To meditate you do not have to think much more than to resolve that right now is the time for training the mind and nothing else. Don’t let the mind shoot off to the left or to the right, to the front or behind, above or below. Our only duty right now is to practice mindfulness of the breathing. Fix your attention at the head and move it down through the body to the tips of the feet, and then back up to the crown of the head. Pass your awareness down through the body, observing with wisdom. We do this to gain an initial understanding of the way the body is. Then begin the meditation, noting that at this time your sole duty is to observe the inhalations and exhalations. Don’t force the breath to be any longer or shorter than normal, just allow it to continue easily. Don’t put any pressure on the breath, rather let it flow evenly, letting go with each in-breath and out-breath.
You must understand that you are letting go as you do this, but there should still be awareness. You must maintain this awareness, allowing the breath to enter and leave comfortably. There is no need to force the breath, just allow it to flow easily and naturally. Maintain the resolve that at this time you have no other duties or responsibilities. Thoughts about what will happen, what you will know or see during the meditation may arise from time to time, but once they arise just let them cease by themselves, don’t be unduly concerned over them.
During the meditation there is no need to pay attention to sense impressions. Whenever the mind is affected by sense impingement, wherever there is a feeling or sensation in the mind, just let it go. Whether those sensations are good or bad is unimportant. It is not necessary to make anything out of those sensations, just let them pass away and return your attention to the breath. Maintain the awareness of the breath entering and leaving. Don’t create suffering over the breath being too long or too short, simply observe it without trying to control or suppress it in any way. In other words, don’t attach. Allow the breath to continue as it is, and the mind will become calm. As you continue the mind will gradually lay things down and come to rest, the breath becoming lighter and lighter until it becomes so faint that it seems like it’s not there at all. Both the body and the mind will feel light and energized. All that will remain will be a one-pointed knowing. You could say that the mind has changed and reached a state of calm. (more…)
The 2556 Concluding New Year Ceremony at Wat Kirivongsa Bopharam on Saturday the 1st Waxing Moon of Visakha B.E.2555, April 21, A.D.2012 Year of the Rabbit, Leverett, Massachusetts United States of America
The 2556 New Year Ceremony, presided by the Maha Thera Khemiyo Hiang Uaen, held at Wat Ratanaram, Saturday the 8th Waning Moon, day of abstinence, of Citta B.E.2555, April 14, A.D.2012 Year of the Rabbit
The 2555 Kathina Dana Ceremony, presided by the Maha Thera Hiang Uaen, Wat Ratanaram, Bristol, Connecticut United States of America on Sunday the 4th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2555, October 16, A.D.2011 Year of the Rabbit.
A Two-seat Dhamma Talk on the 2555 Kathina Dana Ceremony given by Ven. Rakkhita Citto Poeun Puth of Wat Buddhikaram and Ven. Munindathero Maha Tepmony Nhor of Wat Ratanaram, presided by the Maha Thera Hiang Uaen, Wat Ratanaram, Bristol, Connecticut United States of America on Sunday the 4th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2555, October 16, A.D.2011 Year of the Rabbit.
We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. Thich Nhat Hanh
As old flowers fall from a jasmine plant let lust and hatred fall away. v.377
Ajahn Chah was in London, staying at the Hampstead Vihara. The monks were troubled by the noise that was coming from the pub across the road. Ajahn Chah told them that the cause of suffering was their sending attention out to trouble the sound. Sound itself is just so. Suffering only arises when we ‘go out’ and add something extra. Seeing our part in creating problems, a shift in the way we view struggles takes place. Instead of blaming, we simply ‘see’ what we are doing, in the moment. Let’s not get into a fight with hatred; exercising careful restraint and wiAjahn Chahse reflection, we let ‘fall away’.
Initially we see this only after we have reacted and created suffering. With practice we catch it sooner. One day, we will catch ourselves just as we are about to create the problem. Ajahn Munindo Reflection.
Return of Buddha
by Shobhan Saxena, Times of India, Dec 4, 2011
Are Buddhist nations coming together to form a bloc that is as much religious as it is political? And is India ready to assume leadership of the group? If it is, China is clearly unhappy about it. But a churning has begun. Sunday Times reports from the first Global Buddhist Congregation
New Delhi, India — With the smell of incense floating above their shaven heads, the Thai monks in grey robes walked in a single file, eyes to the ground and their hands softly beating the prayer drums. Following them were the Tibetan lamas, Sri Lankan monks and Taiwanese priests – all walking elegantly, murmuring mantras under their breath and forming a circle around a chosen spot.
