Buddhism Sitemap - Page 2 2016-09-26

Crazy Wisdom in Buddhism -- Is It Really Wisdom?


E.F. Schumacher's Prophetic Ideas - Buddhist Economics
E.F. Schumacher built an economic theory on Buddhist values. Now his ideas, once considered heresy, seem prophetic.

"Mu" - Origin and Use in Zen Buddhist Practice
The koan Mu, also known as Chao-chou's Dog, is one of the most famous Zen koans. Here is a brief introduction to the koan.

The Vimalakirti Sutra - A Brief Overview
The Vimalakirti Sutra is a popular and influential Mahayana Buddhist scripture. This article provides a brief summary and background.

An Introduction to Koan Study in Zen Buddhism
A brief overview of the origin an use of koans in Zen Buddhism

Best Books for Zen Beginners
These are good beginner-level books for people who want to learn about Zen Buddhism. Although Zen itself is not something that can be learned from books, these might tell you if Zen is something you want to explore further.

Tathagata Is Another Title for a Buddha
Tathagata is another name for a buddha, or any being whose realization of enlightenment has liberated him from birth-and-death. But what does it mean?

Self-Power, Other-Power: A Buddhist Paradox
Some schools of Buddhism advocate self-power, and others advocate other-power, or help from an

Was Bodhidharma's Teacher a Woman?
The Zen tradition was created by a long line of male teachers. However, there is strong evidence that at least one of those ancestors was a woman.

What Is a Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism?
Bodhisattvas are idealized in Mahayana art and literature, and they are also ordinary people. They exemplify compassion and wisdom, and they vow to help all beings realize enlightenment and enter Nirvana.

Buddhist Teachings on Nirvana and Enlightenment
In Buddhism, the cessation of suffering is called

Samsara: The World We Create
In Buddhism, samsara is the world of delusion and suffering through which unenlightened beings must travel. It is also a world we create with our thoughts.

The Life of Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch of Zen
Bodhidharma (ca. 5th century) was an Indian monk credited with founding Zen Buddhism in China, where it is called Chan Buddhism. Here is his story.

How to Find a Good Buddhist Teacher
Why do Buddhists need teachers? How do you find a teacher? How can you tell real Buddhist teachers from frauds? Here are some basic guidelines to help you find the right teacher for you.

The Physical Practice of Zen Meditation, or Zazen
Here are general instructions for beginning a zen meditation (zazen) practice, including some advice you may not hear in the

Paramitas: The Ten Perfections of Mahayana Buddhism
The Ten Perfections of Mahayana Buddhism is an elaboration on the earlier Six Perfections. The additional

Khema, the Queen Who Became a Buddhist Nun
Queen Khema was a great beauty who became a nun and one of the chief women disciples of the Buddha.

The Story of Dhammadinna, the Wise Buddhist Nun
Some of the early sutras of Buddhism are about enlightened women who teach men. In Dhammadinna's story, the man was the enlightened woman's ex-husband.

Shobogenzo and More - An Overview of Dogen's Collected Work
The written work of Zen master Eihei Dogen has been collated, compiled and collected in several ways. This essay is a brief overview of the major collections.

The Story of the Slave Punnika and the Brahmin
Punnika was a household slave who engaged in a famous dialogue with a Brahmin, or priest. Her words sent the Brahmin to learn from the Buddha.

The Story of Patacara, One of the First Buddhist Nuns
This well-known story from early Buddhism is about Patacara, a woman who overcame unimaginable grief to realize enlightenment.

Devadatta, the disciple who turned against the Buddha
The Buddha's disciple Devadatta grew jealous of the Buddha and wanted monks to follow him instead.

The Buddhas Before Buddha
Here is a brief explanation of the six Buddhas said to have lived before our historical Buddha.

Buddhism or Buddhisms? "Buddhisms" Versus the Dharma
Some western academics argue that there isn't one Buddhism, but many Buddhisms. What do they mean, and are they right?

The Buddhist View of Miracles and the Supernatural
There isn't any one view of miracles or the supernatural in Buddhism. The Buddha himself appears to have been ambivalent about miracles.

Who Defines Buddhism? The Problem With "Buddhology"
What is Buddhism? How clergy and practitioners on one hand and academic scholars on the other disagree on the definition of Buddhism.

Kill the Buddha? What Does That Mean?
The Zen koan

The Cula-Saccaka Sutta - The Buddha Wins a Debate
The Cula-Saccaka Sutta, a sutta known for its wry humor, tells the story of a debate between the Buddha and a challenger named Saccaka.

The Arya-Satyakaparivarta - A Buddhist War Sutra?
The Arya-Bodhisattva-gocara-upayaisaya-vikurvana-nirdesa-nama-mahayana-sutra (yes, that's its name) is a Mahayana Buddhist sutra that presents a Buddhist theory of war.

The Buddhist Teachings of Self and No-Self
The Buddha taught that an individual is a combination of five aggregates, called the Five Skandhas. The skandhas are empty of intrinsic self; the self is no-self (anatman or anatta in Theravada Buddhism and shunyata in Mahayana Buddhism). These teachings are difficult to understand but essential to Buddhism.

The Four Dharma Seals and the Definition of Buddhism
Buddhism is distinguished by four characteristics, called the Four Dharma Seals. Any religion or philosophy that contains these four seals is Buddhist, whether it calls itself

Buddhism and Three Marks of Existence
The three characteristics -- impermanence, suffering and egolessness -- mark all compounded things.

Another Zen Master Scandal
This time, it's Dennis Genpo Merzel, Soto Zen teacher and dharma brother to my first Zen teacher, the late John Daido Roshi. Genpo has disrobed and resigned as

The Role of a Buddhist Teacher
People often resist the idea of working with a Buddhist teacher. Can't they just study some books about Buddhism and get the hang of it? Not really.

The Dedication of Merit - a Unique Buddhist Practice
Dedication of merit is a traditional Buddhist practice that westerners sometimes overlook. What is dedication of merit, and why is it significant?

Attachment to Buddhism, and Why That's a Problem
Buddhist are cautioned to avoid attachment. This includes attachment to Buddhism. How do we practice Buddhism without attachment?

Why Most Buddhists Do Not Proselytize
Most schools of Buddhism discourage aggressive proselytizing. It's bad form to accost strangers on the street and ask if they've found Buddha. But why is this true?

The Life of Gautama Buddha
Articles about the life of the historical Buddha

Why Buddhist Monks and Nuns Shave Their Heads
Why do Buddhist monks and nuns shave their heads? And how did the historical Buddha wear his hair? Here are some answers from Buddhist scriptures.

Population Growth and the Buddhist Doctrine of Rebirth
A Buddhist answer to the question, if the human population of earth is growing, where do all the new souls come from?

Karma and Rebirth in Buddhism
The Second Noble Truth points to the causes of karma and rebirth. Buddhism teaches us to recognize how the karma we create effects ourselves and others. Karma is bound together with rebirth, or what is sometimes called reincarnation. However, Buddhist teachings on rebirth differ in subtle but significant ways from how many people understand reincarnation.

A Buddhist Guide to Using Incense
Offering incense is a standard Buddhist ritual. If you are new to incense and its uses, this article can help.

