2013年9月25日星期三

Theravāda Buddhism

上座部佛教是佛教的主要派別,有別於大乘佛教。信奉不同派別是個人的選擇,就正如有人很喜歡吃中餐或西餐一樣。Bhikkhu Bodhi在The Vision of Dhamma: Buddhist Writings of Nyanaponika Thera談到上座部佛教和佛陀的一些特徵。

Theravāda Buddhism, the “Doctrine of the Elders,” is the oldest continuous Buddhist tradition and the one which has preserved most carefully the original teachings of the historical Buddha. Prevalent today with a striking uniformity of observance in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, the Theravāda is distinguished from other schools of its Northern and Far Eastern counterpart, Mahāyāna Buddhism, by its conservative doctrinal stand, realistic world view, anti-speculative empiricism and consistent stress on individual responsibility. But though from one angle the Theravāda may be considered only one school of Buddhism among others, as the preserver of the Buddha’s original teachings it may also be regarded as the fountainhead of the entire Buddhist heritage from which all other forms of Buddhism emerged.

In its conception of the Buddha the salient feature of the Theravāda is its emphasis on his humanity and full historicity. For the Theravādin, the Buddha who lived and taught in northern India in the fifth century BC was not a god, divine incarnation or cosmic principle made manifest in flesh. He was first and foremost a man who found he way to release from suffering, and his attainment of Enlightenment beneath the Bidhi Tree was a human attainment accomplished by his own exertion, rigorous self-discipline and probing intellectual analysis. In relation to the world his function is not that of a savior but of a teacher. Out of compassion for others he makes know the path that leads to the end of suffering, and its is left to each individual who seeks that goal to walk the path himself, in reliance upon his own strength and wisdom and, of course, the guidance given by the Buddha.

2013年9月18日星期三

The Lotus Posture

Shravasti Dhammika
http://sdhammika.blogspot.hk/2013/09/the-lotus-posture.html

The lotus posture, padmasana, is the name traditionally given to a way of sitting in many Indian spiritual practices, particularly in meditation. The practitioner sits placing each foot on the thigh of the opposite leg. Thus the legs are interlocked and symmetrical aligned. The hands can be placed on the knees or in the lap or on the knees.

Although this posture imparts a degree of postural stability many people take time to get used to it and often report that it becomes uncomfortable to maintain for extended periods. Indian tradition ascribes a great deal of benefits to the  padmasana, that it harmonized “energy”, that it massages the nerves enhancing relaxation, etc, even that it is essential for meditational progress. Most of these claims would seem to be fanciful.

In traditional Buddhist art the Buddha is often depicted sitting in the padmasana. However, in the suttas the Buddha himself says nothing about posture in sitting meditation other than that one should sit “with the body straight” (ujum kayam) and the legs “pallankam abhujitva”. The word abujitva could mean crossed (i.e. lotus posture) or simply folded and the term padmasana occurs nowhere in the Tipitaka. In this second posture the legs are folded and placed against the other rather than being interlocked. Many people report that this posture is more comfortable and is less likely to cause cramps and painful stiffness. Although the placement of the body may have some influence on the mind it is probably very slight. Ultimately, the more physically comfortable one is the easier one’s meditation will be. Meditation is, or should be, a simple and natural process. Requiring numerous technical necessities and details only robs it of these qualities.

2013年9月9日星期一

烏普居士 禪修講座及禪修營

烏普導師,斯里蘭卡 尼藍毗禪修中心現任導師,應葛榮禪修同學會的邀請於本年九月底來港主講三晚禪修講座和主持兩個分別為期六天和七天的禪修營。

導師簡介:

烏普導師(Upul Gamage),斯里蘭卡人。自幼熱衷哲學,特別是對佛學及禪修最感興趣。於上世紀八十年代開始跟隨葛榮導師(Godwin Samararatne)學習禪修並協助葛榮導師管理「尼藍毗禪修中心」(Nilambe Meditation Center)。於2000年3月葛榮導師離世後,他繼任恩師的「尼藍毗禪修中心」導師一職至今。他亦在他居地巴鎮的醫院、大學,康提市的英語佛教界有名的佛教出版社(Buddhist Publication Society),及各大小寺院和監獄教導禪修。近年,他並應邀到歐洲各地及香港教導禪修。

http://www.godwin.org.hk/index01.html