Video: Dalai Lama’s address at the World Buddhist Congregation 2011
Then a shiver passed down the crowd as the Dalai Lama arrived at Nehru Park and placed into freshly dug-up holes saplings of the Bodhi Tree – a cutting of the same pipal under which the Buddha had found enlightenment 2600 years ago and which was slashed and burned by King Sasanka of Bengal, an anti-Buddhist iconoclast, in the 6th century AD.
On November 30, as the first Global Buddhist Congregation in Delhi decided to form a new global Buddhist body based in India, delegates from 46 countries – from the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions – were handed over the Bodhi Tree saplings to be planted in their countries. Many leaders received the plants from the Dalai Lama, who also gave the valedictory speech at the congregation.
The message was not missed on anyone : Buddhism is set to get more organized globally; India is to become the new centre of this unity; and the Dalai Lama is recognized as an unofficial leader of all Buddhists. “All Buddhist countries feel that in India, the land of Buddha, nothing is being done to promote Buddhism. Now, all the Buddhist organizations will be under the International Buddhist Confederation to be based here,” says Lama Lobsang, the head of Asoka Mission, which organized the Delhi congregation.
The idea seems to have been accepted. “The whole world looks to India because of Buddhism. If someone from India takes initiative, India can take leadership of the Buddhist world,” says Banagala Uptatissa , chief of Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka . Well, not exactly the whole world. On November 26, one day before the Congregation began, China kicked up a diplomatic storm by putting off border talks with India after New Delhi refused to give in to its demand of not allowing the Buddhist meet.
Earlier, 35 Chinese monks invited for the meet didn’t turn up, making it clear that Beijing was not happy with the congregation. “This conference had a very clear agenda to remind the scattered Buddhist communities that India is the home of Buddhism,” says Gabriel Lefitte, Australian academic and environmental activist who attended the meeting. “China has been quite vigorous in making sure that anybody with a Buddhist background feels connection with China but India has been a bit slow by comparison to restore the ‘Buddhist parivar’ .”
It’s not that the officially atheist China has suddenly fallen in love with Buddhism . China is worried about the growing stature of the Dalai Lama as a global Buddhist leader; it’s also trying to build credibility among the Buddhists so that Beijing can pick the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama without any problem. “The current Chinese leadership is haunted by the Tibetan issue as there have been many cases of self-immolation by the Tibetan monks in mainland China. There is a feeling of urgency regarding the decision of the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama,” says Binod Singh, who teaches at the India Study Centre of Peking University.
China faces an additional problem. It may have dazzled the world with its growth rate, but China has not been able to check social unrest and growth of religion at home. It’s believed that there are now some 100 million Buddhists in China, many of them followers of Tibetan Buddhism. “Of late, the Chinese leaders have been talking about a ‘harmonious society’ and they have eased restrictions on all religions.
The Communist Party takes part in the selection of reincarnation of Tibetan lamas. They want to control Buddhism to keep control on their people,” says an Indian diplomat who served in Beijing till recently. “The friction with India is over the leadership of Buddhist countries and trade interest in east Asia, which China considers its area of influence.”
Courtesy The Buddhist Channel
(IANS) The four-day Global Buddhist Congregation in the capital came to a close Wednesday with the constitution of a new international Buddhist body to complement worldwide efforts to carry forward the faith – and preserve Buddhist relics in India and Nepal.
A resolution adopted by the Global Buddhist Congregation 2011 said a new international body called the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) will serve as a common platform for Buddhists worldwide, wherein Buddhists traditions will be well represented.
The confederation will be headquartered in the Indian capital.
The resolution said the “body will operate under the over-arching themes of collective wisdom, united voice and universal responsibility”.
The confederation will “not compete with the work of existing Buddhist organisations”.
A representative working committee with 40 members has been formed to prepare a draft constitution of the IBC and convene the first general conference to ratify it, the resolution said.