Buddhism: Practicing a Religion of Kindness
The Dalai Lama said that kindness is his religion. Here is some reflection on what he might have meant.

The Dalai Lamas
All about the Dalai Lamas of Tibetan Buddhism

Definition of the Buddhist Term Skandha
In Buddhism, the Five Skandhas are aggregates of mental and physical characteristics that come together to create an individual. Personality and ego are creations of the skandhas.

China's Outrageous Reincarnation Policy
The government of China has assumed management of the rebirths of Tibetan lamas and plans to choose the next Dalai Lama.

The Role of the Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is often called a

The Last Dalai Lama? Why the 14th Dalai Lama May Be the Last
His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he may choose not to be reborn, rather than allow the Chinese to choose the next Dalai Lama. Page 2.

How Buddhism Understands Mind
Here are articles on various aspects of mind, as understood in Buddhism.

Citta, in Buddhism, Is a State of Mind
Citta is a word used throughout Buddhist scriptures and commentaries to mean

Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva: An Introduction
The Bodhisattvacharyavatara, or Way of the Bodhisattva, is a seminal text of Mahayana Buddhism by Shantideva. Here is a brief overview.

Virya paramita - the perfection of energy in Buddhism
Virya paramita means perfection of energy or zeal. It is one of the paramitas, or perfections, of Buddhism.

Introduction to Bodhisattva Vows of Buddhism
In Mahayana Buddhism, the ideal of practice is to become a bodhisattva who strives to liberate all beings from the cycle of birth and death. The Bodhisattva Vows are vows taken formally by a Buddhist to do exactly that. The vows also are an expression of bodhichitta, the desire to realize enlightenment for the sake of others.

The short life and tragic death of the 6th Dalai Lama
People are often amused to learn that one of the Dalai Lamas preferred parties and women to prayer. But His Holiness Tsangyang Gyatso, the 6th Dalai Lama, was loved by his people and came to a tragic end.

A Brief Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is distinguished by its rich mythology and art, its esoteric tantra practices, and its reincarnated lamas. Here is a basic introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.

The Succession of Dalai Lamas - 1391 to the Present
A list of the 14 Dalai Lamas, with brief biographies.

The Succession of Dalai Lamas - 1391 to the Present
A list of the 14 Dalai Lamas, with brief biographies.

The Dalai Lama - Who Is the Dalai Lama?
The Dalai Lama has spent his long exile as an activist for peace and an ambassador of Buddhism to the world. Page 2.

Biographical Profile of the 14th Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is revered and despised; a media star and an enigma. Just who is the 14th Dalai Lama?

An Overview of Nichiren Buddhism
Nichiren claimed his were the only true teachings of Buddhism. Today Nichiren Buddhism has millions of followers worldwide.

Same-Sex Marriage and Buddhism
Buddhist clergy in the U.S. have been performing same-sex weddings since at least the 1970s. Read here about Buddhism and same-sex marriage.

Understanding Nonattachment in Buddhism
It's a huge mistake to think that Buddhism teaches us to be detached. It's more accurate to say that Buddhism teaches non-attachment.

Finding the Path: How to Begin Buddhist Practice
What is it to practice Buddhism? How does one get started? This article offers some basic help.

Chanting in Buddhism -- Why and How Buddhists Chant
A Basic Guide to Buddhist Chanting.

More Popular Books for Beginner Buddhists
A selection of books for beginner Buddhists, recommended by readers of About.com Buddhism.

Did the Dalai Lama Endorse Gay Marriage?
The Dalai Lama told Larry King that gay marriage is

Eight Ways to Make Your Meditation Practice Stronger
If you already have some experience with a meditation practice, here is some advice to make it stronger.

The Dorje Shugden Sect vs. the Dalai Lama
Public appearances of His Holiness the Dalai Lama often attract angry protesters. Who are the protesters and why are they angry?

Who Is Dorje Shugden? History of a Messy Controversy
The Dorje Shugden controversy within Tibetan Buddhism generally baffles westerners. Here is a historical background.

The Dorje Shugden Controversy in Tibetan Buddhism
Dorje Shugden is an iconic character from Tibetan mythology with a loyal following. At a time when Tibetan Buddhism is in diaspora and under terrible stress, Shugden followers seem bent on destroying Tibetan Buddhism altogether -- in the name of saving it.

Gods, Goddesses and Buddhist Tantra - An Overview
The veneration of tantric deities looks like polytheism, but it isn't. Instead, it is a means to realize enlightenment by realizing oneself as a goddess or god.

Are There Gods in Buddhism?
Are there or are there not gods in Buddhism? It depends on what you mean by

How the Buddha Is Being Re-Mythologized to Fit Modern Times
Much of the Buddha's life story has been mythologized. However, some of our attempts to

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Buddhism Glossary -- A Glossary of Buddhist Terms
Buddhist literature and liturgy is filled with terms -- in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese and other languages -- that are unfamiliar to most English speakers. This ever-expanding glossary provides definitions.

Festival of the Sacred Tooth in Sri Lanka
A tooth of the Buddha is the main feature of Sri Lanka's Festival of the Sacred Tooth. Here is a brief history of the tooth.

Buddhism in Burma, Part 2 - Buddhist-Muslim Violence
Why are Buddhists killing Muslims in Burma? Background on the violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Burma (Myanmar)

10 Famous Buddhas and the Stories Behind Them
These are among the most famous and iconic images of the Buddha ever created. Learn the stories behind these amazing works of art.

The Seated Buddha of Gal Vihara
The Gal Vihara Buddhas of Sri Lanka are popular with tourists and pilgrims alike.

The Kamakura Daibutsu, or Great Buddha
The Great Buddha of Kamakura has long been the most iconic Buddha in Japan.

The Tian Tan Buddha
The massive, bronze Tian Tan Buddha of Hong Kong took ten years to cast.

Standing Buddha of Gandhara
This exquisite standing Buddha in Roman style dates to the 2nd or 3rd century CE and was found in Pakistan.

Head of Buddha from Afghanistan
Although this 15-century-old head of Buddha is in Graeco-Roman style, it was excavated in Afghanistan.

The Fasting Buddha of Pakistan
This ancient statue showing Siddhartha Gautama starved to resemble a skeleton is both beautiful and shocking.

The Tree Root Buddha of Ayuthaya
Tree roots grew around this stone Buddha head in Ayuthaya, Thailand.

Another View of the Tree Root Buddha of Ayuthaya
The tree root Buddha, sometimes called the Ayuthaya Buddha, is one of the most iconic images of Thailand today.

The Longmen Grottoes Vairocana
The Vairocana Buddha of Longmen Grottoes, China, is considered one of the most beautiful representations of Chinese Buddhist art.

Face of the Longmen Grottoes Vairocana Buddha
The beautiful face of the Longmen Grottoes Vairocana Buddha may have been modeled on the face of the Chinese Empress Wu Zetian.

The Giant Leshan Buddha
The giant Buddha of Leshan, China, has held the record for world's largest seated stone Buddha for more than 13 centuries.

Naked Man Festivals, Japan
A Hadaka Matsuri, or Naked Man Festival, is a Japanese competition in which scantily clad men attempt to catch lucky sacred sticks. Seriously.

