The Mahamuni Temple or Pagoda is a complex of structures located along a road from Mandalay leading to Amarapura in the southwest. The temple has a central shrine and is framed by an extensive grass lawn. The arcades leading to the main shrine have, as in many temples and pagodas in Myanmar, kiosks selling religious paraphernalia such as incense, candles, rosaries, flowers, robes, sandals etc., and various restaurants and tea shops.
Today I am publishing one of the shortest biographies of the Buddha I have come across. It is by A. Christina Albers who was the author of numerous books and articles on both Buddhist and Hindu subjects.
The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a 98-metre gilded stupa located in Yangon. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on the Singuttara Hill and dominates the skyline of the city.
Today I start posting photographs from my recent trip to Myanmar. All the albums are now online and can be accessed from the Myanmar page of my Photo Dharma website, but on the blog I will also offer some more personal recollections than is possible there.
After some consideration I have decided to cut back on the posts I am publishing here, because the fact of the matter is that it takes up far too much of my time – and was, indeed, dominating my publishing efforts for the past few months.
As today is Christmas Day, I thought a reflection on my first spiritual teacher, Father Bede Griffiths, might be of interest. Of all the people in my life he is the one, I would say, who has had the most lasting influence.
Today is the 4th death anniversary of the Swiss monk and artist Ven. Sumedha who passed away in the Intensive Care Unit in Peradeniya Hospital, where he had spend the previous decade working with the critically and terminally ill.
In 2009 Awaken Publishing and Design in Singapore produced a very beautiful book of Godwin’s teachings called Discovering Meditation. Now they have just managed to put out a collection of 19 books for the iPad, which includes Godwin’s book.
We published 1,700 copies of the book at the time. Now this year, the original publisher of The Gentle Way, Inward Path in Penang, have reprinted the work again, this time in a print-run of 1,000 copies.
My reading of the translation I made of the Udāna, entitled Exalted Utterances, has just been published on mp3 CD in Singapore. Most of the discourses run for around 5-10 minutes so they make for a good short contemplation of the teaching.
After his retirement Swas Tan started summing up the Dhamma talks he was attending for his own better understanding, and producing a one page summary of the event going under the title of One Page Dhamma.
My major 300-page chanting book, Safeguard Recitals, has now been bought up from the Buddhist Publication Society and will go for free distribution. The book is the complete overnight chanting that is used in the Sri Lankan tradition.
One of the first books I worked on was a text and translation of the chanting we used to make in the evening at my ordination temple. We had a good chanting schedule but very inadequate texts to work with, and seeing the need I prepared the book.
It was while staying at Jetavana that the Buddha told this story about a Feast for the Dead. One day, some bhikkhus asked the Buddha whether there was any benefit in sacrificing goats, sheep, and other animals as offerings for departed relatives.
Ken and Visakha Kawasaki have been using the Jātaka Stories in their English teaching activities amongst the Buddhist monastic and lay communities in S.E. Asia for more than 3 decades.
The puja that day was the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Pūjā. Kṣitigarbha is believed to look after the dead and visits the lower regions in order to save living beings. Indeed he has made a vow not to attain Nirvana until the hells are empty.
Today is the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima in Japan at the end of World War II. The first reporter on the scene was the Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, wrote this moving report which was published one month after the event.
This article traces a remarkable piece of activism in the case of anti-vivisectionism in the early 20th century, it is a long piece but will be well worth your time to read, and gets quite exciting at times!
Ven. Shravasti Dhammika has been a monk for over 30 years and has traveled extensively in all the major Buddhist countries, which gives him a breadth of knowledge and experience which is hard to match.
One of my all time heroes on the spiritual scene is the Vietnamese peace-activist and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. In 2008 I traveled with a small group to Bangkok to attend some of his talks, and he was even more impressive than I had imagined, so mindful and still.