Essays, Bhikkhu Cintita

 

file_pdf“Sangha” (2017). A monastic is like a house pet: helpless on his own, absolutely and vulnerably dependent on the kind hand that feeds him, but at the same time of therapeutic value to that same hand (not to mention cute as a kitten in his fluffy robes and with his bald head). Like a house pet, a monastic lives a simple life, needs and possesses little: He does not have a motorboat on the lake, nor a puppy he is working to put through college.

file_pdf“Take Seriously but Hold Loosely (perspectives on Secular Buddhism)” (2017). Two mainstays of Secular Buddhism are: (1) The Dharma is about practice, not belief; and (2) The Dharma will inevitably be adapted to modern sensibilities. I show that the first of these premises is well motivated in the early Buddhist texts and break this down into practice function (taking seriously) and non-belief (holding loosely). I will then show that the second premise makes sense in terms of the first and look at some general issues of modern interpretation.

file_pdf“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.”

file_html“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.

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“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.

file_html“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.

file_html“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.

file_html“The Dharma of Linux” (2010). A Buddhist Monk’s Reflections on generosity upon Installing the Ubuntu operating system on his Laptop.

 

“Tfile_pdfhe Posture of Practice: Dogen and Gandhi on Liberation” (2008). In a well-known Zen koan we find this interchange between master and student:

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.”

file_pdf“No Gaining, No Knowing” (2008). The koan with the punchline, “The vast sky does not obstruct the floating white clouds,” reveals interesting insights about emptiness and interconnectedness.

 

 

 

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