The responsibilities of the IBC will include “protection, preservation and promotion of Buddhist heritage worldwide – particularly in India and Nepal”, the resolution said.
It will provide common resource of Buddhist knowledge for “reference, research, education and elucidation” – and give priority to developing and training Buddhist communities in India.
The resolution said: “The confederation would present a united Buddhist voice, provide a forum for dialogue, understanding and cooperation among different Buddhist traditions and schools.”
It would also contribute to peace building and conflict resolution.
The resolution was presented at the crowded closing ceremony by senior lama Thich Quang Ba from Australia in the presence of more than 900 delegates from 46 nations in the capital.
The Nov 27-30 global conference was hosted by the Asoka Mission.
Still Burning: Thirteenth Tibetan Self-Immolates in Eastern Tibet
Friday, 02 December 2011
Courtesy The Tibet Post International
Date unknown, but this photo clearly shows recent Chinese supporession in Tibet, near Dhartsedho, eastern Tibet. Photo Woeser blog
Dharamshala, India: – Thirteen Tibetans since 2009, most of them monks or former monks, and most recently (Thursday, 1st December, 2011) a former Buddhist monk, have self-immolated as a form of protest against Chinese rule. Several have died as a result of injuries sustained by the flames, or by subsequent beatings by Chinese police trying to stop these protests.
A former monk from the Karma monastery has set himself on fire in Chamdho in eastern Tibet on Thursday, 1st December and his condition is unknown, reports coming out of Tibet say. Tenzin Phuntsok, who is in his 40s, set himself on fire in Chamdo. He was taken away by the Chinese police and his whereabouts is not known. He and his wife Dolma have two sons and a daughter.
12 Tibetans who self immolated earlier this year have called for religious freedom, Human Rights and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet to his people.
Reports say that monks from Karma monastery in Chamdho were not allowed to leave the monastery at the time.
The Chinese government has enforced intense security restrictions in Chamdho since the widespread peaceful protests shook Tibet in 2008, a US-based human rights organization said.
In response, Tibetans and supporters around the world have created a series of events to increase awareness and pressure international governments to take action.
The region has become a front-line for the security forces and the imposition of ‘patriotic education’ to stifle the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people, it added.
The Central Tibetan Administration has been urging the Chinese government to stop it’s repressive policy on Tibetans and allow more freedom of religion and speech.
The Tibetan administration in Dharamshala had appealed to China that it should accept independent delegations and media to travel to examine the situation and allow medical teams to give treatment to those hurt after self-immolations.
US and European lawmakers have expressed concern over the human rights violations in Tibet and condemned recent crackdowns in the region and called for respect for the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people and for their distinctive cultural.
iNewsp.com, 28 November 2011 Courtesy The Buddhist Channel
The Global Buddhist Congregation
New Delhi,. India — The four day long Global Buddhist Congregation meant to celebrate 2,600 years since Siddhartha Gautama became Enlightened turned into an unexpected, major obstacle for the entirely separate, 15th round of Special Representative talks regarding matters between the countries of India and China.
The Global Buddhist Congregation is scheduled to start festivities in New Delhi, a timing which coincidentally coincided with the now cancelled 15th round of SR talks. When the Chinese government got the news that the Dalai Lama would be attending the Global Buddhist Congregation and giving an address, it started demanding unreasonable things from India.
Ever since the Chinese government marched into Tibet with its military in 1950 and effectively ended Tibet’s autonomy, the Dalai Lama’s relationship with China has been sour and full of incredible, one-sided hostility from the Chinese government.
After a failed uprising in 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet and set up a government-in-exile near India’s border with China.
For decades, the Dalai Lama has been traveling around the world raising awareness and support for what he calls “greater autonomy” for Tibetans who are dissatisfied with Chinese rule.
Meanwhile the Chinese government has been venomously trying to stamp out the Dalai Lama’s influence by forcing monks to live in “reeducation” camps, refusing to deal with other governments who invited the Dalai Lama to their countries or even “warning” others of a strain in relations, like with the United States when President Obama invited the Dalai Lama to the White House.
Many are outraged that the Chinese government has audaciously claimed the right to choose the Panchen Lama, who is to be the next Dalai Lama, as they see Tibet as just another province of China just as the Chinese government sees the virtually independent Taiwan as a Chinese province.