Magha Puja, Thailand
Monks of Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Bangkok, Thailand turn themselves into a Magha Puja light display.

Festival of the Sacred Tooth, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Festival of the Sacred Tooth features dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants.

Ghost Festivals, China
At the end of Chinese Ghost festivals, paper lanterns are set afloat on water to guide ghosts back to their proper realms.

Ten Fabulous Buddhist Festivals
You may not believe these ten spectacular festivals are Buddhist observances. But Buddhists like to have fun, too.

Loy Kratong, Thailand
The Loy Kratong -- floating bowl -- festival of Thailand features handmade lanterns released in water or in the air.

The Fire Balloon Festival, Burma
Huge, elaborate hot-air balloons are released day and night during the Fire Balloon Festival of Burma.

Tsechu Festivals, Bhutan
People gather at Bhutanese Tsechu Festivals to watch colorful mask dances and receive blessings.

Obon, Japan
The summer Obon festivals of Japan are lively three-day observances honoring the spirits of one's ancestors.

Lotus Lantern Festival, South Korea
The annual Lotus Lantern Parade of Seoul, South Korea, features thousands of gorgeous lanterns and floats. It is held in honor of Buddha's birthday.

Chinese New Year at Kek Lok Si
The gorgeous Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple in Penang, Malaysia, puts on a fabulous 30-day festival of lights and fireworks to usher in the new year.

The Buddha's Path to Happiness - An Introduction
We all want to be happy, but what is happiness, and how do we find it? Here is what the Buddha taught.

Dharma Gates - Doors to Buddhist Teaching and Practice
Buddhists say there are 84,000 dharma gates. What is a dharma gate, and how do you find one?

How to Be Content, and Why That's Important
The Buddha said that contentment is the greatest wealth. Can we learn to be content?

The Four Noble Truths
The spiritual path of Buddhism begins with the Four Noble Truths. These are not only the most basic Buddhist teachings; it is said that they encompass all of the teachings of the Buddha. The Truths show us the way to a better understanding of our lives and ourselves.

What the Buddha Taught About Bhava Tanha: Craving to Be
Bhava tanha -- the craving for existence -- is one of the three kinds of craving the Buddha said keeps us locked in samsara. What is bhava tanha?

The Importance of Nondualism in Mahayana Buddhism
Dualism and nondualism are words that come up often in Buddhism. What do they mean?

The Six Realms of Existence
The Six Realms are an allegorical description of conditioned existence, or samsara, into which beings are reborn. The nature of one's existence is determined by karma. Some realms seem more pleasant than others -- heaven sounds preferable to hell -- but all are dukkha, meaning they are temporary and imperfect.

Yogacara - Buddhist Philosophy of the Nature of Experience
Here is a very basic introduction to Yogacara, a philosophical school of Mahayana Buddhism.

Huayan - School of the Interpenetration of Phenomena
Huayan (or Hya-yen) is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that flourished in Tang Dynasty China and deeply influenced other schools of Mahayana, including Zen.

Buddhism in Nepal, Part II: Newar Buddhism
The Newari people of the Kathmandu Valley developed a unique school of Buddhism not found anywhere else.

Buddhism in Nepal, Part 1: Between India and Tibet
An overview of the history of Buddhism in Nepal, birthplace of the Buddha.

Buddhism Beyond Asia
Articles about the history and development of Buddhism in the West and elsewhere beyond Asia

Buddhism in Burma (Myanmar)
Articles about the history and practices of Buddhism in Burma,including current events.

Buddhism in Cambodia
Articles about the history and practices of Buddhism in Cambodia

Buddhism in Korea
Articles about the history and development of Buddhism in Korea

Buddhism in Laos
Articles about the history and practices of Buddhism in Laos

Buddhism in Thailand
Articles about the history and practices of Buddhism in Thailand

Buddhism in Tibet
Articles about the history and development of Buddhism in Tibet

Buddhism in Vietnam
Articles about the history and practices of Buddhism in Vietnam

What do Buddhists believe - Beliefs of Buddhism
What do Buddhists believe? In Buddhism, beliefs are beside the point, and doctrines are a means to an end, not the end itself.

The Kalama Sutta: The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry
In the Kalama Sutta, the Buddha challenges us to judge the truth of teachings for ourselves. He assures us that it is proper to have doubts and questions and provides criteria we can apply in our own free inquiry.

Buddha: Man, Ideal, Symbol
The word Buddha means many things -- a person from Asian history; an ideal of enlightenment; a symbol of wisdom, compassion and absolute reality. Here is an exploration of the many facets of Buddha.

The Role of Karma in Natural Disasters
Karma does not create natural disasters, according to the Buddha's teaching. It's incorrect to blame victims of natural disasters for their suffering.

Buddhist Reincarnation or Rebirth Teachings
Would you be surprised to hear that reincarnation is not a doctrine of Buddhism? If so, be surprised -- it isn't.

The Basic Teachings of Buddhism
The primary teachings shared by all schools of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Precepts. Beyond that there are many doctrines and interpretations of doctrines. Here are articles that explain them.

Buddhism As Religion
Buddhism is categorized as a religion, but many people argue that it isn't a religion. Here are articles that address religious issues in Buddhism.

What Buddhism Teaches About the Environment
Many of the Buddha's teachings speak to us about today's environmental challenges. Learn why protecting the earth's environment is a Buddhist practice.

The Healing Tradition of Buddhism
Caring for the sick had been part of Buddhist practice going back to the time of the historical Buddha.

Paramitas or Perfections
The Perfections are guides for Buddhist practice.

Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light
This article is a brief explanation of the iconic celestial Buddha Amitabha.

Bhaisajyaguru - The Medicine Buddha
Many Mahayana Buddhists practice veneration to Bhaiṣajyaguru, the Medicine Buddha, on behalf of the sick.

Vairocana, the Universal Buddha
Vairocana Buddha is a major iconic figure of Mahayana Buddhism. He represents absolute reality and wisdom

Profile of Maitreya - Buddha of a Future Age
Maitreya is a transcendent bodhisattva who will be the universal buddha in a future age.

Eleven Famous and Fabulous Buddhist Temples
These eleven temples are among the most legendary in Buddhist history, including Shaolin, Angkor Wat, and the Temple of the Tooth.

Mahabodhi: Where the Buddha Realized Enlightenment
The ancient Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya, built by the Emperor Ashoka about 260 BCE, marks the place where the Buddha realized enlightenment.

Jetavana, or Jeta Grove: The First Buddhist Monastery?
The ruins at Jetavana, or Jeta Grove, mark the place where the historical Buddha gave many of his sermons.

Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Tooth, protects a tooth of the Buddha.
The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy holds the single most sacred object in all of Sri Lanka -- a tooth of the Buddha.

Beautiful Angkor Wat was hidden from most of the world for centuries.
Angkor Wat, largest religious monument in the world, was known only to Cambodians until the mid-19th century.

Borobudur, the once-lost temple, Is the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
The massive 9th century temple Borobudur in Java, Indonesia, was lost for centuries. It is considered the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

Shwedagon Pagoda is at the heart of Burmese Buddhism and folklore.
Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) is one of the most iconic Buddhist temples of Asia.

