Barbara’s Buddhism Blog features the not-going-anywhere (in both senses of the term) debate over whether parts of Buddhism can be unmoored from the actual religion and used for stress relief and so on. Barbara writes that yes, we can use parts of the Buddha’s teachings for stress relief, etc., but let’s remember that’s not what the Buddha taught. In the comments she writes, “Seriously, if I had to come up with a nonsectarian definition of Buddhism, I’d say practice of the Eightfold Path to fully appreciate the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and thus to realize enlightenment.” dhamma musings, in a blog on Vesak, offered this priceless signage, with wise words, “Often samsara is so confusing we don’t know which way to turn.”
Yikes! James of The Buddhist Blog gives Lama Surya Das’s description of meditation as “the happy marriage of doing and being.” (Lama Surya Das’s article is from the pages of Tricycle.) He then goes on to give a very interesting view on no-self, or not-self by way of interconnectedness, that made me think of the ongoing tragedy in the Gulf, sigh. Tweeter @davidilynch (not the Rabbits guy) led me to this Newsweek post on the brain that toys with both emptiness and monkey mind:
The brain is in default mode when we stare into space, sleep, succumb to anesthesia, make our mind a blank while sitting motionless—in short, when the brain’s only task seems to be keeping us alive and breathing. This default activity, to everyone’s surprise, is no mere murmur in the background of a loud symphony. It is the symphony, consuming 20 times as much energy as the conscious life of the mind, including thinking, feeling, and using our senses—the mental acts captured by the brain imaging that so entrances the public. “The brain at rest is not at rest,” says neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Harvard. “Even more important, this resting activity is not random, but is well organized and constitutes the bulk of the brain’s activity.”
William Harryman at Integral Options Cafe writes about how we moderate (or don’t moderate) what we say before we say it:
It seems that we have no internal monitor of our speech before it becomes public – we don’t know what we are saying, in essence, until we have said it. This is another piece of understanding how our brains function. My sense of this is different, at least a little bit. I seem to be able to switch on and off a more formal language that I use in school, with clients, or at social gatherings.
The blog a raft offered this pithy quote on karma:
People blame their suffering on their past kamma. It’s not their past kamma causing the suffering, but the wrong choices they are making with their present kamma. – Ven. Sayadaw U Pannya Vamsa
thinkBuddha has a funny and thoughtful post on dowsing and the strange cocktail that is Buddhism in the West (I won’t give away the recipe.)
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