The Han Chinese ethnicity has also been recently clashing with other ethnic groups, such as the Uighurs, who lament that their cultures are being stifled by the overwhelming presence of Han Chinese.
Regarding the Dalai Lama’s presence in New Delhi, the Chinese government demanded the India bar the Dalai Lama from giving his address. The Indian government refused the demand saying that there is no restriction on the freedom of speech in its country.
After that demand failed to go through, China instead demanded that the Global Buddhist Congregation be canceled. Of course India refused this as well.
India also asserted that this event was religious and “not political” and that the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s Publicity Division is only co-sponsoring a book fair and a film festival that will play Buddhism-themed films.
Chinese government officials still threw a tantrum and announced that the 15th round of talks cannot be held while the Dalai Lama is near them making this the first time that the talks have been postponed.
The Khmer Cultural and Buddhist Association, KCBA , has acquired a plot of 6,524 square meters (70,224 square feet) land located at 77860 Couilly Pont-aux-Dames to build a Khmer cultural center and pagoda on October 10, 2011 in France. The Buddhist Offering Ceremony to the Triple Gems was celebrated on Sunday October 30, 2011 that attended by a few hundred of our countrymen and faithfuls in this unique and historic event in a very brotherly and joyful atmosphere.
This site is officially dedicated to Wat Muni Sikkharam, our new Khmer pagoda for Couilly Pont-aux-Dames.
To support this project and provide for a new pagoda, we have an honor and pleasure to invite you to a great day of solidarity, A Buddhist Fundraising Ceremony, to be held on Sunday the 10th Waning Moon of Kattikā B.E.2555, November 20, A.D. 2011 Year of the Rabbit at 9:00AM at the following location:
Wat Muni Sikkharam
28 Rue Cyprien Borgnone
77860 Couilly Pont aux Dames
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A museum in Taiwan says two employees made and sold unauthorized copies of a 220-year-old Buddhist scripture written in the Tibetan language, one of the museum’s most treasured pieces.
In January, the National Palace Museum unveiled 500 copies of the 100,000-page book “Tripitaka in Manchu,” written in gold and painted with Buddha statues just like the original. Each sells for 1.88 million New Taiwan dollars ($62,000).
The museum said Monday that the two employees illegally provided the production technology to a printing firm and sold the fake copies to buyers in China.
The original scripture was produced by China’s imperial Qing dynasty court. The Taiwanese museum took up the reprinting because it was widely believed people having a glimpse of the book would be blessed.
Attached below is a very interesting paper by Ian Harris, “Buddhist Sangha Groupings in Cambodia” in Buddhist Studies Review (2001). The article includes interesting views on Tep Vong’s political involvements – using Buddhism to legitimize political interests. He was reported to have condoned political violence, praised political struggle of Monk Hem Chiev against French colonization, yet, Ven. Luon Sovath’s social activities/activism find no praise from Tep Vong, and neither did Ven. Luon Sovath find any place in Tep Vong’s CPP-controlled pagodas.
China on Saturday warned the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama not to interfere with the “reincarnation” process to select a successor after his death, saying the selection cannot be influenced by any group from outside the country.
“The top official of Tibet, Chen Quanguo, on Saturday warned the exiled Dalai Lama group not to interfere with living Buddhas’ reincarnation affairs, a tradition of Tibetan Buddhism that also concerns who will replace the current 14th Dalai Lama, 76, once he dies,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
The warning came as tensions prevailed in Tibetan populated areas like southern Sichuan province where nine Buddhist monks and two nuns have attempted to commit self immolations, demanding return of the Dalai Lama from his exile in India.
Another monk set himself on fire in Nepal two days ago against Chinese rule in Tibet.
The Xinhua report said China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs in 2007 issued regulations on reincarnation of Tibetan living Buddhas.
It stated that the selection must adhere to the principle of upholding the national unity and solidarity of all ethnic groups and that the selection process cannot be influenced by any group or individual from outside the country.
The reincarnation should respect the rituals and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism but reincarnated living Buddhas (Monks) are barred from retaining the old feudal theocratic powers, which have been abolished since Tibet’s democratic reforms half a century ago, according to the regulations, the report said.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, has been described by the Chinese leadership as “splititst” seeking to destroy the unity of the country.
