Making a Fresh Start in Life

A talk given at the Chinese New Year assembly at Bodhi Monastery, February 9th, 2008 For Buddhists, the new year should not be an occasion merely to celebrate and enjoy good food and the company of friends. It is an opportunity to take a new birth and start a new life, a time to renew

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My First Encounter with a Buddhist Monk

In the first week of August, 1965, after finishing summer school, I set out to travel by car from New York to California. I was twenty years old and in September would be entering my senior year at Brooklyn College . I wanted to visit a friend who was spending the summer in San Francisco

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Finding a Place From Which to Start

When one sets out to choose a religion, how does one make the right choice? Different religions offer us such different perspectives on the nature of human life, and such different paths of practice, that it is impossible to find a unifying scheme capable of reconciling their opposing claims. Yet so much depends on the

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How to Become a Powerful Person

It is not through arsenals stacked with lethal weapons Nor by battalions of lightning-swift troops That we can vanquish the forces of darkness And open the gates to freedom for the world. The source of true power lies not in domination By the brute force of armies or the bright lure of gold. The source

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What Does It Mean To Be Enlightened?

In a conversation with an aged brahmin, the Buddha once explained concisely what is meant by a Buddha, an enlightened one: “What has to be known, that I have known; What has to be abandoned, that I have abandoned; What has to be developed, that I have developed; Therefore, O brahmin, I am a Buddha.”

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