Friday, 21 May 2010

Believe Nothing - Analysis of the Buddha's Words

These words are quoted widely on the web as one of the Buddha's most famous quotes. However it is thought to have come from one of his sermons which said :

“Kalamas, when you yourselves know: ‘These things are good; these things should not be blamed ; these things are praised by wise people ; done and observed, and they lead to benefit and happiness,’ do this and live within them."

What the Buddha is concerned about here is that we should figure things out for ourselves and that is why Buddhist undertake meditation which leads to spiritual contemplation rather than just give themselves up to authority. However Buddhists do not reject the authority of their spiritual leaders.

What is finally decided by the Buddhist adherent should be measured against the collective wisdom of the Sangha and the message passed down from the Buddha over 2500 years of Buddhist history.

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Buddha

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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

How to Bring Back Buddha Images and Statues from Thailand

The web is full of horror stories when tourists to Thailand find revered Buddha images and statues seized by Thai customers when they try to bring them home at the end of a holiday. At the Buddha's Face we have written an easy to understand and illustrated article explaining exactly what you need to do.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

What the Buddha said about Politics and Good Governance

The Buddha went beyond all worldly affairs, but was still able to give advice on good government.

As the UK leaders decide who should form the next government after an inconclusive general election result it is timely to examine what guidance the Buddha gave on the principles and actions that go to make up good governance.

The Buddha put forward ten rules that should should be followed by a ruler or government if they wish the country to be run responsibly and well.

The ten rules are ;

1) be liberal and avoid selfish behaviour ,
2) be of high moral character,
3) be prepared to sacrifice one
's own pleasure for the good of your subjects,
4) be honest and maintain absolute integrity,
5) be kind and gentle,
6) lead a simple life for the subjects to emulate,
7) be free from all kinds of hatred,
8) practice and encourage non-violence
9)be patient
10) be respectful of public opinion to promote peace and harmony.

He also went on further to state;

- A good leader should be impartial and not be biased in order not to discriminate between different groups in society

- A good leader should eschew hatred towards any group in society

- A good leader should enforce good laws without fear

- A good leader must clearly understand the purpose and function of the law in good governance. Furthermore the law should be enforced in a reasonable manner and with common sense.

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Buddha on Doubt and Uncertainty

Man and markets eschew doubt and uncertainty and it was on this subject that the Buddha wrote ;

"There is nothing more terrible than doubt. Doubt separates people and is a poison that destroys friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that wounds and hurts and is a sword that kills. "

Thursday, 6 May 2010

General Election 2010 and the Buddha

We hope Britain can find a way through it's current political situation and elect leaders who can inspire and lead the country but it is always good to turn to the Buddha for inspiration at times like these.

“His success may be great, but be it ever so great the wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down into the dust.”

"Everything changes, nothing remains without change."

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Top 10 Quotes from the Buddha and Video

A short list compiled by The Buddha's Face of enlightened quotes from the Lord Buddha - I hope you read and enjoy.

I always find direction and sustenance from his simple but profound words and find myself repeating them silently from time to time. Personal favourite - "What we think - we become".

1. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
2. Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.
3. Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
4. The mind is everything. What you think you become.
5. Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
6. Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
7. The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
8. Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
9. Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.
10. Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Thai Temple in Bangkok has living funerals

Buddhism believes in re-incarnation and that symbolically we must 'die' so that we can be reborn and value the life that we have but briefly on this earth.

In this video a Thai temple in Bangkok offers devotees to lie in a coffin,be covered in a sheet and be symbolically re-born. Being Thailand where animism and the concept of luck mingle with the more traditional faith the temple has become popular and some adherents believe it will bring them good luck and prosperity - something which has certainly happened to the temple's funds which are profiting to the tune of $70,000 dollars per month.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

Monday, 3 May 2010

More About Wat Buddharam

In researching the web for more information about the temple whilst I was making the video below I came across and inspiring Blog article by Vanessa Jackman who visited the temple in February 2009 who features photographs of one of the monks who lives there,the Venerable Wisanu.

You can also view photographs from the 2010 Songkhran (Thai New Year Festival) which is held in the nearby Blake's Hall Sports Ground.

The temple website is at ;

Thai Temple Wat Buddharam in Wanstead,East London

My video essay of a visit to the Thai Temple Wat Buddharam in Wanstead,East London on the 1st May 2010.

This is a lovely temple situated in a normal suburban house.The four monks who live there are very friendly and speak good English - always worth a visit and if you go at the weekend at 11.00 am you will be able to partake in delicious Thai food offered to the monks once they have finished their main meal of the day.

Wat Buddharam was set up in 2005 to
serve the large number of Theravada Buddhists
in East London and surrounding areas.

Head Monk Somchei Wirarwat is the Abbott of the Temple , who follows 227 commandments as part of his strict Buddhist lifestyle.

The inspiring quotes are from the Buddha and the music is by Blank and Jones Chilled Cream.