The question is whether ‘self’ has any meaning in Buddhism, since it speaks so much of ‘not-self’, which is a realization of the emptiness of the notion of self as we normally understand it. There could be an infinite number of layers to our sense of self, each of which would be a different kind of self. The coherent self that is the knower, the actor, the controller of a being is like the kernal of its associated personality, which supports and is supported by it. It is like a hard central core, which changes, depending on how deep into its nature one has gone. Each level of insight causes a collapse into a deeper, subtler, and more strongly held sense of self. Each level of insight brings one closer to what that self is in itself. Continue reading Article: Five Uses of the Term Self in Buddhism
How can we align with our Buddhist practice over the Christmas period? In the extract below from Lama Shenpen’s book ‘The Mayayana Feast Offering‘ we can see how we might approach Christmas as we would a feast practice, with the opportunity to practice Dana (generosity/giving), sharing food, and generating Punya (the power of goodness) which can be dedicated for the benefit of others: Lama … Continue reading The Power of Goodness & Giving: Buddhist Practice at Christmas
There are five precepts that all Buddhists are committed to keeping. These are to not kill, not steal, not lie and not commit sexual misconduct or take intoxicants.
In the training for the Mahayanagana, students examine these precepts and consider the nuances – what do they actually mean in practice? What happens if we find ourselves acting contrary to these precepts either in spirit or in practice? There is much to consider. These days there is a lot of anxiety in the Buddhist world, as in other areas of modern life about abusive behaviour and how to safeguard the vulnerable by adhering to firm moral principles. We have been working on such a policy within our Sangha along lines laid out by the government and charity law. How best to safeguard the vulnerable, which could be any one of us in fact.
As we in the Shrimalagana (the inner body of the Awakened Heart Sangha) consider this we realize that however careful we are with our rules of engagement in actual fact the only safeguard is our sangha ethos and for all of us to embody it. If we all take care about how we are communicating and connecting to each other, then we will not make mistakes that leave people feeling abandoned and abused. Mistakes will happen.
We all tend to project onto each other and misunderstand each others behaviour and intentions. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps us to learn how to meet our own needs and be able to speak from a genuine and honest position which enables others to more readily understand and connect to us on a level that is meaningful and mutually supportive. We all have a responsibility to learn how to communicate in this manner and this way we will all be able to play our part in safeguarding the vulnerable.
So how literally are we to take the way sexual misconduct is presented in the traditional texts?
Lama Tashi Mannox’s Dharma Art work shop at The Hermitage in June, was a great success in all sorts of ways. I enjoyed talking to Lama Tashi in depth about what creativity means in terms of Buddha Nature and how to translate the English idea of creativity in Tibetan. They don’t seem to have one word for all that creativity means for us in English. … Continue reading Article: Dharma Art – What is Creativity in Dharma Terms?