We are here with one common interest among all of us. Instead of a room of individuals all following their own views and opinions, tonight we are all here because of a common interest in the practice of the Dhamma.
This paper gives an account of some of the major aspects of Buddhist
psychology. The survey is confined to the texts of Early, or Theravada,
Buddhism--that is, the canonical texts and their early Pali commentaries
and related expository texts.
Among the six root afflictive emotions (nyon mongs, kle"sa) identified in the Buddhist Abhidharma literature as the causes for episodes or entire lifetimes of suffering, anger (Tibetan: khong khro, Sanskrit: pratigha) holds a singular place.
At 8.15 a.m. Japanese time, on August 6th 1945, a U.S. plane dropped a bomb named "Little Boy" over the center of the city of Hiroshima. The total number of people who were killed immediately and in the following months was probably close to 200,000. Some claim that this bomb and the one which fell on Nagasaki ended the war quickly and saved American and Japanese lives -- a consequentialist theory to justify horrific violence against innocent civilians. Others say the newly developed weapons had to be tested as a matter of necessity.
I have just returned from Tasmania after spending 3 weeks with my beloved sister Annie who had sudden surgery for a bowel blockage which turned out to be cancer. She is 42, the same age at which I was diagnosed with breast cancer now over 9 years ago and the same age at which our brother had a heart attack 2 years ago.
Buddhism is often understood as a religion or an ethical way of life for the Buddhists. Not so many articles consider it as a way of education. Even in a very well-known educational work entitled "Theories of Personality" by Calvin S. Hall and Gardner Lindzey, published in 1991, 3rd Edition, there is only one new chapter on "Eastern Psychology" discussing Abhidhamma, in sixteen pages, as an Eastern personality theory.
From the 6th to 16th of June 2007, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit Australia. This is his fifth trip here to teach the Buddha-Dharma. Everyone here is anxiously waiting for His arrival. His first four visits occurred in 1982, 1992, 1996 and 2002. In 2002, there were approximately 110,000 people (from cities like Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra) who came to listen to his preaching, in order to change and develop their spiritual lives. It can be said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the greatest Buddhist preacher in the modern age and has written many books on Buddhism, These have attracted many western readers to read about Buddhism.
Abhidhamma, as the term implies, is the Higher Teaching of the Buddha. It expounds the quintessence of His profound doctrine.
The Dhamma, embodied in the Sutta Pitaka, is the conventional teaching (vohāra desanā), and the Abhidhamma is the ultimate teaching(paramattha desanā)
The Pope, who managed to get the United Nations "International Year for Tolerance" off to a good start with the launch of his book, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope' - Johnathan Cape, London, has demonstrated his abysmal ignorance and lack of understanding of Buddhism. Although he, with reservations, expresses guarded approval of Judaism, Hinduism and Islam, he considers Buddhism beyond the pale. He trots out the usual cliches about Buddhism being "negative" and pessimistic. What really worries him is the appeal Buddhism has to the 'Western' mind, especially to Catholics who see in Buddhist meditation techniques something that has been lost from the contemplative tradition of early Christianity. He provides no logical arguments against Buddhism but resorts to dogma to prove his point.