Archive for the ‘Dharma’ Category

New Book: Dependent Coarising, meaning construction in the twelve links

June 15, 2021

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Finally I am able to announce the publication of the book that has been in the works for several years. I thank many for the support I have received in this project.

The twelve links of dependent co-arising are touted traditionally as among the deepest teachings of the Buddha. Yet they have become misunderstood and marginalized as a support for actual practice. The epistemic approach of this book  restores the cognitive basis of this critical teaching, thereby recovering the subjectivity and insubstantiality fundamental to the early Buddhadharma, particularly  in revealing how we misperceive the world . It discusses each of the twelve links in detail and explains how they cohere into the process that keeps us entangled in saṃsāra. Each link thereby becomes a focus for practice toward liberation from the human dilemma.

This book is now available for download as a pdf HERE. Hardcopies will soon be available at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara library and at the Sitagu Dhamma Vihara (MN), and for order at printing cost from Lulu.com. Ebook formats are also certainly forthcoming.

 

 

 

The Buddha’s method

March 26, 2021

I have to admit that on first encounter the early Buddhist texts struck me as abstruse and disconnected, and that – given their antiquity and obscure history – I fully expected them to remain so. With further engagement over time, however, I was delighted to discover a brilliant, methodical and consistent mind shining through those profound teachings and now marvel at how well time has treated these ancient texts. Among other things, I recognized the coherence of the Buddha’s methodology.

Every field of at least intellectual interest sets parameters for what it investigates and how it investigates it. We’ve had the scientific method since the seventeenth century that bounces between empirical discovery/verification of objective data, and hypothesis formation. Mathematics, art criticism, philosophy, law music, psychology and so on have methods appropriate to their fields, sometime explicitly stated, sometimes with an implicit culturally sustained understanding. The characteristic method reflects, but also shapes, the character of the respective field, by setting parameters on its scope of concern and on its means of explanation. It is the same with the Buddhadhamma

The Buddha’s method breaks down into four recognizable parameters, each of which the Buddha articulates explicitly and carefully. Bringing them together and then pointing out how they logically cohere is the task of the current paper. The parameters of the Buddha’s method are:

• Practicality. The Buddhadhamma serves to support practice and practice serves to bring benefit. What lies beyond that has little place in the Buddhadhamma.

• Subjectivity. The realm of Buddhadhamma, its practice and its benefit is the world as we experience it. Underlying mechanisms that stand behind our experience have a marginal role in Buddhadhamma.

• Insubstantiality. What we presume experientially to be true or to exist “out there” independently of our cognition of it is of dubious validity.

• Conditionality. Conditional relations constitute a privileged way to explain the world meaningfully without resort to underlying mechanisms.

MORE … (more…)

Dependent Co-arising Project

February 5, 2021

coarisingcovervt6For the last several years, I have been working on a project to better understand and clearly present perhaps the Buddha’s most profound and comprehensive teaching, that of dependent co-arising, identified by the Buddha with the Dhamma itself. Several years ago, I used to post a new essay each week to this blog. Since then I have undertaken a series of bigger projects, producing a few books, which can be found under “books” on this site. I apologize for neglecting my readership.

In any case, I am ready to announce some results of this project:

  • I am distributing a polished draft of the book whose cover appears to the left. Click on the image to download a copy as pdf.
  • I have begin a series of weekly podcasts, starting January 22, based on this text are found HERE.

I invite you make make use of these resources. Any feedback or discussion is welcome.

 

 

New On-line Classes

June 28, 2020

Saturday afternoons, July 11 – August 29, 2020

led by Bhikkhu Cintita

Kind words: adventures in being nice” (for kids, 7 – 12 years old), 1:00 – 1:50 pm

Are you a jackal or a giraffe? Giraffes are gentle creatures with super big hearts. They also have really really long necks and can see what is going on even far away. They’re nice. Jackals are greedy, fight over dead animals, and live close to the ground. They’re mean. We all have both in us, but as Buddhists we can learn to be more and more like giraffes by talking and listening to people the way giraffes do. (The topic of this class is much like that of the adult class, but explained for kids. We will begin each class with the refuges and precepts and conclude with sharing the merits.)

When we don’t agree: harmony through empathy” (adults/teens), 2:00 – 2:50 pm

We live with conflict at many levels, from family to politics, at work and while shopping. This class is about bringing harmony into our lives. These teachings are based largely on the Buddha’s Dharma and Vinaya – the Buddha gave special attention to how to maintain harmony in the Sangha. They also draw heavily from “Non-violent Communication” (NVC), a modern set of practical techniques employed successfully in conflict resolution throughout the world, which are remarkably consistent with the Buddha’s teachings. Both emphasize deep understanding. There will be some recommended readings.

Information and registration

These classes will be conducted on-line. Please install Zoom (zoom.us) on your device. Email bhikkhu.cintita@gmail.com with the subject line “Zoom classes,” to register or ask questions. To register, include your name, where you live (city or state) and which class(es) you would like to enroll in. You will receive by email instructions for joining the even on-line, updates and course materials. STAY SAFE! – BC

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New podcast: What did the Buddha think of women? – part two

June 5, 2020

Last week’s talk demonstrated the exemplary support the Buddha provided to women’s practice. This week we will look at a controversial text, describing with the origin of the nun’s sangha, that at first sight seems to paint a starkly contrasting picture of the Buddha.

 

New podcast: What did the Buddha think of women? – part one

May 29, 2020

Buddhism is not widely known as a religion of gender-equality. But the early the discourses show repeatedly that the Buddha had the deepest kindness and respect for women, as particularly evident in his treatment of the nun’s Sangha. (In part two we will look at the most controversial text in this regard.)

New podcast: understanding the aggregates

May 22, 2020

Understanding the aggregates. The aggregates are a foundational teaching of the Buddha, but they are rarely properly understood. This talk shows how to identify all the aggregates in your own experience and explains their role in contemplative practice.

 

Podcasts from the last two weeks follow.

What is the Buddha-Sasana?  The Buddha-Sasana is Buddhism as a living tradition, something that evolves, spreads to new lands, dies out in old lands, rather than Buddhism as the Dharma, which is much more static. A key question for the Buddha seems to be is how well the Buddha-Sasana would retain the authenticity of the Buddha-Dharma.

 

The story of my ordination. A narrative account of BC’s 2009 bhikkhu ordination in Burma. This story appears in his 2012 book, Through the Looking Glass, which can be found under “books” on this site.

 

Find all my audio’s and video’s HERE.

New podcast episode: The story of my ordination

May 8, 2020

Source: The story of my ordination

New podcast episode: The thunder of intrinsic motivation

April 24, 2020

Source: The thunder of intrinsic motivation

New podcast episode: The blunder of extrinsic motivation

April 18, 2020

Source: The blunder of extrinsic motivation

The second ‘trinsic motivation sermon.