Jokhang, the Holiest Temple of Tibet
The Jokhang Temple of Lhasa is the oldest and holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet.

Sensoji, Tokyo's Oldest Buddhist Temple
Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple is said to hold a tiny golden statue of Kannon that insisted on being caught by fishermen.

Nalanda - A Lost Center of Buddhist Teaching
From the 5th through the 11th centuries Nalanda was the dominant learning center of Buddhist Asia. Its destruction was a tragedy for civilization.

Shaolin, Home of Zen and Kung Fu
Shaolin Temple in China is a real Buddhist temple where kung fu monks practiced martial arts for centuries. It is also the birthplace of Zen.

Review: A Death on Diamond Mountain by Scott Carney
A Death on Diamond Mountain is a gripping account of the death of Ian Thorson after he and his wife, Christie McNally, were expelled from an ostensibly Buddhist retreat.

'A Bubble in a Stream' - Diamond Sutra Verse
A short verse is one of the most well-known passages from the Mahayana Buddhist scriptures. What does it mean?

The Diamond Sutra - Buddhism Definition and Example
It is commonly said that the Diamond Sutra is about impermanence. This completely misses the mark.

What Is Spiritual Bypassing, and How to Avoid It
Spiritual bypassing is using spirituality to wall off our egos and deny negative emotions. Knowing the symptoms may help you avoid it.

Anathapindika, the Buddha's Lay Disciple and Great Benefactor
A wealthy lay disciple of the Buddha, Anathapindika is credited with building the first Buddhist monastery.

Four Noble Truths of Buddhism (What Are They?)
The 4 Noble Truths are the foundation of Buddhism. The Buddha's first sermon after his Enlightenment centered on these Four Noble Truths

Shantideva, 8th Century Monk and Scholar
Shantideva's one and only lecture at Nelanda became a legend. How the 8th century sage first presented The Way of the Bodhisattva.

The Prajnaparamita Sutras - Wisdom of Mahayana Buddhism
The Prajnaparamita Sutras laid the foundation of Mahayana Buddhism. What are they, and how did they originate?

Bodhicitta - Practice for the Benefit of All Beings
In Mahayana Buddhism, bodhicitta,

What Does It Mean to Take Refuge in Sangha?
Sangha is the third of the Buddhist Three Treasures. What does it mean to take refuge in sangha?

Taking Refuge in Dharma - What Does That Mean?
In Buddhism, what does it mean to take refuge in the Dharma? This article looks at the second of the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

What Does It Mean to Take Refuge in Buddha?
Formal commitment to the Buddhist path usually begins with taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. What does it mean to take refuge in Buddha?

Becoming a Buddhist - Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels
To become a Buddhist is to take refuge in the Three Jewels, also called the Three Treasures -- the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha.

The Three Jewels: The Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha
To become a Buddhist, a person vows to take refuge in the Three Jewels or Three Treasures. The Three Jewels are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. This essay explains what each jewel represents. Page 2.

Enlightened Beings: Are They Really Different From Us?
When we speak of an enlightened being, are we talking about a flesh-and-blood individual, or something else?

Eight Common Meditation Mistakes
How you may be sabotaging your own meditation practice.

D.T. Suzuki, The Man Who Explained Zen to the West
For much of the 20th century, D.T. Suzuki was Zen's ambassador to the West.

Why Do Buddhist Dharma Centers Ask for So Much Money?
Here is a frank discussion on the issue of Buddhist centers asking for fees for retreats and teachings.

Robes Worn by Buddhist Monks and Nuns Overview
Although the robes of Buddhist monks and nuns come in many colors and styles, they are all part of a tradition going back to the time of the historical Buddha, 26 centuries ago.

Aung San Suu Kyi -- Profile of Aung San Suu Kyi
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, political prisoner, and an icon of the ideals of democracy and the compassion of Buddhism -- this is Aung San Suu Kyi. She has dedicated her life to liberating the people of Burma (Myanmar) from political oppression.

Origins of the Thai Forest Tradition of Buddhist Monks
The Forest Tradition is a revivalist movement within Theravada Buddhist monasticism. It is especially associated with the Kammatthana tradition of Thailand.

Chado: Zen and the Art of The Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony -- chado or chanoyu -- began as a Zen Buddhist practice.

The Zen Art of Haiku
When is a haiku not a haiku? And what makes haiku a Zen art? Learn to write authentic Zen haiku, even in English.

The Northern and Southern Schools of Early Zen History
A controversy in 7th and 8th century China caused Chan (Zen) to split into Northern and Southern schools. This pivotal moment in Zen history affects Zen to this day.

Tara - Buddhist Goddess and Archetype of Compassion
Tara is one of the most familiar figures of Tibetan Buddhist iconography. Here is a simple introduction explaining who she is and what she represents.

The Story of Milarepa, Poet-Sage of Tibet
Generations of Tibetans have been inspired by the story of Milarepa -- a sorcerer, sage and poet.

Tibetan Deities
Tibetan Buddhism has developed a rich and complex iconography of beautiful and wrathful beings.

Dakinis: Goddesses of Liberation in Vajrayana Buddhism
Dakinis are iconic female figures of Vajrayana Buddhism, including Tibetan and Shingon Buddhism. Their energy transforms defilement into enlightenment.

Palden Lhamo - Buddhist Dharmapala
Palden Lhamo is an iconic figure from Tibetan Buddhism. She is a wrathful protector of Tibet and Buddhism and the subject of a particularly gruesome story.

Celebrating Losar, Tibetan Buddhist New Year
Losar is the Tibetan New Year, a three-day festival that mixes sacred and secular practices -- prayers, ceremonies, hanging prayer flags, sacred and folk dancing, partying.

What Buddhism Teaches About Romantic Love and Marriage
What does Buddhism say about issues related to romantic love, including marriage and divorce? And are same-sex marriages okay?

Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana: An Introduction
The Mahayana Sraddhotpada Sastra, Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, is a 6th century text that greatly influenced east Asian Buddhism.

Guide to Mahayana Buddhism in the West
Here is a simple guide to the several schools of Mahayana Buddhism that have been established in the West.

The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya
Mahabodhi was once a center of Buddhism. Now it's a pilgrimage site, tourist attraction, and a source of contention between Hinduism and Buddhism.

Parinirvana - How the Buddha Entered Nirvana
At his death, the historical Buddha entered complete Nirvana, also called Parinirvana. This is the story of the Buddha's final days.

The Bodhisattva's Thousand Arms
Why bodhisattvas are sometimes are pictured with multiple arms and heads.

My So-Called Zen Practice: Personal Reflections
This is about Zen and me (or should I say, not-me?). If you don't mind some rambling personal reflections, then welcome to my world. Kick off your shoes and take a seat.

Zen Is Not Just Staying in the Moment
The essence of Zen is not just being in the moment. Here is an intimate look at Zen from a long-time student.

What Buddhism Teaches About Jealousy and Envy
How to tame jealousy and envy with Buddhist practice.

The Perfection of Generosity
Giving to others is essential to the practice of Buddhism. However, one's motivation for giving to others is at least as important as what is given.

Dhyana Paramita - Perfection of Meditation
Meditation is the foundation of practice for many Buddhists. Dhyana paramita, the perfection of meditation or concentration, also is the foundation of wisdom.

