Tag Archives: thailand

november buddhist carnival, part 2

here’s part 2 of this month’s buddhist carnival.

thoughts … thank you!
gigablonde offers making peace with meditation, something i can relate to very well. she opens up space for a whole new relationship with meditation through principles of jack kornfield’s buddhist meditation for beginners.

meet whatever arises with kindness and balance and wisdom … and whatever comes to you can be a part of your meditation.
“oh, here’s remembering. thank you for your contribution.”
“worry, thank you.”
“aah, planning.”

buddhism in thailand: ordaining as a monk
we have two posts relating to thai buddhism this month. here is an interesting description of a thai tradition:

in thailand it’s a tradition to ordain as a monk at least once in your lifetime. some ordain for just a few hours while others do it for a whole year. traditionally, it was done for a period of three months known as the rains retreat. ordaining gives you a chance to study and practice lord buddha’s teachings and it gives your parents the opportunity to offer you the monk robes, alms bowl and other necessities.
for someone who isn’t the least familiar with buddhist culture, it would be only natural to view monks as beggars and therefore a burden to society but according to buddhist teachings giving and generosity are meritorious deeds.

read more at monk in thailand.

thai charms and amulets
dr. callaway’s blog has only been around for a short while – talk about a niche blog. it concentrates exclusively on lucky charms and mystical amulets from thailand, made and blessed by buddhist monks. i think there’s quite some potential there – i liked the stories callaway tells, and i hope he keeps up with this blog. good luck charms are a way of life in thailand and southeast asia. it is believed that when chants and prayers are spoken to these charms, the spirits invoked will reciprocate to the owner of the charm or amulet, good luck and protection from harm.

of course this is very different from the more cerebral, less mystical buddhism that we hear about in the west – but i think it’s useful to remember that buddhism, a religion practiced by millions and millions of people (300 million is a number i’ve often seen). with so many adherents, there is a wide variety of practices, and i find it quite fascinating to look at all the different varieties. at any rate, here is dr. callaway’s post, lucky charms.

timeless lessons
reading this post, i am reminded of a twitter remark by merlin mann today, “90% of all self-help is buddhism with comfortable chairs and a service mark“. flippancy aside, i agree with him, although i’d probably refer to buddhist “techniques” rather than buddhism. buddhism as a whole is a rich historical, cultural, spiritual and theological stew, and part of that stew are these techniques – the things practiced by many buddhists: mindfulness, meditation, compassion, etc. of those techniques, many are totally straightforward, and that’s what this last post is about: peaceful simplicity: 10 refreshing ways to live in the here and now. this excerpt is about the practice of smiling:

the foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. feeling joyful is not paramount for presence, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to induce it. joy creates an almost immediate sense of expansion ” an inner smile that’s like a warm bath. some call this warm bath “flow” or “spirit.” experiencing it connects us to ourselves and to everyone and everything around us.

think about someone or something that you love. this could be a child, a corner in nature, or a cherished memory. whatever you choose, make sure that just contemplating upon it creates an automatic inner smile. then surrender to that inner smile. let it light you up. feel it spread through your body and even beyond it, uniting you joyously with your surroundings.


NaNoWriMo

oh, and before i go, i need to say something about NaNoWriMo, right? here’s a hello then to enlighten up’s buddhist blogger lans in texas, who’s not blogging this month because he, too, is working on completing a 50,000 word novel in november.

that’s it then for this month, folks. if you want to read part 1 of the november buddhist carnival, here it is. as for next month’s – it’s on december 15, and will be hosted by loden jinpa.

if you have a buddhist blog post you’d like to contribute, please send it to me here, or, if you have a hard time connecting to blog carnival, drop me a line.

1 year of buddhist carnival!

thai buddhist templewelcome, welcome, welcome! this is the 12th edition of the buddhist carnival – one year of a monthly celebration of bloggers who write about buddhism. as usual, i’ll post it in two parts. it occurred to me a while ago that there is something decidedly un-buddhist or at least un-zen in a buddhist post that’s completely overloaded with information.

i’ll post part 2 on monday, november 17.

the peace of wild things
as usual, we start with a poem, a beautiful one by wendell berry

the peace of wild things

when despair for the world grows in me
and i wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
i go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
i come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. i come into the presence of still water.
and i feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. for a time
i rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

this comes to us from bodhileaf.

a NaNoWriMo-er walks her talk
dharmashanti “dharma” kelleher writes fiction and non-fiction, focusing on the effects of addiction, depression and discrimination on the LGBT community. glad to find her here in the blogosphere; it looks like we have a lot of interests in common. her work is shown here because of my promise to talk about NaNoWriMo in every post this month; she’s participating in it, too. i really enjoyed this post, what it takes to get what you want. here’s an excerpt:

if you want a world based on respect, peace and compassion, then that’s what you have to put into the world. and you can only put it into the world if you allow it to exist unhindered within you. in other words, you have to let go of hate and practice the way of peace. as within, so without.

look at the presidential election. in a contest between hope and fear, the people chose hope. in a contest between unity and division, we chose unity.

“i can’t do what they did,” we say. people think that revolutionaries like gandhi and dr. king were saints. they weren’t.

i’d say she’s walking her talk – a concept that’s very important to me. in fact, some time ago, in a discussion about motivation, i realized that that’s one of my biggest motivators. if you want to get me to do something, make a convincing case that that would mean i’d be walking my talk, and i’ll show up.

a concise definition of buddhism
in his post the meaning and purpose behind buddhist chanting and prayer, loden jinpa gives a great concise definition of buddhism:

the buddhist path could be summarized as having two main aspects. the removal of dysfunctional states of mind, such as anger, attachment and ignorance and the development of functional minds such as compassion and wisdom – the wisdom knowing the nature of reality.

loden jinpa will also be hosting next month’s buddhist carnival – please bookmark his blog and visit on december 15!

emptiness
the last contribution for today comes from ambud, who talks, among other things about one of biggest myths about buddhism. i am always surprised how even some people who have investigated buddhism a little bit tend to think that buddhism is about complete detachment and disinterest – the nihilism that ambud mentions. this misconception often arises in the context of “emptiness”.

whenever we work with emptiness we must be on guard to the extremes of nihilism and absolutism. our path is the ‘middle way’, between nihilism and absolutism, and as such rejects both nothingness and ‘me-ness’. nihilism refutes the existence of things, which contradicts reality; we can plainly see that objects do exist. the buddhist argument is with how things exist, not that things are non-existent.

absolutism is the opposite extreme which avows predefined characteristics both in the substratum of the universe and in individual objects themselves. absolutism is the assertion that objects exist intrinsically, without dependence on other factors.

read here for the rest.

see you on monday for part 2!  and if you have a buddhist blog post you’d like to contribute, please send it to me here, or, if you have a hard time connecting to blog carnival, drop me a line.

the image from a thai buddhist temple comes from aimforawesome