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Apr 20, 2010

Thanks to Sophie for
submitting this in C2NN
50 Enlightening Buddhist Blogs - With so much cluttering our minds, hearts, and souls, the teachings of Buddha have a lot to offer. But if you live in a small town with no Buddhist temple or even a large city where the nearest temple is hours away, resources are limited. Turning to the internet can help...50 blogs full of inspiration, relaxation, and teachings.
Buddhist Blogs by a professional -These bloggers have some form of formal training in Buddhism.
1. The Buddhist Blog : James Ure is a Zen Buddhist in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh; also influenced by Taoism, Hindu, and secular humanism...the blog regularly addresses Buddhism in current events.
2. The Stupid Way : Irish blogger who formally studied Buddhism and was later ordained as a Buddhist monk in Japan...includes how to do Zazen, articles, talks, and more.
3. Danny Fisher : professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at University of the West in Rosemead, California; a lay Buddhist minister; posts on Buddhism in everyday life, along with causes, writings, and interviews.
4. The Buddha Diaries : Peter Clothier -author of “Persist” which praises creative spirits in a world gone mad with commerce; a regular contributor to The Huffington Post; gets to the heart of the matter from a Buddhist’s perspective.
5. The Naked Monk : Stephen Schettini's blog focuses on Buddha and on the Pali canon.
6. The Ino’s Blog
7. Zen The Possible Way : Markus “Uku” Laitinen is a Soto Zen Buddhist monk, founder and leader of Dogen Sangha, Finland; also studying comparative religions and social psychology.
8. Dogen Sangha Blog : Master Gudo Nishijima- practicing Buddhism for more than 60 years; student of Master Kodo Sawaki, an itinerant priest famous for his efforts to restore Zazen to its rightful place at the center of Buddhism. Recent posts are on examinations of doctrines and the twelve fold Chain of Cause.
Buddhist Blogs by an Individual - These individual bloggers have made Buddhism their passion.
9. American Buddhist : This blog is by a student who believes all beings should be free from suffering. The blog also focuses on Buddhism, philosophy, ecology, life, and politics. A recent entry was on death meditation. 
10. Notes on Samsara : Taking the Buddhist name of Mumon, this blog focuses on the religion. The blogger works in communications systems in Vancouver, Washington. Buddhism, news, politics, and more are featured.
11. Smiling Buddha Cabaret : Marnie Louise Froberg is a Canadian writer and lives mostly in northern India. She has been a Buddhist practitioner for nearly 30 years and wants to share her perspective. Topics include 8 Fold Path, compassion, ego, and many others.
12. Buddha, Buddhism and India : This blogger is an Indian but non Buddhist.
13. The Reformed Buddhist : Get Zen from inside a particle accelerator...the blog speaks on wisdom, practice, compassion, and squirrels.
14. Big Happy Buddha : from Wisconsin, works in the internet industry; his blog is for people curious about Buddhism to come and learn.
15. Buddha Space : G lives in Thailand where interests include Buddhism, philosophy, and psychology.
16. Water Dissolves Water : Read about the life and strange times of a typical 50 something Zen Buddhist living in Atlanta. Shokai longs to be both different and original. There is also a live show that is linked to.
Dharma Buddhist Blogs - An essential principle to Buddhism, these blogs focus on Dharma.
17. Digital Dharma : Links to Dharma resources and more; help for those facing addiction problems; includes prayers. 
18. The New Dharma Bums : Three bloggers write about Dharma, Buddhism, and more. They are recently in the process of moving and tell all about it.
19. Christopher’s Dharma Blog : reflections, notes and articles, past and present; Christopher Titmuss, a former Buddhist monk in Thailand and India, teaches awakening and insight meditation around the world.
20. The Dharma Blog
: DharmaBuilt is a freelance web analytics and online marketing consulting group. Their blog focuses on many aspects of Dharma and Buddhism. Many useful teachings are featured.
21. Dhamma Blog : Stop here for posts on Dharma, Thai, and Buddhism.
22. Sustainability Dharma : This blog is about finding ways to live peacefully and sustainably on a global, communal and, most importantly, personal level; the posts are also massively commented on and you can join in.
23. Dharma Brother Pete : Pete Hoge used to by a devout Buddhist. However, he had an enlightening religious experience on June 26, 2009. Read all about it and how he started a new blog.
24. Zen Under the Skin: A Dharma Blog : Get the reflections of an African American practitioner here. Although there hasn’t been a new post in a while, the blog still has useful resources. They include how-to’s, an FAQ, and resources for black Buddhists.
Zen Buddhist Blogs 
25. Zen Habits : tips for simple productivity; how to share with the world; the lost art of solitude; updated regularly. 
26. Zen Family Habits : how to Zen your family from the same people as the above e.g. eight things people never tell you about having kids and birthday parties.
27. Hardcore Zen : Brad Warner- Zen monk, writer, bass player.
28. Goodlife Zen : practical inspiration for a happier life; e.g. seven sources of deep clutter.
29. Zen Filter : Zen Buddhist websites, news, discussion, books, meditation and loving openly.
30. The Zen Site : critiques of Zen practices, essays, articles, dogen teachings, studies, and more.
31. Everyday Zen : Although there hasn’t been a recent entry, Norman’s knowledge of Zen is worth a look.
32. Presentation Zen : tips for your professional and educational life; professional presentation design, what you can learn from children.
33. The House of Zen : how to Zen your house; fashion for the Zen minded.
34. Zen Books That Don’t Suck : a list of recommended books
Buddhist Sites 
35. Buddhanet : for everyone from beginners to advanced Buddhists: online magazine, large eLibrary, meditation, publishing, more. 
36. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama : The official website of the spiritual leader of the Buddhists; video and audio teachings, schedule, photo gallery, news, messages, and more.
37. BeliefNet : many religions all on one site.
38. Tricycle Magazine : Buddhism articles, archives, online retreats.
39. Buddhist Geeks
: Vince Horn et al host this podcast for Buddhists.
40. Elephant Journal : Eastern philosophies; yoga, sustainability, politics, and spirituality.
41. Illuminated Mind and Body : seven keys to discovering your passion by entering your name and email; recommended tools and books; a blog for Buddhists.
New Age Buddhist Blogs - These blogs don’t necessarily focus on Buddhism -include new age perspective.
42. Stillness Speaks       
43. The Christian Universalist
44. New Age Journal
45. Monkey Mind : James Ford, ordained Soto Zen priest and Unitarian Universalist minister; religion, politics, and culture.
46. Liberal Faith Development
47. Speed of Life : A studio painter; notes on everyday life, art
48. You Are Truly Loved 
49. Wandering Monk
50. Thank God For Evolution