Perfection of Knowledge in Buddhism
The Perfection of Knowledge (Prajna Jnana) in Mahayana Buddhism is the implementation of wisdom in the phenomenal world.

Spiritual Powers in Buddhism
The Sanskrit word

Determination - A Perfection of Theravada Buddhism
Determination, adhitthana, is the eighth of the Ten Perfections of Theravada Buddhism. This determination is the backbone of practice and is essential to walking the Buddhist path.

The Ten Perfections of Theravada Buddhism
These Ten Perfections of Theravada are from early Buddhist texts. They are qualities that, if developed, will lead to buddhahood.

Perfection of Discerning Wisdom in Theravada Buddhism
In Theravada Buddhism, wisdom, or panna, refers primarily to penetrating insight into the true nature of reality.

Perfection of Truthfulness - A Foundation of Honesty
The Perfection of Truthfulness is a practice of deep honesty, including honesty about ourselves.

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva - Buddhist Icon of Practice
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva represents the practice of the Buddhas and their benevolent influence in the world.

Hungry Ghost Festivals - Buddhist Festivals to Placate Hungry Ghosts
Asia's hungry ghost festivals are held to soothe and placate the dead.

Buddhism's Decline in Ancient India
Buddhism was born in northern India and Nepal, but in time it vanished from India entirely. How did that happen?

Buddhism, Religion or Philosophy (Which Is It?)
Is Buddhism a philosophy or a religion? Clarifying this point is important to understanding Buddhism.

Practicing Buddhism -- What Buddhists Mean by Practice
Buddhists often speak of Buddhism as a practice rather than a faith. What exactly is Buddhist practice?

How Buddhists Understand Evil and Karma
This essay explores common conceptualizations of evil and compares them to Buddhist teachings on evil. Part Two explains how karma relates to good and evil. Page 2.

Sex and What Buddhism Teaches About It
Buddhism challenges us to think about sexual ethics and morals very differently from the way most of us have been taught to think about them. What does Buddhism teach about sex?

Dukkha -- What the Buddha Meant by Life Is Suffering
The First Noble Truth of Buddhism usually is translated

Buddhism (Common Misunderstandings and Mistakes)
Much of what people in the West believe about Buddhism is mistaken. It is all too common to find a magazine or web article about Buddhism that begins

The Buddha's Birth in Myth and Legend
The story of the Buddha's birth is rich with mythical symbolism.

Heart Sutra of Buddhism Introduction
A brief introduction to the Heart Sutra for the completely baffled.

Right Livelihood in Buddhism - Earning a Living Ethics
Right Livelihood is the fifth. Buddhism.

Buddhist Scriptures - Directions for Practice
Buddhist scriptures comprise an enormous and complicated variety of texts, not one of which is considered authentic and authoritative in all schools. This article provides a basic explanation of

Buddhist Teachings About Greed and Desire
Desires are inexhaustible, especially in our consumerist culture. What does Buddhism teach about greed and desire?

Right Intention - Eightfold Path of Buddhism
The second aspect of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism is Right Intention or Right Thought. Why are our thoughts or intentions so important?

The Purpose of Buddhist Rituals
Can there be Buddhism without the rituals? Maybe, but the rituals do have a purpose.

Buddhism and Morality, An Introduction
A look at Buddhist approach to morality, which avoids absolutes and rigid commandments and encourages one to weigh and analyze situations on one's own.

The Trikaya: Transcendant and Earthly Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
In Mahayana literature, there is an elaborate schema of transcendent and earthly Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that correspond to each other and represent different aspects of the teachings.

Brief Guide to Major Sectarian Distinctions in Buddhism
Buddhism comes in many sectarian flavors. This is a very basic guide to major schools for people new to Buddhism.

An Overview of the Diamond Sutra - Buddhist Text
The Diamond Sutra is a jewel of the world's religious literature and one of the most revered texts of Mahayana Buddhism. This article describes the sutra's origins and history.

The Meaning of Mudras in Buddhist Art and Iconography
Buddhas and bodhisattvas often are depicted in Buddhist art with stylized hand gestures called

Earth Witness - Meaning of the Buddhist Earth Witness Mudra
The

A Buddhist View of Modern Controversies
What does Buddhism say about today's hot issues, like abortion, sexism and even the economy?

Sunyata - The Perfection of Wisdom in Buddhism
Sunyata, or Emptiness. Buddhism.

Evil in Buddhism -- How Buddhists Understand Evil
This essay explores common conceptualizations of evil and compares them to Buddhist teachings on evil. Part One explains why Buddhism rejects most common definitions of

What Does Sutra Mean in Buddhism?
The name sutra (Sanskrit for thread) in Buddhism originally was given only to the sermons of the historical Buddha.

Vajra or Dorje - A Symbol of Buddhism
A vajra is a Buddhist symbol and ritual object with several meanings. Learn more about this word and its definition.

Offering Food - Buddhist Rituals and Traditions
Offering food is one of the oldest and most common rituals in Buddhism. Food is offered to monks and ritually to deities and hungry ghosts. Here is a brief explanation of the meaning and purpose of Buddhist food offerings.

About the Turtles
Following up the last couple of posts -- I have been looking for the

Zen Moon
Today is the 40th anniversary of the blastoff of Apollo 11, which landed on the moon. July 20 is the anniversary of the famous moon walk itself. This gives me

Why Buddhism Is a Religion, and Why It Matters
Religious historian Karen Armstrong was interviewed by Steve Paulson for Salon in 2006. This is an interview I recommend highly, particularly to people who want

Buddhism and Individualism
How do western ideas about individualism and Buddhist teachings of anatta go together? This apparent contradiction isn't a problem for long-time practitioners,

Sins and Buddhism
I wrote earlier this week, Buddhism.

Wisdom and Foolishness in Social Media
Buddhism.

What Buddha Didn't Say About God
Buddhism.

Visions and Hallucinations
Buddhism.

Buddhist Fundamentalism?
Buddhism.

Why Most Buddhist Nuns and Monks Are Celibate
Here is a brief explanation of why some Buddhist monks and nuns are celibate, and also why some others are not.

Is Buddhism Logical? An Introduction to Buddhist Logic
Can the rules of logic apply to Buddhism? Or is it entirely mystical and metaphysical?

The Role of Reason and Intellect in Buddhism
What roles do reason, logic, and intellect play in Buddhism?

Review of Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans by Barry Magid
Zen teacher Barry Magid writes that even after awakening experiences, unresolved issues can still lurk in the shadows.

Three kinds of mind in Buddhism
Three words appearing frequently in early Buddhist texts are all translated as

The 7th Dalai Lama - the Life of Kelzang Gyatso
The life of Kelzang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama, was marked by political upheaval. These upheavals play a role today in China's claim to Tibet.

The 7th Dalai Lama and China's Claim to Tibet
Part two of the life of the 7th Dalai Lama. Page 2.

Iron Grindstone Liu -- Woman Zen Master Liu Tiemo, Iron Grinder
Liu Tiemo was such a skilled debater she was called

Shinran Shonin - Founder of Jodo Shinshu Pure Land Buddhism
Shinran Shonin (1173-1262) was a rule-breaker and innovator who founded Jodo Shinshu, the largest school of Buddhism in Japan.

