Category Archives: Dhamma

Ven. Pannawansa Lecture Tour in April, 2012

This is to inform that Venerable Pannawansa Thera, a French citizen, will be in Kuala Lumpur and PJ (and Malacca) this month to give dhamma talks at various Buddhist societies and centres. Ven. Pannawansa is fluent in English, French and Singhala, and has translated works by His Holiness the Dalai read more

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A Little Bit More Mindful

Teacher : So…have you been practicing as I have taught?

Student : Yes, sir. Apart from my timed sittings, I have also been trying to be aware of the times when I feel happy, sad or angry.

Teacher : And have you been successful?

Student : Not really. There are times when it takes me days before I realized read more

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Anicca

In the Mahā-suññata Sutta (MN 122) The Blessed Buddha points out that suffering arises from clinging and attaching to all impermanent things:

“I do not see even a single kind of form from the change and alteration of which there would not arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair read more

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Sympathetic Joy (Mudita): The Third Abode

By Roshi Joan Halifax

The third boundless abode (of the Brahmaviharas) is sympathetic or noble joy. Sympathetic joy has three aspects: joy in the good fortune of others; joy in the virtue of others; and altruistic joy, that is, engendering joy to benefit others.

The first is that joy we feel when read more

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Love (Metta)

Love, without desire to possess, knowing well that in the ultimate sense there is no possession and no possessor: this is the highest love.

Love, without speaking and thinking of “I,” knowing well that this so-called “I” is a mere delusion.

Love, without selecting and excluding, read more

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Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Right and Wrong

An article by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:

“These two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn’t see his/her transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn’t rightfully pardon another who has confessed his/her transgression. These two are fools.

“These two are wise. Which read more

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Old Age, Sickness and Death – The Divine Messengers

In Pali, there is a passage
“I am subject to aging…………………
I am subject to sickness…………………..
I am subject to death………”

Those verses are chanted daily by monks and wise lay people.
In reality, Sickness is normal…………………….Death is normal…………old age is normal………….. It is part and parcel of Life.

Society however acts as if these things are not normal! Ajahn Brahm used to teach us that when we are Sick, we are Normal! For everyone gets sick, everyone falls ill! We pretend that aging, sickness and death don’t have a right to be there. They get in the way of our lives, plans, expectations and so forth. We act as though they have no business to upset our lives forgetting that they are in fact very much PARTS OF OUR LIVES! With that attitude we will suffer a lot, because these things inevitably come. They inevitably come, simply because they are normal

The most important training we can do is to prepare the mind for the inevitable.

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The Buddhists’ Attitude towards Death

This article is from a sharing by Dr. Wong Yin Onn to his Buddhist friends.

The early Buddhists followed the Indian custom of cremation. The Buddha’s body was cremated and this set the example for many Buddhists.

When someone is dying in a Buddhist home, monks and laypeople come to comfort them by chanting verses for them, and sharing the Dhamma. It is hoped that if the last thoughts of the patient are directed to Buddha and the Dhamma, taking refuge in the Triple Gems and Precepts, and recalling a virtuous life keeping the precepts, then the fruit of this meritorious act will bring good to the deceased in his/her new existence. The dying person must be put at ease from pain, and given a serene and familiar place to have a composed and calm mind. He and the family must be reassured that the wholesome acts done in the past will assure a good rebirth. He/she and the family must be counseled that Death is a natural process and merely a door to a new existence. Birth and Death are but 2 sides of a coin.

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Near Death Experience (NDE): A Sharing

(This is a sharing on near death experience (NDE) which I received from Bro. Punna’s mailing group. I find it interesting and would like to share it here.)

We at Metta Lodge in JB are very grateful that we had a speaker who willingly shared with us her Near Death Experience. While we had read about NDEs or heard about it, it was never in the first person, hence the opportunity to hear about directly and the opportunity to discuss and have fellowship with such a person was priceless.

Even more important, the speaker is not by family or training a Buddhist, hence to us this is an independent opinion, not one conditioned by what is tradition or education.

The speaker is a highly trained medical professional with post graduate qualifications and specialty practise, we respect her privacy hence her name is not mentioned. In the 16 years since the event, she had shared with only a select core; when she first woke up and related the experience, almost all told her that she had a very traumatic experience and that she should forget it!

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Buddhism and Health

This is a summary of a workshop discussion on Buddhism and Health that was conducted at the WACANA 2011 in Nalanda Buddhist Society yesterday. The emphasis for this year’s WACANA is on familiarising ourselves with the Buddha Words, ie. the suttas in particular and the tipitaka in general.

1. Definition of Health
Health is defined as physical and mental wellbeing since a human being is made up of a physical body (rupa) and mind (nama). Mind here includes emotional health.

2. Buddhists’ Attitude towards Health
In the Dhammapada v. 204 as well as in Sukkhavagga (Dhp XV), it is said that “health is the greatest gift and contentment is the greatest wealth”. Health is therefore of primary importance for a Buddhist as a healthy body is the ideal vehicle to support our cultivation of the mind. Thus, physical health should not be neglected.

In the Magandiya Sutta (MN75), the Buddha pointed out that “even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted”. This shows that it is possible to attain and have equanimity in our mind despite the presence of physical pain. In other words, physical pain may be unavoidable but mental suffering is optional, depending on how well we have cultivated our mind.

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