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Posted: Apr 20, 2010 5:55am
Feb 11, 2010

What Do Buddhists Believe?
By Barbara O'Brien, 
Shortly after I began to study Buddhism, someone asked me "What do Buddhists believe?" I was taken aback by the question. What do Buddhists believe? No one had told me I had to believe any particular thing. Indeed, in Zen Buddhism rigidly held beliefs are considered to be barriers to realization.

Beginners to Buddhism are handed lists of doctrines -- the Four Noble Truths, the Five Skandhas, the Eightfold Path. One is told to UNDERSTAND the teachings and PRACTICE them. However, "believing in" doctrines about Buddhism is not the point of Buddhism.
What the historical Buddha taught was a method for understanding oneself and the world in a different way. The many lists of doctrines are not meant to be accepted on blind faith.

The VENERABLE THICH NHAT HANH, a Vietnamese Zen master, says:
   Do not be idolatrous about or  bound to any
  doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones.
  Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means;
  they are not absolute truth.

The absolute truth of which Thich Nhat Hanh speaks cannot be contained in words and concepts. Thus, merely believing in words and concepts is not the Buddhist path. There is no point in believing in reincarnation/rebirth, for example. Rather, one practices Buddhism in order to realize a self not subject to birth and death.
To say that doctrines and teachings shouldn't be accepted on blind faith doesn't mean they aren't important. The myriad teachings of Buddhism are like maps to follow on a spiritual journey, or a boat to carry you across a river. Daily meditation or chanting may seem pointless, but when practiced with sincerity they have a real impact on your life and outlook.
And to say that Buddhism is not about believing things doesn't mean there are no Buddhist beliefs. Over the centuries Buddhism has developed diverse schools with distinctive, and sometimes contradictory, doctrines. Often you might read that "Buddhists believe" such and such a thing, when in fact that doctrine belongs only to one school and not to all of Buddhism. To compound confusion further, throughout Asia one can find a kind of folk Buddhism in which the Buddha and other iconic characters from Buddhist literature are believed to be divine beings who can hear prayers and grant wishes. Clearly, there are Buddhists with beliefs. Focusing on those beliefs will teach you little about Buddhism, however.
If you want to learn about Buddhism, I suggest putting aside all assumptions.
Put aside assumptions about Buddhism,
and then assumptions about religion.
Put aside assumptions about the nature
of the self, of reality, of existence.
Keep yourself open to new understanding.
Whatever beliefs you hold, hold in an
open hand and not a tight fist.
Just practice, and see where it takes you.
The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon..
And remember the Zen saying --
The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.
Original article here:
Read More:
The Life of the Buddha 
What's a Buddha?
"Introduction to Buddhism: Buddhism for Beginners"

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Posted: Feb 11, 2010 5:18pm
Jul 30, 2009

Sand Mandala at Northbridge
Two of Vajrayana Institute’s outreach meditation groups are hosting Geshe Sonam Thargye and the other Tibetan monks of Sacred Footsteps from the Roof of the World.  Last week the monks were at Avalon Recreation Centre, and this week at the Aboriginal Heritage Office in Northbridge. At each location, the monks create a traditional Tibetan sand mandala over 6 days as well as many other activities.
What is a sand mandala? Geshe Sonam explains:
"The mandala is a representation of an enlightened being’s place of residence and everything that is contained within it. Each part of the mandala is rich in symbolism and reminds the meditator of the insights and states of mind and feelings he/she is trying to accomplish.
The exact design and proportions are laid down in ancient Buddhist text. The monks have memorised the text and carefully follow the canonical iconography. Every part of the mandala symbolises different aspects of the teachings and the realisations of the enlightened being whose mandala it is.
Made by pouring fine trails of brightly coloured sand onto a mathematically precise framework, the mandala is a wonder of intricacy and detail. After completion, the whole beautiful creation is swept away in a matter of seconds and returned to the waters or the earth to remind us that all things are impermanent."
Everyone is welcome to visit and soak in the monks’ calm as they prepare this mandala for world peace. There will also be morning chanting and meditation, throughout both events.
Tuesday 28th July - Sunday 2nd August
Aboriginal Heritage Office
Unit 39/135 Sailors Bay Rd, Northbridge (next to The Shoe Shop)
Tel: 9949 9882; Email:
For information regarding Sacred Footsteps from the Roof of the World ~ Australian Tour 2009
Contact:  Helen Wright -- National Tour Coordinator
Tel: 0352661788; Mob: 0422114127; Email:

Vajrayana Institute
9 Victoria Square, Ashfield, NSW 2131 Australia
PO Box 352 Summer Hill NSW 2130
Tel +61 2 8916 7412 ... Fax +61 2 9798 9413 ... 

Vajrayana Institute is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a network of Buddhist centres in Australia and around the world. 


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Posted: Jul 30, 2009 4:56pm


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Jenny Dooley
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