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A reddit for all kinds of Buddhist teachings
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Japanese Buddhist Art Piece Suggestion for College Term Paper? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

October 21, 2014 - 3:56am

Hello all!

I am currently taking a Japanese Buddhist Art course that requires a final paper, and I was wondering if you had any suggestions of pieces of art for the topic of my paper (pretty much anything would be a valid piece of art for this paper, from sculpture or paintings to gardens, etc.).

The only restrictions are (1) that the piece of art must have been made in Japan from the Edo period (early 17th century) through today, and (2) that we must visit the piece of art ourselves. The piece of art would thus need to be located somewhere around the Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara area of Japan (the Kansai area).

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated! If you do know the location of the piece of art (city, temple name, etc.), please kindly include that as well! As well, any additional information about the piece of art you feel I should know would also be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I sincerely appreciate it!

TL;DR I need to write a term paper on a piece of Japanese Buddhist art that was created since early 17th century. Please comment the title and location of the piece of art. Because I need to visit the piece of art, it would need to be located in the Kansai area of Japan (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara). Thank you!

submitted by maganda1220
[link] [4 comments]

My experiment with alcohol and mindfulness, in an attempt to show myself what the substance really is, and how it alters me.

October 20, 2014 - 10:57pm

This is all from my personal journal verbatim

10/24/14

Tonight I'm performing an experiment with the hope of bringing awareness to what happens to me when I drink. First I will meditate briefly to establish a baseline, and sip by sip, be mindful of how I change.

I'm drinking whiskey, straight. First glass has 4 shots.

Baseline: I find it harder to concentrate than normal. There's noticeable tension between my brows.

1st sip: Head-space has opened up, brow-tension slightly increased.

2nd sip: Consciousness stream more pronounced, music in periphery. Impatience.

3rd sip: Cloudy. Hard to get a steady full breath. Inner voice is louder. Distraction is easier.

4th sip: Impulses.

" I wonder what would happen if I killed the bottle."

" Maybe I should smoke some weed too and see what happens!"

Beyond this, the mind is overall quieter. Gave up on keeping my eyes closed. Reality is sort of dreamlike, images and sounds of the mind are louder.

5th: Feeling it. Easier to close my eyes now. Mind is chaotic but nothing persists for long, like flashes in the periphery, almost noise. Inner voice is restless. It's been about 45 minutes now.

6th: I can tell my body doesn't like it. I don't feel well, which is abnormal for my tolerance level.

Alcohol is the opposite of mindfulness. It urges you to jump and surf its stream, and if you don't, it punishes you with nausea. It promotes lack of awareness, and rewards you with the illusion of a quiet mind, but really, it's blanket apathy.

7th: I'm not minding my breathing, I'm slouching, my head is cocked to one side. My mind is very quiet but I can't muster the effort to concentrate. Urges to distract myself from the unpleasant side effects with food, music, internet emerge strongly.

8th: Glass is empty, poured another two shots. I don't want it. I want time before wanting it. I want food before wanting it. But this is good. I feel my aversion is positive.

Numb. I gave a shot at meditation again. I feel weak. The mind is quiet but I have no willpower to do anything, beyond simple base pleasures.

9th: I spaced out pretty hard. Emotions are manifesting into vivid daydreams.

10th: I haven't been in my room for quite some time. I'm here physically, but not mentally. Emotions are bubbling up from beyond the veil. I'm officially sloppy. What were those emotions? I don't remember, even though it was only a few minutes ago. Or was it seconds?

11th: A shot more. I don't want it, but I must. There's more to see.

Meditation is pointless at this point. Numbness to the point of slipping far from the here and now. I'm barely lucid in an empty dream. A stupor. Nothing with no mind to see it. The urge for food is strong. I give up sitting.

12th: People at this point, who still want to drink, are either full on booze-dreaming and unaware or are allured by the comfort of the darkness that lies within reach. Maybe the draw to it has been there the whole time.

So at this point I decided that I had enough and went to go soak up as much booze as I could with massive amounts of tortillas and fruit juice. I'm still drunk but more lucid now, and I can honestly say that after this experience alcohol use for me is going to come into serious question. Tomorrow I'll add more insight from a sober perspective.

EDIT Thank you everyone for your insight and commentary so far! I'm rather hungover but the follow-up should be up within the next hour or two in the comments section.

submitted by iboard330
[link] [27 comments]

Present Fluff

October 20, 2014 - 8:37pm

The future is scary as shit. Even writing about it theoretically seems horrifying. What if everything goes wrong? What if everything you ever hoped would happen, doesn't. What if it goes the exact opposite of what you expected and wanted. No one dies the way you see, no one lives the way you hope and you drown in the past. You drown in calm reflections you had of the future, yesterday.

