Buddhism Now

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

The Last Buddhas of Bamiyan, by John Aske

Smaller Bamyan Buddha from base, Afghanistan 1977 Photo: Phecda109 wikipedia.orgTwo hours north of Ghazni, on the road to Kabul, in an arid place, a dusty track leads westward. If you follow it, you enter a half-forgotten kingdom, and a legendary highway that traversed the known world. Beyond this, hidden in the mountains, are green valleys and rivers bordered with willows and hayfields. Even before Ashoka began spreading his empire through the western passes and into…

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The Record of Tung-Shan

The Record of Tung-Shan Book review. Zen history.

Record of Tung-Shan

There really are some very interesting translations coming out nowadays [late 80s]. The Record of Tung-shan contains the teachings of Tung-shan Liang-chieh (807-869) who is regarded as the founder of the Ts’ao-tung (Jap. Soto) school.

The Master [Tung-Shan], whose personal name was Liang-chieh, was a member of the Yu family of Kuei-chi. Once, as a child, when reading the Heart Sutrawith his…

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Mu, by Maezumi Roshi

It’s not a matter of intellectually figuring out what mu is. Mu, by Maezumi Roshi #Koan #Zen

Little by Little, by Maezumi Roshi

Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now.

A Good Dose of Dhamma: For meditators when they are ill, by Upasika Kee Nanayon

Jizo Bosatsu in Welcoming Descent Normally, illness is something we all have, but the type of illness where you can still do your work isn’t recognised as illness. It’s called the normal human condition all over the world. Yet really, when the body is in its normal state, it’s still ill. But people generally are unaware of this illness: the deterioration of physical and mental phenomena, continually, from moment to moment.

The…

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In the moment of mindfulness, there is no suffering, by Ajahn Sumedho

Buddhist print. #endangeredarchives @bl_eapIn the moment of mindfulness, there is no suffering. I can’t find any suffering in mindfulness; it’s impossible; there’s absolutely none. But when there’s heedlessness, there is a lot of suffering in my mind. If I give in to grasping things, to wanting things, to following emotions or doubts and worries and being caught up in things like that—then there is suffering. It all begins from my…

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Form is Void, by Shen Hui

Teachings on the Heart Sutra. ‘Form is Void’, by Shen Hui

White yarrow. Devon LaneOne of Shen Hui’sdisciples spoke to him one day and said that other masters were teach­ing that form is not different from void and void not differ­ent from form. He’d heard Master Tsiun taking his own body as an example and re­marking that ‘this was Tsiun and at the same time not Tsiun’. Referring to his nose, ears, and each part of his body in turn, he’d considered them and rejected them all as…

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Impermanence: The Butterfly on the Board, John Aske

No wonder we so often remember great childhood happiness — Impermanence: The Butterfly on the Board, John Aske

Wild hedgerowWhen I was a boy, I had a headmaster who took us on nature walks. He was an entomologist and introduced us to all the birds, insects and plants on our way, and encouraged us to collect specimens.

Every early summer we put butterfly boxes along the space above the sports room and fed the caterpillars carefully. Then came the chrysalis stage, and after much waiting, the imago. The butterfly opened…

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Cabinet Making, by Trevor Leggett

Everyday Buddhist: ‘Cabinet Making’, by Trevor Leggett

Drop-front secretary © The Metropolitan Museum of ArtIn the inner training, we can think of our actions as preparing and fitting together hundreds of pieces to make an elaborate cabinet, which symbolises the central purpose of a directed life. They have to be carefully shaped and fitted together, then they make a beautiful cabinet. We often do not realise clearly that all our actions are of the same nature: they are bits for the ‘cabinet’ which is…

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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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