1. Giving up the bad, practicing the good…

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    RFA photo

    RFA photo

    by Ajahn Chah

    Giving up the bad, practicing the good… this is the heart of Buddhism. Sabba-pāpassa akaranam – Not committing any wrongdoing, either through body, speech or mind. That’s the right practice, the teaching of the Buddhas. Now ”our cloth” is clean.

    Then we have kusalassūpasampadā – making the mind virtuous and skillful. If the mind is virtuous and skillful we don’t have to take a bus all over the countryside looking for merit. Even sitting at home we can attain to merit. But most people just go looking for merit all over the countryside without giving up their vices. When they return home it’s empty-handed they go, back to their old sour faces. There they are washing the dishes with a sour face, so intent on cleaning the dishes. This is where people don’t look, they’re far away from merit.

    We may know of these things, but we don’t really know if we don’t know within our own minds. Buddhism doesn’t enter our heart. If our mind is good and virtuous it is happy. There’s a smile in our heart. But most of us can hardly find time to smile, can we? We can only manage to smile when things go our way. Most people’s happiness depends on having things go to their liking. They have to have everybody in the world say only pleasant things. Is that how you find happiness? Is it possible to have everybody in the world say only pleasant things? If that’s how it is when will you ever find happiness?

    We must use Dhamma to find happiness. Whatever it may be, whether right or wrong, don’t blindly cling to it. Just notice it then lay it down. When the mind is at ease then you can smile. The minute you become averse to something the mind goes bad. Then nothing is good at all.

    Sacittapariyodapanam: Having cleared away impurities the mind is free of worries… peaceful, kind and virtuous. When the mind is radiant and has given up evil, there is ease at all times. The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement.

    When others say things to our liking, we smile. If they say things that displease us we frown. How can we ever get others to say things only to our liking every single day? Is it possible? Even your own children… have they ever said things that displease you? Have you ever upset your parents? Not only other people, but even our own minds can upset us. Sometimes the things we ourselves think of are not pleasant. What can you do? You might be walking along and suddenly kick a tree stump… Thud!… ”Ouch!”… Where’s the problem? Who kicked who anyway? Who are you going to blame? It’s your own fault. Even our own mind can be displeasing to us. If you think about it, you’ll see that this is true. Sometimes we do things that even we don’t like. All you can say is ”Damn!”, there’s no-one else to blame.

  2. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

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    Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

    Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

    62. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

    Centuries ago Tapussa and Bhallika, two merchants from Ukkala brought the sacred hairs given to them by the Buddha from (the Middle Districts of) India and enshrined them at the foot of a wood-oil tree on Singuttara Hill where the sacred relics of the former three Buddhas had already been enshrined. This pagoda is called “The Shrine of the Sacred Relics of Four Buddhas”, because it contains, enshrined within it, the sacred relics of the three Buddhas (namely, Kakusandha, Konagamana and Kassapa) as well as those of Gotama Buddha. It also takes the name “Shwedagon Pagoda” after the name of the town, Tigumba or Dagon (i.e., Yangon or Rangoon).

    Successive Mon Kings and Myanmar Kings vied with one another in maintaining and improving the Shwedagon which has thus been brought to its present condition and appearance. Shinsawbu, Queen Regent of Hanthawaddy gave up her throne when she grew old and set up a cantonment and palace on a pleasant piece of land to the north-west of the pagoda and resided there in constant veneration of the shrine. She died at the age of 76 in 831 Burmese Era. (1470 C.E.) bowing in reverence to the pagoda. The locality where the Queen lived in her old age is known to this day as Shinsawbu Hill.

    THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
    Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post

  3. Always remain cool and unruffled

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    Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. ~ Thomas Jefferson

    pink lotus flower animation

  4. Do not mistake the reflection

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    Understanding things as they really are. Do not mistake the reflection of the moon in the water for the moon.

    reflection

  5. Calmness of spirit…

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    There are no better cosmetics than a severe temperance and purity, modesty and humility, a gracious temper and calmness of spirit; and there is no true beauty without the signatures of these graces in the very countenance. ~Arthur Helps

    Buddha meditating

  6. Ananda Pagoda, Pagan

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    Ananda Pagoda, Pagan

    Ananda Pagoda, Pagan

    61. Ananda Pagoda, Pagan

    Once upon a time, eight Arahants came to the palace of King Kyanzittha ( also known as Hti-hlaing-shin ) at Pagan and stood for alms. The King took the bowls and offered them meals. He then asked them “Where have you come from, Reverend Sirs?” The Arahants replied. “We have come from Gandamadana Mountain”. The King was very pleased and had great faith in them, and built for them a monastery for their residence during the rainy season. He also invited them to come to the palace every morning and have their meals there during the full three months of the rainy season, and fed them regularly.

    One day, the King asked the Arahants to make a cave, by using their superhuman power, in the likeness of the Nandamula Cave which stands at Gandamadana Mountain in the Himalayas. The Arahants complied with his request and fashioned a cave exactly like the one there. The King built a huge cave-temple in Pagan resembling in appearance the Nandamula Cave, and called it Nanda. It is now known as Ananda Pagoda, built in 452 Burmese Era. (1192 C.E.). It is famous all over the world as the best specimen of Myanmar (Burmese) architecture.

    THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
    Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post

  7. Song of the diamond heart

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    20160917_184449

    The pine tree’s voice is always whispering
    Yet how many pause to listen?
    For when the churning mind is still,
    The Diamond Heart within
    Reflects even the falling dusk that
    Shrouds every eye and branch
    And hears, but listens not.
    Walking then, with Courage and Kindness,
    Never ceasing to walk in Wonder,
    We follow our ancient path.
    For the Way of the sword is folded two;
    Like the rose we have thorns,
    And like the rose, we unfold

    ~By G. Bluestone

  8. A New House

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    If I search your face only looking for my reflection
    How can I see you as you really are
    If I fill the hours with empty chatter
    How can I hear you when you finally decide to talk
    It is love, indeed
    This that brings me to you
    And this is why a new house needs to be built
    With doors big enough for understanding and compassion to fit through

    ~by Jenifer Edwards

    white-lotus-animation

  9. Anawratha of Pagan conveying the Buddhist scriptures

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    Anawratha of Pagan conveying the Buddhist scriptures

    Anawratha of Pagan conveying the Buddhist scriptures

    60. Anawratha of Pagan conveying the Buddhist scriptures

    King Anawratha of Pagan conveyed the Buddhist scriptures from Thaton to Pagan for the benefit of all beings. He then removed the frontal bone, sacred relic of the Buddha, from Kaung-hmu-daw pagoda at Prome built by King Dutta-baung and took it also to Pagan. On arrival there he built a pagoda on the sand-bank of the Irrawaddy river near Pagan and enshrined the frontal bone of the Buddha, there. When the third terrace of this pagoda was constructed, he brought a replica of the Buddha’s tooth from Sri Lanka and enshrined it also in this pagoda. Before the construction of this pagoda was completed King Anawratha died.

    When Kyanzittha became King of Pagan in succession to Anawratha, he continued to build this pagoda as advised by the Venerable Arahan. This pagoda was known as Shwezigon (Golden Sandbank) pagoda because it stands upon a strip of sand bank. King Anawratha started its construction in 393 Burmese Era. (1033 C.E.) and Kyanzittha continued to build it and hoisted a golden hti(crown) on it in 452 Burmese Era. (1192 C.E.).

    THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
    Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post

  10. Kindness which you give out into this world

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    The selfless giving, the service, the kindness which you give out into this world that is the currency of (the) meaning (of life). ~Ajahn Brahm

    Ananda

  11. Wisdom is finding solutions

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    Complaining is finding faults, wisdom is finding solutions. ~Ajahn Chah

    upali

  12. Mindfulness is life

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    Mindfulness is life. Whenever we don’t have mindfulness, when we are heedless, it’s as if we are dead. ~Ajahn Chah

    monks

  13. The Tipitaka being committed to writing on ola (palm) leaves during the reign of King Vattagamani Abhaya

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    The Tipitaka being committed to writing on ola (palm) leaves during the reign of King Vattagamani Abhaya

    The Tipitaka being committed to writing on ola (palm) leaves during the reign of King Vattagamani Abhaya

    59. The Tipitaka being committed to writing on ola (palm) leaves during the reign of King Vattagamani Abhaya

    From the time of Buddha’s life down to the time of King Vattagamani’s reign, the Tipitaka forming the teachings of the Blessed One were handed down from generation to generation of monks by word of mouth, by being learnt by heart. During the reign of King Vattagamani, however, trouble was given by Brahmana Tissa, who rose up in arms and there was also inference from Kings who were disbelievers in the Buddhist religion. The monks could not get enough food for their meals and had to make extraordinary efforts to retain in memory whatever parts of the Buddhist scriptures they had already learnt by heart.

    This was a matter for anxiety as, if the monks in future could not commit the Tipitaka scriptures to memory and recite them, the scriptures might disappear altogether. They therefore sought the assistance of King Vattagamani and held the Fourth Buddhist Council by committing the Tipitaka to writing on ola (palm) leaves.

    The expression “Writing committed to palm leaves” has come into usage with reference to this first act of the letters of the alphabet being written down on ola (palm) leaves.

    THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
    Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post

  14. Poisonous

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    raining-on-yellow-flowers

    Why cling to the arrows shot at you?
    Insults
    Wounds
    Time heals you see.
    Why hold so tightly
    Do these things define you?
    Do these things set you free?
    Why inject yourself with these poisons of the mind
    Anxiety
    Greed
    Anger
    Despair
    Why not let them go
    Set them free.
    Accept the choices you have
    And your responsibilities.
    Accept all that is, rather than “as it should be”
    For what does define “you”
    What will set you free
    What if you never find great meaning
    What if, in not clinging,
    You find stillness
    Calm
    Honesty
    Health
    Peace

    ~By Jeniffer Edwards

  15. The Power of Judgment

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    Buddha with Rahula

    by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

    When the Buddha told Ananda that the entirety of the practice lies in having an admirable friend, he wasn’t saying something warm and reassuring about the compassion of others. He was pointing out three uncomfortable truths — about delusion and trust — that call for clear powers of judgment.

    The first truth is that you can’t really trust yourself to see through your delusion on your own. When you’re deluded, you don’t know you’re deluded. You need some trustworthy outside help to point it out to you. This is why, when the Buddha advised the Kalamas to know for themselves, one of the things he told them to know for themselves was how wise people would judge their behavior. When he advised his son, Rahula, to examine his own actions as he would his face in a mirror, he said that if Rahula saw that his actions had caused any harm, he should talk it over with a knowledgeable friend on the path. That way he could learn how to be open with others — and himself — about his mistakes, and at the same time tap into the knowledge that his friend had gained. He wouldn’t have to keep reinventing the dharma wheel on his own.

    So if you really want to become skillful in your thoughts, words, and deeds, you need a trustworthy friend or teacher to point out your blind spots. And because those spots are blindest around your unskillful habits, the primary duty of a trustworthy friend is to point out your faults — for only when you see your faults can you correct them; only when you correct them are you benefiting from your friend’s compassion in pointing them out.

    Regard him as one who
    points out
    treasure,
    the wise one who
    seeing your faults
    rebukes you.

    Stay with this sort of sage.