The Vinaya-pitaka -- a overview of the Buddhist Vinaya, the rules of discipline for monks and nuns.
The Vinaya-pitaka is a collection of Buddhist scriptures that explains the rules of discipline for monks and nuns.

The later years of the 13th Dalai Lama
This is the last article in a three-part biography of His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso (1876-1933)

How Much Do We Know About the First Buddhist Council?
The First Buddhist Council was a significant event in early Buddhist history, although historians can verify very little about it.

How to Address a Buddha
These are the traditional ten titles or epithets for a Buddha.

Nichiren Buddhism
The 13th-century Japanese monk Nichiren founded this school of Buddhism, which now has several major schools and sub-schools. Nichiren is a mostly devotional form of Buddhism that venerates the Lotus Sutra (Saddharma-pundarika Sutra) as the complete and perfect expression of the Buddha's teachings.

Early Buddhist Sects Before Mahayana
A closer look at some of the prominent schools of early Buddhist history -- Mahasanghika, Sthaviravadin, and Sarvastivadin.

A List of Buddhist Lists, Part 2
A continuation of the List of Buddhist Lists, listing items with six to ten items.

Buddhism in Korea
This is a brief overview of Korean Buddhism, from the 4th century to the present day.

Buddhism in Cambodia
Buddhism has flourished in Cambodia since the 3rd century, but in the 1970s it was nearly destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

A List of Buddhists Lists, Part 3
The third section of the List of Buddhist Lists, with lists of items of more than ten.

Soto Zen Buddhism in Japan
A short history of Soto, one of the two primary schools of Zen in Japan.

An Explanation of Upaya, or Skillful Means, in Buddhism
In Mahayana Buddhism, upaya refers to a teacher's wise and compassionate acts to help others reach enlightenment.

Overview of the Life and Role of a Buddhist Bhikkhu
An overview of the life and role of Buddhist bhikkhus (monks).

Defilements - The Klesas or Kilesas of Buddhism
In Buddhism the klesas or kilesas are mental defilements -- psychological hindrances, if you will -- that get in the way of our seeing reality as it is.

Defilements - The Klesas or Kilesas of Buddhism
In Buddhism the klesas or kilesas are mental defilements -- psychological hindrances, if you will -- that get in the way of our seeing reality as it is.

The Precepts of Buddhism
The Precepts of Buddhism derive from the rules that governed the original orders of monks and nuns who followed the Buddha. Each precept carries the same basic message: We must treat each other and ourselves with respect and loving kindness.

Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in the West
A brief history of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in Hawaii and North America.

Vajrayana - The Esoteric or Diamond Vehicle of Buddhism
This is a brief introduction to basic Buddhist Vajrayana -- what is is, how it originated.

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism
The Fourth Noble Truth prescribes the Eightfold Path as the cure for the suffering of life. By cultivating wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental discipline, the Buddhist resolves his questions about life, death, and the self.

Pure Land Buddhism
Pure Land is one of the most popular schools of Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia today. Pure Land Buddhism offers a devotional practice for people who choose not to spend their lives in monasteries.

Nichiren Buddhism in Japan
Articles about the history of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan

Three Poisons - In Buddhism, the Roots of Unhappiness
In Buddhism, the Three Poisons, or Three Unwholesome Roots, are the source of all

Four Foundations of Mindfuless: Mindfulness of Body
The Buddhist practice of mindfulness is said to have four foundations. The first foundation is mindfulness of body.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Buddhism
The Buddha taught mindfulness by providing four foundations, or frames of reference, that we can use to train ourselves to be mindful.

Buddhist Meditation and the Dark Night of the Soul
A

The Mindfulness Controversy - Buddhism vs. Business?
Mindfulness is being touted as a way to de-stress our jobs and make us all more productive employees. But this application of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness is not without its critics.

The Mindfulness Controversy - Buddhism vs. Psychology?
The Buddhist practice of mindfulness is becoming a common part of psychological therapy. Now there are claims mindfulness can be dangerous.

Pure Lands - Buddha-fields of Enlightenment
The pure lands of Mahayana Buddhism are understood in many ways.

Jodo Shinshu Buddhism
Jodo Shinshu Buddhism provided a dharma path for all Japanese people, independent of the aristocracy.

How to Understand Buddhism - Tips for the Spiritual Seeker
Are you a spiritual seeker thinking of checking out Buddhism? Here is a brief explanation of what you might find.

A List of Buddhas
A list of Buddhas found in Buddhist art and scripture, with brief explanations of who they are.

A List of Buddhas
A list of Buddhas found in Buddhist art and scripture, with brief explanations of who they are.

The Buddha's First Sermon
The Buddha's first sermon is sometimes called the

The Two Truths Doctrine of Buddhism - An Overview
The Two Truths Doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism explains the nature of reality.

The Selfless Hare - a Buddhist Jataka Tale
The Jataka Tales are ancient stories of the Buddha's previous lives. In this story, the Buddha is a selfless hare who surpasses all of this friends in the perfection of generosity.

Vassa the Buddhist Rains Retreat
Vassa, a three-month Buddhist monastic retreat held during the monsoon rains, is a tradition that began with the historical Buddha.

The Trikaya - The Three Bodies of Buddha
The Mahayana doctrine of Trikaya -- the three bodies of Buddha -- teaches us about the nature of enlightenment, the nature of existence, and the way a Buddha manifests in the world.

Eight Awarenesses of Enlightenment in Buddhism
The Eight Awarenesses, also called the Eight Aspects or Eight Flavors of Enlightenment, are both a guide to Buddhist practice and a description of a Buddha.

The Jataka Tale of the Golden Deer
The Jataka Tales are stories of the Buddha's previous lives. This story of the Golden Deer, also sometimes called the Ruru Deer, is a story about compassion.

Bardo Thodol: The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Bardo Thodol --. Buddhism.

What Is Samadhi in Buddhism?
Samadhi, concentration, means. Buddhism.

Mount Meru and the Buddhist Universe
Buddhist texts and teachers sometimes refer to Mount Meru, also called Sumeru (Sanskrit) or Sineru (Pali). Mount Meru is a sacred mountain in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain mythology. For a time, the existence (or not) of Meru was a heated controversy.

Padmasambhava - Precious Guru of Tibetan Buddhism
Padmasambhava ia a patriarchs of Tibetan Buddhism and a central figure in Tibetan Buddhist mythology.

Hungry Ghosts of Buddhism - Definition
Hungry Ghosts are characters from Buddhist iconography who suffer from their greed, envy and jealousy.

Bhavana: Introduction to Buddhist Meditation
All Buddhist meditation practices are forms of bhavana. Here is a basic explanation of bhavana and how it is practiced in Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.

Profile of Rahula - The Buddha's Son and Disciple
Rahula was the Buddha's only child and also one of his disciples.

How the First Buddhist Monks Lived and Practiced
The Buddha and his first disciples had no fixed place to call home. They slept under trees and begged for all of their food. Their only clothes were robes they patched together from cloth taken from rubbish heaps.

