Essays, Bhikkhu Cintita


file_pdf“The wonder of intrinsic motivation” (2020). In extrinsic motivation a task is performed in order to achieve some goal outside of the task itself. In intrinsic motivation a task is satisfying and worth pursuing in itself. Psychological research demonstrates a greater degree of satisfaction, meaning, well-being, proficiency and creativity associated with intrinsic motivation. It is striking how closely this is to a Buddhist understanding of such matters.

file_pdf“How did mindfulness become ‘bare, non-judgmental, present-moment awareness’?’” (2018). One would be hard-pressed to find anything in the early Buddhist texts (EBT) that remotely resembles the modern definition of mindfulness “bare, non-judgmental, present-moment awareness.” In this essay I will try to account for our modern definitions of mindfulness and how they might be reconciled with the EBT.

file_pdfSati really does mean ‘memory’” (2018). Modern scholars have perhaps been far too hasty to dismiss ‘memory’ as the central meaning of sati (mindfulness) in the EBT. I hope to show here that sati barely strayed in the early times far afield from this central meaning.

file_pdf“Dhammānupassanā: seeing through the eyes of the Buddha” (2018). Samādhi (concentration) is the dominant factor of the higher training toward awakening in the early Buddhist texts, and yet it is lamentably misunderstood. Dhammānupassanā (the fourth establishment of mindfulness) is at the center of this issue.

file_pdf“Consciousness in the EBT” (2018). Consciousness is not a fixed thing, but is forever dependently arising anew, like fireflies rather than the beam of a flashlight. The lifespan of an instance of consciousness is characterized by two phases: (1) Descent, that is, finding a footing in, something already experienced within the phenomenal world. (2) Growth, that is, augmenting the content of the phenomenal world. Unfortunately, consciousness does a poor, albeit convincing, job of representing with how things really are, which creates critical inconsistencies in the phenomenal world.

file_pdf“The Buddha as Biologist” (2018). It appears that he had important things to say about the nature of conception in the womb, and about the composition of the psychophysical organ­ism, and that he gave these things prominent roles at key junc­tures in his teachings. Or did he? I don’t think the Buddha was a biologist, and hope to show this in this brief essay.

file_pdf“What is the eye?” (2018). The eye seems like a commonplace enough and useful thing. Who would imagine that it would be so implicated in the human pathology, nor that understanding the eye would play such an important role in its resolution?

 file_pdf“Am I my five khandhas?” (2018). The five aggregates are often regarded as components of personality. The only reference in the early discourses is a statement by the nun Vajira, but closer inspection reveals that her intention was to lay bare the unsubstantiality of concepts.

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.

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_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.

file_html“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.




One Response to “Essays, Bhikkhu Cintita”

  1. Dr.Okkamsa Siddhi Says:

    Excellent indeed.


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