Many Teachings, One Essence

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art AARON GLASSON * When one first encounters Buddhism, it is not uncommon to be confused and overwhelmed by the bewildering array of seemingly dramatically different forms of Buddhism. This is unsurprising. On first glance, it seems impossible to find common ground between the austere aesthetic of Japanese Buddhism and the byzantine visage …

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Meditation Instructions

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art MARTINA PAUKOVA * At its heart, Buddhism is about transforming the way we think in order to eliminate the sources of discontent, dissatisfaction, and distress in our lives.  This is done not by changing the outside world, but by identifying and eliminating the self-destructive habits and tendencies within our own minds. An …

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The Power of Compassion

By AYYA YESHE, Art by PABLO MEDINA  I never grew up thinking that I would one day run a temple in the slums of Central India, or a charity for that matter. But I suppose I should have known better when my favorite movie was ‘The Sound of Music’ and my vision was of being a …

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Meditating on Non-Self

By SISTER KHEMA * Art U LUN GYWE (Courtesy Thavibu)*  In Buddhism we use the words “self” and “no-self,” and so it is important tounderstand just what this “no-self,” anatta, is all about, even if it isfirst just an idea, because the essence of the Buddha’s teaching hinges onthis concept. And in this teaching Buddhism is unique. No one, …

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Guidelines for Happiness

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art JUNGYEON ROH * In Buddhism, everything is optional. Faith is optional. Meditation is optional. Morality is optional. So the question becomes: Why bother with morality? What’s the point? What is morality anyway? Where does it come from? What effect does it have? Why should we care? Many people think of morality as …

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Accelerating our Practice

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  Everyone loves to talk about meditation. It’s cool. Heightened awareness? Control of your mental experience? Profound tranquility and joy? Sounds great. So we learn some basic meditation techniques and start practicing. We notice some benefits arising from their practice, so we keep it up. Then eventually it seems to plateau. Years go by …

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Aung Kyaw Htet

By JORN MIDDELBORG * Art AUNG KYAW HTET (Courtesy Thavibu) I have known the Myanmar artist Aung Kyaw Htet for around fifteen years, since the time his daughter was born. He came from a humble beginning, growing up in the Delta Region which is regularly flooded and where rice is the staple crop. Aung Kyaw Htet moved to the …

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Dealing with Overeating

By AYYA SOMA Relationships with food are often complicated. On the one hand, we need nutriment to sustain ourselves, so we cannot completely abstain from it; on the other hand, this daily consumption easily creates room for craving and clinging to appear in the mind. Especially in these times of pandemic, when we are locked …

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Emptiness

By BHANTE SUDDHASO * Photo by AYYA SOMA In Theravāda Buddhism we often talk about the “Three Universal Characteristics” (tilakkhaṇā) – that all things are impermanent (anicca), unsatisfying (dukkha), and impersonal (anattā). All three of these are related to the topic of emptiness (suññatā). First off, I should point out that there is a common …

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