The Three Essentials of Practice

As it is written in the Maha Prajna Sutra, it is necessary: 1. To concentrate our mind on the cognition of enlightment (the perfect wisdom) 2. To focus on the thought of great compassion; and 3. To learn the skillful means of emptiness (the universal reality behind all phenomena) This sutra [Maha Prajna Sutra] stresses

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The Five and Eight Precepts

The Five Precepts The Buddha’s teaching is not a system of salvation by faith but a path to enlightenment and liberation from suffering. The path unfolds in three main stages: moral discipline (sila), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (pañña). These three divisions of the path rise up each in dependence upon its predecessor — concentration upon

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Giving Thanks Without Forgetting Others

A Discourse on Thanksgiving Weekend given by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi I dedicate this essay to the memory of my closest friend, Ven. Bhikkhu Sumedha, who expired in Sri Lanka on Dec. 21, 2006, minutes after I finished writing it. I dedicate it to him as a true monk and visionary: cave-dwelling meditator, spiritual patron of

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Dhamma Without Rebirth?

n line with the present-day stress on the need for religious teachings to be personally relevant and directly verifiable, in certain Dhamma circles the time-honored Buddhist doctrine of rebirth has come up for severe re-examination. Although only a few contemporary Buddhist thinkers still go so far as to suggest that this doctrine be scrapped as

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The Six Paramitas

Those who aspire for the supreme enlightenment of Buddhahood, practice the career of a bodhisattva. In countless lives through the round of rebirths, they strive to fulfill six spiritual perfections, which they must develop to the peak of maturity. These six perfections are called paramitas. 1. The perfection of generosity (dana-paramita). 2. The perfection of

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