October 31, 2009

Om Ah Hum explained

Found at Kuzuzangpo.com

The syllables OM AH HUM have outer, inner, and "secret" meanings. At each of these levels, however, OM stands for the body, AH for the speech, and HUM for the mind. They represent the transformative blessings of the body, speech, and mind of all the buddhas. Externally OM purifies all the negative actions committed through your body, AH through your speech, and HUM through your mind. By purifying your body, speech, and mind, OM AH HUM grants the blessing of the body, speech, and mind of the buddhas.

OM is also the essence of form, AH the essence of sound, and HUM the essence of mind. So by reciting this mantra, you are also purifying the environment, as well as yourself and all other beings within it. OM purifies all perceptions, AH all sounds, and HUM the mind, its thoughts and emotions.

VAJRA is compared to the diamond, the strongest and most precious of stones. Just as a diamond can cut through anything but is itself completely indestructible, so the unchanging, non-dual wisdom of the buddhas can never be harmed or destroyed by ignorance, and can cut through all delusion and obscurations. The qualities and activities of the body, speech, and wisdom mind of the buddhas are able to benefit beings with the piercing, unhindered power of the diamond. And like a diamond, the Vajra is free of defects; its brilliant strength comes from the realization of the Dharmakaya nature of reality, the nature of the Buddha Amitabha. SIDDHI means "real accomplishment," "attainment," "blessing," and "realization." There are two kinds of siddhis: ordinary and supreme. Through receiving the blessing of ordinary siddhis, all obstacles in our lives, such as ill-health, are removed, all our good aspirations are fulfilled, benefits like wealth and prosperity and long life accrue to us, and all of life's various circumstances become auspicious and conducive to spiritual practice, and the realization of enlightenment.

The blessing of the supreme siddhi brings about enlightenment itself, the state of complete realization of Padmasambhava, that benefits both ourselves and all other sentient beings. So by remembering and praying to the body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity of Padmasambhava, we will come to attain both ordinary and supreme siddhis.

News Update: US schoolboy anointed as reincarnation of Buddhist high priest

Friday, 30 October 2009

Source: Belfast Telegraph

A US schoolboy has been anointed in India as the reincarnation of a Buddhist high priest who died over 750 years ago.

Jigme Wangchuk, from Boston, is now revered by hundreds of thousands of followers in Nepal, Bhutan and India after taking up residence as the rinpoche, or high priest, of the Drukpa Sangag Choeling Monastery in Darjeeling, West Bengal.

The 11 year old from St Peter's School in Boston has been given the title of His Holiness the Second Galwa Lorepa, head of the Drukpa sect. The first Galwa Lorepa died in Tibet in 1250.

Although he misses his family, he said it was an honour to be a rinpoche.

"It's a big transition," Jigme told Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times. "I do miss being a cheerful schoolboy. I miss my home, my grandparents, aunts and uncles. But being a rinpoche is a great honour."

His parents migrated to the US from the Indian town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh 20 years ago. When visiting the Kagyu Nalanda Monastery in the south Indian city of Mysore in 2007, Jigme reportedly began narrating his past life as if in a trance.

He had spoken of a past life before, his mother Dechen said, but the family did not take him seriously.

She said: "He used to always talk of his past life, but we did not take it seriously, dubbing it as a child's fantasies."

Jigme was initiated into priesthood after his narration was verified by other senior lamas or priests.

The family have sold their restaurant in Boston and moved to Darjeeling, where his sister Tashi Norzum, 10, will continue studying. His family live in the city but not at the monastery with Jigme.

"It has been a very difficult period for us over the past two years," his mother said. "I have been crying for the past five months, but have at last come to terms with it."

The new rinpoche will spend his time in monastic study at the monastery in Darjeeling, but said he would keep in touch with friends over the internet.

"My parents will keep visiting me here, and I will keep in touch with my friends through email."

October 30, 2009

Buddhism News: 11-yr-old to head Buddhist sect

Source: Times of India, TNN 30 October 2009, 04:58am IST

DARJEELING: From a follower of the Boston Redsox national basketball team to being the Rinpoche of Drukpa Kagyu, a sub-sect of Tibetan Buddhism, 11-year-old Jigme Wangchuk has come a long way in the past few days. And for this change to happen, his religious order has waited 759 years.

The boy for Boston is ready to be anointed as the Rinpoche, the second reincarnation of Gyalwa Lorepa of the Drukpa sub-sect. He has travelled to Darjeeling with his family for the holy rites, which will take place at the Druk-Sa-Ngag Choeling monastery in Dali.

So for Jigme, life will revolve around Buddhist teachings and philosophy — a far cry from the world of pizzas and video games that he loves. In Buddhism, once the highest Rinpoche recognizes some one as the reincarnate, the person is deemed spiritual and the general public will not have access to him except on religious occasions.

October 29, 2009

Buddhist Literary Heritage Project

Dear Friends,

The goal of this new initiative is to see all of the vast and extraordinary riches of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist literature, particularly the Kangyur and Tengyur, translated into English and other modern languages and made universally accessible within a hundred years.

Over the past few decades, many groups and individuals have been working with great dedication to translate a wide range of Buddhist teachings into English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and other languages. The BLHP grew from the jointly expressed wishes of more than 50 such translators, teachers, and academics who met in Bir, India, in March 2009 at the Translating the Words of the Buddha conference.

Conceived as a project with its own activity and funding, and not simply as a forum for discussion, the BLHP clearly needs an effective organizational structure. At the Bir conference, the participants requested Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to take on the interim responsibility of overseeing the establishment of the necessary structure.

