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Life is not all suffering, and that is a problem

It is common among Buddhists, even Buddhist teachers, to erroneously claim that the Buddha proclaimed, “Life is suffering.”  That mistake is understandable, I catch myself doing it frequently too. There are two problems with this claim.  First, according to the canonical texts, the Buddha never actually said that.  What he said instead was, “the five aggregates (form, sensation, perception, volitional formation and consciousness) subject to clinging are suffering.” [1] Second, it is not actually true that “life is suffering”, because life is not exclusively suffering.  There is indeed a lot of pleasure in life, and that is actually a...

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The best way for a Buddhist to honor the Buddha may surprise you

On the final evening of the Buddha’s earthly existence, a few hours before his passing, the Buddha was lying down between two sāla trees, mindful and fully aware.  According to the story, the trees then scattered, sprinkled and strewed blossoms on the Buddha’s body out of veneration for him.  And then thing got even more spectacular, “heavenly mandārava flowers and heavenly sandalwood powder fell from the sky and were scattered and sprinkled and strewn over the Blessed One’s body out of veneration for him. And heavenly music was played and heavenly songs were sung in the sky out of veneration...

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What is beyond Mindfulness, according to the Buddha?

Rāhula was the biological son of the Buddha.  Or, more accurately, he was the biological son of Prince Siddhattha before Siddhattha became the Buddha.  When Rāhula was six, Siddhattha became the Buddha, and when Rāhula was seven, he became a Buddhist monk to join his father.  The great Sāriputta, the Buddha’s chief disciple, was assigned to be Rāhula’s teacher. One morning, when Rāhula was eighteen, the Buddha and his group of monks, including Rāhula, set out to the city for alms.  Rāhula walked closely behind the Buddha.  This day, naughty thoughts started arising in Rāhula’s mind.  The canonical text did not...

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