Archive for the ‘Buddhadharma’ Category

Recently there was a forum organised by one of the Buddhist society in Malaysia on the topic of homosexuality. A summary is reported here:


I have copied here for archival purpose:

The Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) and Buddhist Research Society of Malaysia (BRSM) held a seminar titled “Homosexuality: The Controversy in the Midst of Morality and Social Value” on Aug 19 in Kuala Lumpur.

about 200 people attended the open forum which had three panelists: Venerable Miao Jan, the coordinator of Prajna Meditation Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor; Datuk Ang Choo Hong, the president of the Buddhist Research Society of Malaysia; and Yap Hock Heng, a registered and licensed counsellor. The forum was emceed by YBAM secretary general See Chan Wing.

The news of the traditional Chinese wedding of Malaysia’s first lesbian couple and the upcoming same-sex marriage of Malaysian Christian Pastor, Rev. Ouyang Wen Feng to be celebrated in Malaysia has caused a stir in Malaysian society, drawing criticisms particularly from Christian groups. However, the coordinator of Prajna Meditation Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the Venerable Miao Jan, encouraged gay people to face their own sexual orientation honestly and openly, urging them to come out bravely and not live in the closet [literally dark corners]. (more…)

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A very interesting article about how dogmatic one can go in following rituals and rules but not the essence nor understanding of them.


The Panchaseela and Buddhism

Dr. H. S. S. Nissanka’s contribution to The Island Midweek Review of 14/5 is very informative and interesting. Among many other things, he refers to a “stormy session at Kuliyapitiya Central College. About 400 students had come from all over the country for a Dhamma discussion session. At 9 a.m. the session was started. No panchaseela was recited and because of this the local crowds became very unruly questioning both the reasons for not reciting the panchaseela as well as the ‘Buddhistness’ of the All Ceylon Buddhist Students Union. I tried to respond to them but was shouted down. Even Lionel Lokuliyana, the principal of the school (a greatly respected man not only among Buddhist leaders but also as a prominent writer) was shouted down.”

The unruly crowds were now turning abusive and violent (which reminds me of a typical parliamentary session today in Sri Lanka) and Dr. Nissanka continues, “The crowds demanded an answer by a person who was a well known Buddhist and someone who has read the Tripitakaya. A small-made man in the last row of the hall got up to answer. When I saw that this was Dr. Adkiaram, I ran up to him and invited him to come up to the microphone. He came and sat there and Mr. Mivanapalana (the famous Buddhist scholar) introduced him to the audience. Dr. Adikaram (who had never recited the panchaseela) responded: “I have read all the books of the Tripitakaya, both in Pali and in English. What is the exact question you would like to ask?”

And Dr. Adikaram the only true Buddhist this writer has yet come across, had said that there were famous scholars, Tripitaka acharis, who could recite by heart entire sections of the Tripitaka, and one may have read and re-read all the Buddhist texts and yet remain a crook or a murderer. Dr. Adikaram had added, if one could at least understand one word of the Buddha like Appamada that would be sufficient for him or her to become an arahat. Dr. Nissanka, in his useful essay, says, “With the words of Dr. Adikaram we enjoyed a clam and quiet atmosphere at Kuliyapitiya Central College.”

In a country which is predominantly Buddhist, whether we like it or not, we have an overdose of panchaseela blaring out from every street-corner through loudspeakers from dawn to dusk and again till the late hours permitted by law!

The popular misconception among the Buddhists is if one recites panchaseela or the five precepts not once but as many times as possible he becomes a good Buddhist.

What matters to a Buddhist is not the carrying out of the precepts but the mere utterance. This writer was once invited to a Dhamma sermon at his aunt’s when Venerable Madihe Pannaseeha Thero delivered the sermon commencing with the five precepts or panchaseela which every member of the congregation recited audibly (except this writer).

At the end of the sermon which everybody seemed to listen to, the Venerable monk was driven to the Bambalapitiya Vajiraramaya by the aunt’s son who was a prominent secretary to an equally prominent Buddhist Cabinet Minister.

On his return home he opened a bottle of special arrack which was shared by the pious Buddhist who had just promised to refrain from intoxicants. When the aunt discovered that yours truly was not drinking she whispered, “Jayatissata brandy tikak denanda?” and she, plus the entire congregation were shocked to hear Jayatissa chanting loud as ever “Surameraya majjha pamadatthana veramani.”

