Monday, July 23, 2012

Dharma Talk - A Nonsensical Dream

Talk Given By: Rev. Bup Seong
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Duration - 10:16

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Listen to other previous Dharma Talks here.

The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory

Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy—and our own self-awareness.

Compassion Made Easy

From the NY Times:

ALL the major religions place great importance on compassion. Whether it’s the parable of the good Samaritan in Christianity, Judaism’s “13 attributes of compassion” or the Buddha’s statement that “loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice,” empathy with the suffering of others is seen as a special virtue that has the power to change the world. This idea is often articulated by the Dalai Lama, who argues that individual experiences of compassion radiate outward and increase harmony for all.

 Social psychologists interested in emotions wonder whether this spiritual understanding of compassion is also scientifically accurate. Empirically speaking, does the experience of compassion toward one person measurably affect our actions and attitudes toward other people? If so, are there practical steps we can take to further cultivate this feeling? Recently, experiments were conducted that answered yes to both questions.
In one experiment, designed with the psychologist Paul Condon and published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, people were  to take part in a study that was ostensibly about the relation of mathematical ability to taste perception — but that in actuality was a study of how the experience of compassion affects your behavior....

What Is Meant By Zen “Practice”?

From the blog of Bright Way Zen:

Domyo Burk
If you have spent any time in a Zen community, or reading Zen books, you will have encountered the term “practice” countless times. Zen ancestors and teachers exhort us to practice diligently. Fellow practitioners talk to one another about their practice: “I have been practicing 20 years,” or “I just started practice,” or “Lately my practice has been focussed on an acceptance of change.” We say it is hard to practice without a Sangha, or community. When facing challenges in life, we say, “It’s good practice.”
If you asked 100 Zen practitioners what they mean by “practice,” you probably wouldn’t get 100 different answers, but you would probably get about 25 different answers. With the word “practice,” some people are referring specifically to the things they do that can be clearly identified as “Zen,” like study of Buddhist texts, participation in Sangha, or meditation. Most include these things but also are referring to the day-to-day efforts they make in their own minds and hearts to understand and/or manifest Buddhist teachings.
Knowing my definition will change over time, I’ll nonetheless take a risk and offer a definition of “practice:” inquiry and behaviors undertaken to address and resolve one’s deepest questions, longings and fears, in order to live the best possible human life in a spiritual sense. Below I will explain this definition, phrase by phrase....

Mindfulness Going Mainstream

Watch Mindfulness Going Mainstream on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Buddhist Invasion!

A new study by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life estimates that between 1 and 1.3 percent of the United States population—between 3 and 4 million people—identifies as Buddhist, a dramatic increase from a 2007 Pew survey that found only about .7 percent of the population to be Buddhist.
The new study, which focused on religious identity and practices of Asian Americans, also estimated that around two-thirds of American Buddhists are Asian American, about double the proportion found in the 2007 survey. You can read the full report here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TEDx - The Only Way Out is In

 This video is a talk given by Jenny Phillips, wherein she talks about the way Vipassana meditation brought an inspiring turnaround to the several lifetime convicts incarcerated in Alabama's Donaldson Correctional Facility in USA.

 About Vipassana: (Source: Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (विपश्यना, Sanskrit) in the Buddhist tradition means insight into the true nature of reality.[citation needed] A regular practitioner of Vipassana is known as a Vipassi (vipaśyin). Vipassana is one of the world's most ancient techniques of meditation, which was introduced by Gautama Buddha. It is a practice of self-transformation through self-observation and introspection to the extent that sitting with a steadfast mind becomes an active experience of change and impermanence.

Masters of Mercy: Buddha's Amazing Disciples

From 1854 until his death in 1863, Japanese artist Kano Kazunobu (born 1816) labored to produce one hundred paintings depicting the miraculous interventions and superhuman activities of the five hundred disciples of the Buddha. The project was commissioned by Zōjōji, an elite Pure Land Buddhist temple in Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Now widely regarded as one of the most impressive feats of Buddhist iconography created during the Edo period (1615--1868), this remarkable ensemble was largely overlooked through much of the twentieth century.

A revival of interest began in the 1980s and culminated in a major exhibition in Tokyo in spring 2011, held to commemorate the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of Hōnen (1133--1212), founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. Zōjōji collaborated with the Edo-Tokyo Museum and noted scholars to produce the exhibition, which featured all one hundred paintings along with related works and documentary material. The whole ensemble had not been viewed publicly since World War II.

Muddy Water Zen own the Exhibition Art Book from that Exhibition held in Tokyo last year  where you can come and see all 100 paintings in the collection!

Consider Forgiveness

Suffering, love, compassion, the circle of violence, forgiveness as peace.
Consider Forgiveness features interviews with leaders and scholars from the Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian traditions. This project was filmed in Amritsar, India, at Sharing Wisdom: The Case of Love and Forgiveness, a meeting of the Elijah Interfaith Institute's board of religious leaders. View these clips to learn more about each faith's approach to forgiveness and how it relates to justice, love, compassion, retribution, revenge, and empathy.

View all 25 Consider Forgiveness Videos here from several different speakers

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Buddhist Film Collection

Recently Updated! (7/7/2012 - 10 New Films Just Added!)

The Buddhist Film Collection is an ongoing project to catalog those films addressing Buddhist themes, concepts and imagery; as well as offer visual representations and interpretations of Buddhism from around the world. 

The collection is home to 240 titles and covers a broad range of genres and topics. The Films come from diverse cultures and traditions; China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Mongolia, India, United States, Canada, Germany.... as well as many other countries and cultures.

The collection includes films that have explicit and obvious Buddhist themes and also films that carry implied concepts which can be found in the Buddhadharma. 

The catalog is free to view online here (hosted by Scribd). 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bishop Jongmae's New Buddhist Dictionary

Bishop Jongmae has recently published his 4th title "Modern Korean-Chinese-Sanskrit-English Buddhist Dictionary" in May 2012.

This new dictionary is a huge asset to all of us studying Korean Buddhism and the first time English speakers have had access to a such a comprehensive volume.

However, the dictionary is indexed according to the Korean entries so searching in English for terms is difficult if not impossible.

Therefore, it is my personal project to compile a supplemental digital English Index so that readers may easily and quickly search by known English terms to find the Korean/Sanskrit equivalent.

This ongoing blog label (dictionary) will track the progress of the English Indexing for all to follow and also highlight some new terms along the way.

The dictionary page count comes in at 641 pages with approx. 6-7 terms per page for an estimated total of over 4,000 individual entries.

So far 235 terms have been indexed that span over 50 pages. The English indexing is 8% complete.

Check back here at the blog often for regular updates on the Dictionary Indexing Project (DIP).

50 / 641 pages. 8% done!