Buddhism Now

Buddhism Now is a online Buddhist magazine, giving advice on how to practise Buddhism.

Absence of Thought, by Shen-Hui

Buddhist meditation: ‘Absence of Thought’, by Shen-Hui #Zen

The eleven-headed form of the bodhisattva Kannon. © The Metropolitan Museum of ArtTo see the absenceof thought is to have the six sense organs without stain. To see the absence of thought is to possess a knowledge inclined towards the Buddha. To see the absence of thought is to see things as they really are. To see the absence of thought is the Middle Way in its ultimate sense. To see the absence of thought is to see merits as numerous as the sands of the Ganges fully present…

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Breakthrough Sermon, by Bodhidharma

Those who understand the mind reach enlightenment with minimal effort. ‘The Breakthrough Sermon’, by Bodhidharma

Rubbing BodhidharmaIf someone is determined to reach enlightenment, what is the most essential method he can practice?

The most essential method, which includes all other methods, is beholding the mind.

But how can one method include all others?

The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included. It’s like the root of a tree. All a tree’s fruit and flowers,…

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Click on any image to see larger photographs.

You can see many more of these wonderful photograph on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) website.

Buddhist Photographs of Japan in 1865 Click on any image to see larger photographs. You can see many more of these wonderful photograph on the…

Law suit against reality, by Ken Jones

Law suit against reality, by Ken Jones

The Existential Tragedy

Kujomidzu, Japan. Photo © Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)The typical human condition, cast upon an ocean of impermanence and insubstantiality, is one of profound existential anxiety, of a heartfelt sense of ‘lack’ This is commonly veiled by the degree of success in experiencing whatever imparts a sense of emotional security and a sufficiently strong sense of self-identity, both individual and collective. Especially in modernity,…

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November 1995 Buddhism Now

Buddhism Now archives: November 1995

Cover of the November 1995 Buddhism Now. Art © Marcelle Hanselaar From this issue:

We can always start anew, by Ajahn Sumedho

Emotions can be very convincing, very powerful, like a melodrama. They can sound real and true when they’re going on. But, at that time, there was that which was aware of them; an awareness of those emotions as mental objects was established already. And I trusted in that…

Click here to read the We can always start anew.

Buddhist…

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All The Keys, by Trevor Leggett

Everyday Buddhist: All The Keys, by Trevor Leggett

Enko-ji's (圓光寺) 'Four Seasons' (四季草花図 -Shikisokazu) Fusuma (襖) painted by Watanabe Akio. @KyotoDailyPhotoIn the great house of the personality, with it’s attics and lofts and cellars there are some rooms which are habitually used, some which are seldom used, some which are avoided, and some which are locked with no access at all. Yoga training at first includes getting used to some of the less frequented rooms and learning to use what is in them. As it progresses the house owner finds he is able to…

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August 1995 Buddhism Now

Buddhism Now archives: August 1995

Cover of the August 1995 Buddhism Now. Art © Marcelle Hanselaar From this issue:

There’s No Point in Punishing the Car, by Ananda Maitreya

There are many ways of practising metta, loving kindness. One way to practise metta is to start by trying to understand the value of your own life; you must see how much you love yourself…

Click here to read the There’s No Point in Punishing the Car.

Buddhist Publishing Group (BPG) published the first issue of Buddhism Now

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Buddha’s Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ
Wednesday 28 May 2014 – Saturday 17 January 2015

Fragments of rare twelfth-century illuminated Tibetan texts from Keu Lhakang Temple

Scattered fragments of rare twelfth-century illuminated Tibetan texts from Keu Lhakang Temple, Central Tibet – before being digitised, restored and re-ordered.
Photograph by Psang Wangdu, 2002

Buddha’s Word is the first museum exhibition of Tibetan material in Cambridge. It is also the first time in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s history that its Buddhist collections will be showcased in an exhibition.

Many of the artefacts, prints and manuscripts in the exhibition have never been on public display before. Exhibits include some of the oldest illuminated Buddhist manuscripts from the first decades of the eleventh century as well as specimens of skilfully illuminated wooden covers; a quartet of scroll paintings brought back from the infamous Younghusband Expedition; and a gift from the 13th Dalai Lama.

Gilt wood carving, red and black pigment

Gilt wood carving, red and black pigment
Length 72.8cm
Tibet. 15th century
Collected by Sir Herbert and Lady Mabel Holmwood (c. 1888-1916)
1942.2 B

The exhibition charts some of the incredible journeys that the words of the Buddha have taken: crossing mountains and oceans and taking different material forms in different places. This is the story of the transformation of Buddha’s words, from palmleaf, to paper, to digital dharma. It focuses on books, not just as objects of learning and study, but as relics of the Buddha, and sacred objects in their own right.

Guhyasamajatantra Illunminated manuscript

The practice of the Two Stages of the Guhyasamajatantra
Illunminated manuscript. Gold and silver on black-indigo paper
362 folios; 58cm x 22cm
Tibet. 18th-19th centuries
Purchased in Kathmandu by Dr Daniel Wright, 1876
Cambridge University Library MA Add. 1666

You will never look at a book in the same way again.


Chank or conch trumpet

Chank trumpet. The chank or conch is sacred in Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Blown at the beginning of rituals, its sound is said to symbolise the sacred syllable Om, which is the sound of the beginning of creation. Turbinella pyrum shell, gold and bronze. Length 27cm Nepal. Donated by Lady Schuster 1947.792

Developed in partnership with the Mongolia and Inner Asia Research Unit and with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Frederick Williamson Memorial Fund, Buddha’s Word brings together collections and research from three of the University of Cambridge Museums – the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and the Fitzwilliam Museum – as well as the University Library and Emmanuel and Pembroke Colleges.


Buddha’s Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond Buddha’s Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge…

Pointers to the Ultimate, by Ajahn Sumedho

Everyday Buddhist: Pointers to the Ultimate, by Ajahn Sumedho

Welcoming Descent of Amida and BodhisattvasIn any religion there is the exoteric side— the tradition and forms, scriptures, ceremonies and disciplines—and the esoteric, which is the essential nature of that. So, in much of what we call religion, the emphasis is really on the external form. And of course this can be variable. There is no one external form that is totally right, making all the others inferior to it. The aim of a religion is…

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