Weekly Features

Weekly Sutra: Hatthaka Sutta: Sleeping Well in the Cold Forest: “having cut all ties… he sleeps at ease… “

The humble, and short Hatthaka Sutta, carries several profound messages. It is particularly memorable as an "intimate" peak into life in the Sangha. The picture that emerges is of just how approachable the Buddha was to everyone. [Full Sutta translated below by Thanissaro Bhikku.] In this lovely Sutta, a young man, Hatthaka, comes accross the Buddha sleeping in the cold forest on a cattle track. Although the Sutta may not have specifically been about "being content wherever you are" it certainly profoundly conveys the foolishness of seeking out personal comforts and other attachments. "Having cut all ties and subdued fear in the heart, calmed, he sleeps in ease, having reached peace of awareness."   A young man Hatthaka, comes accoss the Buddha sleeping on a cattle trail in the cold forest. Concerned, he asks "I hope the Blessed One has slept at ease." Buddha describes how a house-holder, living in comfortable home, might not be as at ease as the Buddha sleeping on the cold ground. He describes the "fevers" that the Dharma help us overcome, in the context of ...

Transcendental Meditation: insight and stress relief. Buddha: “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”

Twenty-six centuries ago (or so) Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Seven-hundred years later, philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The Happiness of Your Life Depends On the Quality of Your Thoughts.” (around 177AD). This universal theme had its roots in human experience and is emphasized in Transcendental Meditation.

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In Praise of the Vajrayana – A Brief Introduction to Buddhist Tantra

‘Tantra is the method for putting all of the sutra practices together in an extremely efficient, holistic manner.’ ‘Mahayana is the philosophy, and Vajrayana is the practice.’

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Tantra is esoteric rather than exotic: embracing Samsara and Nirvana, and transforming our cravings

The inspiration for this feature is a reader who wrote in to ask: “What does Buddhist Tantra have to do with love-making?” The short answer is, it doesn’t. In Buddhist Tantra, sex is no more important than any other activity: “Making love, as we like to call it, is in itself no more profound than any other activity,” writes Robin Kornman. [7] The longer answer, we tackle below, including a little controversy: the infamous self-described “Omnipotent Oom” Pierre Bernard (October 31, 1875 – September 27, 1955) who abused his position as a self-described tantric, to promote sex. [He wasn’t a Buddhist Tantric, but he made the term Tantra famous in the West.] In Buddhism, specifically, Tantra is associated either with Vajrayana, or Zen — but as a method, not as a sect or school. The majority of Vajrayanists or Zen practitioners do not practice Tantra. The Psychology of Tantra —…

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