Essays, Bhikkhu Cintita
“Name and Form: nāmarūpa in the suttas” (2016). Name-and-form (nāma-rūpa) is an important but often poorly understood, concept in the discourses of the Buddha that has given rise to some disagreement in recent decades. I stake out the position that name-and-form is the richest part of experience. It is the subjective experience that plays out in each of the five material senses: for instance, that which appears as patterns of shapes and colors on the retina, as sound vibrations on the eardrum, as an aroma in the nose, as a stimulations on the tongue, or as local sensations anywhere in the body. It spans physical sensation and percept and is projected by consciousness onto the world “out there.”
“Karmic Dividends” (2014). The economic and social context in which we live is a critical determinant of our karmic choices, and therefore may function either to constrict our practice, on the one hand, or to unleash its full potential, on the other. The Buddha understood this when he gave shape to the Buddhist community.
“The Cushion or the World?” (2013). Traditionalists see virtue in adhering rather strictly to Buddhist practices as they have been transmitted, particularly focusing on stringent meditation practice. Modernists feel the necessity of integrating into their practice new features more relevant to their modern daily lives, generally by mixing in everything from psychotherapy to performance art.
“What Did the Buddha Think of Women?” (2012). That the Buddha would harbor the slightest bit of ill-will toward women flies in the face of the complete awakening of the Buddha, which entails that he was utterly pure of thought, kind and well disposed to a fault, completely without defilement or bias of any sort, toward any living being you may spot. This, my most downloaded essay, accounts for the status of nuns in the early monastic Sangha on the basis of this premise.
“Sex, Sin and Buddhism” (2011). On the one hand Buddhism has a very liberal attitude about sexuality: There is no Sin in Buddhism! On the other hand, Buddhism has this strong tradition of monastic celibacy, which has persisted from the time of the Buddha to the present day.
Nan Chuan: “Ordinary mind is the way.”
Chao Chou: ” Then may I direct myself toward it or not?”
Nan Chuan: “To turn toward it is to turn away from it.”