Chen, the newly appointed secretary of the Communist Party of China Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region, told a regional congressional meeting held in Lhasa that the authorities in Tibet will continue to protect religious activities, religious venues, and the legitimate rights of the followers in accordance with the country’s laws.
Chen also underlined the importance of building the Tibet Buddhist Theological Institute into an organisation that trains well-educated monks and nuns for Tibetan monasteries across the country and explains the doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism in ways that can keep the religion at pace with the times.
The institute, Tibet’s only regional-level Buddhist theological academy, opened in the county of Quxu near Lhasa in October.
One hundred-and-fifty people from various sects of Tibetan Buddhism were enrolled to study religion, culture, and law courses as the first batch of students.
On one occasion, the Buddha was invited by the Brahmin Bharadvaja for alms to his house. As invited, the Buddha visited the house of the Brahmin. Instead of entertaining Him, the Brahmin poured forth a torrent of abuse with the filthiest of words. The Buddha politely inquired:
“Do visitors come to your house, good Brahmin?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“What do yu do when they come?”
“Oh, we prepare a sumptuous feast.”
“What do you if they refuse to receive the meal?”
“Why, we gladly partake of them ourselves.”
“Well, good Brahmin, you have invited me for alms and entertained me with abuse which I decline to accept. So now it belongs to you.”
From the Akkosa Sutta
The Buddha did not retaliate but politely gave back what the Brahmin had given Him. Retaliate not, the Buddha advised. “Hatred does not cease through hatred but through love alone they cease.”
The Dalai Lama in Tokyo this week. At least 11 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze in Sichuan province, China, this year. Photograph: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty
BEIJING (Reuters) – One of Tibet’s most senior exiled Buddhist leaders, the Karmapa Lama, appealed on Wednesday for Tibetans in China not to set themselves on fire, saying he hoped they found more constructive ways to advance their cause.
The Karmapa Lama fled Tibet in 2000 and lives in exile along with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in northern India, the center of the self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile.
The Karmapa Lama said the 11 Tibetans who have set themselves alight so far this year in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan were “brave,” acting in desperation “against the injustice and repression under which they live.”
“The situation is unbearably difficult, but in difficult situations we need greater courage and determination,” he said in an emailed statement.
“Each report of self-immolation from Tibet has filled my heart with pain,” the Karmapa Lama said.
“In Buddhist teaching, life is precious. To achieve anything worthwhile we need to preserve our lives. We Tibetans are few in number, so every Tibetan life is of value to the cause of Tibet.”
China has blamed the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama for the burnings, and repeated the government line that Tibetans are free to practice their Buddhist faith.
The Dalai Lama, whom China condemns as a supporter of violent separatism, in late October led hundreds of monks, nuns and lay Tibetans in prayer in his adopted homeland in India to mourn those who have burned themselves to death.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, denies advocating violence and insists he wants only real autonomy for his homeland.
The Karmapa Lama appealed to China to “heed Tibetans’ legitimate demands and to enter into meaningful dialogue with them instead of brutally trying to achieve their silence.”
The immolations have happened in two heavily Tibetan parts of Sichuan — Ganzi and Aba — where many see themselves as members of a wider Tibetan region encompassing the official Tibetan Autonomous Region and other areas across the vast highlands of China’s west.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
A Dhamma Talk on Vipassana and mindfulness meditation by Vipassana Gossalaya Jotannano Hong Keo, Vipassana Buddhist Master during a 10-Day Meditation & Vipassana Retreats at the Buddhist Meditation Center, Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam on the 11th Waxing Moon – 7th Waning Moon of Jeṭṭha B.E.2560 equivalent to June 15 – 26, A.D.2016 in Leverett, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2016.
ក្រុងសាវត្ថី Sāvatthī or Śrāvastī
Vipassana chanting by Meditation Master Ketodhammo Som Bunthoeun. Footages from 2016 Vipassana classes at the Buddhist Meditation Center – Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam in Leverett, Massachusetts, USA.
SAMDECH CHUON NATH
Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism. His Holiness was born on March 11, 1883; passed away on September 25, 1969
MAHA GHOSANANDA SERVICES
Extraordinary Funeral and Memorial Services for His Holiness Samdech Dr. Maha Ghosananda