Imagine if everything grows into something even more beautiful than your present perception of the future. The seed's you planted in hopes of growing oranges actually grows mangoes. While completely subjective, your future opens new doors. Bright doors. Taking a look back into your past, you smile; you were so young and naive in thinking life would always stay the same. Life in the future is made by it's past and that past's present with a bit of random.

submitted by smnden
[link] [2 comments]

I feel like I lost at life

October 20, 2014 - 7:59pm

So I've been reading about Buddhism for the past few months and I've felt very drawn to it from the start so I started meditating as regularly as possible (which isn't very regularly). In my introspections, recently stumbled upon a depressing realization about why I am so drawn to Buddhism.

Well the original reason I liked Buddhism was because I was in a very bad state emotionally and everybody here and Buddhists elsewhere talk as though Buddhism is a way to escape this suffering. But I've been through hard stuff before, and I've never felt the need to turn to a religion/philosophy to save myself from my own feelings. But I realized that I needed Buddhism now because I had finally given up on ever being happy. After a few failed relationships, the most recent of which I simply cannot get over, and other difficulties, I feel like I've been defeated to the point where I don't even want to try anymore. I have given up, bowed out, and am no longer even hoping for things to improve, which is why I needed something else in my life.

So, in short, I feel like I lost at life in areas where other people have won, and I don't even want to play anymore because it's too depressing. And so I've turned to Buddhism in hopes of feeling better. Just knowing this is why I am drawn to Buddhism makes me feel bad, and I suspect its the wrong reason for subscribing to a religion/philosophy. Any one have experience or advice or anything at all?

submitted by GivnUp
[link] [23 comments]

Quick question..struggling with anxiety/depression right now.

October 20, 2014 - 6:54pm

So I've been meditating for a while after I got horrible anxiety/depression (which got better but has been lurking again), and I'm really good at observing thoughts and letting them pass when spending time by myself with no distractions. But sometimes if I spend like a couple of hours doing my work, or browsing the computer, or playing a game, I can feel thoughts brewing in the background and when I'm finished my work/game/computer one or two thoughts slip through the cracks and kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. And I can't just observe it at that moment.

So 2 questions

a) how do I solve this problem that when I'm really busy i feel like i'm blocking the thoughts (cause i'm focused on my work) and can't really observe them while theyre brewing in the background

b) and more importantly, if i do get hung up on a thought (let's say, oh i don't have any good friends right now) and i start to feel the rush of depression/ blue and sad, what do i do at that moment? do i need to run and meditate every single time? what if im at work at that moment? and im feeling that depressive sadness coming on. what do i do at that moment, just accept it in a sense? Thanks!

submitted by TRYNAGETGIRLS
[link] [7 comments]

Form = Void?

October 20, 2014 - 4:19pm

Hey guys, I'm going through the Way of Zen by A. Watts right now, specifically the chapter on Mahayana Buddhism. It's pretty interesting, I've learned both formally and informally what the word maya meant but it's never been explained to me like the way this book is describing it...

I can't however exactly understand what the whole thing about form and void is, and how one is essentially the other, and how to say form is void is not necessarily the same as saying void is form. Can someone please help me?

submitted by anjodenunca
[link] [16 comments]

I'm so stressed out

October 20, 2014 - 12:52pm

School is killing me at the moment. I didn’t study for one night and everything snowballed into a huge mess. I can’t even meditate I’m so stressed out. I sit and try and try and I just can’t focus. This is stopping me from focusing on my studying too, since I can’t settle my mind to think about anything. I got my exam back today that I thought I rocket (I was bored the night before the test, I was so prepared), and I got a 59. I did not do the work for a 59, I tried so much harder. I’m going to set an appointment with my professor to go over it. I honestly did everything I could for this exam. I did everything right, and I still got a horrible grade. This year I was supposed to redeem myself from my horrible gpa last year :( It is only my first midterm so I have room to improve and raise my grade, but I’m so demoralized. I don’t even know why I’m posting here, I should probably post on /r/needadvice or something, but you guys always give such good advice. I just don’t know what to do. I have a chem test on friday, an application that requires like 4 essays due tomorrow, work, and on top of everything I can’t focus. I’m seeing an advisor in like 10 minutes for some advice, but do you guys have anything to help?

Also, just out of curiosity, what is your level of education? I have found that many people I interact with in my higher university setting are very secular, but it also seems like you guys have formal education under your belt (just an assumption).

submitted by DarthHeeder
[link] [1 comment]

Buddhism before Gotama

October 20, 2014 - 12:09pm

I was not sure if I should post this on /r/askhistorians or here, so please let me know if it doesn't fit into the subreddit!