Saga Dawa or Saka Dawa - Holy Month for Tibetan Buddhists
Saga Dawa is the

Soka Gakkai International: Past, Present, Future Part I
From its origins in pre-war Japan, Soka Gakkai has promoted personal empowerment and humanist philosophy combined with Buddhist devotion and practice. Yet as its membership grew in the West, the organization found itself struggling with dissension, controversy, and accusations of being a a cult.

Soka Gakkai International: Past, Present, Future Part I
From its origins in pre-war Japan, Soka Gakkai has promoted personal empowerment and humanist philosophy combined with Buddhist devotion and practice. Yet as its membership grew in the West, the organization found itself struggling with dissension, controversy, and accusations of being a a cult. Page 2.

Wonhyo - Beloved Patriarch of Korean Buddhism
Wonhyo was a major patriarch of Korean Buddhism and one of the most influential scholars of eastern Asia.

The Dhammapada - Collection of Sayings of the Buddha
The Dhammapada is a volume of 423 short sayings of the Buddha, sometimes called a Buddhist Book of Proverbs. It is a treasury of gems that illuminate and inspire.

Tibetan Buddhist Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum - Definition
Om Mani Padme Hum (Sanskrit) or Om Mani Peme Hung (Tibetan) is a Tibetan Buddhist mantra meaning

The First Buddhist Precept - Abstain From Taking Life
The first precept of Buddhism -- do not kill -- touches on some of today's hotter issues, from veganism to abortion and euthanasia. Let's take a look at this precept and at what some Buddhist teachers have said about it.

Anatman or Anatta Is a Foundational Buddhist Teaching
No-self; the central Buddhist teaching that individual identity is ephemeral.

Buddhism Basics - Start Here to Learn About Buddhism
A guided introduction to the basic, foundational philosophy, doctrines and teachings of Buddhism.

Agganna Sutta - The Buddhist Creation Story
The Agganna Sutta presents a Buddhist creation fable with amoral about castes.

Learn How the Buddha's Birthday Is Observed
Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on different dates by various schools of Buddhism. Whatever the date, it is a joyous holiday featuring parades, hanging lanterns, and the sharing of food and flowers.

Yama - Buddhist Icon of Hell and Impermanence
The wrathful, terrifying Yama can be found throughout Buddhist scriptures and art. Although he is frightening, he's a good guy.

Buddhism in Sri Lanka - A Brief History
Buddhism came to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BCE. Here is a very brief history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, from its beginnings to the end of the 19th century.

Bowing as a Buddhist Practice
Bowing is a practice found in all schools of Buddhism. Why and how do Buddhists bow?

Metta Sutta - The Buddha's Teachings of Loving Kindness
The Metta Sutta, or Sutra of Loving Kindness, is one of the most beloved of all Buddhist texts. Here is an explanation of the sutta and links to online English translations.

Buddha Nature - The Fundamental Nature of All Beings
Buddha Nature, an essential doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism, is the already enlightened nature of all beings.

The Practice of Buddhism - Formalities & Philosophy
Being a Buddhist is not a matter of accepting a belief system or memorizing doctrines. To be a Buddhist is to practice Buddhism. This section discusses Buddhist practice -- what it is, how it's done. Here find basic information on how to begin walking the path of Buddhism; an introduction to ritual, liturgy, and other formal practices; and discussions of how Buddhism teaches us to deal with the moral and ethical problems we encounter in our lives.

Buddhist Teaching on the Measure and Nature of Time
According to Buddhist teaching, time doesn't necessarily march in linear lockstep from past to future.

The Five Niyamas - Causal Factors in Buddhism
The Five Niyamas are natural laws or causal factors that affect physical and mental phenomena. Karma is one of the Niyamas, but not the only one.

Tantric Buddhism Teachings and Traditions
The esoteric teachings, secret initiations and erotic imagery associated with Buddhist tantra have fueled no end of interest. But tantra may not be what you think it is.

Rinzai Zen in Japan
A brief look at the rich history of Rinzai Zen in Japan.

What Do Buddhists Mean by Lineage?
The word lineage is used often in Buddhism, but doesn't always mean the same thing. This article briefly explains ordination and teaching lineages in Buddhism.

Buddhism and Karma -- Introduction to the Buddhist Understanding of Karma
Understanding the laws of karma is essential to understanding Buddhism. Yet karma is mostly misunderstood by Westerners. This essay briefly explains the Buddhist view of karma.

Buddhism in Laos
This is an overview of Buddhism in Laos, focusing on its history and current status under the Pathet Lao.

The Fetter of Views - What Buddhism Teaches About Clinging to Views
It's impossible to not have views, but the Buddha taught that clinging to views can become an obstruction to enlightenment.

Biography of Henry Steel Olcott, the White Buddhist of Ceylon
Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907) is venerated today in Sri Lanka for leading a revival of Buddhism.

Christian-Buddhist Tension in South Korea, Part 1
South Korea is the only east Asian country in which Christians outnumber those practicing indigenous religious traditions, including Buddhism. Part 1 of a series provides background on the aggressive, militant Christian attacks on South Korean Buddhism.

Christian-Buddhist Tension in South Korea, II
Part 2 of Buddhist-Christian Tension in South Korea looks at events after 2000, especially after the election of Lee Myung-bak as President of South Korea in 2008.

The Ten Bhumis of Buddhism - Stages of the Bodhisattva Path
The Ten Bhumis are a list from early Mahayana Buddhism describing ten stages of development of the bodhisattva.

Buddhism in Thailand
Buddhism in Thailand -- a brief history and report on its current status.

The Abhidharma or Abhidhamma: Buddhist Higher Doctrines
The Abhidharma or Abhidhamma is a monumental work of early Buddhism that lays out the groundwork of all Buddhist philosophy and psychology. Be advised, however, that there are two very different versions.

How Are Buddhist Monks Like Christian Monks?
This article briefly explores similarities and differences between Christian and Buddhist monks.

The Third Buddhist Council: Pataliputra I
The

The Third Buddhist Council: Pataliputra II
Theravada Buddhism counts the Third Buddhist Council as one that took place in Pataliputra about 250 BCE to check heresies spreading in the monastic sangha.

The Buddhist Councils
The Four Buddhist Councils of early Buddhist history mark significant milestones in the development of Buddhism.

The Misunderstanding of Mind in Buddhism
Many Buddhist teachings about mind get lost in translation.

"Protestant" Buddhism
The term

Vijnana - awareness or consciousness -- in Buddhist doctrine
An introduction to the Buddhist concept of vijnana - awareness or consciousness.

A Short Biography of Kukai, the Founder of Japanese Shingon Buddhism
A brief biography of Kukai (744-835), a major figure in the history of Japanese Buddhism and the founder of the Shingon school.

Maudgalyayana - A Disciple of the Buddha
Maudgalyayana was one of the chief disciples of the Buddha.

The Four Reliances of Buddhism
The Four Reliances, sometimes called the Four Reliables, are guidelines for students of Buddhism from the Mahayana sutras.

Buddhism in Vietnam
Vietnamese Buddhism played a key role in critical events of the 20th century. Today it is subject to government control and oppression.

Three Turnings of the Dharma Wheel
The three turnings of the dharma wheel mark three significant developments in Buddhist history.

