Lee Clarke | Contributing Author

“I’m a Buddhist, Quaker, Humanist, existentialist and pacifist. Budding professor of religion. Love many subjects, bilingual third year uni student.”

Dharma and the Tao: how Buddhism and Daoism have influenced each other; Why Zen and Taoism can be complementary

Buddhism and Daoism have co-influenced each other over hundreds of years in China. Although Buddha lived from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C., the founder of Daoism, Lao-Tzu was thought to live in the 6th century BCE. Buddhism and ...

What does Buddhism say about the idea of God? Best answer: ‘it’s complicated.” Are Buddhists theists, atheists or non-theists? Does it even matter?

Do Buddhists believe in God? What does Buddhism teach about the idea of God? Many people, not familiar with Buddhist thought, assume that the label of "religion" means Buddhists must believe in some type of God. There's the ...

Bodhidharma – Founder of Zen Buddhism: “Who stands before me?” — “I don’t know.”

When Emperor Wu of Ryo of China, who was a patron of Buddhism, heard of the legendary monk Bodhidharma, he invited him to his court, expecting to receive teachings and wisdom. When they finally met, the emperor asked: ...

Basho’s Zen: Matsuo Basho and the Buddhist influence on his Haiku Poetry — profound wisdom in three lines

Matsuo Basho, 1644-1694, painted by Kamimura Hakuo. Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) is regarded as among the greatest poets — not only in Japanese literature, but worldwide. He is the undisputed master of the now world-famous Haiku form of poetry. ...

What is Buddha?: The Koans and stories of Zen Buddhism — profound riddles that “break” the mind

A koan is a paradoxical riddle or statement used in Zen Buddhism in order to shake-up conventional thinking and to provoke an insight. Why do koans remain so intriguing and popular today? Perhaps, since koans are about insight, ...

How the Thai Cave Rescue inspires us as both humans, and Buddhists

Dedication: I would like to dedicate this article to the rescuers, the 12 boys, their football coach and especially to the memory of Thai Navy Seal Saman Kunan whose bravery and sacrifice were a credit to humanity. May ...

‘Outside Tradition and Scripture’ – Zen Buddhism: “If you meet the Buddha, kill him.”

Zen holds a special place in the heart and mind for many, perhaps because it is "seemingly" singular in its simplicity and elegance. From single-pointed zazen mindfulness — facing a blank wall — to mysterious cyphers called Koans ...

The Jataka Tales: Why they remain relevant for adults and children both; all of the Buddhist Teachings contained in stories

The word “Jataka” means “birth” in both the Pali and Sanskrit languages. The Jataka tales, among the oldest and best known of Buddhist texts, refers to stories of the past lives of Siddhartha Gautama before he became the ...

The Importance of Ahimsa non-violence in Buddhism — “Nonviolence is the weapon of the strong.”

“Monks, even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handle saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate towards them would not be carrying out my teaching” — Shakyamuni Buddha [4] ...