Thursday, June 30, 2011

Observing the 5 Precepts/Gaining Merit

This week Venerable Bendit guided our meditation class, followed by dhamma talk on merit. For those who attend our weekly meditation classes this isn't foreign to them, there are ten ways of gaining merit which can be summarized to three basic practices 1) Charitable giving/generosity 2) Keeping the precepts 3) Cultivation of the mind. As long as we are still breathing, we should spend our time wisely by performing as many good deed as we can. We should carry out the practices outline on a daily basis, since our time on earth is limited and our time of death is unknown.

Let me focus on number 2 for now keeping the precepts. There are five no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying, no consumption of alcohol/intoxicants. The precepts are instrumental in purifying one's deeds, words, and thoughts. Many individuals are of the belief that the five precepts have been laid down by the Lord Buddha, hence only Buddhist need to observe them. This is not true. The truth is the five precepts are what define us as human. They are principles by which we must live by. Rather, they were discovered by the Lord Buddha to be crucially important to our safety both in this and our future existence, and were taught to us for our good.

The Venerable stated that upholding the five precepts helps purify the mind so that when one sits to meditate it will be much easier to still the mind and have positive experiences with meditation. There is a direct correlation in the quality of the mind and meditation results.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meditation is at the heart of Buddhism

Today in class I showed a video of Ven. Dr. H Gunaratana addressing the question of the significance of meditation on Buddhism, this Q&A is part of a presentation held in 1997 at the Buddhist Missionary Society. Though the video is fairly old the Venerable does a great job answering this question. Meditation is the foundation of Buddhism and is at the very core of Buddha's teaching. Meditation is the only way to truly liberate oneself from defilement such as greed, anger, and delusion. Meditation helps you "see" the truth of life and realize how impermanent everything really is and that our ultimate goal is to cultivate good deeds and purify our minds.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Video for Meditation Classes

Am so thankful that a friend of mine, who also was one of the first people to support my efforts in guided meditation groups help create our webpage along with this video. My very first efforts of helping to spread meditation took place in 2005, Venerable Boonchoo guided the session. We did not, however, have regular weekly meditation classes until 2008. Our website along with thia video was launched this year in February we have come a very long way. If I started to document our efforts in 2008 until present so much took place to get our weekly sessions to where they are today. I must admit that this is considered an achievement in my life. I am so thankful to the Dhammakaya foundation for teaching me values on being a good moral human being and learning about merit, because that is all we really have is the cultivation of merit while we are here in this world, and that my friend is why I felt it was so important to help spread meditation. Anyways check out my very first video promoting our weekly class! Our website is

Einstein on Buddhism

“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.” - Albert Einstein