8 Rights: The Noble Eightfold Path — the Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

Shakyamuni Buddha Teaches the Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path distinguishes itself from many teachings in its positive, affirmative nature. Many spiritual teachings consist of dont’s: don’t do this, don’t do that. The Noble Eightfold Path speaks in positive, warm terms. Implied within the concept of “right” might be its opposite — “wrongs” — but Buddha taught self-empowerment, not prohibitions. He…

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Buddha’s tooth or dog’s tooth? Are Buddhist deities real? How deities actually exist and why Buddhist faith is still important

Buddha Weekly Medicine Buddha Sutra feature image Buddhism

In Vajrayana and Mahayana we accept multiple Buddhas and deities — not only the historical Buddha. To some Westerners, the only way to accept this view is with rationalizations such as, “Deities are mind-constructs”, they are “archetypes and symbols given form”, or “Deities are our own Buddha Nature,” and so on. Or, the ultimate rationalist…

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How Your Spirituality and Buddhist Refuge Can Impact Your Health — a Buddhist Approach to Healthy Faith

Meditation has proven health benefits.

Numerous medical research studies support the concept that faith and spirituality are “good for your health.” Although many mistake one for the other — and they have some things in common — faith and spirituality are quite different. They both contain the idea of developing a relationship with a higher understanding or being —  in…

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“Go Bananas” for the deity: Devotion — Prostration, Praise and Prayers — the most essential practices for busy “part time” Buddhists. And — who is the deity?

Buddha Weekly Dzongsar Khentse Rinpoche Buddhism

The great teacher Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche once described devotion in a talk on Tara: “The devotees of Tara, especially the devotees from great universities like as Nalanda, they go bananas. They long for her, they praise to her, they really supplicate, they beseech her.” Longing and love and passion and wonder are methods.  We need…

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A Simple Step-by-step Mindfulness Meditation Guide

Buddha Weekly keegan houser Q t4SCN8c4 unsplash Mindfulness Buddhism

The benefits and virtues of mindfulness are well established. Today, more than ever, finding a way to calm your inner world and reaching a state of peace is essential. What bothers most people attempting mindfulness as a practice is the lack of an immediate result. Persisting with the routine and learning as one progresses in…

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The Profound Practice of Taking Refuge

Buddha Weekly Taking Refuge Buddhism

Committing ourselves to the teachings with faith and devotion is the cornerstone of everything else we would accomplish through the practice of this path— higher rebirth, or a safe direction for all our lives, accomplishing the individual liberation vows, and the bodhisattva vows and activities. We can strengthen our dedication, and everything becomes easier from…

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Chittamani Tara (Cittamani)- the “Mind Jewel” Green Tara, an approachable and appealing Highest Yoga Anuttara practice – one of the main practices of many great Gelug teachers

Buddha Weekly Chittamani Tara feature horizontal Buddhism

Green Tara Buddha is almost certainly one of the most popular Yidams in Vajrayana Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism especially, Green Tara is accessible to all, Mother of all the Buddhas, and virtually a “universal” symbol of Active Compassionate Wisdom. Green Tara, who is also a Savior Goddess, is as accessible to the prisoner in jail…

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Initiation or Empowerment: what is it, why it is important in Vajrayana, how it helps, when you need it, how to receive it

Zasep Rinpoche Medicine Buddha Toronto Sky Cave Media 2012 large event

The great Lama Thubten Yeshe, one of the pioneer teachers who brought Vajrayana and Tantric Buddhism to the West, defined initiation this way: “What is initiation? It is the beginning of the experience of meditation and concentration, of penetration into the nature of the reality of all phenomena. Initiation leads us into the mandala of…

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Samatha meditation teaching: “Resting the mind in the natural state,” video of session 1 of a Mahamudra weekend retreat

Buddha Weekly Resting the mind in the Natural State Buddhism

The first session of a teaching and meditation retreat on advanced Mahamudra, taught by H.E. Zasep Rinpoche, the author of Gelug Mahamudra: Enlightened Speech of Manjushri. In session one, Rinpoche introduces Mahamudra, then speaks about the nature of mind and its obstructions. He then gives detailed, and often humorous instructions on Samatha and on “resting…

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