Do the Right Thing

Lately, I was reminded of this old sutra in the Pali Canon called the Saddhammapatirupaka Sutta (SN 16.13) also called the “A Counterfeit of the True Dhamma” sutra. In this sutra, one of the senior disciples of the Buddha named Maha-Kashyapa asked the Buddha why the early community had few training rules, and many students … Continue reading “Do the Right Thing”

Is The Noble Eightfold Path “Right”?

I found this really nice quotation recently in a book titled The Best Way to Catch a Snake by Karma Yeshe Rabgye: I also want to say something about the use of the word ‘right’ in describing the eight elements of the [Noble Eightfold] path.  The word in Pali [language] is samma, and ‘right’ is the … Continue reading “Is The Noble Eightfold Path “Right”?”

Don’t Be A Tiltbox

Magic the Gathering, the card game, has become a pretty big past-time of mine when I am not studying Sanskrit, or just raising the kids, and as part of that I spend time online reading strategy articles or podcasts. Recently, on this episode of the Limited Resources podcast, I learned the term “tilting”.  “Tilting” is a psychological … Continue reading “Don’t Be A Tiltbox”

A Look At Jodo Shu Home Services

Recently I posted about how Rinzai Zen services at home might look like, so, this time, I wanted to post an example Jodo Shu service as well. Compared to Rinzai Zen there are, not surprisingly, a lot more things to chant.  More on Jodo Shu Buddhism in general can be found on their English-language website. Further, … Continue reading “A Look At Jodo Shu Home Services”

Learning Things The Hard Way

Sometimes you just learn things the hard way.  This video I made recently was kind of off-script, but I wanted to talk about some recent experiences I had with Zen.  My experiences so far have been fairly positive (besides the sore knee), but it’s also a matter of finding what’s right for you. I’ve taken … Continue reading “Learning Things The Hard Way”

Only Doing the Bare Minimum

Something I noticed in the Contemplation of Amitabha [Buddha] Sutra recently:¹ 7. Then the World-honored One said to Vaidehī, “Whoever wishes to be born there [the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha] should be practice the three acts: first, caring for one’s parents, attending to one’s teachers and elders, compassionately refraining from killing, and doing the … Continue reading “Only Doing the Bare Minimum”

Just Focus On That One Thing

Lately, I’ve been reading a translation of the Bendowa, a 13th-century text written by the founder of Soto Zen, Dogen (1200-1253).  The Bendowa is comparatively short, compared to other longer texts that he wrote later, but it contains a lot of nuggets of wisdom that I have enjoyed sharing in the blog (here and here … Continue reading “Just Focus On That One Thing”

Dogen and the Nembutsu

While reading the Bendowa, a 13th-century Zen Buddhist text written by Dogen, I was struck by this statement: Question 3: We understand that you have correctly transmitted the tathāgata’s excellent method and studied the tracks of the ancestors.  It is beyond the reach of ordinary thoughts.  However, reading the sūtras or chanting Buddha’s name [the … Continue reading “Dogen and the Nembutsu”