In the six months since the conference, many interesting developments have taken place toward setting up that interim organizational structure, together with the key policies and strategic plans that will get the BLHP going. These steps include:

· May: Planning meeting

· June: Editorial policy meeting

· July: Appointment of executive director and working committee

· July: Confirmation of two “proof of concept” pilot translations

· September: Four-day working committee planning meeting

The Buddhist Literary Heritage Project will officially begin to operate in January 2010, managed by an interim working committee consisting of eight members:

· Chair: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

· Executive director: Huang Jing Rui

· Committee members: Ani Kunga Chodron, Gene Smith, Ivy Ang, John Canti, Steven Goodman, and Cangioli Che

The BLHP interim working committee is committed to an open, inclusive, and collaborative approach that seeks the involvement of Dharma teachers, translators, academics, scholars, and researchers from all segments of the Buddhist community.

The BLHP has taken birth from the great aspirations of teachers, translators, and people like you, but it is still in its infancy. As we develop, learn, and move forward, we humbly seek your patience, understanding, and goodwill. Your ongoing support is absolutely necessary for the project to accomplish its objective of preserving and making available the precious teachings of the Buddha.

Finally, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all the past and present volunteers and donors, who have generously offered time, money, experience, expertise, effort, and goodwill to the BLHP. We look forward to your continued support.

Please feel free to forward this letter to anybody whom you feel might be interested in our project. Thank you.

Yours in the Dharma,

Huang Jing Rui

Executive Director

Buddhist Literary Heritage Project (BLHP)

For more information and to find out how you can support this project, please email us atinfo@buddhistliteraryheritage.org.

You can download a PDF of the conference proceedings from http://khyentsefoundation.org/pdf/Translation_Conference.zip.

You are also welcome to join our BLHP Facebook group site on http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=59296950597&v=wall.

October 19, 2009

Buddhism Facts

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion of the world. Founded by Gautam Buddha, it is a path of spiritual development that helps a person in finding the true nature of life. Buddhism emphasizes on experiencing, rather than teaching or learning. It considers meditation as the means to enlightenment and is based on a number of principles. The followers of Buddhism do not worship any God and follow the noble eightfold path to lead a meaningful existence.

In the following lines, we have provided some quick information on Buddhism in a brief form. Read on to know some facts about Buddhism …

Meaning: System taught by the Buddha
Date founded: c. 520 BCE
Place founded: Northeastern India
Founder: Siddharta Gautama ("the Buddha"), an Indian prince
Adherents: 360 million
Size rank: Fourth largest world religion
Main locations: China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia
Major divisions: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana
Spiritual leader: Monk (lama in Tibetan Buddhism)
Ultimate reality: None. Nothing is permanent.
Human nature: There is no self or soul. Human existence is nothing more than a combination of five impermanent components (khandas).
Afterlife: Rebirth or nirvana. Nirvana is seen simply as the cessation of suffering by some and as a heavenly paradise by others.

Three Jewels/Three Refuges:
1. The Buddha
2. The sangha (monastic community)
3. The dharma (truth or teachings)

Three Delusions:
1. Ignorance
2. Desire
3. Anger or hatred

Three Trainings:
1. Moral discipline
2. Concentration
3. Wisdom

Three Marks of Existence:
1. Impermanence (anicca)
2. Unsatisfactoriness (dukkha)
3. No-self (anatta)

Four Noble Truths:
1. All of life is marked by suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by desire and attachment.
3. Suffering can be eliminated.
4. Suffering is eliminated by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

Four Immeasurables or Sublime States:
1. Equanimity (upekkha)
2. Loving-kindness (metta)
3. Compassion (karuna)
4. Sympathetic joy (mudita)

Four Reminders:
1. Human life is precious.
2. Death is inevitable.
3. The laws of karma cannot be avoided.
4. Suffering permeates all existence.

Four Bodhisattva Vows:
1. I vow to rescue the boundless living beings from suffering.
2. I vow to put an end to the infinite afflictions of living beings.
3. I vow to learn the measureless Dharma-doors.
4. I vow to realise the unsurpassed path of the Buddha.

Five Precepts:
1. Do not kill.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not engage in sexual misconduct.
4. Do not lie.
5. Do not use intoxicants.

Five Powers:
1. Faith and confidence
2. Energy and effort
3. Mindfulness
4. Samadhi
5. Wisdom

Five Hindrances:
1. Sense craving
2. Anger or ill will
3. Sloth and torpor
4. Restlessness and worry
5. Doubt and the inner critic

Five Dhyani (Wisdom) Buddhas:

Six Perfections:
1. Concentration
2. Effort
3. Ethical behavior
4. Generosity
5. Patience
6. Wisdom
Six Realms of Existence:
1. Hell-beings
2. Hungry ghosts
3. Animals
4. Humans
5. Anti-gods or demigods
6. Gods

Noble Eightfold Path:
1. Right beliefs
2. Right aspirations
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right meditational attainment

Ten Paramita:
1. Giving or generosity
2. Virtue, ethics, morality
3. Renunciation, letting go, not grasping
4. Wisdom and insight
5. Energy, vigour, vitality, diligence
6. Patience or forbearance
7. Truthfulness
8. Resolution, determination, intention
9. Kindness, love, friendliness
10. Equanimity

Twelve Links of Dependent Arising:
1. Ignorance
2. Karmic formations
3. Consciousness
4. Name and form
5. Six senses
6. Contact
7. Feeling
8. Craving
9. Grasping
10. Becoming
11. Birth
12. Aging and Death

October 18, 2009

Bhutan: www vs Buddhism

The Bhutanese may be treading slowly, trying to preserve their culture but the contest between internet and cable television vs Buddhism has become ever more explicit.

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