The Great Fifth - A Biography of the fifth Dalai Lama, part 2
In his later life, the 5th Dalai Lama secured his legacy through his writing, the building of Potala Palace, and a deception that continued after his death. Page 2.

The Great Fifth - A Biography of the fifth Dalai Lama
A biography of the 5th Dalai Lama of Tibet, a life marked by political intrigue from start to finish -- and beyond.

Mindfulness of Mind - the third foundation of mindfulness
In his teaching on mindfulness, the Buddha taught that mindfulness has four foundations. This article discusses the third foundation, mindfulness of mind.

The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness -- Mindfulness of Dharma
The fourth foundation of mindfulness broadens our awareness of the phenomenal world and the Buddha's teaching.

Life of the 13th Dalai Lama, Part 1, 1876 to 1912
Several events of the life of the 13th Dalai Lama are critical to the Tibet-China situation today.

Buddhism in Burma - Brief Overview and History
Part 1 of Buddhism in Burma provides a brief overview and history.

Advice for Struggling Meditators
What can go wrong in a meditation practice? Here are suggestions for frustrated meditators.

President Obama Visits the Buddha
In November 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Buddhist temples in Thailand and Burma. Here are some White House photos of Obama visiting the Buddha. Page 3.

President Obama at What Pho Temple
In November 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Buddhist temples in Thailand and Burma. Here are some White House photos of Obama visiting the Buddha.

President Obama Visits the Buddha
In November 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Buddhist temples in Thailand and Burma. Here are some White House photos of Obama visiting the Buddha. Page 4.

President Obama Visits the Buddha
In November 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Buddhist temples in Thailand and Burma. Here are some White House photos of Obama visiting the Buddha. Page 2.

President Obama Visits the Buddha
In November 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Buddhist temples in Thailand and Burma. Here are some White House photos of Obama visiting the Buddha.

The Tian Tan Buddha - the tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha (traditional Chinese: 天壇大佛; simplified Chinese: 天坛大佛; pinyin: Tiān Tán Dà Fó) is a large bronze statue of the Buddha, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. Also known as the Big Buddha, it is the world's tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery and symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. Page 4.

Five Dhyani Buddhas - Dhyani Buddhas Symbolize Enlightened Consciousness
The Five Dhyani Buddhas are transcendent Buddhas visualized in tantric meditation. The five Buddhas are Aksobhya, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, Ratnasaṃbhava and Vairocana. Each represents a different aspect of enlightened consciousness to aid in spiritual transformation. Often in Vajrayana art they are arranged in a mandala, with Vairocana in the center.

The Five Powers of Buddhism
Developing the Five Powers greatly strengthens Buddhist practice.

The Prajnaparamita Sutra
The entire Prajnaparamita is a series of about 40 works, expanded upon and then condensed by many anonymous authors. Most probably were composed at the beginning of the Common Era. The Diamond and Heart sutras are well-known condensations of the Prajnaparamita.

The Pure Land Sutras
Three sutras--the Amitabha, the Amitayurdhyana and the Aparimitayur--provide the doctrinal basis of the Pure Land School. The Amitabha and Aparimitayur are sometimes also called the shorter and longer Sukhavati-vyuha or Sukhavati Sutras.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- P
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with P. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- R
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with R. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- J
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with J. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- M
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with M. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- A
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with A. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Vipassana (Insight) Meditation
Vipassana is an ancient meditation discipline most closely associated with Theravada Buddhism. Vipassana cuts through conventional thinking to reveal mind and matter, self and other, as they actually are.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- Y
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with Y. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- E
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with E. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms -- G
These are just the briefest of definitions of Buddhist terms starting with G. Click on the term for more explanation of its meaning.

Buddhist Blogs
Buddhist blogs. Buddhism.

Buddhas of the Pali Canon
The early Pali texts name six of several Buddhas who lived before the historical Buddha--Vipassi, Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusandha, Konagamana and Kassapa--and one who will come after, Maitreya. Their stories are collected in the Jataka Tales.

Buddhist Symbols and Iconography -- Glossary of Buddhist Symbols and Icons
Glossary of symbols, creatures and sacred beings from Buddhist art and scriptures

Miaoxin, Woman Zen Master of Wind and Mind
Miaoxin (840-895), a Chinese Ch'an nun, was a student of Yangshan Huiji whose understanding of dharma has been remembered throu

Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 17th Karmapa, and the Future of Tibetan Buddhism
His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, is the reborn head of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. His story includes a daring escape from Tibet and the challenge of another claimant to the title of Karmapa.

Iron Grindstone Liu -- Iron Grindstone Liu, Woman Zen Master
This 9th-century Chinese peasant woman became a renowned Zen master. Liu Tiemo was such a skilled debater she was called

"Mama" Moshan, Zen Master
Moshan Liaoran was an 9th century Chinese Buddhist nun who became recognized as an authentic Ch'an (Zen) master. Remarkably for the time, she had male as well as female followers.

Nagarjuna
Nagarjuna (2nd-3rd century) was one of the most important philosophers of Buddhism and the founder of the Madhyamika school.

Akshobhya Buddha - Akshobhya is one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas
The Five Dhyani Buddhas are transcendent Buddhas visualized in tantric meditation. The five Buddhas are Aksobhya, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, Ratnasambhava and Vairocana. Each represents a different aspect of enlightened consciousness to aid in spiritual transformation. Often in Vajrayana art they are arranged in a mandala, with Vairocana in the center.

The Buddha's Robe: Cambodian Buddhist Monks' Robes
Buddhism. Page 2.

The Buddha's Robe: Buddhist Monks' Formal Robes in China
Buddhist monks pray during an enshrining ceremony of Nanshan Maritime Guanyin statue on April 24, 2005 in Sanya of Hainan Island, south China. Page 5.

Buddhist Monk Robes - Everyday Chinese Monk Robe
A monk makes a phone call at an exhibition hall where ancient Buddhist relics are displayed on August 23, 2005 in Chengdu of Sichuan, China. Over 100 relics and treasures, including theTree-Leaf Book and dagoba, are shown on the exhibition which is opened on August 24. The Baoguang Temple, also known as 'Divine Light Temple', first built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220), is the largest monastery in the Chengdu area and the best-preserved Buddhist temple of Sichuan. Page 4.

Buddhist Monk Robes - Karma Kagyu Tibetan Robe
Monks at the Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery and Tibetan Centre, prepare for prayers in the temple June 5, 2007 in Eskdalemuir in Scotland. The centre largest of its kind in the West, was established in 1967 is celebrating its 40th anniversary. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images). Page 10.

Buddhist Monk Robes - Japanese Buddhist Monk Robes
Buddhism. Page 6.

Buddhist Monk Robes - Korean Chogye Buddhist Monk Robes
Children are dressed in robes by monks during the 'Children Becoming Buddhist Monks' ceremony at a Chogye temple on May 5, 2007 in Seoul, South Korea. The children will stay at the temple to learn about Buddhism for 22 days. Buddha's official birthday is celebrated on the full moon in May, which is on May 24 this year. Page 8.

Buddhist Monk Robes - The Rice Field Pattern in Buddhist Robes
The rice field pattern is repeated on monk's robes in many schools of Buddhism. Page 3.