One of the bigger differences between a Buddha and a Arahat is that a Buddha rediscovers the path of Buddhism himself while a Arahats learn from him, right?

But there were other Buddha's before Gotama, right? So I was wondering:

Do we know for how long Buddhism was "lost" before Gotama came?

What made Gotama different from the other Buddha's, that his teachings survived for such a long time? Surely the others had a similar impact on the world?

Thank you.

submitted by Whitexar
[link] [18 comments]

To follow up on the question about the importance of community: how did you find your local community and how did it change your practice?

October 20, 2014 - 9:40am

This is a follow up to a question by /u/seoul-seeker.

I think it is a very important question and it is particularly relevant to me. I am not a part of a local community. /r/buddhism has been very important for me, but I think it is something entirely different. My practice has suffered in the past few of months and now some painful events are reminding me of its importance.

I see some good answers in the other thread, but what I really want to know is how did you find/choose your community? What has it meant for you? Was it your "first choice"? How is your life and practice different before and after?

I am interested in insight meditation type community but the one in my area is a bunch of people getting together to sit for 30 minutes and listen to recorded dharma talks. It kinda has the feel of the blind leading the blind. Should I stick with it and try to make it better when I myself am not exactly a model practitioner? But then there are at least four Zen centers. Zen is fascinating, but it is just "not me" on a number of points. Is a real-life Zen center better than a virtual or armatureish Insight center?

Edit: and what I am looking for is not common sense advice (which is pretty obvious: try everything and see what works best) but your actual experiences and stories. What happened when you did it?

submitted by oldmusic
[link] [10 comments]

Commentary on Anapanasati sutta similar to Analayo's "Satipatthana"

October 20, 2014 - 8:30am

Title says it all. Analayo's "Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization" is the best commentary on a sutta I have ever seen. I am wondering if there is something of similar quality for the Anapanasati sutta?

submitted by ph49
[link] [12 comments]

where it is found

October 19, 2014 - 11:40pm

The deepest truth lies in the principle of identity. It is due to one’s ignorance that the ma?i-jewel is taken for a piece of brick, but lo! when one is suddenly awakened to self-enlightenment it is realized that one is in possession of the real jewel. The ignorant and the enlightened are of one essence, they are not really to be separated. We should know that all things are such as they are. Those who entertain a dualistic view of the world are to be pitied, and I write this letter for them. When we know that between this body and the Buddha there is nothing to separate one from the other, what is the use of seeking after Nirvana [as something external to ourselves]?

  • Response by Hui-k’ê to lay disciple Hsiang

From Essays in Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki

submitted by bucon
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A Special Talk for Our New Dharmacaris

October 19, 2014 - 5:38pm
submitted by bucon
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Dorje Shugden controversy?

October 19, 2014 - 4:28pm

I'm reading about buddhism and some Kadampa blogs are nice, but I'm afraid. It's... All this Dorje Shugden / New Kadampa controversy.

What do you people think about it?

submitted by RyanVeeDee
[link] [16 comments]

My current goal: To develop concentration and reach the 1st jhana. Advice on optimizing my process?

October 19, 2014 - 3:50pm

I read this amazing, amazing book that gave an overview of buddhism, meditation, and the jhanas.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+

Now I feel hellbent on experiencing all the things I just read about. I'm not content with just half-assing this and doing a measly 20min meditation session twice a day anymore. I want to make progress at a better rate.

I also happen to have a TON of free time on my hands. I spend that free time idlely browsing the internet or playing games or watching tv.

What I want to do is instead of wasting my time, I want to use that time to meditation and develop my concentration and mindfulness so that my mind is at a state where it can reach the first jhana, at the very least.

I am frustrated because I literally do have 10+ hours of free time every day. I will have much less free time in a couple months when I transfer from my community college, and I want to make use of the time I have now. But instead, I am throwing that time away by letting my mind drift and zone out instead of honing my concentration.

What usually happens is this:

After about 30 minutes of meditating, the thought/feeling of wanting to stop the session because I'm getting restless and bored gets stronger and stronger until I give in. Do I not have enough resolve? Should I grit my teeth and force myself to keep sitting, even if my mind starts to scream at me and go crazy, and my ability to concentration on my object begins to diminish?

I do manage to usually get 2 hours of meditation in every day, but it could be so much more.

My main question is this: Is mediocre meditation better than no meditation at all? If after 30 minutes my ability to concentration diminishes because the feelings of wanting to stop is too powerful, is it better to spend another 2 hours pushing through it, or should I take a break and start another session later?

Also, I would appreciate recommendations for a teacher who can help me reach jhana near the bay area around oakland/SF, if anyone knows of one by chance.

Thank you for reading

submitted by mamtic
[link] [59 comments]