The Buddhists in this country have made panchaseela a joke by consuming liquor not only after a bana sermon but even during bana! No almsgiving is complete without the men folk enjoying a ‘sumihiri paanaya’, even inside a room. All monks know this.

Chanting panchaseela is a system, a system being a method, a practice, the repetition of something over and over again. Does that make the mind sensitive, alive, active, intelligent?

On the contrary, it makes the mind mechanical. Any system, the Hindu system, the Christian system or whatever prevents the mind from perceiving what is true. Panchaseela does not lead you anywhere. It only makes the mind so dull that one does not realize even the meaning of a single precept after constant repetition.

Chanting panchaseela, repeating the words of a monk, implies authority. A mind that is held by authority is not a free mind, the authority of a monk or bishop, and such a mind is incapable of observing the truth. So repeating after somebody the panchaseela will never make one a Buddhist. If it were so this land must be heaven considering the number of times one hears it daily over the radio, TV and loudspeakers.

If you want to understand the truth of something whether it is panchaseela or anything else you must stop repeating it like a parrot. You must give your whole attention, all your energy. Then you will observe how the repetition of the five precepts or panchaseela is not going to make you a Buddhist though that is the popular misconception.

No wonder a great man like Dr. E. W. Adikaram, a man among men lived a holy life without ever chanting panchaseela.

Such men are the true Buddhists!

Jayatissa Perera,

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A (Zen) Dharma Speech

What is Zen Buddhism? Its a practice beyond dogma, scriptures and words.

Zen Buddhism finds a cure for a society that has become too steep in intellect, logic, preconceived ideas, dualism and self-professed knowledge. Its reasoning is illogical and its riddle at best insane. But its our mind that are the obstacles, not the illogical reasoning nor insane riddles.

Clear you mind just once, just once… and it becomes clear as sky, silent as a forest pond.

For many people of intellect, they find it hard to understand, yet the truth is only so simple. Many people have tried to elaborate on this practice, but I find that Zen Master Seung Sahn could capture and explain this most directly and clearly.

I was re-reading one of his books and came across his speeches again and am struck by how simple it can be, but at the same time how hard it is.

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An interesting development on the Bhikkuni ordination from Ajahn Sujato’s blog:



We have heard rumors that a press conference held by ‘Wat Pa Pong’ was going to call for increased control over Western monks. Thanks to Sanitsuda Ekachai, here’s a preliminary report.

I’m not sure who took part in the press conference, as it mainly uses the formal titles which are never used in conversation. And i don’t know to what extent this ‘press conference’ represents a collective action by WPP. The whole thing is so unprecedented. There are no pre-existing procedures in WPP circles that would enable such things, so whatever happens it is new. It is highly unlikely that the Western Ajahns were consulted, certainly not all of them or in detail. Like the Dhammalight website, or the emails from the supposed watpahpong@gmail.com address – which this interview says were not from WPP – it is unclear whose agenda is being pushed here. The claim is that the conference represents the views of a council of 12 senior monks at WPP. I believe this is an ad hoc committee set up in the wake of the bhikkhuni ordination. (more…)

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Source: http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2008/08/third-precept.html

The Third Precept

Sexual behaviour (kama or methuna) is any actions motivated by erotic desire and usually involving the genital region. This includes all forms of coitus, intercrural sex, masturbation, sexual fondling and perhaps even voyeurism. The third of the five Precepts, the basic principles of Buddhist ethics, says that one should avoid sexual misconduct (kamesu micchacara). What would make a sexual (kama) behaviour (cara) wrong (miccha)? (more…)

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Just Passing Thru

One common theme among a lot of Buddhist writers especially Western authors and even some non-Western authors, is the liberally and unashamed use of useful examples of stories and experiences from other religions. It actually requires people with equanimity and strong confidence in their own belief to be able to do so. Mind you, these are not bad example, rather, they are insightful experiences and stories and it always gladden me to know how non-judgmental and non-segregating these Buddhist authors can be.

In A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, I came upon a beautiful passage:

There is an old story about a famous rabbi living in Europe who was visited one day by a man who had traveled by ship from New York to see him. The man came to the great rabbi’s dwelling, a large house on a street in a European city, and was directed to the rabbi’s room, which was in the attic. (more…)

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I was forward this interesting youtube ad about a Tibetan monk driving a Benz. Very interesting and enlightening, if I must say:


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