Category Archives: Buddhism

Time

“No time but the present” from my friend Jeff Courtney’s Digital Dao What is time? Was there a beginning to time? If so, what preceded it? Is time “real”? If so, is time more real than chairs, for example? Is … Continue reading

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Zizek’s Event

I picked up Slavoj Zizek’s new book, Event, next to the cash register in the gift shop at the Tate Britain. Philosophy is an impulse buy at the Tate Britain. In this book Zizek takes seriously the theme of the … Continue reading

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Tibetan Prayer Flags and the Five Buddha Families

This post is for Clay. Prayer Flags are ever-present in the Tibetan landscape. Tibetans place them for protection over doorways or gates. They love to leave them on mountain tops and at mountain passes. The photo above shows prayer flags … Continue reading

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Gotama on Free Will and Determinism

One might say that Reverend Gotama had a quick answer to the question of free will and determinism. He called it dependent origination, the middle way. Neither of these alternatives, neither free will nor determinism, is the case. Like so … Continue reading

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The First Discourse – Setting in Motion the Wheel of Dhamma

It is widely recognized that the first teaching of Reverend Gotama was given in the deer park at what was then called Isipatane and is now called Sarnath outside the ancient city of Benares (now Varanasi.) The discourse is given … Continue reading

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The Refuge Passage from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta

There has been much concern about the use of the term “attan” in the Pali Nikayas and the implication that a correct reading of these texts implies that Siddhattha Gotama taught a doctrine of the soul similar to that of … Continue reading

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Eternalism in the Brahmajala Sutta

The Brahmajala Sutta is the first sutta collected in the Digha Nikaya, thought by many to be among the oldest collections of the Pali Canon. T.W. Rhys Davids, the founder of the Pali Text Society (PTS) and the editor of … Continue reading

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Denial of the Atman – The Alagaddupama Sutta

The Alagaddupama Sutta is one of the few suttas in the Pali Canon in which Reverend Gotama appears to explicitly deny the atta (Pali) or atman (Sanskrit) as the Great Soul of the Upanishads. Richard Gombrich, Oxford Pali and Sanskrit … Continue reading

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The Potthapada Sutta – The Soul Theory

The Potthapada Sutta is the ninth sutta in the Digha Nikaya, the collection of long discourses of the Pali Canon. It is contained in the Sila Khandha Vagga, the first 13 suttas, all of which contain reference to the Silas … Continue reading

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The Anatta Lakkhana Sutta – The Second Discourse

The Anatta Lakkhana or Non-Self Attributes Sutta (Anattalakkhanasuttam, SN, III, 22, 59 (7)) is tucked away in a far corner of the Samyutta Nikaya. This very short text is a description of an address given to Reverend Gotama’s five Sakyan … Continue reading

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