The Journey Of A Christian Reaching For God With The Aid Of Buddha's Teachings

Posts tagged ‘theravada buddhists’

Day 17 – May Meditation

I completed my meditation today early in the day around 9am.  Since my Metta doesn’t take long to say, I first listened to the Metta video from the Current Challenge Page.  I focused on the Pali words as I thought about each group of people from my Metta.  Then, I read my Metta out loud while sitting in a traditional position.  Then, I focused on each group and sent out loving kindness to all.

***Though, I did my meditation early, that does not mean, I cannot recite my Metta at other times.  Today on my walk to work, I brought my Metta up on my cell phone and read it out loud.  I figured sharing some extra loving kindness would help me to feel more loving and kinder while I worked.

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” – Buddha (1)

(1) – http://buddhaquotes.co.uk/All-Buddha-Quotes/?keyword=kindness

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Day 15 – May Meditation

We are starting a new meditation today and I couldn’t be more excited. We are starting the meditation known as Metta, which means to cultivate loving-kindness towards oneself, then loved ones, friends, then strangers, then enemies, and finally towards all conscious beings.  I have chosen to use the video below as a template for writing my own Metta. My Metta is quite similar to the video with some modifications to make it fit for me here and now.  After finishing my Metta, I sat down in a traditional position and read out loud my Metta meditation (below).

My Metta Meditation
May I be free from hostility and danger
May I be free from mental suffering
May I be free from physical suffering
May I take care of myself happily
May my parents teachers, relatives and friends
be free from hostility and danger
be free from mental suffering
be free from physical suffering
May they take care of themselves happily
May all meditators and people unknown to me in this world
be free from hostility and danger
be free from mental suffering
be free from physical suffering
May they take care of themselves happily
May all my enemies, those who have hurt me in the past and those
who have yet to hurt me, those who have hurt people I care for, either physical or mentality
be free from hostility and danger
be free from mental suffering
be free from physical suffering
May they take care of themselves happily
May all beings
all breathing things
all creatures
all individuals
all personalities (all beings with mind and body)
may all females
all males
all noble ones
all worldlings
all humans
all those in the four woeful planes
be free from hostility and dangers
be free from mental suffering
be free from physical suffering
may they take care of themselves happily
May all being be free from suffering
May whatever they have gained not be lost
in the eastern direction
in the western direction
in the northern direction
in the southern direction
in the southeast direction
in the northwest direction
in the northeast direction
in the southwest direction
in the direction below
in the direction above
whatever beings that move on water
may they are free of mental suffering and hostility
and from physical suffering and danger
As far as the highest plane of existence
to as far down as the lowest plane
in the entire universe
whatever beings that move in air
may they are free of mental suffering and hostility
and from physical suffering and danger.
May we all live with peace and happiness in our hearts and share our joy with all beings
all breathing things
all creatures
all individuals
all personalities (all beings with mind and body)
may all females
all males
all noble ones
all worldlings
all humans
and with all those in the four woeful planes

May all be blessed…

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

Day 13 – May Meditation

Today I completed my daily meditation at a decent time. I sat in a tradition meditation pose and closed my eyes. I sent my goodwill and positive intention to myself, the ones I love, to the ones I am indifferent toward, the ones I consider enemies, and to all conscious beings. Then, i began counting each slow inhale and exhale breath. Focusing on each breath, I allowed my thoughts to relax for 15 minutes. I felt much calmer.

I have noticed throughout my day that I am happier at work and trying to remain positive since I began meditating in the evening. I haven’t felt the need to watch television shows that I watched before. They just do not seem as important anymore. I don’t know if there is a correlation between my mood, outlook on life and watching television with meditating daily, but it is wonderful.

 

– Remember that happiness is in your hands –

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him.  If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.” – Buddha (1)

 

(1) – http://thinkexist.com/search/searchquotation.asp?search=happiness&q=author%3A%22Buddha%22

Day 12 – May Meditation

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After a long day at work making frappicinos for the world, I did my meditation at 4:20pm.  I sat on the bed in the traditional meditation pose in front of my meditation wall hanging and closed my eyes.  I praying/sending out goodwill for my happiness, happiness for my loved ones, happiness for my enemies, and happiness for all conscious beings. Then, I began breathing slowly and deeply as I counted each breath as I inhaled and exhaled. Tonight was a simple meditation as I simply went deep into a meditation blackout.  I opened my eyes still counting in my head the inhale and exhales.  I sat up clear of thought and motivated and noticed I had meditated for 20 minutes.  It was a good meditation session.

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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha (1)

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(1) –http://thinkexist.com/quotes/buddha/

 

Homosexuality and Buddhism

With all the issues with equal rights in the United States right now, I thought I would take some time to see what Theravada Buddhism believes about homosexuality. I have heard it said that Buddhist do not judge people since the goal of Buddhism is obtained from ones own doing and not from a higher being. Love, compassion, and respect rule their actions and thoughts. I wondered what other views there were on this subject and what my readers thought as well.

