, their motives, or actions that you don't personally know to be true; even ...
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  • 9,462
8 votes

Are there any living enlightened people?

As Andrei says in the comments talking about achievements are taboo so it's difficult to know. However Daniel Ingram (Theravada practitioner) is a taboo buster about this and openly claims in his book ...
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  • 20.8k
8 votes

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

As long as what you are doing is not immoral in my case I would go along with what the others are doing. Main point is by doing this you should not accumulate more fabrication. One way is to reduce ...
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8 votes

Caught between two worlds

What exactly are you practicing the dharma for? What exactly is the difference between your so called layman world and the "monk's world"? The layman world which you speak of require you to "...
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  • 119
8 votes
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Is Karma different for accidental killing than intentional killing?

The background story to the first verse of the Dhammapada is of an arhat killing insects accidentally, because he's blind. The verse says, All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they ...
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  • 43.1k

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