Kiki is an Ashtanga teacher based in NYC.
The most well-known definition of “metta” is “loving kindness.” Another meaning, as Bhikkhu Bodhi translated, is “kind friendliness,” as “metta” derives from the Pali word for “friend.” “Bhavana” is usually translated as “meditation,” but it more literally means “cultivation” or “development.” During this process, loving kindness is meant to remove anger, hatred and delusion, and transform things which would normally trigger these emotions into opportunity for creative problem solving.
Buddhism is a vast, sprawling heterogeneous and internally inconsistent tradition dying and flowering over and over in various times and places over around 2500 years. Anyone who tells you its “core” teachings or practices is ignorant or lying. This is okay; as long as you know it is so.
The teachings on emptiness (Sanskrit sunyata or shunyata) find their most articulate development in the Kadampa branch of Mahayana Buddhism (Madhyamika Prasangika philosophy). To the Kadampas, nothing exists ‘inherently’ or ‘from its own side’.
According to Buddhism, the basis of reality consists of ever-changing processes rather than static ‘things’. If any ‘thing’ is analysed in enough depth, and observed over a long enough timescale, it can be seen to be a stage of a dynamic process, rather than a static, stable thing-in-itself.
Hareesh is a Non-Dual Tantrik teacher and scholar.
When the great universal teacher Shakyamuni Buddha first spoke about the Dharma in the noble land of India, he taught the four noble truths: the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path to the cessation of suffering.
Siddhartha Gautama’s story, across its many forms and translations, is remarkably consistent in the details. Like all stories of great teachers, some details have become mythologized as they cross cultures. Stories change to fit cultures, times, and populations as quickly as they arrive. But when trying to weave together the historical and mythological elements of Siddhartha Gautama (more familiarly known as the Buddha)’s story, we quickly learn that truth (that which is historically verifiable) and reality (living and lived traditions) are different; yet at the same time, completely inseparable.
It is no secret that, when we hear or read stories about people who’ve left the world (and the things which tied them to it) behind, we often recall familiar images. Some of these may be of mild-voiced gurus sitting in the lotus position under a yellow Indian sunset.
By examining the Gita alongside the Enlightenment-era philosophy of Immanuel Kant, I argue that we can illuminate both texts’ relationship to ethics, aesthetics, and violence.
To study the Bhagavad Gita and to understand it culturally and historically, one must begin with the larger context from which we get the Gita – the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata.
Whether you wish to argue the validity of a text that for hundreds of years fell out of practice in India or to full-heartedly embrace its philosophy, it is hard to argue that the eight-limbed path of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras does not bring both high-value and practical purpose to one’s sadhana.
Material reality is an illusion; our attachment to form and possessions is the obstacle to happiness, and in order to know the Truth we must participate fully with no expectations or attachments to the all too human process that got us into this situation of suffering (dukha) to begin with.
The Mahabharata is highly symbolic; while a dramatic historical study of a kingdom, it is also an allegory of human morality, psychology, and a transformative theology.
There in the midst of both armies, Arjuna’s mind reels as he foresees the imminent death of his teacher, relatives, and friends. He throws down his bow and arrows and decides not to fight.
Christopher is a Tantrik teacher and scholar.