Below is part of an article about homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism that I was reading. It views homosexuality from two different views; the view of the Five Precepts and from the view of karma and social traditions. Read it and draw your own conclusion…

 

Homosexuality in Buddhist Scriptures and Theravada Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism is most commonly found in Southeast Asia, and focuses on the original teachings of the Buddha. In Theravada Buddhism, there are two main ways of life: the life of the monk and the life of the lay person (i.e. ordinary person with a job, a family, a home, etc.)

Buddhist monks are expected to live lives of celibacy, meaning abstinence from any type of sex. There is no explicit rule prohibiting those with a homosexual orientation from monastic life. However, in the Vinaya, the Buddha is recorded as opposing the ordination of those who openly expressed cross-gender features or strong homosexual desires and actions. The Buddhist sacred texts do contain a great deal of instances of loving relationships between unmarried men, which some believe to have homoerotic overtones. No sexual contact is mentioned in these instances, however.

Lay Buddhists (those who live outside the monastery) are expected to adhere to Five Precepts, the third of which is a vow “not to engage in sexual misconduct.” But what is sexual misconduct? Right and wrong behavior in Buddhism is generally determined by considerations such as the following:

  • Universalibility principle – “How would I like it if someone did this to me?”
  • Consequences – Does the act causes harm and regret (in oneself or others) or benefit and joy?
  • Utilitarian principle – Will the act help or harm the attainment of goals (ultimately spiritual liberation)?
  • Intention – Is the act motivated by love, generosity and understanding?

“Sexual misconduct” has thus traditionally been interpreted to include actions like coercive sex, sexual harassment, child molestation and adultery. As Homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in any of the Buddha’s sayings recorded in the Pali Canon (Tripitaka), most interpreters have taken this to mean that homosexuality should be evaluated in the same way as heterosexuality, in accordance with the above principles.

A Buddhist author of an article on homosexuality concludes:

In the case of the lay man and woman where there is mutual consent, where adultery is not involved and where the sexual act is an expression of love, respect, loyalty and warmth, it would not be breaking the third Precept. And it is the same when the two people are of the same gender. Likewise promiscuity, license and the disregard for the feelings of others would make a sexual act unskillful whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. All the principles we would use to evaluate a heterosexual relationship we would also use to evaluate a homosexual one. In Buddhism we could say that it is not the object of one’s sexual desire that determines whether a sexual act is unskillful or not, but rather the quality of the emotions and intentions involved.

It is also worth noting that Buddhism does not traditionally place great value on procreation like many western religions. From the Buddhist viewpoint, being married with children is regarded as generally positive, but not compulsory (although social norms in various Buddhist countries often have different views).

Despite all this, in practice, Theravada Buddhist countries are not terribly open to homosexual practice. This has much to do with cultural norms, as well as the notion of karma, which remains strong in countries such as Thailand. From this viewpoint, a person’s characteristics and situations are a result of past sins or good deeds. Homosexuality and other alternative forms of sexuality are often seen as karmic punishments for heterosexual misconduct in a past life. Thus far, the gay rights movement has not had great success in Theravada Buddhist countries.

 

http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/buddhism.htm

Day 11 – May Meditation

Well, I’m ashamed of myself. I waited really late to do my meditation for today. I only meditated for 10 minutes and I lost count three times. I was finding it very difficult to concentrate so I decided to give up after 10 minutes and just go to bed. It was a bad meditation, but I have hope that tomorrow will be much better. I plan to meditate earlier in the morning to aid in focusing and having a more fulfilling meditation session.

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“He is able who thinks he is able” – Buddha (1)

(1) – http://thinkexist.com/quotations/motivation/2.html

Day 10 – May Meditation

Yet again, I began my Anapanasati meditation late in the evening around 11:30pm. I began by laying on the bed with my legs hanging off the bed in front of my meditation wall hanging. I prayed/sent out goodwill for happiness to myself, happiness for my loved ones, happiness to my enemies, and happiness for all beings with a conscious mind.

I focused on counting each on my inhaling and exhaling breathes. At first, my concentration was horrible due to thinking about work issues. However, with a little time, I regained my focus and began counting. Call it sleeping or whatever, but I believe I went into a deep meditation where I can’t remember anything from counting to noices to dreaming. I believe my consciousness went inward and I became completely relaxed as one would if hypnotised. Suddenly, I opened my eyes completely awake and relaxed. I looked at the clock and it was exactly 20 minutes later as I had plan to meditate for 20 minutes.

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“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become.” – Buddha (1)

 

(1) – http://thinkexist.com/quotation/meditation_brings_wisdom-lack_of_mediation_leaves/143674.html

 

 

 

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