by Greg Zwahlen
In our What are the Suttas?
study course last Saturday at the IDP New York City center, we had a look at a translation from Pali of the Satipatthana Sutta,
and a session of meditation practice based on the instructions contained therein. Although the Pali recension of the Sutta is particular to Theravada Buddhism (and is a very important text in that tradition), the Sutta itself is (like most of the early canon) part of the shared inheritance of all Buddhists.
Recently I’ve been interested in A History of Mindfulness, by Ajahn Sujato, a bhikkhu in the Thai Forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. There is much that I admire about this book and its author, not the least of which is that he has generously made it widely available without charge (you can download it here). A History of Mindfulness is a comparative survey of the various surviving recensions of the Satipatthana Sutta, known in Sanskrit as the Sm?tyupasth?na S?tra.
The Buddhist philosophical and psychological teachings include in-depth
instructions on the destructive power of anger, as well as the
possibility of channeling it to unvail insight and compassion. This
three part series focuses on an understanding of what anger is from the
standpoints of Buddhist psychology and iconography, as well as the
Tantric Buddhist approach to anger. Parts three coming soon.
You can Download the IDP podcast here or Subscribe via itunes or RSS
by Ellen Scordato
What makes us happy? Nicolas Kristof recently wrote a thought-provoking piece in the New York Times on what makes us happy: “Our Basic Human Pleasures: Food, Sex and Giving.”
Since we are reading and writing a buddhist blog here, we probably are fairly familiar with the idea that whatever makes us happy is as impermanent as happiness is, or as we are. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make an investigation of happiness worthless.
Martin Luther King Jr has always had a powerful spot in my personal “lineage,” which is a crucial concept in Buddhism. Having attended a school founded directly on MLK‘s beliefs –Manhattan Country School, a small amazing “private school with a public mission,” as school founder Gus Trowbridge put it–my early childhood and middle school education was all about living the dream of compassion, equality, and interdependence.
The Buddhist idea of lineage is that one draws both confidence and humility from the past, while at the same time grounding attention firmly in the present moment, thus creating powerful aspirations to benefit ourselves and others in the future.
Obama’s was a great speech, worth sitting with in entirety (below), and it reminded me personally that despite my growing disappointment with many of his actions, I do indeed admire and respect our 44th President as a person.