When the birds stop singing When the butterflies and the bees disappear When the mountains and forests became barren When the lakes and ponds dry up When the dead fish float about When the air blackens the lungs you will see you are sitting in a hell despite you are sitting next to piles of dollars in a golden palace or a jewel castle Hence I ask you to give some dollars to help clean the earth When the birds stop singing When the husband and wife bicker at each other with abusive words, not sweet words. When the friends start seeing at one another through the political eyes, not with brotherly kindness and when the people gather and have to guard against other political views the world becomes a battleground. When you defend Trump you would lose your job and be called a racist. When you support Clinton and Obama You would be called a traitor or a leftist. Oh, the political division of people is so weird and terrible. When the birds stop singing people begin to compete to win the power that will give them happiness and lots and lots of money. When the birds stop singing then the kids hate to run after dragonflies and butterflies Instead, they will addict to play the games whose scenes are full of innocent killings where they could wear suicide-bomb vests. When the birds stop singing and the deer have no water to drink the small creek turns sad its life is going to end. When the birds stop singing the world still has only the Rock music, Football and Sex. With skimpy clothing and sexy bodies the girls are worshipped as the ancient “holy ladies.” Millions of people are hungry for their images. That is the religion in the electronic age, a kind of religion that makes lots of money. Becoming unneeded goods morality and spirituality will be exhibited only in museums. When the birds stop singing the software will be the smart brains and humans will be lifeless corpses - just like the machines that will move when the buttons are pressed. When the birds stop singing all weapons have to be invisible and the robots will replaces the pilots - thus, nobody would see the dropping bombs Then you and I will die just like dying in a dream, very abruptly. When the birds stop singing the roses will wither soon the sunflowers won’t bother to cry the trucks will become the killing machine. When the birds stop singing people live for themselves, care not for others and become the machines - the machines that fulfill their sexual fantasies and kill enemies. When the birds stop singing you will want to be silent Beware that you will be called a hypocrite if you say moral words. When the birds stop singing prayers are useless After the praying sessions, people get drunk and will be more aggressive for the next killing action. When the birds stop singing half of the Mekong River will disappear many cities will dip in the ocean water - Jakarta, New Delhi, parts of Florida, and many others. Moving to a safe place the billionaires will buy mansions in Mars The poor have to live here, waiting for death. When the birds stop singing despite billions of humans pray intensely and even if the Savior comes here the Earth will be just a hell.
(Excerpt from ‘The Discourse of Happiness’ to be published soon.)
Short Dhamma Stories for Kids, It is my great pleasure being able to present a “Short Dhamma Story” for children. I have translated “Punchi Bana Katha” which was written in Sinhalese by the Venerable Welewatte Gunaratana Thero. My main object of this noble work is to develop children’s Dhamma knowledge and moral education.
Most Venerable B. Sri Saranankara Adhikarana (Judiciary) Nayaka Maha Thera gave me his fullest support and encouraged me in my present work. So my respectful and sincere heartfelt thanks go to him. My very special thanks also goes to the President, Mr. G. Mervyn Weerasena and all members of the Siri Jayanti Association who pursed on my humble attempt. My special thanks goes to Venerable Welewatte Gunaratana Thero who gave me a proper consent to translate into English his Sinhalese book (Punci Bana Katha).
Buddhist path of liberation is indeed a process of purification of mind. Its preliminary step is found in the training of Sīla, which finds expression through right speech, right actions and right livelihood. The follower mainly to get rid of the mental defilements such as craving, aversion and ignorance practices these three steps of the Noble Eightfold path. It is evident that the wrong speech, wrong actions and wrong livelihood lead to the development of those defilements in the mind. Through the training of conduct (Sīla) most of the rough defilements can be restrained.
I once heard it said of man that the idea is to die young, as late as possible. At age 85, a favorite pastime of George H. W. Bush was firing up his boat, the Fidelity, and opening up the three 300-horsepower engines to fly, joyfully fly across the Atlantic, with the Secret Service boats straining to keep up. At age 90, George H. W. Bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of St. Ann’s by the Sea in Kennebunkport, Maine, the church where his mom was married and where he worshipped often. Mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute didn’t open. In his 90s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton’s.
Within a tree, there is a flower
Within a rock, there is a flame
Dedication for Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien
on the ceremonial event of his 70th birthday, and 40 year-milestone for Vien Giac Temple to be established in Germany
Bhikhhu Thích Nguyên Tạng
Translated into English by: Dr Tâm Tịnh, Hoa Chí & Hoa Nghiêm
“Within a tree, there’s a flower, within a rock, there’s a flame” is the dharma taught by Zen Master Dao, recalled by Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien during his dharmic teachings to which I had good fortune to attend in his dharma-propagating journey to the United States of America in 2006 when I acted as an assistant to him.
Friday, November 2, 2018 - 19:30 to Monday, November 5, 2018 - 16:00
Even as the years keep increasing, whatever our age and stage, Life Still Matters and we can learn more about how to make the most of the present, meet the challenges of the future and make a positive difference in the world around us.
This live-in life direction and leadership program is for people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, who are aged 35 and over.
We offer a warm welcome to anyone who has a sense of adventure and would like to begin to learn how to be a change-maker in our global community. Come and meet others who share the same desire and want to live a purpose-filled life. It will include panel presentations, workshops, story-sharing, team-building activities, reflective silence, group discussion, video(s) and an entertainment night.
Venue: Armagh, 226 Kooyong Road, Toorak, VIC 3142
Cost: $250 to cover accommodation, meals and the general program
Register by 12 October here.
Smartphone Overuse, Youth Suicide and Buddhism as a Healing Source,
Youth suicide is disturbingly rising. Ashley Welch, in her article “What’s behind the rise in youth suicides?” (2017), gave some insights into the trend. The author mentioned potential causes for this trauma and notably pointed to “the correlation between the rising popularity of smartphones and increased rates of suicide and depression among young people” (para. 17). Although Welch did not offer a clear reason for the correlation, this point raises an awareness of an irony. We, as readers, may wonder, “How can such a wonderful entertaining device cause that terrible thing?” In this paper, I will discuss the roots of this pain, and then suggest Buddhism as a healing source.
Why Aren't We Teaching You Mindfulness?
AnneMarie Rossi, Founder and CEO of BeMindful
Harvard conducted a research study and they tracked more than 1,000 people from birth until age 32 looking for what made someone successful. What common characteristic or trait was seen in a successful individual? It wasn't their race, what language they spoke, what neighborhood they grow up in, or how much money their parents had. It wasn't how well they did on standardized tests or even their IQ. It was self-control; those who were successful, who had good careers, financial stability, loving relationships, and physical health. Those who were successful, were the ones who could focus, pay attention, and regulate their emotions.
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/
Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.
Prior to sharing some thoughts on the question, 'According to 2010 statistics, the number of Buddhists around the world is consistently increasing by approximately 5% to 10% per annum. What do you think are the main causes for this increase?', I should mention that I'm often 'open-mindedly skeptical' about such surveys, and the statistics gathered during such surveys. For where does the information come from and how is the information gathered, and for what purpose, and so on and so forth.
To give the briefest conclusion that I can think of to the question- 'Do you think that sectarian diversity affects the stability of Buddhism as a whole?', I would have to say, 'Yes' and 'No'.
My intention here is not to give a definitive answer, but to give readers 'food for thought', to enable each of us to be responsible and maintain pure intentions, to think for ourselves and develop genuine wisdom and compassion.
In the spirit of the Dharma, rather than dwelling on any possible problems, we should mainly focus on solutions to any such problems. With the hope of maintaining the integrity and purity of Buddhism in this world.