    For the one who stays
    with a sage of this sort,
    things get better,
    not worse.
    — Dhp 76 Continue reading

  16. King Vattagamani Abhaya being accompanied by monks in marching out with his army to the battle-front

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    King Vattagamani Abhaya being accompanied by monks in marching out with his army to the battle-front

    King Vattagamani Abhaya being accompanied by monks in marching out with his army to the battle-front

    58. King Vattagamani Abhaya being accompanied by monks in marching out with his army to the battle-front

    King Vattagamani Abhaya was a staunch supporter and defender of the Buddhist religion in the island of Lanka (Ceylon). One day when he was about to go out to fight the Tamil Kings, the King went to the monastery and said to the Mahatheras, “Venerable Sirs, I shall have to go across the Ganga (the river) to promote the cause of Buddhism, and wish the Theras to accompany me on my journeys so that I can pay my respects to them at all times.”

    The Mahatheras selected 500 monks who were in their prime of life and sent them to accompany the King. King Vattagamani carried on battle while at the same time attending to the personal needs of the Theras in his company with regard to their food, medicine, etc. The spear used by the King contained a sacred relic of the Buddha embedded in it at its end. His motto runs thus:—”I have been doing my best to make Buddhism last long and not for my own personal gain”.

    THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
    Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post

  17. Speaking truth

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    Buddha statue

    It is possible to speak truth in anger.
    When so done, people tend to hear the anger and not the truth.

    It is possible to speak truth in arrogance.
    When so done, people tend to hear the arrogance
    and not the truth.

    It is possible to speak truth in deceitful ways.
    When so done, people tend to sense the deceit
    and take the truth for more deceit.

    It is possible to speak truth in loving kindness.
    When so done, people tend to hear the love and the truth.

    Or so it seems in my experience.

    ~By Jesa MacBeth

  18. Discipline — a difficult word for most of us

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    “Discipline” is a difficult word for most of us. It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you’re wrong. But self-discipline is different. It’s the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. It’s all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page won’t do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up-restlessness, anxiety, impatience, pain-just watch it come up and don’t get involved. Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience. ? Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

    Buddha2

  19. The third Buddhist Council being held with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera

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    The third Buddhist Council being held with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera

    The third Buddhist Council being held with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera

    57. The third Buddhist Council being held with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera

    King Dhammasoka understood the essence of Buddhism, and gave great support to the cause of Buddhism by erecting rock-edicts in all parts of his territory enjoining upon the subjects to follow the Doctrine in their daily lives. With his royal patronage Buddhism flourished, and the Sasana gradually grew in importance and numbers. Tempted by worldly gain, many undesirables of alien sects joined the Order and polluted the Sasana by their corrupt lives and heretical views which they taught.

    Good monks could not live together with these sham monks and there was trouble. The King consulted the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa to protect the Sasana. The King tested the monks and disrobed the undesirables to purify the Sasana. The Third Buddhist Council was then held by 1000 Arahants. with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera.

    THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
    Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post

  20. Preconceptions

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    Buddha

    Just as fog is dispelled by the strength of the sun
    and is dispelled no other way,
    preconception is cleared by the strength of realization.
    There’s no other way of clearing preconceptions.
    Experience them as baseless dreams.
    Experience them as ephemeral bubbles.
    Experience them as insubstantial rainbows.
    Experience them as indivisible space.

    ~by Milarepa

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

The Tipitaka or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The three divisions of the Tipitaka are: Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka. ព្រះត្រៃបិដក ប្រែថា កញ្រ្ចែង ឬ ល្អី​ ៣ សម្រាប់ដាក់ផ្ទុកពាក្យពេចន៍នៃព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធ

Listen to Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism.

Jendhamuni

As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise are not shaken by blame and praise. As a deep lake is clear and calm, so the wise become tranquil after they listened to the truth... Good people walk on regardless of what happens to them. Good people do not babble on about their desires. Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow, the wise never appear elated or depressed… ~The Dhammapada

Should anyone wish to ridicule me and make me an object of jest and scorn why should I possibly care if I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me so long as it does not harm them. May no one who encounters me ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet respond towards me with anger or faith, may the mere fact of our meeting contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm and all forms of abuse that anyone should direct towards me act as a cause of their enlightenment.

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