I was delighted to see Justin Whitaker responding to my post on the Sigālovāda Sutta – both in a comment and in a separate post of his own. Justin and I first found each other long ago over our shared interest Continue reading Reinterpreting the Sigālovāda’s prohibition on theatre
If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your oxygen mask on first, and then assist the other person. Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline has heard this instruction; anyone who flies frequently Continue reading The Buddhist oxygen mask
The Sigālovāda Sutta might be my least favourite sutta in the Pali Canon. There is relatively little that the Pali texts say on “ethics” in a modern Western sense of interpersonal action-guiding; much of the specific instructions on action are Continue reading The Sigālovāda’s vicious mean
I find myself repeatedly returning to the question I asked earlier this year: “Is the problem in our heads?” That is: for Buddhists, especially classical ones, is the fundamental human problem located in our minds, or in the world? I Continue reading Frustration where mind meets world
This week I continue my response to Patrick O’Donnell’s comments disputing my claim that in classical Indian Buddhism “the causes of suffering are primarily mental”. The discussion last time was abstract and theoretical, but it has practical consequences – which Continue reading The path corrects the mind
Patrick O’Donnell makes several interesting comments disputing my claim that for most classical Indian Buddhists “the causes of suffering are primarily mental.” I think they’re worth responding to at length, so I’ll take two posts to do so: this week Continue reading Suffering’s mental causes are not merely conventional
A key idea that I’ve stressed from the Disengaged Buddhists is that the causes of suffering are primarily mental – especially the “three poisons” or “unwholesome roots” of craving (rāga), aversion or hostility (dveṣa/dosa) and delusion (moha) – and that Continue reading Is the problem in our heads?
The world picture of the Buddhist Pali Canon is a mythical world picture. The world is made up of 31 planes of existence, divided into a formless realm, a fine material realm and a sensory realm. In the formless realm Continue reading Bultmann for Buddhists
Evan Thompson has made his last statement in our correspondence. Before I make mine, a personal note: our series of responses to date has become increasingly confrontational in tone, in a way I imagine our readers have noticed. Thompson and Continue reading When does karma stop being karma?
Paul Fuller’s The Notion of Diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism, as its title might suggest, is a dry, abstract, technical monograph. It may also be one of the more spiritually beneficial books I have ever read. I suppose maybe both of Continue reading Right view vs. true statements